Off to Mallorca

Dick and Irene Craig
Sat 8 Aug 2009 09:25

Austin arrived at the boat about 10pm on Saturday, 1st August. He had been traveling since about 10am and had to fly from Tenerife to Madrid to get the connection for Menorca.

When he arrived, we were entertaining Bob and Mike, two guys we had met at Guildford in March, at the ARC seminar dinner. Bob lives in Mahon and had kindly arranged a mooring for us at a discounted price, though the price, being August, was still extortionate. Bob’s son Greg had also joined us so when Austin climbed on board, there was at least one other person present, of a similar age to himself.

Bob and Mike, with another friend, will be taking part in the ARC and expect to arrive in Las Palmas about a week before the departure date of 22nd November.

Austin is quite a hunk and heavily into, swimming, running, diving, sailing, climbing etc.  Together, we cleaned the boat before leaving the mooring next morning. We needn’t have bothered. One hour from the marina and into big seas, the decks and windows were soon getting more than a fair share of water over the sides. The cushions on the seats at the front of the boat, just stern of the netting, also got a good soaking.

This is the first season that we have utilized this set of cushions. We didn’t realize when we kitted out the boat, that we wouldn’t need them so they have been stored in one or other of the cabins, so  the covers are still dark blue. The others, which have been in use constantly while we are on board, have been faded by the sun.

However, once we were at sea, we sailed all the way to our anchorage at Arenal Castell, where we spent the night.

Next morning, the sky, like yesterday, was still covered in clouds. The wind had reduced considerably though the swells were still big but not quite as big as yesterday. The motion of the boat through a confused sea, was uncomfortable like yesterday. Unlike yesterday, when I had felt seasick for the most of our passage, I took a stugeron before we left the anchorage.

After the first half hour, when we had to motor-sail, we were able to sail the rest of the way to the anchorage, in a protected part of Cala Pregonda. Here we had lunch and swam. While we idled a few hours away, the sun made its presence known and burnt off most of the cloud.

Mid afternoon, we raised the anchor and continued on our passage to Cala Algayerens, sailing all the way, using the cruising shute.

Next morning we left Menorca and as we motored out of the bay, we could already see Mallorca, 30+ miles away. There was very little wind and we could do no more than motor sail, with the genoa, for about an hour, before the wind reduced so much that we had to furl in the sail.

Twice we spotted dolphins in the slight, becoming smooth, sea. In both cases, they didn’t approach the boat.

About 4.30pm, we tied to a mooring buoy in Bahia de Pollensa. There were about 20 other boats in this part of the bay when we arrived. The swell was a bit hairy whenever a fast motor boat went past but it settled down later..

We anchored in this bay when we cruised the islands in the motor-cruiser in 2003. In those days, there were no mooring buoys and hardly any other boats anchored here. We didn’t get all of these fast boats passing either.

Following a peaceful night, we left the mooring before the traffic started to build up and cause the wake.

There was very little wind and we motored all the way to Soller. We had anchored here in 2003 when we took the tram to the town about 2 miles away, then the train to Palma.

The naval buildings were still unoccupied but it is not permissible to moor a private boat there.

We found an anchorage easily but as the afternoon progressed, many more boats arrived and dropped their anchor. Fortunately there was no wind, thus reducing the danger of hitting another boat, as one’s own boat swung around during the night.

Next morning we were off to Andraitx, detouring slightly to check out the anchorage at San Telmo. We had anchored in the bay at San Telmo in 2003 although now, with all the mooring buoys in place, there was little space to anchor. .

Once again, there was very little wind until we reached the Isla de Dragonera and the Dragonera passage but by now we were venturing off our course to look at the feasibility of spending a night in San Telmo bay, during the next few days.

On arrival at Andraitx, we found a berth on the town quay. The rates were very reasonable, half what we paid in Menorca, which had been less expensive than the cost of staying on the town quay in Alghero..

When Dick and Austin went to the office to register the boat and pay the dues, the officer in charge asked if we wished to use the electricity. When the offer was declined, they were told that there was no choice, it was obligatory to pay for the electricity whether we used it or not. We used the electricity.

Michael arrived about 11pm and we all stayed up chatting until just after midnight when it was more than time to make for our beds.

Next morning we did some day sailing, utilizing the main sail and the genoa then later, the cruising shute. By 4pm, there was too little wind to sail so we made for San Telmo bay and picked up a mooring buoy. After about ten minutes, a red rib arrived and the chap aboard told us that we had to move, that buoy was reserved. He directed us to an available buoy and we practiced again, our skills for picking up and attaching lines to a buoy.

Despite this being the busy season, a number of the buoys remained unoccupied.

The water was crystal clear and there were a lot of fish of varying types, though none were large. The underwater rock formations were beautiful.

We left the bay mid morning, on our way to the bay of Palma, and were soon sailing. The cloud which had built up yesterday afternoon, had dissipated and the sun shone hotly.


Below: The 3 guys who will be with me on Tucanon during the ARC 2009