I knew the family I'm staying with owned a sailboat and when my host sister suggested we go sailing for a few days I was slightly dubious. How could all of us fit in a little sailboat for that long? Would there be enough food? What about bathrooms? Would I have to duck every time the sail-thingy swung around?
Luckily for me, they have a really nice catamaran. Compared to the rafts I spend weeks on while floating down Washington rivers, this thing is more like a sailyacht than a sailboat.
The whole experience was like a dream. The boat has three bedroom cabins, two bathrooms (each with showers,) two tables with benches, a full kitchen complete with toaster and stove, and lots of space to sunbath. We were joined by two little girls and their mom for a day trip out into the sea.
We sailed out to the most picturesque little island you can imagine, with a white sand beach all around it. There was a raft attached to the end of the boat and I pictured all of us pitching in and rowing over to the island. But the raft had its own strong motor and we jetted over there in no time! I spent my island time collecting shells, swimming in the sea and wondering what I had ever done to get this lucky. I still haven't figured it out.
We took the boat back to the dock to sleep, and went to this local seafood restaurant for dinner. I tried calamari and mussels for the first time, right next to the sea where they were caught. They were both... interesting. We slept on the boat, which turned out to have wifi and outlets when it's docked. Seriously I need one of these boats. The next day we took a drive up to the top of a mountain for an amazing view of the whole area and then sailed out to another beach for the day.
By this time I'd gotten to know my sailing companions quite well. Val's dad was the strong and knowledgeable captain, steering the boat in the right direction and trying to communicate with me English. He has to read books in English for his job so he knows lots of words, just not how to say them. Trying to figure out what he was trying to say was always possible but a bit of a challenge!
The two little girls we shared the boat with were both sweet and wonderful. They were also complete and total opposites of each other. Lori, the younger sister with fair hair and skin, is rambunctious and crazy and never slows down. In the first two minutes that I knew her, she declared herself to be a sexy beast, flirted with the man on the next boat over, threw herself into my arms and then ran away down the dock. She is around 8. Her older sister is dark skinned, calm and conscientious. Val has been teaching them both English lessons and she has to encourage Mimi to speak up while trying to get Lori to stop talking!
No matter what we were doing, Lori always wanted to be doing something else. She wanted to swim if we were sailing or eat if we were swimming or head back if we were just relaxing. She convinced me to give her a painting lesson and three minutes in she was already on to the next thing! It was quite entertaining (and exhausting.)
The only thing the boat lacked was fresh vegetables and fruits. Val is allergic to fructose so the typical Spanish diet of bread, meat, cheese and fruits is narrowed down even more. After two days of eating bread and ham for every meal, my stomach was starting to feel a little bit awful. I was quite happy to be on solid ground with a nice big salad once the trip was over!