Hugh, Anne and Hector's Sailing Adventures
Hi folks Well we finally made it out of Andraitx on the 9th May and had a vile journey for our first sail of the year. The wind was on the nose and the waves sloshed over the decks cutting the boat speed from 6.5 knots to 2 knots. We suffered this for several hours, then ducked into Sa Rapita for a restful night. The following day, in slightly better conditions, we continued round the corner to Porto Petro and anchored for the night. The wind has been resolutely from the east, and this meant that we had a very uncomfortable night rolling around in Porto Petro, so we escaped next day to Porto Colom, which is a large enclosed bay that the swell doesn't seem to get into. Eliza and Stuart joined us on the 11th for a week of cruising the east coast, leaving their two year old son Matthew to be spoiled by his grandparents. We hoped for gentle cruising conditions, but our first mosey out of Porto Colom had us battling winds and waves, so we returned to our anchorage and had a shore day. The weather did eventually sort itself out and we motored up to Porto Cristo in a lumpy sea with no wind, where we spent a relaxing couple of days and did the tourist bit visiting the Caves of Drach, then we motored up to Cala Ratjada, for another lumpy night rafted three deep alongside the public pier. Finally, on our trip to Puerto Pollenca we had favourable conditions and a great sail into the bay, where we anchored. Hector was his usual bolshie self with our visitors. Stuart made significant progress in patting Hector and by the end of the week was tolerated for more than a minute of clapping without incidence! Eliza was scratched for just standing too close or wearing the wrong colour of teeshirt or something! I think Hugh thoroughly enjoyed having real sailors on board for a week and took full advantage of Stuart's good nature, to dispatch him up the mast a few times on essential maintenance work. Michele and Tom are on holiday in Puerto Pollenca and we met up with them for lunch, dinner and as it turned out an action packed day sail. I think Stuart may have been studying the weather as he and Eliza opted for a shore day that day, but we set off in windless conditions, motoring along to a cala for a swim in perfect crystal clear water and had lunch. On the way back, we got the sails up and the wind immediately died, but we were fascinated by the line of cloud that appeared along the mountain ridge to the north of Pollenca. These clouds were forming up the back of the mountain then rolling down the front like a waterfall - quite an amazing effect. Hugh said lets drop the sails as there will be wind under that lot, just before the first gusts hit us, then just as we were anchoring, the wind whipped up to 42 knots, whipping up waves and streaking the water with foam. We couldn't let the anchor chain out fast enough and it was still bar taught at 40m. Meanwhile Eliza and Stuart were sitting in a cafe drinking lattes and watching the pantomime of us coming in. On the beach front deckchairs and parasols were flying and people had to scurry to safety. Once things died down a bit, Hugh took Michele and Tom ashore, everyone getting soaked in the process, and picked up Eliza and Stuart. The winds didn't last much longer and we all went ashore in perfect calm for dinner later on. On Sunday, we set sail for Menorca and reached Mahon in 10 hours having had the perfect sailing day, broad reaching at 6.5 knots in flat seas, it was lovely. This morning (Tuesday 23rd) at 7.30am, we tried to set out for Sardinia, but once we were out in the open seas, the wind strength was 30 knots and building and the waves were pretty uncomfortable, so we turned back. There has now been a gale warning for today and tomorrow, so we will sit it out here until things improve.