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Posts Tagged ‘sailing clubs’

The Course and The Club  

Once again its race time on the river at Club Nautique.  As you can see its a long way to the bridge where they round the central pillar then row back.  The downward journey is not too bad as they are racing with the flow of the river (about 6knts), however, on the way back it against the flow and a really hard pull. An awful lot of strength is required for this as pulling against a 6knt flow in a large rowing boat with only oars to get you where you want to be is no mean feat. Not here your Oxford or Cambridge boats these are sturdy river boats that have been used on the river for a long time.

              

As you can see from this photo there are safety boats out as well as canoes, plenty of assistance if needed.  So this people, is what these youngsters do every night of the summer for fun. Out in his boat are Pep and Chris two of the people who are always there for the club, today they started the races.  This is an annual event which we try very hard not to miss.

   

The club is always well attended and this year was no exception. As you can see it was very busy, but they have a good system for the food and drinks area.  You went to the two people sitting at the table who were issuing tickets for drinks and food, paid for what you wanted took your ticket to either the bar or BBQ on the other side of the bar – which was doing a roaring trade with kebabs – and collected your fare.

So to the Races

There are such a lot of pictures for the actual races that I shall just post them hope you enjoy.  Starting with the competitors:

The competitors,line up,the off finish and prize giving enjoy

   

   

 

 

And this young lady won a cup because she SWAM across the river  beating the only other competitor a young man by yards.

 

So there you are our day at the races in photographs, friends and life just get better.   Looking forward to next year boys and girls

 

(c)  Michael Douglas Bosc – Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Some You Win – Some You Loose

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This is Bazz the goat who adopted us. As you can see he was not well very skinny turned out he had phunomia and after three days during which time we tried to find out who owned him, he died.  Seems there are a few goat herds about but eventually the Department of Agriculture found his owner and informed him we had his goat.  He was due to turn up mid afternoon on the third day but by that time Bazz had expired, so he took away a pathetic little bundle, so sad.   However, during his time here he decided that the shed was his best resting place and my garden was good for munching.  Lemon tree, vine, almond tree and lavender as well as rosemary and thyme he tried them all and drank vast amounts of water. But we have some good memories of him, shouts of leave the lemon tree alone, don’t eat the roses and get out of the tree to name but some.  He wandered around and even tried to get into the FFZ, the only thing wrong was the smell and flies.  Goats poo a lot and it smells, so had to go round and collect it from in front of the house garden did well though.  Anyway here are a couple of photos of Bazz doing goatish things to the lavender patch.

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The Boys and Daughter

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Well who would have thought it, these two hooligans have fallen in love with our daughter. She was over for a few weeks to rest and relax spending most of her time in the fly free zone with the boys for company whilst getting the benefits of the sun without burning.  They had her full attention and just loved it, she took over my ‘office’ and they made the most of things.  Shouting, playing, making sure they had the full attention of their audience.

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She had bought with her some toys after reading about their antics, palm balls, a weeble with a bell, plus a couple of other bits and was in stitches watching them destroy  the palm ball – these birds use palm leaves in the wild to line their nests – which meant they tossed out all the stuff in the nesting box then replaced it with the palm which they had chewed to soften, stripped into small pieces then lined their nest with.  So you can imagine how upset they were when she went home.  However, she sent them a new ladder made of wood and string so we strung it hammock style they now sit on it so we are now betting on how long it will take them to destroy it before Michael has to thread the wood with either wire or thin rope.  And yes they really are love birds bless……

 

Michael’s Hand Update

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As you may or may not know Michael has had an operation on his hand to remove a cyst.  The picture above is just after I got him home from the hospital. He was still under the effects of the anesthetic and insisted on showing the boys his and I quote “writers war wound” yep that’s what he told them.   However over the next few days he came down to earth as his hand came back to life and the pain set in.  Then it was a round of hospital visits until yesterday when he finally had the last stitches removed, now all I have to do is stop him from doing things that could open the wound such as chain-sawing… no not really but you get the idea.   The wound is healing nicely, but he still can’t play the piano….

The Garden

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This is not a picture of the garden as it is now, it’s too dire.  The lack of water – rain – has meant that everything has dried up and the place looks horrid.  But it allows me to clear away some of the dross and where I have done so the beds look well. HOWEVER!!!  although most of the plants are drought resistant even they are suffering so a water plan has been devised for next summer based on the one we have for the walnut tree. As for Sam’s garden, (picture) I have trimmed the olive tree of all the offshoots cleared the weeds and prepared the ground where the yellow bulbs are.  At this end where the pink and red ones are I have a few bits still to do and also make a support for the yellow flowers above the strawberry patch.   The green water tank will have to be put to another use elsewhere in the garden as  the Water Bar was not used this year, but at least we were not bothered by wasps. It is almost time for the olives to be picked so a trip to the presses for the residue which is used as fertilizer is in order.  The roses all need a good feed and also a tidying up so am looking for a few tiles to go round the base of them  to keep the ground moist either that or I shall dig a circle cover the ground with polythene recover with soil in the hope they will not suffer so much next summer.

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Well that’s the forest news for this week,  Michael is still writing and Clearing in the Forest is now out in paperback form from Create a Space and on Kindle.

 

(c) M.D.Bosc Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We were at Club Nautique again last Saturday for their Muleta Regatta, but it turned out to be much more than that, it was a celebration of tradition.  This was a day of races in boats that worked this river for centuries, bringing goods from the sea up into the heart of Northern Spain. These are the traditional working costumes of the Sirgadoors, the men who pulled the Muletas up river.

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The Muletas are the original boats that worked the river.  They were moved along with oars made from  timber which have handles carved into one end and flats carved on the other.  If you look closely at the boats you will see there are posts on the gunwales these are what the oars are tied to so they can be rowed.

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We were treated to a demonstration of Muleta towing. As you can see this was hard work even with the Muleta being rowed, but men had to do it as in some places along the river the path was so narrow only men could walk. Their ancestors used Concha horns to let other river users know they were either towing up river or rowing down, there are places along the Ebre between the mountains where these horns must have echoed loud and clear for several kilometers.

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People often forget that for many many years the Rio Ebre was a major trading artery. If you take a look on every high point along it’s route you can find the ruins of Templer castles like the one at Miravet. Eventually the Templars became rich enough to tempt Popes and Kings to take it from them.  However, the people who actually generated this wealth were the Sirgadoors, who as they dragged the cargo boats up the Ebre against the fierce flow, paid taxes to these Knights for safe passage.

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It also used to flood quite regularly, but today the river has been tamed. Dams and weirs have been built with hydro and nuclear power stations along its banks.  Where it flows past Club Nautique there are quiet back eddies where the fishermen sit watching their lines waiting for the catfish or carp dreaming of the big one. On the bank Club Nautique sets out its tables and chairs so we can enjoy the summer and watch the young people training and making preparations for their regattas.

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We arrived to find the club a hive of activity, boats being made ready, people picking their tables whilst others were chatting to friends. looking up the road we could see people sitting on the river wall watching the events unfold. I managed to find a table at the top of the slope leading down to the hard, from here we could see everything which was perfect. As we looked around we could see there were chairs set out on the hard over looking the pontoon. These were ready for the arrival of the Carnival Prince and Princess, and the band which accompanied them. This band is made up of young people and they really can play.

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They arrived walking down the street wearing their traditional dress and followed by the band playing and took their places on the hard with the young band seated behind them. This was a relaxed event and everyone settled down to enjoy themselves.  The band played at the beginning of each race to send the boats on their way down river to the bridge where they turned then raced back again.

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Then we settled down to watch the races.  The boats set off from the club and had to row down to the bridge turn and row back against the flow.  They had a really hard job of it but everyone  enjoyed themselves.  Here are the start of the races and some of the boats.

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They ended the regatta with watermelons  being thrown into the river and the youngsters swimming for them.

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The ambulance actually had a customer he had hurt his wrist and all the police had to do was watch and enjoy, such a nice day.

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As always at this club people enjoy themselves. It is a club that is family orientated with activities for all ages.  There is a football area, a small swimming pool besides the sailing.  Looking after us all this weekend were these tired but happy people.

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Oh and this young man was still working after the event and yes that is a happy smile on his face, wonderful.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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This is the Club House

We have liked this little summer sailing club ever since we have been here. It sits by the side of the river Ebro, quiet in the late autumn and the early part of the year. But come July an air of expectancy arrives, what date will it open this favourite place, who will be running the bar, will they be any good? Over the past years we have seen good and bad students running it. This year we were in for a treat.  Mohammed, Paul, and  Ivan took over, it was like an open air restaurant.  Waiter service, drinks and snacks were brought to your table, tables wiped and cleared no mess anywhere these young men showed a talent for people care.

A typical evening

When you consider that the girls and boys who train for the muleta races are there every night plus parents and friends it says a lot.  I have been watching them play chess and played the odd game, I do like chess, whilst others play cards as they wait for their turn in the boats.

Then off they go 6 to a boat rowing down stream with the current but pulling hard as they come back up against a 6knt flow again and again.  Sitting there in the evening looking out over the river with a cool glass of beer or wine and a gentle breeze, whilst watching the youngsters training is very pleasant.

There is also a swimming pool here for members, which is well used, especially in the afternoons. Not only by the grown-ups but but the young people as well.  We often arrives in the evening to see them coming from the pool to sit with their friends. There are bar meals available at reasonable prices, so like us people come to eat.

This is practice

            

This year there the anual Mora Marisca was cancelled, so there was much activity as boats were taken to other villages on the river for racing.  We managed to catch some of them and the pictures below are an indication of the size of a muleta, which takes 6-8 youngsters to move. This weekend is the last one the bar is open till next year so we are sitting here enjoying our last meal of the season, looking out over the river.  I hope you enjoy our favourite summer bar.

The Races

      

                 

And the outcome of all this fun? Why the girls got a cup 3rd but it is still a cup!  Well done senoritas!!

The Parakeets??  Well they live in the trees by the hospital behind the club, and squark and fly around.  One complements the other.

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