Captains Blog 37 – Our Big Goaty Adventure

“Don’t speak about it anymore, I don’t want to hear.” The First Mate seemed a tad frustrated and, indeed annoyed, that the Bowman 45 we’d been heading towards Barcelona to see had been sold. To an American! He hadn’t even bothered to visit, just brought it on a whim. The world’s gone mad.

“So umm, which way shall we go then?” I asked as we headed out of Port Vieux. The choice was either Barcelona, which I really wanted to sail into, though the romance of it had been tainted slightly, or Mallorca. Around 10 miles later we decided Mallorca was less likely to get locked down and we had a solid 20 knots helping us in that direction.

Sixty miles later, the wind faded and we were left pottering along under engine. Never mind, only another 173 miles to go. The engine worked hard until we were 15miles off the tip of Mallorca, then decided it was too hot and got all alarmed. The sea was flat calm, so rather than panic, we turned off the engine and simply drifted.

The sun was just rising, the sea was still and we had complete silence. The depth of the water was over 1,000 metres so ideal for a swim! We circled Gianti and quickly realised that swimming along one side of the boat was a lot easier than swimming along the other, when current’s involved.

Safely back on board we spotted the water spout of a Fin whale off in the distance, a cracking welcome back to Mallorca. We headed into Cala Figuera after a 50-hour passage and managed to anchor in an ideal spot. We were looking forward to a day of relaxing, but the man in the powerboat had other ideas.

I watched as the 6m boat dropped anchor and reversed between us and the big motor cruiser opposite. He stopped and turned off the engine, but something wasn’t right. I donned the face mask and snorkel and went for a look.

My concern proved valid. He wasn’t anchored at all, he’d simply hooked our anchor chain, which was now a couple of metres off the sand. I tried my best to explain the situation and eventually got through. He lifted his anchor, together with our chain and I realised that trying to lift around 10m of 8mm anchor chain off another anchor, while in the water was impossible, but in true Homer Simpson fashion I soldiered on. Thankfully another skipper spotted what was happening and came over in a proper solid tender to help untangle the mess. Eventually we all re-anchored and could relax, or die on our feet!

We slept well and headed a few miles along the coast to Cala de San Vincente, the next morning, where we took our legs for a walk overland towards Pollensa. This was goat country! There were rock climbing goats, goat bandits and even a goat tree climbing and pruning team in action. We arrived in Pollensa, had some breakfast and clarified covid19 requirements before heading back to the boat to swim, snorkel and loafing for the rest of the day.

Port de Sóller was next stop, a well-protected bay and harbour with good anchoring and even a dinghy dock! As we approached a 42’ charter cut inside us, engine at full throttle. We were under sail and winds were light so his wake bobbed us back and forth, sails flapping.

We came into the bay and spotted the charter trying to anchor. In the meantime, we dropped and stowed sails, selected a suitable spot, bedded the hook, tidied everything away and made a cuppa. Then settled in to watch the ongoing anchor soap opera unravel until they gave up and moved off.

I expected to recognise Port de Sóller having rock climbed there many years before, but I couldn’t place any of it. It was a lovely place in a fantastic bay with some good walking and its fair share of Donkeys and extreme tree climbing Goats. We opted to walk to Sóller, just inland from the port and well worth a visit. Early evening, we climbed onto the train to head back to the bay. We then got off  the train as that was headed to Palma and hopped onto the tram which provided a pleasant potter back to the bay and happy anchorage.

We’d arranged to meet up with Fou and Rea on Koru, who were around the corner on the South coast. The next morning, we headed out of Port de Sóller into a much bigger swell than forecast and winds from the wrong direction. It was a slog for Gianti and crew until we made it past Dragonera, where sails went up and we flew on a close reach towards Koru.

We rendezvoused with Koru at Paguera Sur and after a short reunion arranged to meet for a beach barbeque and proper catch up later. We jumped into the mighty Hannibal and took off to find a good spot on the beach. After surveying the beach and potential rocky sites either side we reached the conclusion that a beach barbeque was out. Eating a barbequed sausage amidst an exhibition of nudists could seriously impact our appetites, so over to Koru for some hearty nosh and a top evening with clothed friends.

We pottered over to Santa Ponsa the next day and it was here that I witnessed the unfortunate incident that would lead to the demise of the first mates treasured iPad. When stepping from a dinghy to land (a concrete quay) it is crucial that both feet are firmly planted on either the dinghy or solid land before commencing any action involving transferring position from one location to another. Failure to abide by this simple rule will lead to an uncontrollable parting of the feet, leading to full splits before ungraciously sinking into the deep blue briny, while trying desperately to lift the iPad into the air in a move reminiscent of the Lady of the Lake holding Excalibur aloft.

Needless to say, the move proved fruitless and after around an hour of hope the iPad sadly passed away. The first mate was distraught. No, really. A couple from Northern Island were trying to console her and convince her that life could go on without it, but she just sat and cried. I thought better of saying anything. For many hours. Many, many hours. Oh, worth mentioning that her mobile phone was also casualty of this faux pas!

Notwithstanding “the incident” we had a great time with Fou and Rea in and around Santa Ponsa, before they set off to Ibiza. It had been fantastic to see them but it was time for them to head off and for us to head down to Arenal and resolve the iPad issue together with our overheating engine

Sails were up soon after leaving Santa Ponsa and after a hesitant start we were gliding along at 5 knots in perfect conditions. As we rounded the headland leading into the Bay of Palma, we were comfortably at 5 to 6 knots on a perfect line towards Arenal. Nothing beats gliding across the water with sails perfectly set, in fair winds on a glorious warm sunny day. We made good time and before long were tucked in safely at the marina.

Next time more fun and frolicking about in the sun. Maybe a bit of rain to.

The First Mate has cobbled a short video, which kept her out of trouble for a few hours! Click here to watch it.


Captain Mac

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