It’s the pirate’s life for me, with a boat trip along Barcelona’s glitzy Mediterranean coastline.
It was the promise of “life on the Mediterranean” that cemented my decision to move to Barcelona instead of landlocked Madrid, so I’m a little ashamed to say this was my first boat trip.
I met my friends, and made a couple of new ones, at Barnabier in Port Olimpic, where we drank beers in the sun and chewed the fat until Captain Noah arrived. Sun-kissed and lazy-limbed, he had a relaxed air about him and an unhurriedness that gave me the sense he was operating on a totally different level. This was clearly not a city dweller…
After a quick briefing, Noah welcomed us aboard Minerva and showed us around the sun decks and sleeping areas – plenty of space for a group of 8 – and it wasn’t long before we were saying cheers! with a few cold ones.
The twin Volvo 200 hp engines roared into life and the waft of diesel and sea salt instantly transported me back to the days I spent on my dad’s sailboat back in Wales. Seemingly sensing this, I was designated the role of co-captain and I took my duty of chief fender-puller-upper very seriously as we trundled past rows of billionaire mega yachts and old wooden sail boats.
Mojitos on the Med
Out in the bay, but still close enough to the beach that we could see sunbathers burning in the last of the day’s rays, Mike appeared from below deck with perfect and fully-formed mojitos, instantly placing him at the top of the list of people everyone wanted to be best friends with. Although, Steve may have out done him when he produced a juicy fat cigar from his bag, wedging it between his teeth and chomping at it like a proper sailor. Every day’s a school day.
The iconic gold fish sculpture shimmered under the luxury Hotel Arts and Mapfre Tower – Barcelona’s “twin towers” – and it all looked quite unfamiliar from this new aspect.
By the time we got to the end of the beach and the iconic W Hotel, the beers and mojitos were working their magic. We chatted and sipped and talked about work and life in Barcelona, stopping to decipher landmarks as we bobbed up and down unfamiliar stretches of the coast.
Boys Will Be Boys
It didn’t take long for someone to drop the question we all had in our minds…
How fast does this thing actually go?
Responding as we’d hoped, Noah cranked the engines into hold-on-to-your-sh*t mode and the boat planed and skipped across the surface in unison with the white horses. Michael and I were at the back of the boat, where a storm of salt and sea-foam spat and snarled in our wake, sending me into a fit of boyish giggles as I held on for dear life.
“How fast was that, Noah?” I mumbled as the sea spritzed into my mouth.
Windswept and mojito fresh, we pulled back into port a couple of hours later, flocking instinctively en masse back to the bar.
We sipped on a few more beers and shared stories (sorry to my new friends about my nonsensical sagas), and, as I picked bits of mint from my teeth, it took all of my will not to break into song…
We’re rascals and scoundrels, we’re villains and knaves.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
We’re devils and black sheep, we’re really bad eggs.
Drink up me ‘earties, yo ho.
Make it Happen
Whether you’re looking for a quick joyride along the coast or a full day of exploration, fishing, swimming and snorkelling, Captain Noah will will tailor an itinerary to fit. His boat Minerva has plenty of space for families – he’s fully trained in all things “health and safety” – or groups of friends and the prices are far more reasonable than you might imagine.
Prices: Ranging from €40 per person
Departing from: Minerva Barcelona Boat, Pontón 4, amarradero 3430, Moll de Xaloc, 08005 Barcelona
Nearest Metro: Ciutadelle (Yellow Line 4)