Arrival in Mahon

Dick and Irene Craig
Sat 1 Aug 2009 13:25

We spent Sunday just swimming off the boat, reading and doing suduko’s. We were anchored in sand, in under 4metres.

As I looked down to the sea-bed, through the blue, crystal clear water, just below the bathing ladder at the stern of the boat, I could see what looked like white pansies, with their yellow centres.

I swam out to check the anchor, passing a small jelly fish. There were a lot of fish around of various types and sizes.

We had dropped the anchor in a large area of sand and I was intrigued that, on what looked like small logs, grew clusters of these pansies but in this location, they resembled fungi.

During the day a lot of small day boats anchored around the edge of the bay in the shallow water. There were a half a dozen sailing boats, all monohulls except for us, anchored further out, as well as a number of motor cruisers of varying sizes. In comparison to the size of the bay, there were not many boats here. I know this will not be the same on a Sunday, when we reach Mallorca.

John had a problem with his snorkel and he was unable to breath so made for the nearest sugar scoop, at the stern of the boat. We lifted the passerell to give us adequate room and helped him get back on board. We only have a bathing ladder on the port side sugar scoop. There was an option to have one each side but we didn’t think we would need two of them.

Late afternoon we made our way to the town quay in Alghero where we had reserved a berth for Sunday night. The chaps who assisted us to tie up to the quay, also booked two taxi’s for the morrow. However, the price quoted for each taxi was one third more than the price which could be obtained by booking directly. We cancelled the taxi’s already ordered and made new bookings.

We waved a fond farewell to John at 8am and another fond farewell to Janie at noon then, back to the boat for a few hours relaxation before departing for Menorca at 4pm.

The wind was favorable and we sailed, using the parasailor for 32hours of the 40hours passage when it became necessary to take in the sail and switch on the engines.

We had a slight sea for the first part of the journey but after about 80 nautical miles, the swell was 3 metres on the beam, making the passage less than comfortable. Fortunately the sea reduced overnight but in the morning, when it became light enough to see, although the sea was almost smooth, the swells were in excess of a metre.

At 7pm, about ten or eleven miles from the port at Alghero, we were delighted to be visited by about 20 dolphins which stayed, playing around the hulls, for about twenty minutes.

That night there were a lot of shooting stars. I counted at least half a dozen but there were more than that.

Next morning at 7.36, we spotted a turtle, ten metres away. At 10.40, we were thrilled to be entertained once again by around 20 dolphins. These were the same variety that we had seen the previous night but quite different from those that had played with us on the passage from Sicily to Sardinia. Three more turtles were spotted, no further than five metres from the boat, during the early part of the afternoon. The third turtle dived once it had seen our presence.

Also, during the afternoon, a shoal of small, silver/ white flying fish passed from port to starboard, in front of the bows.

About 8.30 pm., I was on watch and started to have some problems with the sheets, which are attached to the starboard side of the parasailor. They, or the parasailor, constantly rubbed against the furled foresail. Try what I may, nothing that I did seemed to work for very long. In desperation, at 9pm, I had to enlist the assistance of Dick who was resting below. He then stayed on watch until 2am, with a little bit of assistance from me just after midnight.

While we were struggling with trying to find a solution to the parasailor problem, two dolphin came to say hello and then disappeared again.

A most unexpected guest made itself known soon after midnight. A cicada was hiding in the reel of webbing, attached to the starboard hull. The need to use a light on deck had obviously woken it up and it was very noisy. Dick turned off the light and hid the creature under the top of the webbing, to protect if from the light. It soon became quiet again and in the morning, on arrival at Mahon, it had disappeared.

We dropped anchor in Cala Taulera, which is protected on all sides and just two miles from the marinas at Mahon. Having had almost no sleep for two nights, we were glad to be able to put our heads on our pillows and sleep for a couple of hours.

We have a new anchor buoy. This is the third one this season. The first was yanked off the anchor, by the propeller of a monohull which had just dragged its anchor, when we were anchored in a bay off Lipari, in the Aeolian. The second was decapitated by the propeller of a motor boat which hadn’t noticed it floating in the water, as it raced passed our anchorage at Porto Conte.

This new anchor buoy hasn’t learnt the job yet, managing to get caught in the anchor bridle, first time out, when the wind had changed direction, thus making it necessary for us to re-anchor.

We didn’t get up very early next morning but still managed to get some chores done. Whenever we are not on passage, or haven’t spent the day traveling, there is always some little job that needs attention. Having spent last week on holiday, we have to make up for it now.


Below: Views from our anchorage 2 miles from Mahon town, Menorca