Kicked out of Palma de Mallorca

Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca

I found a great spot to moor at a quay for small boats marked “molinos de Jonquet” on my BlueNav electronic chart. I took care to choose a spot that was not in use (evidenced by the growth on the mooring line), and set about exploring the highlights of the town.

One Gothic cathedral later; we’d run out of tourist sites to visit and sat wondering what the Mallorca sailing hype is all about. Admittedly this was November so we couldn’t expect to find carnival, but we’d held such naively high expectations!

Luckily, before the boredom set in too deeply and reduced us to autonomous zombies seeking pleasure in purchasing kitsch plastic tourist offerings or t-shirts, we were kicked out of Palma by a uniformed baton wielding despot with so many chips on his shoulder he could open a mill.

The banging on the bowsprit woke me at an uncivilized hour (any hour before I naturally wake up is uncivilized in my book). Poking my head out of the forward hatch I found an animated official banging away with his crowd control baton on Eileen’s brightwork.

Spanish isn’t my forte but I did manage to  establish that his acrimony had something to do with me and an incongruity with his clipboard. No matter, surely it was just a matter of handing over the appropriate mooring fee.

Apparently not. Insisting that another boat was due to take our spot, and every other free place on the quay for that matter (as unlikely as this may seem given the quantity of unused berths).

Needless to say, this encounter did wonders to colour my appraisal of this city with its upstanding executive establishment. So we were not too miffed to loosen warps and politely wave adiós. 🙂

Sailing to Mahon Menorca

With the sea calm once more, Gianluca and I were captivated by the night approach to Mahon Menorca. It had been a magical crossing. We’d caught three Dorado (though one managed to get away while lifting it out of the water), had a prolonged visit by a tired little avian friend, and even spotted whales (yes this time I’m not joking. There really are whales in the Mediterranean).

Despite the mention of a tsunami affecting the Balearic Islands in 2003 (originating from the Zemmouri earthquake in Algiers), my Mediterranean almanac and electronic charts showed a safe, well lit, approach to Mahon.

menorca

Menorca

Tying to the public quay opposite Isla Pinto we were surprised to find the port relatively empty. Where were all the yachtsmen? We invited a curious passerby aboard and exchanged a portion of our latest catch for some local news and gossip. Evidently the sailing season ended in September. Looks like the Spanish leisure boaters take their toys out only two months of the year (just like the Italians), and the last of the cruising set (heading for Gibraltar and beyond), passed by at least a month ahead of us.

I’m late! I’m late… and before long the fine weather will surely deteriorate!

After a whirlwind tour of Mahon, resupplied and well rested, the not so dynamic duo said farewell to the hoards of locals gathered to witness our departure…. would you believe a hoard of two elderly couples and one child in a pram? How about a stray dog and two seagulls? OK, we slipped away before anyone would notice and set our sights on reaching Palma de Mallorca (120NM away) by the 1st of November.

Tuna steaks

Tuna steaks

Sailing directions in brief:

Take a heading of 240º from the southern tip of Menorca, then turn right before you hit Isla de Cabrera. Easy. Moreover, catch sizable tuna à volonté while on route, slice into steaks and eat to your hearts content.