Sat 31 May 2008 10:18

The plan was to depart Formentera at mid-night and go direct to Cala d’Or where we had a berth booked for a month. Despite some twit shouting at us (no doubt thinking we were absconding without paying) we worked our way out of the tight berth and made for the channel between Formentera and Ibiza. At 0100 hrs in the middle of the channel, Kim suddenly shouted “the cabin’s full of smoke” and a glance showed that there was a lot of it! I nipped down below to see what could be done only to discover it was steam and the heat exchanger hoses had let go. Interestingly, a white light on the horizon slowly turned into the red and green lights of a fast ferry coming towards us and I began pouring water from a bottle into the engine to fill it long enough to get her running and out of the channel.

After unsuccessfully trying to make a temporary repair we could see that we were drifting on the current towards the shore so we had the option of dropping the pick or calling for help. As we would have to call anyway I put out a PAN to Palma MCC and after an hour the Ibiza Lifeboat turned up and gave us a tow with the choice of destination. As the nearest airport was Ibiza we opted for that (38.54.9N 001.26.4E) and off we went at 8 knots! We arrived in the commercial port at 0600 and were stuck on the end of a large buffer for the remainder of the night. At 0800 I got up to go and get cash from an ATM (in the rain) and pay for the Lifeboat (a reasonable e300) and then the Port Captain, who told me to get off his “buffer” as a large ship was due in after 30 minutes! Kim was not amused to be dragged from her bed to help me pull a 10 ton boat around numerous buffers up to the end of the pier 100 meters away. After a number of phone calls, the marina around the corner agreed to accept us and a “man with a boat” agreed to tow us there for another e300 !!! As it happens he broke down in the marina entrance (close to some very expensive machinery) and I had to drop the kedge to stop us all drifting into the posh boats. Eventually another “man with a boat” came and towed us to the end of the marina by the boat lift where we tied up. Man number one generously halved his fee and man number two didn’t charge so the situation was resolved. Enquiries at the marina office determined that Siempre could stay in the water whilst we were away and repairs were made for a mere e135 per day or Siempre could come out and stay for e35 per day. That was an easy decision. That night we went home to Kent and made arrangements for David Hart from Eastbourne to go down and fix the less trusty Ford. I made a phone call to a friend (Douglas Maloney) who kept his stink pot in Cala d’Or. He managed, through contacts, to get our booking delayed by a month so we could re-plan the summer.