Log 14, 2005-12-17

Hello again!
Here is another report from the Unicorn.

We have got excellent company here in the marina.It is a boat called the Athena, the biggest privet-owned yacht of the world. Itīs 95 m long and looks enormous. She lies only 50 m from us so we have plenty of oppurtunities of studying. She is owned by Jim Clarke, the founder of Netscape and Silicon Grafics. Everything is managed by computers and there are about 2600 alarmsensors to check everything.

2 days ago I was down in the water to check the boat. I do it once a month and this time I saw that the zink-annod was almost "upeaten". The annod is a piece of zink to protect the motor and the propeller against corrosion. As I donīt have any diving equipment except cyklop itīs rather sturnuous to work under water. But after 45 minutes and a lot of trouble the work was finnished. Itīs only 14 degrees in the water so I was very cold . I spent a lot of time in the warm shower to thaw up the body.

We now attend a school for adult education. Tree times a week we walk to school for a 3 hoursī lesson in Spanish. We are 6 "cruisers" from the marina and 6 immigrants from different countries. Before we could start we had to pass a test showing we were suitable for this education.
The teacher is very good and very professional . All education is in Spanish so it is sometimes difficult to follow. We are allowed to put questions in English but the answers are always in Spanish.
As citizens in EU the education is free. We only have to pay for the books.
This week we celibrated the end of the term. For this occasion our teacher, Ester, had brought sweets typical for the region and a couple of bottles of Cava. The mood increased as the bottles were reduced.
If you donīt know Cava is some kind of Champagne. But you canīt call it Champagne because it doesnīt come from the region Champagne in France.

Some weeks ago we had guests onboard. It was A-Kī cousine Maria and her husband Jim. For five days we showed them around in Barcelona. They had managed to be here when the fee to the museums were free so visited a lot of them.

To achieve Christmas atmosfhere in the marina most yachts have some kind of lightning. It looks very nice when you are approaching the marina. We have lines of lights from stem to stern on Unicorn. The management for the marina have set out a price to the best "Christmas-lighted" boat consisting of a box of Cavas.
We are sure that the price will go to an American boat - this a typical American ballyhoo.

The business-commerse is now reaching a peak as everywhere in big cities but tonight we are going a church and listen to Hendelīs Messias. This church is one of the oldest in B and situated in the famous quarter "el Born".

To morrow there will be a dock-party. All participants are supposed to bring something typical for homeland Christmas-celebration. As for us we think to bring "Jansson`s temtation"-easy to bring and taste wonderful.

Over Christmas we will have A-Kī parents as guests onboard. And Iīm sure they will bring something good from home for our Christman table which can be difficult to find here in Barcelona. We miss forinstance salt liquorice which everybody visiting us are expected to bring.

We wish you all

Håkan and Anna-Karin