Monday August 5th.
We made our first passage to the minimally inhabited island of Cabrera on Friday. The wind was a moderate breeze directly on the nose so we motored for the first couple of hours but were able to sail for the last part of the journey and found that Exotica handled very comfortably close hauled on both tacks with full sail set. Just before arrival we started up the generator and then the water maker which we have just learned how to operate. In half an hour it produced 70 litres of fresh water from the sea. When it turns off there is a self-cleaning process which uses about 70 litres of fresh water from the tanks so the sum total of water made was zero.
We had booked a mooring buoy in the only permitted anchorage, since Cabrera is a national park. The bay is very well protected and encircled with hills dominated by a remarkable 15th. century castle. We swam in the very warm water, had an excellent meal of mussels and had a very comfortable night.
In the morning we inflated and launched the dinghy for the first time and fired up the new outboard – a Honda 2.3 HP air cooled and very light. We had a great trip round the bay until we ran out of petrol, fortunately within a hundred meters of the boat.
We set off for Palma at mid-day on Saturday and had a great sail home with a broad reach and the wind up to 23 knots. We practiced reefing both the mainsail and the genoa and found the systems to work really well.
As we entered Palma Harbour and came into smooth water Terry went forward to collect and attach the fenders. He put his weight briefly on the forward starboard lifeline which suddenly gave way and precipitated him overboard. Julie saw the line go loose and thought a fender had gone into the water and was very surprised to see Terry’s head bobbing along the side of the boat. She quickly threw the lifebuoy, which we have only just bought, and reversed the boat so that he could climb back up the swimming ladder. The harbour was very busy at the time but as far as we could see nobody noticed. This was a very salutary experience and in different circumstances could have had a much worse outcome. The lifelines have now been triple checked and are all fine.
There must be something about the Clarkes and fresh water in the bilges, as true to recent experience, we found fresh water under the galley area and in the main bilge! Frank had promised us “this is a dry boat”, luckily he was here to service the engine and found the air conditioning pipes were dripping condensation caused by the outside humidity. So, air conditioning is rationed after spending a morning on our hands and knees drying out the bilges!
You may think all is rosy on Exotica, well, not quite. We are having some difficulty with registration and the Bill of Sale has spelling mistakes so we are rather stuck here in Palma until these can be resolved. The online broker in UK is proving less than efficient. But there are worse places to be!