Lesley & Derek Mercer
Wed 6 Jun 2012 18:20

39:53N 04:16E





We love Minorca.  We were stuck there for over two weeks because of the weather.  The next step is to Sardinia, across the “golfe”.  The trouble is, this is a large open expanse of water, and takes about 36hrs to cross.  Bad weather regularly builds up in the Golfe de Lyon, in Southern France, and sweeps down into the passage we are crossing.  Net result: gales with force 9 winds, seas of 5 metres, etc… Not my idea of fun.  To make matters worse, you occasionally get bad weather coming up from Gibraltar.  It whistles through the Straits and then spills out into the gap between Minorca and Sardinia.  Never as rough as the weather from the North, but can give strong winds and big seas.  So we sat it out.


One of the advantages is that we had the chance to visit Minorca.  We hired a car to explore island.  Amazing historical sights.  Going back in time there are Neolithic remains which are breathtaking.   Burial sites built in the shape of an upside down boat, villages where the house are arranged around a central area, with separate areas for animals and people, burial caves etc….   More recently, the Spaniards built a fortress at the entrance to Mahon harbour as the French and British were vying for control of the Meditarranean.  It is called La Molla, and we spent a whole day there.  The morning we walked round the battlements, went off for lunch, and returned in the afternoon to see the Vickers gun and other features.  All built initially in the 18th Century, but became redundant almost immediately because of improved technology with guns becoming more powerful and accurate.  Never tested in battle, so has survived almost unscathed. 


Finally set off for Sardinia.  Travel in company with a delightful Belgian couple who are on a gap year (in their early 40s), with their adopted Ethiopian 4yr old sun.  He is a “proper” pirate, with eyepiece, sword etc….   Absolutely flat calm, no wind, no waves.  Motored the whole way to Alghero, but arrived easily.  It’s cleary feast or famine in the Med:  too much or no wind!