Mallorca, New friends, Parachuting, Ibiza

A lot has happened since the last blog update. We sailed to Mallorca, we meet some nice French girls, we went aground in Magaluf, we sailed to Cabrera, we used a military parachute to sail downwind back to Ibiza. I got an outboard engine from a character of a Mexican called Alex who had cruised the world on his catamaran for 17yrs. We meet some nice English people who took us wakeboarding behind their 38ft 660hp cruiser off Formentera and Adam is 1yr older. Happy B’day Adam!

In Mallorca we sailed to a beautiful little bay off Palma and we went for a nice Tapas meal. At the restaurant we meet lots of interesting people. We meet some people from Norway who were on a long weekend, some people from New Zealand who knew my parents neighbours and some nice French girls Aurore and Heloise who we went for a drink with. They then came for a sail from Palma to Magaluf. I can tell that pronouncing Aurore in French correctly is nearly impossible. The only way I could remember to say it correctly was by saying eww roar which was still wrong but as close as I could get. They we were really nice and great fun, it was great to meet them.

Aground! I heard come through my dream in a somewhat high pitched squeal and then I woke to find we were actually aground and Adam was screaming get up. The anchor had dragged and we were in 2m of water, lucky on a bed of soft sea weed and sand. I jumped out of bed and ran to the helm. It was a shame as it was the one time I hadn’t swam on the anchor to check it was set correctly nor had I set the anchor alarm. A dumb thing but the reason was that we had only planned to stay in Magaluf for the day and not overnight. So with everyone on deck the thought of no tide in the med was running through my mind. Then I thought we have to heel the boat over as hard as far as we can, Josh then said let’s get the main up, a brilliant idea! The main wasn’t even near halfway up and we sailed smoothly off our sea bed. Then as we got into 4 metres of water bang the anchor grabbed and pulled the front of the boat around. I yelled get it up but the crew couldn’t as it was sitting over the bulb on the keel. As water depth was increasing and most of the anchor was up we continued to motor slowly away from the shallow water and then I jumped over and dived down to remove the anchor. I also inspected the keel and rudder. A small bit of antiful had rubbed off the bottom of the rudder and keel, the rest of the boat was fine. Phew! I always try to put out 5 times the depth in anchor chain but this time I think we were a bit light on. This will not happen again.

From Mallorca we sailed to Cabrera which is a beautiful little island and Spanish National Park. We picked up a mooring put on our hiking boots and went ashore. Firstly we hiked up a hill to a small fort that protected the bay. We climbed into the fort and the view from there was absolutely amazing. After a taste for hiking we decided to go further and we did a 10km hike to a light house on the other side of the Island. The view was amazing it looked like a pirate’s cove with an abundance of fish and jellyfish. The island was formerly used to house French prisoners during the Napoleonic wars. Of the 9000 people sent there only 3600 survived. Cabrera remained as a military zone until the 1980’s.

From Cabrera we sailed back to Ibiza. We needed to sail directly downwind which was a perfect time to test out the military parachute. It was good fun hoisting and seeing it set. It looked like a jellyfish moving in and out and floating from port to starboard in front of the boat. The parachute was connected to the mast head halyard and we made a downhaul from the self tacker sheet that worked surprisingly well. In 12kts of wind at 180 degrees with no main up it pulled us along at 4kts. The next step is to try and use it in 20kts. Hopefully it will pull the boat along at around 8kts. For that I will probably connect it to the toping lift.

This time in Ibiza we went to Ibiza Town and not the dreaded San Antonio. The Marina was expensive but the location excellent. The first night we wanted to have an Asian food fix so we walked around for hours till we stumbled across a Thai restaurant. The Thai food really hit the spot. The next night was Adams birthday, Adam relaxed and I spent the day designing a solar power system for the boat. I have ordered a controllable regulator and 200watts of solar panels. If they work well I will order another 200watts. This will hopefully keep the batteries charged and the crew happy by ensuring the home media system can be run when off shift while crossing the Atlantic.

“All good sailors and good boats go rotten in port”

“1 boat, 2 wives’s, 3 children”

Those were just some of the quotes by Alex who I meet in Ibiza through Diego, one of my previous crew members. Alex was from Mexico and had spent 17 years cruising and sailing the world. Some of his stories were amazing like the time he spent cruising Australia. After 6 months of cruising he had one of the two engines left and as he approached Yamba then Bang! The last engine blew up. He then sailed his catamaran up the river and somehow docked it in the Marina. As soon as he docked customs were on his boat and said you have to pay duty on your boat, after some negotiation he found out that if he went back to Mexico and got a transit visa or something like that then he could keep cruising. He flew to Mexico and as things were starting to fall into place he had a call from customs saying he had 48hrs to remove his boat from Australia or pay customs. After hours of negotiation with customs he decided to get on a plane and fly back to Aus. He arrived at the port and customs said what are you going to do, he said sail out of here, they laughed and said you have no engines. After provisioning Alex said watch me and sailed out. He then sailed for 15 days on his own with no engines, no fridge, minimal electricity, no autopilot. He just set the sails, tightened the steering, salted his meat, waxed his fruit and he was cruising. This is pretty amazing considering we have every electrical device under the sun plus a big fridge and freezer. Alex gave me a 5hp outboard engine. He figured what goes around comes around. It was very kind, Thanks Alex!

At the Marina in Ibiza we meet some really nice English people, Ian, Gary, and there partners. We started chatting and shared the same humour talking about boating and then the Inbetweeners (English TV comedy). We started making some comparisons between the 4 of us and the 4 in the Inbetweeners. We are not convinced but still debating who is who. The English people had a 38ft cruiser with 660hp of power that cruised at 28kts. I told them about our wakeboard and how amazing it would be to wakeboard behind their cruiser. Ian thought yeah that sounds cool and we meet them in Formentera with wakeboard and rope in hand. We then did a highly risky dinghy person swap. We swapped the ladies from the cruiser for Wazza and I. In the swap the girls got a few bruises and Wazza fell overboard and lost his Prada sun glasses. Ouch! Once we had completed the swap it was time to wakeboard. It was choppy as hell but great fun wakeboarding up and down Formentera behind a cruiser throwing a massive wake. The ladies enjoyed a nice sail and we gave them all some Aussiemite. Thank you Ian, we had an awesome time.

Now my blog is up to date and we are moored in a beautiful bay off Formentera. Josh has just cooked a nice Pesto pasta and it’s time for dinner.

Bon appétit

Captain Nick

From Mallorca, Cabrera, Ibiza, Formentera. Posted by Nick Black on 9/23/2012 (151 items)

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