August 28, 2011
Our trip across to Mallorca was quite eventful. An unpredicted storm was brewing in the skies so we tried to skirt around the black clouds, but to no avail. The rain was torrential but most worrying was the lightening all around us. We have all heard of the man who was struck down just because he had keys in his pocket or sheltering under an umbrella. Well there we were with a 40 ft of metal mast beckoning a strike – it was pretty scary with the wind changing direction and the need to constantly adjustment the sail. That was until we noted a long tear in the jib (front sail). Fortunately Mallorca was just about looming out of the gloom, the engine was put on to replace the momentum of the sail as we, and three other boats around us arrived at our destination, lived to tell the tale!
Santa Ponsa was our first port of call. We previously visited the town some 40 years ago and were please to find the hotel we stayed in looking much the same but now under the management of the Western Hotel chain. Apart from the hotel and the beach Santa Ponsa was pretty unrecognisable due to the many developments around the cala occupied by German, Spanish and English.
Whilst cruising we have come across many boats flying the British Ensign, assuming to have UK crew aboard, only to hear German speaking occupants. Correct me if I am wrong but we have been told that due to Germany’s stringent qualification requirements for skippering within their home country many opt to fly under the British ensign, taking advantage of only requiring to hold the ICC (International Competence Certificate) as means of getting on the water. We have now learnt to recognise this scenario from the distance as they just love to sail and strut boldly about absolutely stark naked. Well I hope you don’t think us prude but ‘it just isn’t British’ is it !!
It was at Santa Ponsa that we came across a boat call ‘Criss Cross’. Although we had never met the crew we knew them to be Eugene and Julie by reading the blog of cruising friends Mel and Carl. After introducing ourselves we invited them onboard for a Paella lunch. There followed a BBQ evening and other impromptu events that all went towards such an enjoyable and memorable time. We hope that by the time this is posted that Ron’s electrical expertise has solved Eugene’s charging problems. You have our number if not!
We explored most of the south of Mallorca by sea but with such high temperatures site seeing was not a priority. Another year we hope to return earlier when it should be a little cooler. As marinas couldn’t possibly accommodate all the visiting yachts it is the norm to be allowed to stay at anchor where if there was any breeze, it was the most likely place to find it. The marinas are the domain of the multi-millionaire mega yachts with their air conditioning and fees to match! The downside was the almost constant roll in some areas. We were always glad of a calm night for a good nights sleep. With very little tide the water seems to slop around without any direction and not enough wind to straighten the boat into the roll, which would have made it more comfortable.
At Porto Colom on the east coast of Mallorca with our farewells said to Geoff, Lin, Frank, Judy and dogs Meg and Ziggy and then again to Julie and Eugene in Santa Ponsa, it was time to part, heading back to Ibiza. We had a superb sail south with our repaired sail and now in San Antonio anticipating the arrival of Chris and Gareth, visiting for 10 days to holiday and experience the return passage to mainland Spain.
PS – I am really struggling to add photographs to this blog, please take a look at our album for updates.