Our Second Cruising Year Starts.

Sun 4 May 2014 16:33
Tuesday 22nd April we fly Ryanair, the sense of being one the herd mitigated
slightly by my extravagance in reserving seats 1A and 1B. The ten Euro fee
brings with it the dubious pleasure of priority boarding, which in effect
does us the honour of being allowed to queue half way down the gate
stairwell for 15 minutes longer than anyone else! We take our seats and
smile benignly as the remaining two hundred and fifty passengers trample
over our feet. Anthony and Thomas (nice boys!) our stewards are efficient
and smilingly ply their trade offering OK magazine, lottery tickets and
insipid brown liquid erroneously labelled as coffee. They reheat limp
Panini's, we smile our no thank you's and continue failing to complete the
Telegraph crossword. But on landing our ten euros allows us to escape first.
The familiar broad gates and corridors of Palma airport negotiated we climb
into a waiting cab and twenty minutes later are waving olla's to Carlos the
marinero to enter the marina complex and board gleaming Pamarzi.

Gear stowed, job lists prepared we meet with Hamish from Oyster Marine to
discuss and organise warranty work. Riggers, engineers and GRP specialists
start work almost immediately. Internet connection established (but never
very good in this marina), chandlers visited, the day has gone! A short walk
up the promenade we share bruschetta and carbonara and a bottle of local red
before heads gratefully hit pillows at around 10.30.

There follows four busy days of boat preparation, overseeing contractors,
taking delivery of spare and replacement parts, carrying out essential
maintenance, interspersed with trips to the chandlery and the supermarket
and the gas bottle supplier. Saturday evening we dine at Baranda in the
Santa Catalina district. This one of our favourite restaurants in Palma. We
are met like old friends and have a very pleasant evening at our usual table
eating and drinking delicious food and wine, celebrating our 44th wedding
anniversary. Exactly one year ago we were on this day launching Pamarzi at
St Katherine's Dock in London.

Sunday and Monday twelve hour days of boat cleaning and polishing, Pamarzi
now looking even better than the day she was launched. Our sails delivered
from their winter storage ready for hoisting on the morrow. Around 21.00 Rob
arrives, good to see him again and a pleasant evening is spent catching up
and munching on the superb Belgian chocolates he has brought. Tuesday we
hoist our genoa and staysail, checking shackles and systems before furling
away ready for use. The last few replacement foams for our cockpit and deck
seating (now ensconced within silk like under liners will not arrive till
Wednesday so we reschedule our departure to Thursday and spend a lovely
evening with Benjamin and Gaetane at their charming apartment near Port
Adriano where Pamarzi was hauled out for hull cleaning and antifouling a
couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday morning dawns still and quiet and ideal day to manage the
refitting and hoisting of our mainsail. Rob and I set to, securing head,
tack and clew before carefully hoisting the sail up eighty five feet of
mast, fitting battens as she went. Satisfied with our efforts, halyard
tension checked we furl away the seemingly acres of Dacron. The remainder of
the day spent fettling systems, sorting minor glitches and reminding
ourselves of the workings of the many, many systems, manual, hydraulic,
motorised and electronic aboard Pamarzi. Our evening meal taken in the
cockpit where Benjamin joined us for a farewell supper.

Position 39.23.323 N 002.41.897E

Position 39.13.235N 003.18.819E

Finally although not entirely glitch free we set sail on Thursday morning,
leaving Palma that is now so familiar and has been Pamarzi's winter home.
Oh so good to be out on the water and under sail again for the 45 nautical
mile first leg to Porto Colom. We anchor and enjoy a quiet night, ending the
first day proper of our second sailing season, with doubtless many
adventures to come as we cruise back to the Spanish mainland and on to the
south of France before heading off to Corsica, Sardinia, Italy and on to
Sicily where we will over winter. But for now an early night before we
begin our passage to Menorca and the safe harbour of Mahon.

Position 39.24.110N oo3.18.819E

We are here Cuitadella, not there Mahon.

Position 39.59.528N 003.49.351E

Fascinating day's sailing, we gently motored out of Porto Colom, Lynn still
abed. Rob and I chatting in the cockpit examining the sky seeking to
interpret the wind and weather. As it turned out we had a lot of it,
changing sails several times as the outer edge of strong (and cold) northern
winds swept down the Golfe du Lyon and across the Mediterranean. This wind
and accompanying rough seas dictating Cuitadella as a better option for our
port of refuge than Mahon. Safely Mediterranean moored deep inside a long
and thin cala almost in the centre of the town we relax and look forward to
a couple of days exploring Menorca whilst we wait for conditions to improve
for our twenty hour or so crossing to Barcelona.