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Date: 05 Sep 2006 12:55:00
Title: Hola Menorca

Dear Friends
 
Let's start with a boat picture this week - here's us on the N coast of Menorca (with a cheery wave for our friend Frances in Bude).
 
 
We had an exciting last few days in Corsica, in fact a bit too exciting for our taste. Becky joined us on Monday (quite exciting) and brought winds with her which were the strongest yet. Force 10 was forecast for Tuesday night and the highest gust - in harbour - was 75 knots. Not surprisingly none of us had more than a few moments sleep as we were up keeping an eye on things and adjusting lines. Even inside the harbour, between us and the mole, the surface of the sea was white - ripped off by the wind whilst waves were crashing on to the inside of the mole.
 
Anyway, we survived all that with zero damage which was something of a surprise, though we must have looked a bit jaded when Barny joined us on Wednesday evening.
 
Our verdict on Corsica - very dramatic landscape and coastline, quite unspoilt, but not very relaxing on a boat!
 
After the gales, we were fortunate to have hardly any wind for the crossing to Menorca and had to motor all the way on seas that were sometimes oily smooth with wonderful starlight at night after moonset. OK, so force 4-5 on the beam would have made for a good sail, but I'd rather motor than fight our way 260 miles uphill into the teeth of a 7 or 8.
 
We had one whale sighting about half a mile away and saw a few dolphins.  As we had plenty of time on our hands, we had a look at Blue Sky's sextant (on loan from Ian) and have decided that it is actually a high quality device. ("Stanley, London 1920" if anyone knows about these things.) Here's a pic of Barny taking the noon sight, which happened to be during lunch at 1340: this resulted in a latitude calculation only a mile and a half out - beginner's luck...? We're still working on the longitude.
 
 
We're just tootling along the north coast of Menorca at the moment and will probably stop near Ciudadela tonight before crossing to Mallorca tomorrow.
 
Best Wishes
 
George and Michael
 

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