Palma Bay

15th August 2016                   Palma to Cala Blava

In order to reduce our expenses we decided to get out of Palma and as the weather was reasonably settled, we would cross the bay to Cala Blava, a relatively wide bay where mooring buoys had been laid to protect the sea grass. Another lovely morning and just passing through Palma harbour is interesting with craft ranging from small dinghies to private yachts half the size of ocean liners moving too and fro. We passed Alan Sugar’s boat which, although pretty sizeable, is quite modest when compared with some of the monsters which seem to be almost permanent fixtures in Palma.

Outside the harbour, we unfurled the Genoa and looked forward to a gentle run across the bay. As usual the wind did not cooperate. We had left Palma in almost no wind and by the time we had reached the mooring buoys the wind had increased to Force 5 plus and we were scudding along at over 6 knots on the Genoa alone. The sea had chopped up badly and we were hoping for a bit of assistance in picking up our buoy. No such luck. In Fornells, in calm condition there had been a chap in a rib to help us. Now, in far more difficult circumstances there was no one to be seen.

Try as we might we could not get a line onto the buoy. We tried with Jac on the helm, me on the helm. We tried different buoys, we tried approaching forwards and reversing backwards, but no combination would work. It might be thought that we were incompetent but the buoys should have been fitted with a length of line and a small pilot buoy which could be picked up with a boat hook. None of the buoys designed for our weight of boat had them still attached; all had been torn off. After about 15 attempts and with the air having turned a deep shade of blue for several miles around we finally managed to get tied on.

And would you believe it? Finally, along comes the man in the rib to check that we had paid.

After all that effort we decided that we deserved a treat and took Tommy the Tender to the shore where there was a restaurant in a hotel which produced a good meal.

Sadly, our fun with the buoy had not ended. After dark the wind dropped and left Synergy just drifting on the end of her mooring line. During the night the buoy slipped down the side of the boat and banged against the hull waking us all up. I tried every combination: shortening the line, lengthening the line, putting a spring on the line, but nothing worked to stop the banging. The only variable was which part of the hull it hit.

16th August 2016                            Cala Blava

After such a shocking night’s sleep we decided to have a lazy day, so we spent the day quietly on the boat. I did summon up the energy to get in the water with a scrubbing brush and clean below the water line. The copper coat was still working well with nothing but a bit of slime on the hull.

In the evening  after dark, we witnessed a fire on the shore. It was a few hundred metres inland but looked like a palm tree or a radio mast which was blazing well. we couldn’t see any emergency services in attendance so we called 112, the Spanish equivalent of 999 and reported it. The telephone operator said that they were already attending to it shortly afterwards the fire died away.

“Boris the Bastard Buoy,” as it had now been named, gave us another shocking night. I am sure that inanimate piece of plastic had a malevolent personality.

17th August 2016                   Cala Blava to Puerto San Antonio

Boris wins! We decided that we couldn’t take another disturbed night so we decided to move the 3 miles to Puerto San Antonio. That is the Puerto San Antonio near the airport at Palma, not the one on Ibiza. A quick call to the marina office determined that they had space and half an hour later we were moored up.

The pilot book said that this was a noisy marina being close to the airport, but we hardly noticed any noise at all. Perhaps it depends on the wind direction.

18th August 2016                     Puerto San Antonio

Jac and I found a supermarket and restocked the boat while Jan went off to sort out some administration. She had resigned from her job working as a teacher of modern languages and was moving to Qatar to work in a management role in a school there. By the look of the number of adverts for teachers that are showing on UK TV, she is not the only teacher leaving the British system. After the boring jobs had been done Jac and Jan retired to the beach while I tried to get the stainless steel back to its normal glorious state.

19th August 2016                     Puerto San Antonio

It appeared that we were in a charter boat berth so we were asked to move across the marina which we completed early in the day. We had been so impressed with the Caves of Drachs in Porto Cristo that we wanted to show them to Jan so we hired a car and set off across the island. We had to pass through a town called Manacor, which boasted a Suzuki outboard engine dealer so we went there to try to get 2 rubber straps for our engine over. Ours were badly perished. They didn’t have them in stock so we moved on.

The cave trip was just as good the second time round as the first. In fact it was probably even better as there was less noise and fewer people trying to take flash photographs.

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Near the Dragon Caves Entrance

On the return journey we decided to explore a little bit of the island so we made our way on a roundabout route through Sineu and Inca back to Puerto San Antonio. The interior of Mallorca is really very pretty and, as far as we could see, largely unexplored by tourists. This reflects the situation in mainland Spain where, a few miles from the coast, a very different and largely unspoiled Spain can be found.

Sineu is a pretty little place where we stopped for a drink and then moved onto Inca where we found a restaurant in a central square for dinner.

Back to the coast, returned the car and so to bed.

Author: chrisgowers

Retired pilot now sailing around the Mediterranean accompanied by my wife Jacquie.