By Regina Winkle-Bryan
Though visitors and locals alike tend to forget, Barcelona has always depended on its port and maritime activity and in many ways, still does. To get another perspective on this Mediterranean city and to have a ‘hands-on holiday’, consider signing up for a week of sailing lessons out of Barcelona’s port.
I recently had my first sailing lesson with private teacher and skipper, Stefan Lawrence. Our small group of six, including the teacher, took off from Barcelona’s massive port at 10am and headed down the coast in the direction of Sitges, some 14 miles away.
This was my first experience on a sailboat, as it was for two others, and we spent the first part of our voyage just getting our ‘sea legs’ and trying to decide if we would get seasick or not (one of us, unfortunately, did). Stefan had us man the wheel or helm for a bit and taught us the basics: how to call for help, what to do if he or one of us fell off, and how to read our wind speed and depth.
Sailing is a lot of fun, but it could also be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is why it’s important to choose a good school or reputable teacher when you start to learn to sail. According to Stefan, a person could be ready to take out his own 30-foot vessel after seven days of classes, practice and training.
We sailed down to Castelldefels and had lunch there on shore. On the way back the wind had picked up and we opened both the sails up and sped through the Mediterranean. We practiced tacking and changing the sail positions and felt like we were really ‘doing it’. It was quite a thrill!
I highly recommend Stefan both as a sailing instructor and as a private skipper. Though ours was a day trip, Stefan takes parties over to the Balearic Islands and up and down the Costa Dorada and Costa Brava. It was dark by the time we got back to Barcelona, and all the ships had their lights flickering out over the sea. We were exhausted by our first sailing lesson, but happy and a bit suntanned from a bright afternoon spent on the open sea in March.
Contact Stefan Lawrence about sailing lessons at: email@example.com
If you are more interested in taking in the sights on dry land, then the hop on hop off Barcelona bus pass may be right for you. The Scoop loves how easy this city tour is. We recommend it for tired feet!
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