Arrived Alboran Marina Palma Mallorca
Six thirty, still fully dark only the street lamps of Moraira town providing some light on the far side of the marina. Cup of tea in hand I study weather reports and grib files, happy with their forecasts and tea consumed I disconnect our shore power leads, remove spring lines and set fore and aft lines to slip. The marina still silent as the first traces of day appear in the sky, we slip our lines and almost silently ease the boat away from the dockside, turn her through one hundred and eighty degrees and motor out into the bay where we are met with a moderate, rolling swell and just enough wind to set the main sail. So began a pleasant but unremarkable motor sail to Ibiza, dolphins appearing to amuse us as we neared the southern tip of the island. We anchored in Ensenada de la Canal around 16.00 hours, ate aboard and had an early night in readiness for our voyage to Mallorca on the morrow.
We woke several times in the night as the wind changed direction and strengthened swinging Pamarzi around on her anchor, finally giving up all attempts at sleep around 04.00 I sat in the cockpit as the boat bucked and bounced and the wind now from the north east (our direction of travel) increased to over 35 knots, the seas growing more confused as the wave direction opposed the new wind direction. We decided to stay put, which was just as well for the wind did not abate and grew stronger as dark clouds scudded across an ashen sky, a 75 nautical mile beat to windward in this would not have been pleasant! Some minor jobs done whilst Pamarzi pitched and rolled and an early night watching a soppy romcom before dozing off.
It was still dull next morning as we surveyed the overcast skies. Black, rain bearing clouds hanging beneath a slate grey canopy as first light appeared in the east. The sea remaining big and confused but the forecasts were for light winds (too light!) and a decreasing sea state. We raised the hook hauling in 45 metres of chain on our windlass at 07.45 and headed for Feu Grande passing through that shallow pass with seas breaking over our foredeck and smashing into the spray hood. Within the cockpit though we remained dry as we watched the depth through the pass go from 85 metres to 4.2 metres. So started 75 miles of motoring into the wind and sea without sighting land or shipping for most of the ten hour journey. Visibility was very poor and we were within six miles of Mallorca before we could make out the shore line. The monotony of the crossing broken only by the attempts of numerous songbirds, butterflies and dragon flies, presumably blown out to sea by the winds of the previous day, to find respite on our decks and rigging. Lynn willing the little creatures to land but other than a single large vivid yellow butterfly who came with us to Mallorca, none succeeded, their pitiful flight paths becoming lower and lower as they continued to circle the boat before falling out of sight.
Passing the black and white striped lighthouse at Punta Cala Figuera we had calm seas and good visibility across the Bay of Palma. The always theatrical Palma cathedral appeared in view and soon we were entering Alboran Marina where we were directed to a berth between two boats no more than 30cm wider than Pamarzi! None the less by 18.00 we were med. moored in this corseted slot, mooring lines set, passarelle down, shore power and air con on, we had a quiet and peaceful night and a restorative sleep. They have assured us that we can move to a more suitable berth on Monday with I hope a bit more wriggle room for this is to be Pamarzi’s berth for the next seven months and our Mallorcan home for the winter.
After a slow start next day we set to with boat jobs readying Pamarzi for our trip back to the U.K. on Tuesday. A pretty hectic few days but it was good to meet up with Benjamin on Monday (we sailed across the Atlantic with him in 2007 and he is now the Captain of a very large vessel) who will be looking after Pamarzi whilst she is berthed in Palma. We both feel slightly down this morning as we ready ourselves for our flight I guess it’s the realisation that our cruising for this year is pretty much at an end. Silly really for there is so much to plan for next year and we will be back aboard in a week’s time for a couple of weeks to make Pamarzi ready for the winter and I hope explore some of Mallorca’s hinterland. So I may well bend your ear one more time this season.
Roger & Lynn
The crew of Pamarzi