Back in Mallorca

Moxie - Beck Family Adventure
Mike, Denise, Asia and Aranya Beck
Sat 12 May 2012 18:16
39.30.92N 002.32.57E
We’ll we thought that finally worked out how the postal system works after spotting this post on the marina forum:
What we didn't realise is that parcels are delivered to the post office, not the marina.  Someone from the marina picks it all up from the post office on our behalf and I am not sure if it is collected on a daily basis.  If you have something sent 'Signed For', the post office do not tell the person collecting for the marina that it has arrived and that it is being held at the post office for signature.  So you have to go every day to the post office to check it has arrived.
Oh right, OK then it’s off to the Post Office we go tomorrow then we thought, but before we went (40 minute round trip) we decided to wait for the mornings mail and everything had arrived, signed for included.  Nothing to do now then except make like a tree in spring. 
San Carles lies in a huge delta (River Ebre) and they grow thousands of acres of rice here.  This week they have been flooding the paddy fields and planting seed, which looks like fun as they do it with a helicopter.  That’s all interesting, the issue is that what will follow very shortly are thousands and thousands of mosquitos.  When we arrived last year it was miserable, basically if you were outside between dusk and dawn you got eaten alive.  So far this year we have seen a mere two, so we are getting out while the going is good.  Aside from that though the Marina is very nice, there’s a restaurant/Bar, club rooms, fantastic showers and a swimming pool.  The yard is very well managed, English widely spoken and most importantly the prices are the best for miles (1/3 the cost of Palma).
Weather forecast checked and looked fantastic, 15 knots on the beam for most of the 100 miles, then a few days of nothing and a nice big high to settle us back into the anchoring routine.  Well the 15 knots forecast was wiped from the next forecast so we ended up doing a trip of 19 hours motoring in Moxie the sailing yacht.  Aside from the constant drum of the motor it was a great passage, there was no swell,  thousands and thousands of stars in the clear night, and the sea was so smooth that the stars reflected off the water and the moon had a silvery path stretching away off to the horizon.  I saw the (red) Moon and the Sun rise and Denise saw a dolphin.  All in all a great start to the season.
We have anchored back in Palma Nova where we spent a lot of time last year with Chanty and Elle Ar (LR - last resort).  I did not blog it, but highlights from last year were:
Whilst scrubbing the hull I had two dolphins come and check me out, I swam with them for 20 minutes or so.
We removed our generator and had it rebuilt and reinstalled.
We BBQ’d on Elle Ar, watched rugby world cup games, and met some French/Australians that live in Morzine winter and Palma summer (on their catamaran), they have a 9 year old and took Aranya waterskiing on her birthday.  They even gave us their car for a day and took the girls while we went into Palma.  They’re in Ibiza now but we’ll see them again soon.
Elle Ar spoilt the the girls with a day at Kathmandu, a theme park in Magaluff, complete with a choice from the gift shop.  And we went with David and Sam (Elle Ar) to the scariest waterpark on the planet.  The high slide was terrifying, of course the girls loved it!  I popped my arm briefly over the side of the big yellow slide in momentary panic and received a terrible friction burn, scar still very evident 7 months later.
We wandered around Magaluff at two in the afternoon and saw girls cage dancing in front of a bar, we did not venture back in the evening....
We lost hold at anchor in 25 knots and a lee shore (yep should have paid more attention to Chanty disappearing off around the corner in the afternoon & of course the forecast) having torn an entire clump of seaweed out of the sea floor and we made our escape with a few minutes up our sleeves.
We anchored outside of Sea World a few times, sitting on the coach roof or perched on the boom we could hear and see the show pretty well.
I’ve got a great pedallo story too, someone found it 20 miles out at sea and towed it in.  They kept it for a few weeks then gifted it to Elle Ar, the girls used it a bit, then, as Elle Ar and we were leaving (Santa Ponsa), they tied it to unused mooring buoy.  A week or so later we returned to Santa Ponsa and I dropped the girls to the pedallo and they were happily peddling around with French/Aussie friend Bianca.  20 minutes or so later a very angry Spaniard came out in his dinghy shouting and snatching, pretty much throwing the kids off into the water.  He was reclaiming his pedallo that he obviously considered we had just stolen.  At a guess, it seems that because it must have been tied to his mooring, it now belongs to him.  We watched in ambemusement (new word I just invented) as he towed it right to shore and several men then carried it far from the beach up to the building, just to prevent us stealing it again I suppose.  Another half an hour and he would have found it reattached to his mooring.
Back to the present..
We did the outboard swap in the end, the Johnson cannot be easily shortened but it fits fine on the pushpit and is just a couple of kilograms heavier than the Honda.  There was a bit of hesitation though when, after six months unused, the Honda started first pull.  (If only Honda would make a diesel marine generator eh!)  Anyway we went ahead and we love it, the dinghy actually planes now with the four of us aboard.  Apparently, I heard this first hand from the the Marinera, at full throttle with one occupant our tender now exceeds the 3kn marina speed limit.  Who knew?  We’ve tested it out towing the girls around the bay in Palma Nova however we now need to upgrade our toys, using body boards and holding a rope is getting a bit dangerous at higher speeds.  Our fuel bill is going to go through the roof too.
The girls have been swimming every day and although the water is still quite chilly at 20 degrees I’ve been in for a quick dip or two as well too.  We have even finally mastered the rigging up of our spinnaker pole as a swing.  The water is very clean here, we are anchored in six metres and can see the weed, and plenty of fish at the bottom.  We have a lot of sun, even at 8:00am I find myself seeking the shade and ditching the shirt.
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8:00am this morning.
Denise has had Asia and Aranya very busy doing Brownie / Guide patch work and some of the stuff is pretty neat.  I wonder how many other Brownies did apple bobbing with sea water in the bucket?
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Apple bobbing in sea water.
Today for Brownies we need to catch a fish so we might try the Michael Conroy secret bait.  Actually thinking about it, Michael and the yellow substance made from milk have an uncanny knack for creating stories aboard Moxie.   Both girls now have clarinets and are practicing regularly, both parents have guitars and are not Sad smile
The washing machine we bought is working great, it fits nicely in the shower and is very light so lifts out easily to sit on the heads when we use the shower.  Works off the inverter too which is a plus.
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