Departure

Romance, money, a blacklisted city and plenty of memories to cherish. Barcelona has given me an abundance of experience and growth since I came here in late July. My departure from Scotland was hasty and quiet, slipping from the motherland like a desert lizard. I followed my heart, its my way of avoiding coronary problems in the future. 20 hours travelling on buses and a cheap Ryanair flight that lived up to it´s reputation as group of Glaswegians were geein it yaldy at six in the morning, the extended efforts of the flight attendant doing little to tame their teenage bantering.Before I knew it I was walking down the metal steps to the warm welcome of the Spanish sun and Ainhoa. This is the furthest south in Europe I´ve been, and I was not prepared for the midsummer heat in the slightest. It burns like a red hot poker, slowly simmering and baking all that it touches. Having being picked up from the airport by Ainhoa and escaping the buzzing wasps that were on my flight who were now talking to a tv guy with a camera finding themselves incredibly amusing, we drove a windy road to Sitges, a small town south of Barcelona so I could acquaint myself with the sea. We lay on our backs in the water together, staring at the blue sky and laughing at the absurdity of our decisions which led us to be where we were, it was magnificent. Next stop, her Dad´s place. Now I had to nail this for one main reason, I was going to spend the next 10 days on a 15 square meter boat with him and first impressions can mean everything sometimes, a bottle of Aberlour has the tendency to smooth out the creases.

29.7 We left for Mallorca on a clear day, there was a little wind so we dropped the sails for a while, however the direction was bad and we needed to keep the engine running if we were going to make any time. Being on a boat is something I’ve been thinking about for a very long time. Boats seem to have been everywhere in my life, having lived by the sea for the majority of it, however somehow I had failed to set sail before this moment. I can sum it down to two words, perpetual motion. Luckily not from my stomach acids though, it seemed I´d got my sea legs fairly quickly which was a weight off my conscience, the thought of chundering over the side of my lovers Dad´s expensive yaught would’ve made the whisky look like a Tyskie. The mainland began to fade away and as the sun reached the horizon we were left with only the open Mediterrenean, I smoked a cigar with Pepe and we celebrated the voyage´s first sunset with wine and music. Once the sun had set and the colours began to deepen, gorging into darker and velvety blues we were greeted with what I can only describe as pure glory. Creeping up on us and at first, going unnoticed as it approached it´s rightful throne in the night sky, an epic full moon graced our journey with its orange spotlight, shining the way forward for us and ensuring our path wouldn´t go astray. We sailed through the night taking two hour night shifts, and as Ainhoa and I huddled up in the corner of the boat we witnessed thunder and lightening to the west, about 7 miles away judging by the distance between each strike. I took the opportunity to try and paint, however the motion of the boat and the lack of light proved too problematic so I turned my attention to relaxing in the open air and keeping an eye out for any other vessels. I was awoken in the dawn by Ainhoa´s voice, ushering me to come out and see where we had arrived to, and so started a new love affair with the cliffs of Mallorca.

Its easy for me to see now where Salvador Dali drew his inspiration from now, these cliffs towering over me were something quite different to the sandstone I was used to in Scotland. I was seeing them from the sea, which gave me a completely fresh perspective on them, they jutted out of the water like skyscrapers, dominating my field of sight. They seemed to whisper to me somehow, I began to see masks of legends, strange beasts resembling half horse half dragon carved into their craggy faces. I decided that more sleep would be highly unproductive so before breakfast made a drawing of this tempting allegory. As I drew I was being watched by two imbeciles in another boat, who continuously moved their boat into more dangerous positions without succeeding to find a spot in the cove where they could anchor for longer than five minutes. I found their precense irritating as they munched on their toast and smiled stupidly at me, even in a moment of natures finest glory would I have to block out the curious vouyer, I cheered up after breakfast.

We made our way west after breakfast, and the next few days were spent very peacefully floating round the island, mooring in places and taking baths in the warm green sea. We ate very well, arroz negro, calimari and fresh fish being the highlights of the restaurant cuisine, on the boat Bikinis and pot noodles. The landscape changed dramatically as we made our way down the west coast, the cliffs ranging from harsh summits vertical and white to rounder mountains, dotted with trees. We made our way to Cabrerra, mooring in a small bay with a beach. Ainhoa and I got snorkled up and swam across to the sandy shore, mere inches away from the marine life. It struck me as very chalky in the water, and I wondered if this was normal. As we got closer and the water got shallower I was completely blind, the combination of white particles, plastic and sand made for a dissapointing emergence from the water. The beach was worse. Plastic everywhere, enough to fill 5 bin bags and the beach was only about 50ft in length. Ainhoa and I took it upon ourselves to try to reduce the barbarity of what we saw and swam back to the Havana to collect a bin bag. We rowed back to the beach in the dingy and cleared the beach to the best of our abilities, taking it onto the Havana and disposing of it properly when we reached the next town. It´s the little things that make a difference. Our grand finale in Mallorca was a dinner fit for kings, having the catch of the day accompanied with fine wine and introspective reflection. Our voyage back was fairly smooth, we saw dolphins and a single turtle floating around, I slept under the stars accidentally leaving Ainhoa on our shift by herself and we arrived in Castedefelles in the early hours of the morning ten days after setting off. I arrived with a decent amount of drawings and watercolour sketches which I have been working up since.

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