Mallorca - Porto Colom - 14 September

Wed 14 Sep 2005 20:45
We sailed across from Menorca to Mallorca (around 50 miles) on Sunday 11 September.  The forecast was good, however the wind was a little flukey.  Some dolphins swam to within 100 yards of the boat, although they were a different type and more wary of us than the last ones we saw.
We started to notice a mass of grey cloud building ahead, and as it approached us it was clear that it was a fairly violent thunder storm.  Then we saw a water spout (like a mini tournado) and immediately put the genoa away.  Very soon afterwards we were hit by lashing rain and incredibly strong winds.  J took the children down below as the boat was knocked completely on its side (the windows on the port side were underwater) and hail the size of peas bombarded Charlie on the helm.  There was an incredibly loud crack of thunder and lightning flashed simultaneously.  Everything was grey and the sea looked as though it was boiling.  Then the boat came upright and everything became calm, but we were actually in the eye of the storm and another crack of thunder and flash came together as the boat was again knocked on its side.  Suddenly everything was calm again.  In the space of ten minutes we had been through the storm and it was beautiful blue sky and bright sunlight and we could see the mountains of Mallorca.  When we looked at the instruments (after the event) they showed that the wind had reached 50.9 knots.  Unfortunately we lost the bottom batton of the mainsail (a piece of solid fibre glass 4.5 metres long!) which had flown out without us noticing, and worst of all Pip's fish kite (previously attached to the backstay) had decided it wasn't hanging on for the rest of the trip. 
Mallorca from a distance
Alice after the storm
Pip and Daddy
The children were remarkably chilled out about the storm, and we were really pleased with the way the boat coped with it - even with the full mainsail up.  However, we have decided that if we see anything like that looming in future, we'll be a bit quicker to get all the sails down!
The first place we stopped in Mallorca was Porto Colom, partly because Simon Bullimore and his 3 daughters, their husbands and children are all here on holiday this week - we thought it would be fun to get together and we have had a great time - they have been incredibly hospitable.
Porto Colom Lighthouse
View from our anchorage of Porto Colom
It is a lovely harbour - very large and shallow (about 3 metres deep most of the way across) and beautifully sheltered.
View of entrance (i.e. opposite view from the one above), from our anchorage
Twighlight over Porto Colom - view from Simon's balcony
Pip helming the rib (petrolhead)
Keoma dressed overall
Yesterday the Bullimore clan came to lunch on Keoma and we dressed her overall for the occasion. 
Bullimore boat
Children (including Simon's granddaughter Lucy) and glass bottom boat that we went on