Monthly Archives: June 2018


We were planning on being in Majorca later in June, there is yacht racing, so decided to head off to Menorca for a while.  We set off from Soller at a much more acceptable time of 9.00am on a beautiful sunny day again motoring.  Anchored just outside the bay at Soller was this yacht “Fountainhead” or perhaps we should call it a ship it was that big.  I guess we will have to get used to seeing large yachts in the Balearics. It was just the last couple of hours when the wind started to pick up that we got to sail.  We also saw a sea plane come in and pick up water and then fly off again.  Ten and a half hours later we anchored in Cala Fontanelles, which is a small cala on the north coast of Menorca.

We stayed just the one night and made our way to Cala Arenal d’en Castel, which is a horseshoe shape cala.  We bumped into friends from Cartagena, Cath and Ray who had visitors.  So we had a few sun downers with them onboard Cuffysark.  The following morning we moved onto an anchorage at Illa d’en Colom where more friends from Cartagena were Destination Anywhere, or at least Malcolm was, Nikki had to go off and do some work.  We left in a thunderstorm, we do have bad weather too.  That’s two thunderstorms in one week.  On arrival was another super yacht anchored up, a beautiful classic yacht called Nahlin which is owned by James Dyson, how did we manage without Google.  The history of the boat is really interesting.

You will notice the red Ensign flying on the stern, nothing unusual about that for British registered boats.  The tender to the yacht left to go ashore also flying a red Ensign.  A short while later and back it came but this time with a white Ensign flying and we then noticed the yacht itself was flying the white Ensign which means only one thing the owner is on board.  Members of the Royal Yacht Squadron may display the white Ensign when they are on board.  Sure enough when Mr Dyson left a few days later the red Ensign was back.

Our tender is a Walker Bay, which Ian took months to find.  The reason for this is that it also has sails, so for the second time, first time since we left last year, everything came out barring the gib and off he went for a sail around the bay.  Definitely multi-purpose, with the wheels on the back.  We spent five nights anchored in Illa d’en Collom.  There was a small village just a short dinghy ride away, all very unspoilt.

Nikki and Malcolm had hired a car so we joined them for a trip around some of the Island.  Menorca reminds me of the English countryside but warmer.  We took a trip down to the old capital Ciutadella which ceased to be the capital when the British arrived in 1708 and moved it to Mahon.

Naveta des Tudons

The Naveta is a tomb that is only found on Menorca and was discovered in the 1960’s. Inside there were over a hundred skeletons scattered around, male and female, many of which dated back to the 9th century.

Personal items that had been buried with the corpses were still close by: bronze bracelets, bone buttons and some bronze weapons. Also found were small pots, pottery vases and a carved bone stopper, which was part of a container holding the human hair of some of the dead, a common burial ritual in this period.

The shape of the naveta is similar to an upturned boat (“nave” in Spanish), hence the name given to this type of monument. It was in the middle of a farmers’ field where the cows were alongside us which I found a bit worrying.  Nikki and Malcolm thought this amusing as it was quite normal to walk through farmers’ fields in Scotland, us townies are not so familiar with nature.

Sheltering from the Mistral

The forecast was that there was a mistral coming through, it wasn’t the winds so much but the 3m swell so off we went to Port de Addaya.  This was a long channel and so very sheltered.  It was very busy when we arrived so we went further down the channel away from the majority of the boats.  By early evening it was like a millpond and you could easily have thought you were sitting on an English river in the countryside.  It was beautiful.

Addaya was a small town which was largely villas and apartments with just a few bars/restaurants and a supermarket.  We had a walk around up to the entrance of the channel to see the swell.


L. Cala Galdana, Menorca 16.6.18.After a few lovely nights here we moved onto Gala Galdena which is a nice bay and popular with the tourists.  There was quite a swell here where we anchored even though there was no wind which didn’t make getting into the dinghy very easy.  We arrived on the night Spain were playing Portugal in the World Cup so there were a few bars with lots of Spanish watching, so it was quite lively.

We had to start making tracks back to Majorca if we (or least Ian) wants to get down to Palma in time for the Super Yacht Racing.  So Sunday 18th June and we head off.



June 2018





Balearics Islands – June 2018

We arrived back in Spain after a lovely trip home to the UK.  We now spend a couple of days preparing to leave the Spanish mainland and head for the Balearics.  We are not anticipating going into a marina now until possibly October.  Marinas are exorbitant in the Balearics and they get more and more expensive the further into the summer you go.  Most of our cruising friends will be in the same boat, excuse the pun!  As a general rule it is much nicer to sit on anchor although saying that it is nice to step off the boat onto land on occasions but not this summer.  Prices for one night range from €85 to possibly €250 depending on which month of the summer it is.  Now you can understand why we will be on anchor!

A1. Soller on anchor 2.6.18..png

There are a number of issues that landlubbers take for granted and we were the same, constant water on tap, hot and cold, electric, gas, food shopping, all the more a task when on anchor and having to get in a dinghy.  We won’t use our bikes while on anchor as although they will fit in the dinghy it’s a lot of faffing about so we’ve got to lug all future shopping.  We decided to try out online shopping which was ok as it did have an English version but no photos.  We had stocked up on some stuff whilst in Cartagena when we had a car but six weeks on and we’d made a dent in some of this. Ian, for those of you who him well, know he drinks tea like it’s going out of fashion and so carting the amount of milk we get through each week was a good reason for stocking up on heavy items like this.  We waited for our delivery in our two hour slot which came and went.  Fifteen minutes after we can hear “Lorraine, Lorraine” and walking down the pontoon was our delivery driver.  He brought all our stuff down to the back and the boat and all we had to do was lift it on.  Worth the delivery charge.

We filled up with water, not knowing when the next time we will be able to as not everywhere has water available and we do not have the luxury of a water maker, well not yet anyway!  We should be able to last between three and four weeks.  It makes you very conscious of what you use.

There was a fuel pump on the marina but a friend in Cartagena got diesel bug in his tanks from a marina and this has made Ian a bit paranoid so off he went with his beloved trolley attached to the back of his bike, (a reminder below) he had to make three trips, to get fuel from a local petrol station as they have a constant turnover of fuel.  He got quite a few funny looks.

E6. Ian off to get diesel, Nov 17

Ian off to get diesel Nov 2017

So we are finding our solar panels have been able to keep up with our energy consumption and keep our batteries charged.  We are managing to generate enough hot water each day which is our biggest challenge and we’ve only used the generator once since leaving Barcelona.  We also have our water solar bags which produce enough hot water for laundry.  If it’s not quite up to temperature then there’s always the kettle to top it up with.

Heading off to Majorca

I can’t say we left bright and early but I can say we left dark and early, on Saturday 2nd June at 4.00am. Once out of the marina, ropes and fenders away Ian sent me back to bed and I surfaced again at 8.30.  I did miss the most beautiful sunrise.

Sunset 12 miles off Barcelona

We had very light winds and a current against us for about four hours and so had to motor a lot of the way.  After 18 hours we arrived at Soller, a beautiful sheltered bay on the West coast of Majorca just as it had got dark.

Our first day in Soller wasn’t so great as we had a thunderstorm where it rained for most of the day.  However normal service was resumed the following day so we decided to take a walk into the town of Soller itself which was about 40 minutes each way.  As always there is a church, Iglesia de Sant Bartomeu, which we took a stroll around.

After all this walking we were ready for lunch and we found a wonderful little place off the main square which had a beautiful courtyard where we had Menu of the Day.  We had no idea what we were getting but it was lovely and things we wouldn’t normally have chosen.

We only spent a few days in Majorca before heading off to Menorca as we are coming back here later in the month as we are back to see the Super Yacht racing in Palma towards the end of June.


June 2018

Mar Menor to Barcelona

18th April to 18th May 2018

Our first stop after leaving Cartagena was the Mar Menor, which is a salt lagoon just 30 miles up the coast.  We wanted to stop here so that we could beach the boat and give the hulls a scrub as green weed clings to it.  It wasn’t a particularly warm day so on went the dry suit and in Ian went.  Didn’t take long and as the weed came off much easier when the hulls were in the water.

Jessica made a short visit.    Unfortunately the weather wasn’t as good as back in the UK, where you were having a heatwave.  It was quite windy.  We ventured from the Mar Menor and anchored in the harbour at Torreveija.  We had to stay here for a few days as the winds were quite strong we had 40 knots the night that Jessica left.

We eventually left on Thursday 26th April in the rain and overcast skies.  We anchored just past Alicante at Punta Cala for one night.  From here we went up to Javea.  Coming around the headland into the bay we had big gusts so we were glad to get into the bay.  Although overnight there was no wind and the sea was flat, there was a constant swell so not very comfortable which meant not a good night’s sleep.

Next stop was Valencia, we had a good sail and the weather was lovely and sunny for a change.  Weather here has been rather mixed since we left Cartagena.  We spent five days in the Americas Cup Marina (28th April until 3rd May) so we could do some sightseeing.  We visited the City of Arts and Science and the Oceanographic which was jam packed as it was the day before a bank holiday which was a Tuesday, they don’t do Mondays.

The Oceanographic

The giant pendulum that demonstrates the earth’s rotation.

The first night we were here we found a restaurant off the beaten track where the locals go.  We had various menus to choose from.  We decided on the set menu, thinking we should make a choice from each course, “No No” was the waiters’ response.  We realised soon enough that we got everything on the menu.  We were rather full at the end of it.

We next headed for the Ebre Delta with a stopover on the way at Oropresa.  We were going to anchor in the bay but the swell was such that we relented and went into the marina for the night.  From here we headed for the Ebre Delta where we anchored at Sant Carlos de la Rapita.  We’ve never seen so many boats coming into harbour at one time, it was like a charge.  We were here over the May Bank Holiday and while you were enjoying glorious weather in the UK we had some lovely rain and clouds.  It’s not all sun and sea!

We were making our way up to Mataro, which is about 15miles north of Barcelona where Gary and Shelley were meeting us and spending the week with us as well as going to the F1 Grand Prix.  This was our first overnight trip for a while, my favourite NOT!  The forecast was for cloudy skies but we were lucky as it was clear although we had no moon until about 4 in the morning and then it was only half a moon.  Ian took the first watch, “off you go Lo go and get your head down” so kind of him but it was only 10 o’clock and a bit early to go to sleep but off I went like a good crew does when the skipper gives an order.  After a little sleep I’m up again at 1am and it was dark, very dark.  It’s surprising how quickly a watch goes when you are keeping an eye out for ships etc.  I did get a bit concerned when a cargo ship was coming up behind us on the same course, so I did consult the skipper who told me “it will be alright stay as you are he will change course” and so he did about 15 minutes before.  I let him sleep a bit longer as I’d disturbed his sleep.  So after 20 hours and 108 nm we arrived Port de Mataro where we were staying for a month.

We were going to see the F1 Grand Prix a first for me.  I don’t understand the fascination for watching cars go round and round but I was pleasantly surprised and can actually say that I did enjoy it.  Not that I want Ian getting any ideas I didn’t say I wanted to go again but pleased I’ve been!

We took a short sail up the coast to Blanes, a beautiful sunny day and light winds.  The bay here is lovely and we anchored for the night before coming back to Mataro the following day.

Obviously we can’t be this close to Barcelona without having a day there, even though we’ve all been there a few times.  The train station is just in front of the marina so it’s all very easy to get into the city which is about 40 minutes on the train.

The week had flown by and we’d had a great time.  We were all flying back to the UK together.  Jessica and her friend Shelly thought they would take advantage of the boat being here so they arrived a couple of hours before we left for our flight.

May 2018