We are 10 days into our European journey and we are quite pleased with how everything is going. There were many warnings by people of the logistical nightmares that can happen while traveling and driving through Europe. Our road-trip was quite uneventful, other than adding three hours onto our supposed 14 hour drive. The next day was filled with sight seeing around Barcelona and Team HP’s first snafu. Supposedly in Spain, the police enforce matching license plates between the trailer and the car… After much conversation between our resident Spanish speaker (Briana) and the police, we were set free again to explore Barcelona without a ticket!
That night, we boarded an overnight ferry to Palma de Mallorca which went off without a hitch. The next two days were filled with bend testing three masts, unloading the container, and various boatwork. In Palma, we are sharing an apartment with Ryan Pesch and Trevor Burd, 49er sailors also on the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider which has been an absolute blast. Our trainer advised us to bring workout equipment to Europe so we don’t have to be reliant on the gyms abroad. During an “apartment team” workout a couple days ago, there may or may not have been an incident involving the TRX and a chimney, hopefully some Epoxy or Silicone will do the trick!
So far, we have taken one day off from sailing which involved hiking some beautiful cliffs over looking the bay and a delicious local lunch surrounded by olive trees. Up next on the “tourist” schedule is going to the main cathedral in Palma for church Easter Sunday. We heard the Queen of Spain is vacationing in Palma and is planning on going to church there as well, unless the tabloids are lying to us!
As for the sailing, the conditions are just beautiful here: wind and really fun swell. There was one day which involved a fairly sketchy launching situation in breeze, where the waves were breaking over the jetty. We watched other people attempt to conquer the surf and learned pretty quickly there was really only one right way to do it. Once we got passed the breaking waves, it was just awesome sailing, though the docking afterwards was by far the hardest part of the day. We have two more days of training and the regatta starts on Monday, April 1st! Wish us luck!