May 21, 2012
The time came to say goodbye to Sant Carles and the friends we made there. We left at about 11:00 a.m. bound for Majorca (again) about 120 nautical miles away. First we spent a few hours trying to sail to windward in very light airs and almost gave up but motored for an hour instead after which time the wind built and veered and we were able to sail a course to Soller, the only port of refuge on the dramatic but inhospitable NW coast. Most of the night we were accompanied by schools of porpoises – cute. At about 2:30 a.m. all the shipping seemed to converge on us but again, thanks to AIS and RADAR, we could navigate safely through.
After about 30 hours of gentle sailing and a bit more motoring we arrived and dropped anchor in the beautiful, almost circular, bay of Soller. We forgot to look for a nice sandy patch in which to anchor (not having done it since last year) but our new ‘Spade’ anchor bit straight away and held fast. In fact, it grabbed so positively we felt it could hold anything – brilliant!
Soller is best seen from the water but is worth a trip ashore to see (and catch) the wonderful vintage wooden tram that runs regularly from the port to the town (which was built a bit inland to avoid attack by pirates). The town is has some lovely, shady, narrow streets filled with small shops and cafes and a large church with a square in front with more cafes. The local beef and pea pies and ice creams were particularly good.
Wandering around we heard mainly German being spoken with some English (I wonder how the Champions’ League final was viewed there!).
After our first night we woke to find our friends Tony and Ann from Sant Carles on board Razzmatazz, their ex-racing catamaran, anchored next to us. They had left Sant Carles the previous morning and arrived at about 2 a.m. after a spirited sail.
We left Soller after a few days. The forecast was for a decent breeze which failed to materialize so we motored to nearby Cala de San Vicente and anchored for the night. The cala itself is very pretty, surrounded by rocks and cliffs populated with goats, but is overlooked by some architecturally questionable holiday developments and some fabulously situated villas.
There was already another sailing boat at anchor and it turned out to be John and Maggie on Lazy Pelican whom we had been in contact with over the previous couple of days through the Cruising Association. We were invited on board for drinks and found that we had more in common than sailing – we’d all worked in Doha in the 80’s on the University of Qatar and had friends in common. It is a small world.
By the way, I may have mentioned it before, but the photo quality is much better viewed under Photos than in the Blog section. Don’t know why.