4th August 2016
Our plan, if one can refer to semi-aimless drifting as a plan, was to make our way clockwise round Majorca from Pollensa in the north east to Palma de Majorca in the south west. We had my sister coming to visit so we needed to be fairly close to the airport when she arrived. However with Janet not due to arrive until 13th August and the weather now settled we had time in hand for more stops along the way.
One place that we decided to visit was Porto Cristo. The Cuevas del Drach, or Dragon Caves had been recommended to us so we set off down the east coast of Majorca. In fine weather and a force 3 wind we motored down the coast. The wind, as usual, played games with us. We crossed Alcudia Bay with the wind firmly on the nose. We turned southwest and then south following the coast and every time we altered course the wind moved with us always within 15 degrees of the way we wanted to go. That is of course until we arrived at Porto Cristo five and a half hours later when it rose to a near gale and would have made a perfect beam reach. At least the sails will last a long time.
Porto Cristo is a pretty little place, built on a narrow, steep sided cala which twists and turns as it goes inland, providing much protection from nasty weather outside. We had finally got the Ports IB online booking system working on our computers, so we had been able to book in advance. They were expecting us and for once we had no worries about finding a berth.
For some reason we were both tired out. (It is tough sitting in the sun on a boat all day.) We grabbed a quick meal in a nearby restaurant and fell into bed.
5th August 2016 Porto Cristo
In the morning we walked up to the Dragon Caves which are only about a mile from the port on the other side of the cala. Visits to the caves are very popular and have to be booked in advance so we booked for 1700 the same day. When we arrived back at the boat we met our British neighbours, Andrew and Andrea Waterman on their boat “Chin Chin.” They had just arrived back from the supermarket with a taxi load of provisions so it was useful for us to find out the nearest place where we could restock with groceries.
Returning to the caves for the visit, we had a fantastic experience. I have visited limestone caves in Yugoslavia, Germany and Gibraltar, but never have I seen anything as well done as the Cuevas del Drachs. The visits take place in groups of around 100 people who are loosely guided along the route by a leader and other staff placed along the route. The rock formations are lit for the best effect and there is plenty to see with small underground lakes along the way.
So far, for limestone caves, this was fascinating, but all fairly ordinary. However, then we came to the (as far as I know) unique part that really made the trip. After around 20 minutes walking, we arrived at a large lake with an auditorium built alongside. We were invited to sit down, asked to switch off mobile phones and cameras and the lights were turned down. The water was totally still and around a corner in near total darkness appeared 3 rowing boats. Their gunwales were lined with lights so there was little to see but the slowly moving boats. However, in the centre boat was a quartet playing classical music. It was magical! The show lasted for around 10 minutes and the boats then rowed back the way that they had come. Another 5 minutes climb up the exit path and we arrived back in the open air near the restaurant.
Back to the boat to recount our experience to Andrew and Andrea who had invited us on board Chin Chin that evening.
6th August 2016 Porto Cristo
We spent the day exploring the town, cleaning Synergy and then had dinner at Sa Tasca, a little back street restaurant that did an excellent Wiener Schnitzel for me and a great Spaghetti Marinera for Jacquie.
7th August 2016 Porto Cristo
We had intended to leave for Porto Colom, but the wind had whipped up again and we were not comfortable leaving the shelter of the cala. We had seen others passing the breakwater and meeting some quite rough water. A quick trip to the Port Office and we booked another night, spending the day pottering and waiting for the wind to drop.