Haulout Checklist

With summer officially over at the end of this month, its time to start thinking of putting La Mischief to bed over the Mediterranean winter. I will do this out of the EU in Turkey but haven’t decided exactly where as yet.

I’ve just come across a good checklist at http://www.nannycay.com/news/2013/6/28/nanny-cay-boatyard-a-checklist-for-boat-storage.html. I’ll use it for a basis for my own checklist. Here’s a cut and paste with some mods and additions to get me started….

• Prior to haul out, thoroughly flush all heads and ensure holdings tanks are empty and flushed through.

• Clean and dry bilges as much as possible.

• Fill water tanks, treat with chlorine and close off valves.

• Fill and treat diesel tanks.

• Check engine oil and water, top up if required.

• Wash and spray engine with CRC.

• Spray all hose clamps with CRC anti-corrosion wax.

• Check battery levels, clean terminals and grease with Vaseline.

• Spray behind the electrical panel with CRC.

• Remove bimini and frame if possible and stow.

• Remove all main sail battens and then remove all sails and stow. Take down Genoa in water as its far safer to do it there than up on the hard.

• Run mouse lines and remove all lines and stow

• Tie boom down to deck.

• Remove cockpit cushions and all other loose deck gear and stow.

• Check boat for oily rags, old paint and solvent tins, lighter fluid etc. and dispose of.

• Secure and lock all lockers.

• Remove batteries from hand held equipment.

• Remove all foodstuff including spices, packaged soups, cereals and tins etc.

• Treat interior cupboards and areas with Cockroach and pest deterrents. (Max Force or Combat Roach Control).

• Close curtains.

• Vacuum pack clothes and linen.

• Buy de-humidifier and turn on.

• Lift interior cushions to allow good air circulation.

• When in yard, remove and stow fenders and dock lines.

• Tidy and secure all loose lines and remove flags.

• Ensure solar panels are charging.

• Fit instrument covers.

• Close all seacocks????.

• Ensure cockpit drains a are clear.

• Turn off all battery switches.

• Turn off propane bottles and disconnect.

• Ensure all hatches and ports are securely locked.

• Spray door lock and padlocks with CRC.

• Ensure lifeline gate is closed and secured.

Another useful website is http://www.livingaboard.net/tag/haul-out.

Mallorca – Part 3

The sail back from Menorca was great – just enough wind from the right direction to put up our geneker. For the first time since Cas was on board, we had the wind coming from a decent angle (and just enough of it as well). We were heading back to our favourite beach at Playa del Trench for two more nights. It was a long 60nm sail back, down to the bottom of Mallorca in a bit of swell, which stopped when we rounded the cape and the last 10nm to the beach was exquisite with the wind behind us on flat seas doing over 7kts.

The beach was as we left it – one of the best ones we’ve ever been to. Kevin and Di, who I met in Morocco and then again in Gibraltar were also there, and it was good to catch up with them again and have drinks and dinner at one of the two beach bars.

The next day was Saturday and we watched as the bay slowly filled up with boats, with each available piece of space being taken up by boats of all shapes and sizes. We had one of those idyllic days lazing around – anchored in 2m of water just off the swim markers; thinking we would start our boat cleaning chores the next day whilst anchored at this idyllic spot.

The weather report looked fairly benign, winds 6-9kts, light but coming from the SW which did put us on a lee shore – but with the winds light it should be fine. And nobody else seemed to be too worried as a lot of boats stayed for the night – being a Saturday night.

By early morning things were starting to get a bit rocky and rolly. The dingy was down and was chained to the boat. I got up at 6am and lengthened the painter and removed the chain, using the anchor rode as a safety to stop the dingy banging against the back of La Mischief.

By 7.30am things seemed a bit hectic and i got up to see waves breaking either side of La Mischief. I suggested Cas get up as well and we looked around to see one mono beached just up from us; and another six either beached, or on the rocks off in the distance. As we contemplated our next move, we watched the dingy on the monohull, closer into shore than us, detach itself and drift in the surf towards the beach. Later, Cas saw the guy surf his way to the beach and then row it back – thats quite some feat.

My party trick involved getting on the dingy (with a safety harness on) and lifting it onto the davits. That was fun as the waves came through. Then it was time to get our trusty anchor up and get out of there. I took one look at Cas and decided i’d better go up the front and leave her at the engine controls. Waves were pushing us everywhere and we got ourselves into a bit of a tangle as I asked Cas to apply more power to an engine, when it turned out she had more than enough on. This caused the chain to bend the anchor roller and jump off. Time to take a breath and get things organised. I managed to straighten La Mischief up and get the chain back onto the roller that was still semi-functioning. Then I took the controls and Cas sat up front and things worked a lot better.

Anchor up and we started the long 25nm pound straight into the 25kt wind back to Palma. We picked out one or two places that would provide us some shelter and off we went. We got to Las IIlettes and decided it would do. There was a dingy dock over at a small yacht club just up from Puerto Portals, about half a mile away and from there we could get into Palma.

Which we did and Palma did not disappoint. What a beautiful city, dominated by a huge cathedral, which was started way back in 1230AD. Behind the cathedral is the old city, with its delightful lane-ways, with great shopping and bars and restaurants.

We could have lingered there a lot longer than we did but we had boat chores to do.. The chanderly at Real Club Nautico de Palma was brilliant and we picked up a few things – trip line for the anchor, an anchor ball and a two-man inflatable kayak (which we’d decided on rather than a second stand up paddleboard that was our original intention). Then we had to find some electronic charts for the rest of the Med as our Platinum ones did not extend beyond Spain. I decided on the Gold ones as a single one covered the whole of the Med pretty much. The nice Swiss lady at the chanderly gave us directions to a marine electronics business, which had them and was 15 minutes away by foot.

Jobs done, it was back to the boat to do some cleaning and await the arrival of both Adrian and Anita together with the delivery of our new kayak. Adrian and Anita caught the bus from the airport and we met at the very swanky marina at Puerto Portals, where all the shops struggle to sell anything under 1000 euros.

After introducing them to La Mischief, we all went into Illettas Beach for some cocktails at a beach bar followed by some paella at one of the restaurants. Not a bad intro to Spain.

Next morning, before sunrise I dingied Cas into shore, so she could catch her plane home. Then it was food shopping time and repair the anchor roller time. After a few enquiries, I found a good stainless steel company out in the industrial area and now the anchor roller is as good as new.

Next morning, we had a bit of time before Roger turned up; so after going round to Palma harbour to fill our diesel tanks to the brim, we anchored to the east of the harbour, near a neat cafe with a breakwater, which we could tie the dingy to. From here we went into Palma and showed Anita and Adrian around,as well as doing some last minute shopping as we wouldn’t be stopping for the next 7 days straight.

Shopping done and back at the cafe sitting down with a beer, we noticed some kids in our dingy trying to start it. They weren’t getting too far without the key and it was locked to a ring on the breakwater, but even so, stern words were required. They turned out to be just a couple of naughty kids, and once I sorted them out, I offered to take about 10 of them for a dingy ride, whilst we were waiting for Roger. Its always good to do a bit of community relations.

A short time later Roger arrived and a very short time after that, we were off, heading towards Croatia 1000nm away.

For pictures of Mallorca, see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4861729794017.1073741860.1620379103&type=1&l=1c46223673

Cala Heaven

Leaving Mallorca, we motored the first bit in pretty calm water and then even managed a bit of a sail as we neared Menorca, the most easterly of the Balearics. It’s a lot smaller than Mallorca being only 26 miles long and 11 miles wide.

The south coast of Menorca is one cala after another. We played pin the tail on the donkey and headed for the double cala of Cala Macarella and Cala Macarelleta. Unfortunately, being early afternoon on a Saturday, there were lots of other participants and no room to swing a cat (haha).

After that, we headed East and engaged in a bit of Cala hopping, going a half mile or so each time from Cala to Cala checking them all out. As we got to Cala Trebalujer, a couple of boats pulled anchor and left so we were able to slot nicely into their spot. And here we stayed for a couple of nights. It was simply stunning, surrounded by high limestone cliffs with what we imagined to be pirate caves from the days of Barbarossa, the famous Turkish pirate of the 15th century that frequented these parts.

As well as the usual swimming, sunbaking and paddleboarding, I also took the paddle board up a small freshwater river that flowed a mile upstream with heaps of fish and bird life. We also took the dingy exploring and checked out the caves and a few of the other calas.

Our next stop (read cala) was Cala Santa Galdana. We left about 10am so we could catch the gap in the traffic when everybody left their anchorage but had yet to drop anchor at their new one. That strategy seemed to work pretty well.

Whereas the previous cala was pure wilderness, this cala had a couple of whopping big hotels just back from the beach, together with shops and restaurants. Despite this, it was still a very pretty anchorage and we enjoyed our stay there. We ran into a Pom who had been coming to the same hotel here for the last 16 years for 2-3 weeks a year. He even left a small inflatable here to go fishing on.

After our days of Cala’ing we decided it was time to hit the big smoke and check out one of the two major towns on the island. So west we went towards Ciudadela, which used to be the old capital until the British moved it to Mahon, when they occupied the island for most of the 18th century.

In order to see Ciudadela, we needed a parking spot and we checked out a few, none of which were all that ideal, if you don’t want to pay up and stay in the town’s marina.

In the end we decided we would park in Cala Santandria, and by park I mean drop anchor in the middle of the narrow cala and then dingy a rope to shore to keep us swinging onto the boats either side of us, that had done likewise. Sort of Med mooring – without the use of a boarding ladder.

Cas had done a great job picking an anchoring spot, because when i snorkelled over to check the anchor, there was a nasty looking bit of metal/rope right next to the anchor, which would have snagged it big time if we had dropped the anchor there. Time to buy a trip line, given all the junk that is on the bottom of the med.

The Dingy was soon down and it was off into town. We decided a walk was in order and 40 minutes later we were there. The town was quite picturesque with narrow walkways and impressive buildings, with lots of shops to browse in – some built into caves in the rock walls – now that was cool.

The waterfront was particularly impressive and we enjoyed a great seafood lunch. It was getting pretty hot by that stage, so we worked out the local bus system and caught one back to the boat.

Our final two days on Menorca were spent in Cala Macarella, the one that was full when we first got there. The water was once again clear but the beach was sea-weedy with a lot of rubbish washed up and not cleared away. So the boat was definitely the place to be.

The beaches in most of the popular calas had yellow buoys denoting the swimming/no boating zone and I managed to get myself told off by the local life guard for stand up paddleboarding in the no boating area. Well there you go.

With our time running out, it was time to say goodbye to Menorca and head back towards Palma de Mallorca to be closer to the airport for crew handover. We hardly scratched the surface of this island, some say the north coast is the best and we never even made it anywhere near there.

Definitely needs some more time on the way out of the Med.

For photos of Menorca see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4932339959227.1073741861.1620379103&type=1&l=261ce680b6

Mallorca Part 2

Safely back in Palma, we hopped in a cab and headed for Carreforre to stock up on some groceries, and Vodaphone to stock up on some internet credit.

Then it was back to La Mischief at La Rapida marina. Once we packed away the shopping, we left our last marina until La Mischief gets to Pescara in mid-August; and headed off a whole two and a half nautical miles to our favorite beach at Playa del Trench.

And there we stayed for three nights, swimming in the crystal clear water (29 degrees) over a beautiful sandy bottom. Occasionally we’d swim into the beach and back again. Or take the dingy in and go for a walk along the long beach, checking out all the nudists that came in all shapes and sizes, guessing which one were defying gravity via a previous visit to the plastic surgeon.

But all good things must come to an end and we eventually pulled anchor – although we could have quite easily spent the whole remaining two weeks there. We placated ourselves by penciling a couple of further nights at Playa Del Trench on the way back to Palma.

So off we went, right into the wind as seems to be our way. Even when we went round the Cape at the SE of Mallorca, it seemed to bend and still be in our face. We tried a few calas on our way but they were all either pretty well crowded out or pretty exposed. In the end we headed for Porto Colom and anchored in weed and sand off Sa Panta at a nice beach amongst 10 other yachts and boats.

After a run of 25nm, Porto Colom turned out to be a very pleasant fishing harbour, well sheltered on three sides, with a maze of mooring buoys and a smallish marina. We spend a couple of nights there, checking out the town, having a nice seafood lunch on the wharf and doing some clothes and shoe shopping. Returning to the boat we discovered a couple of fellow Australians and invited them over for a drink on La Mischief. Then a German guy swam up, so on he came; followed by a topless french girl and her boyfriend. At this point the G&Ts and champagne was flowing pretty damn well. As it began to get dark, the swimmers left and we hopped in A Little Bit of Mischief and headed to town. Here we found a bar with a singer and a guitarist and proceeded to dance to all hours of the morning. We ran into some crew off a chartered Lagoon 620, who told us the going rate for a weeks charter was 24,000 euro. Mind you a night in Ibiza marina costs them 1,500 euro.

Next morning, after a swim and a paddle board, we headed north once more and did a bit of Cala hopping. We finally found one called Cala Barcas that had space and dropped anchor in 2m of crystal clear water. We swam and relaxed the afternoon away.

But it was not a place to stay overnight as the swell was rolling in as the wind started to build a bit from the East, straight into the cala.

So it was off to Porto Cisto, where we anchored right behind Paradise and went and had a drink with Paul and Ness, before hitting town for a lovely meal overlooking the marina. It wasn’t the greatest anchorage in the world, as it was off to the side of the narrow channel with swell rolling in from the sea, and wake from the ferries as they passed close by.

Next day we headed further up the coast looking for a suitable cala to stay the night and get out of the swell that was building. We thought the anchorage just outside the marina at Radjada looked promising, but on closer inspection it turned out not to be the case. So we kept pressing northward, having identified Cala Molto as a possibility.

We got to Cala Motho quite late at about 7pm and it turned out to be pretty good. There were three other Lagoon Catamarans and a couple of monos already there already but there was plenty of room sheltered by a nice natural breakwater that we could tuck behind and anchor over beautiful clear sand. A great find in the end.

Next day it was up early and off towards Menorca, 20nm away.

For photos of Mallorca see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4861729794017.1073741860.1620379103&type=1&l=1c46223673

Off to Italy (By Plane)

After leaving the boat in La Rapida Marina, and saying goodbye to Jamie, Lucy and Nick who were staying on for an extra day, it was off to Palma airport for a slightly different European adventure.

The first surprise was Palma airport itself – it was huge. Half of Europe seems to descend here for holiday season. We got there in plenty of time to catch our 29 euro Ryan Air flight to Girona, which is an hour out of Barcelona. We’d bought Ryan Air flights from Girona to Pescara much earlier when we thought we’d be near Barcelona, so we just got flights to the same airport from Palma.

What we didn’t realise was that Ryan Air have this thing about their on time arrival record, and to keep their record intact they close the gates a good 30 minutes before the flight leaves. Being in the dark, we were the very last ones to get to the gate as it closed and we were in the air 15 minutes before the scheduled flight time.

Other than that we found Ryan Air to be pretty good and were highly amused when they got to Girona on time and played the horse racing tune you here all the time when placings are confirmed. Then everyone on board clapped. Hilarious.

Cas’ research on google suggested that it was a petty that lots of people flew into Girona without actually visiting the city itself. We thought about going to the coast but in the end we’d done a lot of coast and an inland city sounded like a pleasant change.

So Girona it was and we weren’t disappointed. We had two nights – one on the way to Pescara and one coming from Pescara. The old town is quite beautiful, with its narrow streets and outer wall overlooking rolling green hills.

The politics of the place was equally as interesting. There were Catalonian flags everywhere, with big posters proclaiming Catalonia as the new European State. There was not a Spanish flag to be seen. We chatted with one of the waiters at the restaurant we ate at and he made it clear that everybody around these here parts thoughts they’d be better off without Spain. Especially with the European financial crisis as their take on it was that they made all the money and funded Madrid. Now, where have I heard that one before???

The next morning, we hoped onto Ryan Air once again and headed off to Pescara. 2 hours later, we were collecting our bags and being greeted by Stefi and Min – Cas’ two partners in crime, going back 25 years ago when they gathered on a beach in Pescara.

Steffi and her husband, Adriano have a beautiful house and land in the hills overlooking Pescara, where they grown their own produce and make their own wine, and rarely have I encountered better hosts. Cas and I stayed 1200m down the road at a cute little guest house that Steffi had arranged for us – but most of the time we were up at the house or out and about with Steffi and Adriano. Min and Matt and their kids stayed at the house.

We had a whirlwind few days sampling some great restaurants, hanging out at Steffi and Adriano’s house, eating beautiful food and drinking wine and beer, swimming in the pool and spa, visiting the (private) beach, and doing a bit of shopping. And listening to the First Test on the internet. The highlight for me was undoubtedly the dinner we had on the beach, where the beach gets transformed at night with carpet laid down and tables coming out to seat 2000 very well dressed Italians for a beautiful meal under the stars, with the sea lapping on the beach just a few metres away.

It was good to see the three girls reunited and it will be good to get back to Pescara on La Mischief in late August and hopefully take Steffi sailing to Croatia which is only 60nm away. It made saying goodbye much easier knowing we would catch up in a month or so.

Back on Ryan Air, we jetted off back to Girona and this time we picked a hotel right in the old city. We had another nice night there, albeit Sunday when everything was shut, and headed off to the airport at 10am in the morning.

What I should have said was headed off to the airport with the passports at 10am. But I didn’t because it would not be a true thing to write!!!! We made it all the way into the actual airport before it dawned on us that the passports were still in the safe at the hotel. Ooooops!!! Into another taxi and back into town – 20 minutes away. A phone call to the hotel ensured the passports were waiting at reception. Another phone call to the local city council would have been good saying please don’t sweep the narrow laneway in front of the hotel until after we’ve left. And please don’t get someone on foot to sweep in front of the street sweeper with a broom to really slow things down. Three corners later, after what seemed an eternity, the taxi driver and myself stopped swearing at the slow-moving sweeper as we got on the main drag.

Meanwhile, Cas was at the airport doing what all good girls do in a crisis – shop. One handbag later – and hopefully no speeding tickets for my very helpful taxi driver – we managed to check in with minutes to spare and made our plane back to Palma.

For photos of Girona see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4932344999353.1073741862.1620379103&type=1&l=56e932df38

For photos of Pescara see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4932346719396.1073741863.1620379103&type=1&l=e177bd34be