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

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

Mallorca – Part 1

After a dingy ride into shore to look around, we left San Vincente
and pointed La Mischief at the SW corner of Mallorca, 50 nm away. After motoring for a while, the wind picked up and we had just enough angle to sail most of the way. We were doing 6-7knots but this wasnt fast enough to shake off a new beneteau sense 55 that gradually caught and past us, close enough to shout across to one another.

We picked out a bay called Palma Nova, which was reasonably close to Palma as we needed to pick up Jamie and Lucy and their son, Nick the next morning.

Anchoring was tricky as we got there after 6 and the sun was too low to pick out a sandy patch in about 5 metres. As it turned out there were no sandy patches, but the 25kg Rocna held firm in the weed. Finding it to be an excellent anchor, when combined with the 100m of 10mm chain.

We parked up next to some more Australians and once again had them over for drinks and nibbles and never made it into town.

Not that town was anything to write home about. It was another Little Britain (but without a hint of the authenticity of Gibraltar) – the only spanish word we could spot was Paella and the restaurants ranged from Burger King to very average English Pub fare. And the beach was very average.

Having successfully picked up the Rankin clan (sans Georgia who was busily preparing to win a world championship gold medal in Slovakia), we headed off to Santa Ponsa on the west coast, said to be one of the most picturesque harbours on the island.

Along the way we past the massive super yacht marina, Port Adriano, where we found out later the Maltese Falcon was berthed. Would have been worth calling in the see.

Then we spied a water bomber doing some training by landing on the sea and scooping up massive amounts of seawater then taking off and randomly dumping it somewhere. The seabirds loved it. At one stage it did a scoop and go run right between us and another yacht.

Santa Ponsa is a beautiful but narrow anchorage, and there must have been 40 boats anchored up. It took us a couple of goes to find a spot. After a swim and a beer, we dropped “A Little Bit of Mischief” in the water and went off for an explore. The town was quite touristy, with big hotels over the other side of the bay, and a row of restaurants out the front. Lucy was fascinated by the live fish foot massage but didn’t partake.

We found a nice restaurant on a hill overlooking the anchorage
And celebrated catching up with Jamie, Lucy and Nick.

Next morning, after a swim, and a visit to the free wi-fi, we headed off past Palma and towards Playa del Trench on the south coast. This beach is the longest and quite possibly the finest in Mallorca. Miles and miles of clear sand.

After a day of trying to sail, with intermittent small successes, we arrived about 4pm and found a nice anchorage in 3m of water, adjacent one of the two beach bars. After seeing all the development, it was nice to anchor off somewhere with no development, excepting the somewhat obligatory beach bars.

This beach is fantastic, calm water and lovely clear blue water over sand that looks close enough you could stand on it.

Whilst nick took off on the stand up board Jamie and I swam to shore to check out the two bars. Unusually for spain, one closed at 8pm (when the beach started to thin out), the other not too bad at 10pm.

Reporting back at the boat, we decided on a round of cocktails at the first and dinner at the latter closing one. Another nice meal with the Rankins.

Next morning it was up early (ish) and off to the marina 2nm back towards Palma at La Rapida. Cas and her girlfriends were having a 25 year reunion/birthday celebration at Pescara and we were travelling Ryan Airlines via Girona to join the celebrations.

It took us a million phonecalls and emails to find a reasonably priced marina to leave La Mischief for the 5 days we would be away, and La Rapida quoted us €119 a night, whereas most others were €155 a night and upwards. The Balearics are expensive in high season. In the end they only charged us €89 a night so we really ended up with a bargain.

And we ended up berthing alongside, rather than Med Mooring so we were more than happy. We said our goodbyes to Jamie, Lucy and Nick (who were staying on board for a few more days) and headed to the airport, on our way to Italy.

For our photos of Mallorca see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4861729794017.1073741860.1620379103&type=1&l=89fdc4ab37