The weather forecast is looking good so the time has come for our big crossing to Sardinia – Italy. We lift the anchor in Mahon, Menorca, Spain at 2.30 in the afternoon, we’re all ready to just get on with it, sick of all the planning, provisioning and weather watching. It’s a beautiful afternoon as we set out on a flat calm sea. Camille is maybe a little nervous when she writes in her journal..
“The blue sea ripples next to a lovely little town. One boat is heading to Sardinia on such a beautiful day. One little town can bring such joy and hope. Whereas a big town can only bring people and maybe some food and water. But all you need is hope. As they say all boats should be called she for good luck.”
Our afternoon is one of the best on the boat so far, fish jump all around us and Sam rushes to get a line out. We eventually get a good view of a swordfish jumping next to the boat. I decide to start dinner early so I can get a sleep before my watch starts at 10pm. But as I’m contemplating what to cook from our fully stocked cupboards, the line is squealing – all hands on deck! Sam struggles reeling the line in and worries he put too finer line on. We watch excitedly as big tuna appears on the end of the line. It’s too big for our net and as we debate how to land it – but it’s off, gone…. Dreams of a fresh tuna dinner vanish into the blue abyss. Back to cooking dinner.
“Whale!” the call goes out and we all rush on deck to see a whale, lob-tailing. This is when it brings its tail sharply down on the surface of the water in a shower of spray and a noise like a gunshot. He does it over and over and it feels like the display is just for us.
Dinner is now getting a little late, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I’m just about to serve up when the line squeals again – another tuna and once again it gets away. We really do need a better plan for landing it. I eventually get to bed around 8.30, but there is of course no way I’m going to sleep.
We do 2 to 3 hours shifts all night and get the girls up to have a turn.
“At 3am I went on night watch, I saw phytoplankton. I thought that it was amazing and sparkly.” Anastasia wrote in her journal.
We see a few boats pass us heading for Sardinia, but it’s an uneventful night. We’re grateful for the radar and the cloudless sky.
We are making good progress sailing south east, the wind coming from the north, the seas flat. We do have to use the motor at times, but when we are able to turn it off it is incredibly peaceful.
Day two and Sam’s line finally reels in the long awaited tuna. His plan is to stab it while still on the back step and it works. The blood is somewhat contained and he eventually emerges with a headless tuna. Madeleine is outraged by the carnage off the back of the boat. She writes
“Daddy finally caught a tuna, it was so gross, poor, poor tuna. I don’t like fishing that much because I understand mouth injuries, they really hurt. So I am not eating that fish!” After filleting we have over 3kg of tuna to get through. We start with poached tuna on baguette for lunch. It’s a white fleshed tuna and more like chicken than fish. And in spite of themselves everyone eats it.
The rest of the day is very slow but Sam and I in our sleep deprived states are just happy to stare out at the horizon and let the hours pass. The girls on the other hand spend hours on the iPad playing Minecraft, we leave them to it. A new update has brought horses – they can’t believe their luck.
We break the monotony by lowing our Spanish courtesy flag and raising our Italian one. And celebrate half way a few hours earlier than we planned.
Night two passes uneventfully, with only a couple of boats far off in the distance and a tiny sliver of moon. The forecast fog doesn’t eventuate and we let the girls sleep. Sam wakes me at 3 and I can see the lights off the land, and work hard to identify which light is the lighthouse and the channel markers we are heading for. It becomes clear that we’re too early to head into land, so at around 4.30 I set a course for further along the south coast. It will mean another 6 hours at sea. I wake Sam at 5 for his watch and to check he’s happy to go the extra distance. I head to bed around 6am. While I sleep a bird visits us, taking up a perch on the bow. Must be an Italian welcome Dove. ?!
At 10am I’m up as we head into a bay and we set anchor. Crossing over, we relax and look forward to our next adventure – Sardinia.
In Addaya we went for a walk to see some native wild life. We saw some Egrets (which look like stalks), lizards and some hawks.
We also saw some old salt lakes, they looked kinda red because they had blended in with the red clay.
Mummy and Camille saw this weird thing that had plate things, I thought it looked like a tiny armadillo. Can anyone identify it?
By Maddy :-)
Me and my Dad went to an island after dinner to explore. There were thousands of lizards, I could of caught one if I wanted but I did not. It had a few old buildings and a light house.
Once upon a time there was a girl called Camille Grace, (Oh she has the same name as me). Anyway she was studying jellyfish, she was a jellyfish expert. But not close enough. She had to get a sting! One day she put her foot down to go swimming and guess what she found? Yes, you guessed right. She got a sting from a jellyfish. So now she says it hurt so badly she can not describe it. All she can say is YOU DO NOT WANT A JELLYFISH STING!!
We've headed around the top of Mallorca to Porto Soller to collect some of our mail that we been sending to Tegans friend here. It is a beautiful spot and the northerlies stay away. The evenings have a golden glow and the absence of the tourists that take over during the day makes for peaceful evenings.
Amongst the mail is Sam's new BBQ - and of course he can't wait to get it going.
We were anchored in Pollensa when we saw a sea plane take off. It started it's engines for about 10 mins then it started to move slowly. Next it went down to the water but some kayaks were in the way.
Once the kayaks were out of the way the seaplane revved up its engines. There was a boat there to help pilot him. It went out to sea a bit more then turned around and rev'ed up its engines again. It started to lift it's front and then it's up and away!
The plane goes a few circles, then it goes back down and scoops up some water. It goes back into the sky and drops the water from the sky.
We went out o the shops so we didn't see it land. I have not seen a sea plane before, I thought it was cool when it dropped its water.
Well the forecast said force 7 NW winds for the next few days...but it had been saying that all week so we decided to have a go for the North West corner of Mallorca. Yes going to the North West corner with strong NW winds could create the odd problem...and it did. About three hours into the trip both Sarah and I were both down below (briefly). Sarah popped up and noticed the wind was up. She checked and it was hitting 30 knots. We still had 10 miles to go (about two hours). Luckily we had a plan B, which meant we could find shelter in 5 miles. It was a very long 5 miles!!
Initially, the swell was okay, but we needed to go side on to the swell to hit our safe harbour. With three miles to go, it no longer felt safe to go side on, so we had to steer into the swell. While that worked, it meant we were going to miss our harbour and were on target to hit a cliff. It was also uncomfortable (although Maddy said it was fun). So we decided to turn and run with the storm. This was the first time we had been running (going down wind) in a Cat. What a difference that made. Not only did everything settle down, but we did not have the potential broaching that you sometimes get with a monohull. Anyway a couple of good lessons learnt...1) respect the forecasts; 2) running with the wind works well in a Cat.
The picture below is me with my life jacket on. By the time Sarah ventured out of the saloon things had quietened down somewhat.
Anyway, tucked away in our safe harbour, we enjoyed the afternoon watching the lightening and Hector even enjoyed some welcome rain!
After a night on a mooring back in Porto Pedro avoiding a storm that didn't come, we head north east up the island, stopping at Porto Colom on the way for fuel and water. We dock for water without incident, the guy tries to charge 12 euro lucky our neighbour at Cala Mitjana told us it costs 7, so we were able to set him straight before he told us it wasn't drinkable.
Porto Colom looks an interesting place, but we're moving on. We stopped for the night in Cala Margraner and had the place to ourselves after a small yacht left. It is a wild sort of cove with a lot of nesting seabirds and goats out to steal their eggs. In the picture below you can see the mother goat and the seagull swooping in. Just before the picture was taken, the mother goat showed her baby goat where the seagull nest was. The baby goat is now enjoying some fresh eggs, while the mother goat stands between the baby goat and the attacking seagull. One mother wins, while the other mother loses...well this round any way...
Our pilot book said "arguably one of Mallorca's most attractive anchorages", so of course we had to check it out. It is a narrow cove, so we needed a stern line to the rocks to limit our swing. It took us forever to get the lines in place and later watched as others entered and set up in minutes.. lucky we didn't have an audience for our efforts.
And yes it is a beautiful spot...that's until the swell works it's way in over night and reverberates around the rocky walls. By the time we come to leave the exit looks like wild river rapids. We opt to stay put and watch as a couple of other yachts surf out with little control.
We spend the day doing washing and jumping off the side.
The next day there's an early morning swim to untie the lines, and finally we're off!
On Sunday 12th of June we went to Porto Petro, Mallorca, Spain.
Despite the fact that the water wasn’t the nicest we have swam in, we went swimming. Asia, Camille and I had a lot of fun jumping in.
Then we went to the supermarket. At the supermarket we brought some postcards. I wanted to get a keyring with a lizard on it that said Mallorca on it, but unfortunately I had forgotten my money.
Later we went out to dinner at a place called Rafael y Flora (which means Rafael and Flora). There we had pizza, tapas, calamari, Mum and Dad shared a paella.
When we were done they gave us an ice cream each. Even though Asia is dairy free we persuaded her to eat it and she said it was yuck!
Then we walked back to the dinghy and went back to Hector for some sleep.
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.