Most of my gear was stolen on Friday. Here's the gist of what I wrote in my notebook Thursday night.
I walked this morning to the friendly logistical offices that were willing to take my money in return for my kayak. They told me that my kayak was in a warehouse in Barcelona and I could pick it up just after a third party had finished up some paperwork, which would be around four in the afternoon.
I paid more than half the price of the boat, and received the address of the warehouse storing my boat as well as some forms I would need to retrieve it. The warehouse was about four kilometers from the water, which presented me with a problem. It would be extremely difficult to carry both the kayak and my 80 pound duffel bag at the same time, so I would need a friend to help me so that I wouldn't have to leave either my gear or my kayak unattended.
Fortunately, at the friendly hostel I'm staying at, it took me only a moment to find a volunteer. Before setting out to the port with my friend to begin my expedition I sent an email to my editor telling him that if I didn't write to him in the next 12 hours he should post that I had launched my expedition. I also invited a couple of my friends from the day before to see me off at a pleasant beach a couple miles north of the actual launch sight. They would wait for me at eight in the evening.
My assistant and I were soon near the warehouse. We had actually walked a ways past it by accident and were closer to the put in. Once we realized our mistake we decided to leave him with the gear and I would go get the boat. Then I would come back with the boat and between the two of us we would get everything to the water.
I walked back to the warehouse to get my boat. It was there and it was beautiful; unfortunately the necessary paperwork had not been completed by four. Nor had it been completed by six, closing time. The fellow who was supposed to take care of it was in the hospital looking after his mother.
I walked back to my friend who had nodded off next to my bags of gear. I woke him, apologized and sent him home.
I found some bushes and put my gear under the bushes. I then covered it up with dry leaves so that it would not be visible from the busy street not far away.
I went to scope out the launch point. It was an old desolate parking lot between dunes with a small rocky and littered beach at the edge of it. While there were a number of fences that had been locked for years to keep people out, most of them had been pushed over or cut through making beach access fairly easy, even for someone carrying a kayak or 80 pounds of gear. Their was a pack of small dogs in the area, climbing the dunes and barking at my uninvited presence.
The beach was inside an artificial bay that would let me get the feel of my new boat without having to deal with waves.
I walked back to my stuff and made camp. It's currently raining and I'm comfortable in my tent. The warehouse should be open tomorrow at 8:00 and I hope the paperwork is done by then so that I can retrieve my boat. I feel bad for the two girls waiting for me to launch from the beach north of here.
The next day I was out early. Shortly after I had packed up my gear it had begun pouring rain. I couldn't leave my gear in the same place I had the day before because my dry bags where not yet in use and I couldn't allow my computer and other stuff to get wet. I found a location not far away that was mostly void of pedestrians, if closer to a busy road, that I thought I could leave my things at. I put on my rain gear and made my way to the warehouse arriving at about ten to eight. After waiting in line for an hour for my boat I was told to come back in half an hour.
I went back to my gear to make breakfast for myself, except my gear was gone.
The police added insult to injury by not believing my story. There was a translator there, at the Barcelona central police station who was unable to understand my English. She explained to me that she only understood British English.
My expedition is still underway, it will just take me a little bit longer to get started.