Sunday June 8th. off Punta de la Avenzada, Mallorca
We must pay tribute to our close friend, Graham Bush, who was one of our first visitors on Exotica last August. After a very short illness he passed away on May 16th in York. We returned to UK for his funeral, a very moving celebration of a life taken far too young.
We were thrilled to get first night seats to the surprisingly excellent production of Verdi’s Otello in the charming Teatre Principal de Palma. The small stage was filled by the frame of a galleon which was cleverly moved for each Act. The principal singers were all Spanish and remarkably good, there was a fine, robust chorus and the orchestra under conductor Manuel Coves was of a high standard. After our opera extravaganza in April in the major opera houses of Europe this was an unexpected treat.
We departed our home marina of Real Club Nautico in Palma, where Exotica has been moored since 2005, last Monday with mixed feelings, we loved being right in the centre of Palma but are excited about the prospect of new experiences.
Jeremy Garling joined us on June 1st for 6 days of mostly good sailing. The wind of the Mallorcan coast is full of surprises, frequently “on the nose” no matter where you go, at other times 180 degree shifts. Keeps the helm on their toes. We anchored one last time in Santa Ponsa’s turquoise waters. Tuesday motored through Dragonera Passage then a 16-20 knot southerly filled in so we had an enjoyable run, firstly with full sails then just under genoa, to Port Soller , the only harbour half way up the 80 nautical mile spectacular north west coast. We looked very small tied up amongst the super yachts. They did, however, provide excellent “people watching”. Who does own these boats?
We had seriously considered buying a gennaker, which is a large foresail to be used in light winds aft of the beam, and we had a sailmaker in Palma come to give us a quote. However it proved to be difficult to fit on our bow and ridiculously expensive so we decided against. On our way to Soller in about 18 knots of breeze we saw a 45 footer try to hoist one. The sock, which controls the sail, wouldn’t go up properly so the sail couldn’t fly, they got it wrapped around the mast before it shredded and landed in the water. An ill advised hoist in those conditions. We had the decency not to take any pictures, although we were tempted, and felt that we had definitely made the right decision to stick to our headsail.
Spent Wednesday taking the old tram from Port Soller to the charming town of Soller in the mountains above the port. Famous for it’s orange and lemon trees, each shop was adorned for the Orange Festival. We re-visited the olive wood shop and treated ourselves to the most outrageously expensive salad bowl…now an heirloom.
A disappointing passage from Port Soller to Puerto Pollensa on Thursday. The sky was blue, the wind cold, the sea lumpy and the wind on the nose for the entire 6 hours. However, one could still marvel at the majestic mountains along this coast. Our last night with Jeremy we had excellent fish at Restaurante Ca’n Josep.
At anchor in Punta de la Avanzada, Julie was checking the anchor at 5am and saw the hillside above Alcudia ablaze, back burning or a forest fire we will never know but at daylight a plane water bombed the area for hours. A brisk northerly built up during the day, it must have been some gust that lifted the upturned dinghy over the lifeline and into the drink. A quick up anchor to retrieve the getaway, which will from now on always be secured!
Today we move to Alcudia to spend time with some old Bermuda day friends in their villa and be joined by our “passage” crew. Weather permitting, we will be crossing from Mallorca to Sardinia this time next week!