39 09 300N 02 55 600E
After a struggle to find water in Palma, we eventually took a mooring which we thought belonged to the port authority but after securing ourselves to the quay were told that it was actually part of a new marina there that wasn’t in our pilot book!. Anyhow, luckily they were happy for us to stay for a couple of hours and refill our tanks with water so we took the opportunity for a much needed hose down too (Joy that is, not us, although the washing machine worked overtime). We were also able to collect my Mum from the marina so this worked out really well. With our new ship mate we sailed out of Palma Harbour and came into a very pretty anchorage at El Arenal on the east coast of Palma Bay.
Drama ensued as we approached the anchorage, we spotted an elderly gentleman swimming quite far from the beach, and once we had anchored securely we noticed a yacht leaving the anchorage approaching the swimmer. At first I thought he must be from the boat but as he got closer it became clear he hadn’t seen the man. Both Jez and I shouted at the crew of the yacht telling them there was a man in the water, but blank looks returned, they continued to aim their bow straight at him and the poor man realised and frantically waved his arms but too late – they went straight over him. Jez shouted at them to take the motor out of gear but instead they put it in reverse, and we feared the worst until the man was spotted just floating in the water on the otherside of the boat. We started to get the dinghy ready to go and get him, the occupants of the yacht that hit him just stared with blank looks, no attempt to recover the man or even check he was alright. Before we could get the dinghy round to the steps a canoeist nearby had seen the accident and came over to check. The man was clearly stunned and had lost his goggles, but laying on his back he slowly started to back crawl towards to beach and didn’t want help. It could have been a very different outcome, and we had only just been saying a couple of days ago that it is so dangerous swimming around your boat with so many oblivious other water users not just jet ski’s whizzing in amongst anchored boats but also motor boats that scream through without reducing speed. Boating etiquette is clearly extinct in this part of the Med.
The following day we had a wonderful sail to Isla de Cabrera, a protected island south of Mallorca, and we had obtained our permit to visit online and reserved a mooring buoy in the natural harbour as anchoring is not permitted. A stunningly beautiful place, although we were rather disappointed with the severe lack of wildlife! After reading about turtles and peregrine falcons inhabiting the island, our complete log of animal life amounted to two gulls, one of which took a liking to our dinghy for a couple of hours and made rather a mess on it! Whilst Jez stripped down the outboard engine the following day, I rowed (or should I say zig-zagged) across the harbour rather taken by the wind and not helped by my strong right arm and weak left one and Mum and I climbed the hill in the scorching heat to the castle at the top and we were rewarded with incredible views back to the harbour and across the sea to Mallorca.
We then set sail again late afternoon and sailed around Cabrera and then headed for the night to S. Mallorca taking up an anchorage at Cala Caragol. The sea bed was stone and weed so Jez, as he always does, dived in and snorkelled to check the anchor and Mum and I got rather concerned at one point when he continued around all the other boats in the anchorage and then out of sight for some time. I was almost about to get in the dinghy and row out to find him when we spotted him through the binoculars. He had been checking out everyone else’s anchors and was trying to find a patch of sand for us to move to, but decided after an hours swim he was happy with our holding as there was nothing better in the rest of the anchorage. We are aiming to leave for Menorca in the next day or two. Here are some pics of the stunning Isla de Cabrera, and yes the sea really was that colour!