After three lovely days schmoozing round Ciutadella and the surrounding areas, horse riding, zoo-trippin, many delish lunch and dinners out, a late-night double-layered heart-shaped chocolate-zucchini-fairy-cake bake-a-thon, and a 5-year-olds birthday party with far more sugar than is wise and prudent, we decided to head further south and escape the beauty, serenity (and gallons of red sand that falls from the sky) that is Menorca. Thanks for the stay - big thumbs up.
After a morning faffing (I mean prepping the boat) we headed out into a dark-grey afternoon sky, and proceeded to romp towards the island of Mallorca, some 35nm away. Despite the late start, we were cranking along, averaging about 9 knots for the crossing, and with good wind and speed (new boat record, and PB 15.4 knots!!!) we decided to carry on down the coast another 20nm to what looked like a better anchorage in the forecast breeze. Snuck into Port de Soller just on dark after the breeze abated later in the run, with a final score of 58nm in 7 hours - an average of 8.3 knots - not bad for an old cruiser :) (the boat - not me). We're now rockin-n-rollin on anchor with a solid swell sneaking in the heads - all going well a surf in the morning may make up for the lack of sleep tonight!
Whats going on?! We seem to be channeling Wellington weather the last few days, and todays 25 to 35 knot downwind ride to our latest anchorage was no exception! Hitting 12 knots boat speed with only the dodger and a hanky on the foredeck - unexpected!
We're tucked away in Ciutadella now, expecting it to blow up to 40 knots for the next few days, so we'll stay put and enjoy some land activities for the duration, including celebrating Izzies 5th birthday on Sunday, which she is very, very, VERY excited about!!
We spent the afternoon wandering around the quant and narrow streets of town, squeezing in some architectural admiration between sampling the miriad of kids playgrounds that seemed to present themselves around every corner (= one happy little lady!). Now we're kicking back enjoying the relative luxury of abundant electricity and plentiful water - may even splash out and have a shower! Ahh, the joys of being plugged into the marina wharf!
Hope everyones keeping warm back home as the autumn hues evolve - its our turn now to start sampling the warm weather of spring - bring it!! And Merry Easter and all that - may the chocolate fairys be generous!!
Notched up our PB on the short downwind leg in 20 - 25 knots - 12.7 knots = :)
Might head to Milorca tomorrow, in prep for Izzies 5th birthday on Saturday - we're hoping to find swimming pools, pony rides, and of course, cake!
A jaunt up the harbour this morning preceded what was both a successful, and hassle free entry into Spain - that gets the big tick from us! A quant little township on a lovely harbour served up the best hot choky I'd had for months, and an actual flat white, appeasing Kath no end! Another 10 day grocery shop (100 Euros including three bottles of spirits and wine - awesomely cheap!), and back to the boat to plan the next leg... TBC!
Hola! 31 hours later (but only 8 hours sailing gurumf) and we're now in Spain! 2 pods of whales, 3 pods of dolphins, one turtle, buzzed by one sea-level jet plane, waaaaay too much ocean rubbish, no fish caught, 2 birds successfully roosting in our saloon, and after too long with the numbing drone of the diesel engine we're tucked into a little bolt hole surrounded by historic (and current) fortifications, with somewhat tired eyes and a beer in hand. And its finally warm! We'll do customs and immigration tomorrow (office hours, and all that), and then start working our way up the coast enjoying the many beautiful anchorages on offer. We'll flip a coin to see which way we go tomorrow:)
After a brisk sprint down the coat in 20-30 knots, we're tucked into a somewhat exposed anchorage in Fornelli passage, that we will be using at first light tomorrow morning, when we head for Menorca in the Baleariac Islands. Hopefully to slightly warmer waters - Izzie and I had a quick swim yesterday - and despite wetsuits, Izzies swim totaled about 12 seconds - the minute she hit the water she was trying to climb up my face in order to launch herself back onto the boat and escape the 15 degree water. It was quite an efficient method to exit, and moderately amusing for any onlookers, although less so for my face.. Good to be in the water though! Wishing I brought a proper dive suit, rather than a surf suit however.. Refreshing!
Tomorrows passage is about 200 nautical miles, and with the weather forecast (light winds), we're expecting it to take about 36 hours, so you wont hear from us for a few days - hopefully we'll have cell coverage when we arrive, but no promises! Take care all :)
We're tucked in to a little cove on the eastern side of Asinara National Park, after a rather unexciting trip across the top of Sardinia, in 2-5 knots of breeze. Asinara is an island paradise off the north western tip of Sardinia, with mixed-use terrestrial and marine protection, with some areas completely off-limits to human visitation and only accessavle with a scientific pernit - very cool. We were chased away from the marine reserve by a bunch of burly fellas on a large coast guard cutter, as we took a peak at the marine reserve- oops!
The island has some unique fauna, including marauding herds of donkeys - first noticed as we saiked in and a couple of stumpy-legged donkeys were chasing each other down the deserted waterfront and main street of the picturesque little township we are now anchored of. The sounds of them braying continue to echo around the deserted bay, although i expect that may wear a little thin later this evening!
We originally planned on departing Sicily, and Italy, tomorrow bound for the Spanish Baleariac Islands, however the forcast 20 to 25 is now 25 to 35 knots, so we'll hang here for a few days and enjoy the reserves, whilst depleting ours (the red wine reserve is dire), and head off on Monday: 10 to 15 knots beam reaching forecast, so can't wait to try the big genakker - giddyup!! Happy Friday yous fellas!
We're tucked in to a little cove on the eastern side of Asinara National Park, after a rather unexciting trip across the top of Sardinia, in 2-5 knots of breeze. Asinara is an island paradise off the north western tip of Sardinia, with mixed-use terrestrial and marine protection, with some areas completely off-limits to human visitation and only accessible with a scientific permit - very cool. We were chased away from the marine reserve by a bunch of burly fellas on a large coast guard cutter, as we took a peek at the marine reserve - oops!
The island has some unique fauna, including marauding herds of donkeys - first noticed as we sailed in and a couple of stumpy-legged donkeys were chasing each other down the deserted waterfront and main street of the picturesque little township we are now anchored off. The sounds of them braying continue to echo around the deserted bay, although i expect that may wear a little thin later this evening!
We originally planned on departing Sardinia, and Italy, tomorrow bound for the Spanish Baleariac Islands, however the forecast 20 to 25 is now 25 to 35 knots, so we'll hang here for a few days and enjoy the reserves, whilst depleting ours (the red wine reserve is dire), and head off on Monday: 10 to 15 knots beam reaching forecast, so can't wait to try the big genakker - giddyup!! Happy Friday yous fellas!
A short skip around the bays to get to our next spot, with a quick duck in to Santa Teresa Gallura for some icecream and chocolate - just the essentials! We've navigated the seagrass covered bay and dropped our anchor in the only patch of sand available - viva la algae!
A fast, tight sail from Corsica to Sardinia to test Patea for the first time - 8 - 9.5 knots in 20-30 at 60 degrees apparent = happy!! She moves and its going to be a fun boat to reel off the offshore miles in!
We're tucked into a beautiful little cove surrounded by monolithic rock formations in yellow hues and golden sand beaches - despite the breeze its still a magical spot, although the wind chill is definitely contributing to not swimming in the otherwise balmy 14.7 degree water... Tomorrow perhaps!
Left Gianuttri with the waking seabirds - and in to a bit of Mediterranean chop, but the stormy skies did clear and the sun shone, as it always seems to here. Sailed most of the day in view of the fabled island of Montecristo (i think - anyone know the story?!).So, the end of day 2 - dolphins - check, sun fish - check, 16 hours sailing - check, new country - check (hi France!), small vom from the small grom - check (dammit - but she's chirpy as now so all good!). Must be time for his lordships cream (3 Euro a bottle!), and a bit of a lie down :)
We decided to stay the night in this glorious little nature reserve, tucked into this tiny harbour surrounded by seabirds and lots of unusual calls in the night - very cool. Early start tomorrow though - heading to Corsica!
On our way!! After a number of delays, we dropped lines at 8 this morning and are headed towards the island of Giglio under a beautiful blue sky, a casual 6-10 knots of breeze, and we are tickling along quite nicely under full sail between 6 and 7 knots - perfect!! We'll be in to Giglio just before sun set - looking forward to that first Leffe already!
Boat is bought, prepped (mostly), and ready to go!! Departure, hopefully, next week!!
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