Ibiza... Party, Party.

Steve Powell
Wed 10 Sep 2008 11:46
We left Gibraltar early Saturday, looking forward to an easy three day sail up to Ibiza, where we planned to celebrate Lucie’s 21st birthday. All the forecasts were good, wind behind us most of the way, but a little on the nose for the last hundred miles or so. We were all in very high spirits, Mediterranean sailing at last. This was great, no big Atlantic swells just blue skies, warm sun and gentle seas. ‘The kids’, Lucie & Will, (sorry guys) were sunbathing on the foredeck and having a great time.

It’s difficult to explain to non sailors the difference between sailing downwind and sailing upwind. I guess the best illustration I can give is a day  a month or so ago when we were coming back from Alderney. It was our ARC training week, It had taken us 19 hours to get there beating into the wind. We arrived late at night got a few hours sleep and then came back. On the return we had the wind behind us we screamed all the way with our beloved Parasailor to the Needles, it took us less than seven hours. Entering the Needles with 15-20kts of wind behind us we were in shorts and T-shirts, sunbathing and playing Bob Marley for that full Caribbean effect.  Coming the other way was the Needles to Malo race, fully kitted out in Oilskins, hoods, and warm clothing, bashing against the prevailing weather. Same day, same weather, wrong direction!

So you can imagine our dismay when in the early hours of Sunday morning the wind backed into an North Easterly, ENE to be precise, right on our nose. Earlier than forecast and considerably stronger. We were in the Bay of Lyon, an area that Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, the First Sea Lord, credits with experiencing the worst sea conditions in his career; and he was in an aircraft carrier.  Our Mediterranean cruise was very rapidly turning into a full on slog.

Through out Sunday the wind and sea state grew, Monday morning we were in a full Force 7 with 3+ meter seas. And we just had to ‘slog’ on. Nothing you can do really. I think we all suffered a little ‘sense of humour loss’ at some point.   Being constantly thrown about, hour after hour, after hour, then when it runs into the second day and you know it’s still going to take at least another day. That’s when everyone had to dig a little deeper. I have tried to illustrate what it’s like but pictures simply don’t show it. Somehow the size of the sea, and the noise of the wind just don’t come across. But here are a couple of attempts:

I was on watch and helming at about 2am Monday morning, wind and water screaming in the air, with Lucie lying in the cockpit soaking wet, on standby. When I realised it was her birthday. “Happy 21st Birthday, Darling. I am about to give you the best birthday present ever!” “ What’s that Papachino?” a very wet. cold and tired daughter replied (She loves me really). “Can you see that faint light on the horizon, flashing twice every 15 seconds. That’s Ibiza”.

At this point your all allowed to pause for a moment and reach for the Kleenex. Serious bonding stuff this.

Reading the boats logbook later I saw Lucie’s entry for our Midnight log, along with boat speed, and position, wind speed and direction etc,. There was a little note on the side.....


Well I’ve got a lump in my throat, I’ll happily admit too.

Lucie’s 21st birthday party, a breakfast of bacon & eggs in the first safe bay we could find on Ibiza.

Talking about Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, Jonathan have you lost one of your submarines. We found this one in the middle of the Med doing nothing? Presumably, this is a new tactic for dealing with Government cut backs. Sit on the surface and do nothing ;-)

I am probably going to get arrested now for spying. But it is nice to know that we still do have a Fleet left.

Now a big thank you to all my fishing friends. You all came back to me with some of the most detailed and confusing advise possible. I thought the best was: “Don’t sail...” very helpful :-)  Well we listened to all your advise and decided to ignore it............

EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT GUYS!!!!!!!!!  One 16 pounder and one 23 pounder all in one morning. Tuna feast. In the end we just threw the old “Killer Lure” over the back and up they came. The same lure has got all three tuna so far, so that one’s a keeper.

Yes I know that the pictures are all of the same fish, but that’s how it goes some time. You just have to take my word for it.

The guys all partied hard in Ibiza last night and I am writing this while they are recovering from their hangovers. I enjoyed wondering around Ibiza for awhile and we had a very entertaining dinner on in one of the street restaurants, but as the parades of half naked 18 year olds promoting different clubs got more and more outrageous I thought it was about time “Dad” went back to his bed and dreamt of England. Or at least going home. Which I will be doing this Friday. Can’t wait....

So this will be the last Blog for a least a couple of weeks when Beans and I come back to Palma for the Oyster Regatta.

Homeward bound, or this weeks contribution to NABS. (No Another Bloody Sunset)


10th  September 2008
Steve Powell (Owner/Skipper)
UHURU of Lymington
Mob: +44 7774 423 449
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