After arriving in Mahon, Menorca, I had to go to customs. I entered the EU again from Tunesia, so I expected the boat would be checked and therefore I had to find a mooring space. In Mahon you have to go to an expensive marina. Hmmm. With little help, a lot of wind, I hit a pole and my just repaired swimming platform had some damage. Damn!
I am not allowed to leave the boat until customs has cleared everything. Well in this case no rules applied. I crossed town in search of customs and in the end I went to the police where they just gave me a stamp in my passport. So much for our EU borders.
I left the marina straight away, because I found a nice free anchorage space a mile away. You are allowed to stay there for three nights.
First I visited other boats to see if they liked tuna. The one I caught was 15 kg, of witch 10 kg was left. I had eaten lots of tuna and now someone else can take over. Sailors where happy surprised and my wine collection got an extra boost.
I managed to do some repairs by lifting the back of the boat just enough to keep it above the water.
Friends said: “You have a lot of bad luck”.
At first I thought the same, but then I realized, living on a boat at sea is something different.
I mean normal pleasure yacht sailing is about 120 hours a year. That is something I do in a week! Besides that, I am living on it, using everything every day and there is the hostile environment, like salt water, forces of wind, waves, etc. With a lot of equipment, electronics, etc. in a small space , that is a challenge.
In Mahon I bought lots of groceries because a good friend, Lotte and her boyfriend, Barry, came over for a week. And they brought stuff I ordered through the internet. So for me it was a gift party.
The wind was not always in our favor, but around Menorca it is never strong. So we decided to go around the small island and should be back in time to catch their return flight.
It is a nice island to sail around with lots of beautiful bays, but it is high season, so it will be crowded.
Es Grau was the most beautiful place he ever visited according to Barry. Very shallow crystal clear water with sand bottom and a view of the small village. And indeed, it is beautiful. The boat seems to float in air instead of water.
Next stop was Fornelis. A small step away from Es Grau,to let the guests get used to the sea and waves. It has a natural bay and it is not permitted to drop your anchor everywhere, But then, it is not clear what is permitted, so I just anchored near other boats, but soon we where ordered to move. There is a very strict policy for anchoring to protect the sea flora.
Barry and Lotte prepared a wonderful salad during the trip.
The second city on Menorca in size is Ciutadella. A bit longer in sailing distance, but Lotte and Barry made the best out of it.
Although I did understand mooring can be difficult at Ciutadella, I’d very much liked to visit this city. I heard nice stories about it. An old old town and used to be the main capital of the region, the Balearen. And indeed, there was no room for visitors and we had to anchor outside the harbor, so it was a restless night. Barry hardly got any sleep. The town on the other hand was very nice. Lots of restaurants and terraces and a natural long bay packed with boats.
I was told, Calas Covas should be a beautiful bay, with caves and steep rocks. And it was very beautiful, but too crowded and it would be very difficult to get the boat in a good position. I did not undertake that maneuver. I am getting more careful with these things. A boat is enough work as it is.
So we sailed further on to Binisafua. I already knew this place. Not crowded and well protected, so a quiet anchorage for sure. But a long way, so we left early. Barry wanted to sail a bit offshore, so we did. After all, I had to tack against the wind. More in the North the Mistral wind was active and we got a small impression of it by the high waves we encountered. I call them ‘old waves’. Not fed by the wind anymore, so they have flattened.
From there on we could easily get to Mahon in time, where Lotte and Barry cleaned the boat for saying thanks and offered a very good dinner on the quay of Mahon bay.
We had a very good time together and it was very nice getting to know Barry. After Lotte went to bed, the men stayed, took another beer and had interesting talks.
Thanks guys for the good time!
Now I installed the new equipment and waited for a good opportunity to go to Faro. An ambitious plan, but with the right wind it should work.
On Sunday it appeared to be a good timing. On Monday and Tuesday there would be little wind, but after that a strong Levante wind would blow along the East and South coast of Spain. Normally I would not leave with such a strong wind, but it was strait from behind and I would like to know how the Ellena would hold.
On Monday I had to motor and the same on Tuesday.
And during the nights at sea you can see beautiful moon rises. The sun was about to show and the moon has just risen.
A bit blurry, but on a moving boat and little light. . .
Later that day I heard a strange noise coming from one engine. I discovered water in the oil of the transmission box. That must be sea water. So I dove to check and thought I found the reason, but this ment I had to lift the boat. After some thinking I decided to go to Cartagena. With some help from Ellen. I could use my mobile, but had no internet, she provided me with phone numbers, so I could make arrangements up front. It turned out to be plastic picked up by the propeller and completely sucked up and broke the seal.
So I had to leave the nice wind behind.
The Ellena held wonderfully though. At force 8, the waves came high up and rolling. But I could even sleep during that time! They came above my solar panel and some moments I thought the dinghy could catch one.
Next time I will hang her upside down.
Now I am staying in the marina for a couple of weeks. Laying on a quay is nice. Lots of people passing and having some chats.
Ellen had to change her flight from Faro to Alicante and we will rent a car and discover the South of Spain.
Some of you said they could not track my position. It looks like a problem of the site vesselfinder. You can try marinetraffic.com.
I switched from marinetraffic to vesselfinder, because it a is faster website. If the problem persists I will change it back again.