Charlie and Nicola Beausire are friends with whom we have sailed since we started sailing, and have enjoyed much racing and cruising with over the years. We sailed across from Ibiza to Palma, anchoring for one night before settling into Marina Port de Mellorca to meet them.
Port de Mallorca is probably the swankiest marina we’ve ever seen and was full of super yachts making for what is colourfully known in the yachting fraternity as ‘boat porn’! We certainly felt like small fish. In fact, Susie and I have decided to get some shirts printed with ‘Adina Crew’ on them. We’ll wear them while cleaning the boat, then get changed and appear in regular clothes as boat owners! Keeping up with The Jones!
Charlie used to be ribbed by us for a slight aversion to technology and being behind the times with mobile phones. But he’s up-to-speed now and has an iPhone. We had agreed he would text us on arrival at the marina so we could meet them at the entrance. Said text did not work apparently due to overseas network issues. No fear, Charlie used our tracker, which is more spot on than we realised, to pinpoint where we were in the marina! Identified the exact berth – very impressive. So as we were sat saying “shouldn’t they be here by now”, there they were walking along the pontoon.
Our friends had bought us over some much needed supplies, including some freshly ordered fishing kit. Having got fed-up of fish chewing up and spitting out Tom’s lures and lines, it was time to get serious. I was referred to Peter from Leadertech (leadertech.com) who goes on our page as one of the genuine good eggs and helpful people out there. As a complete beginner, he guided me through the maze of options and the result was a delivery of reel, line, lures and hooks to Charlie and Nicola. We were all surprised at the size of it all – huge hooks, big illuminous lures, not to mention the chunky reel! Peter warned that we shouldn’t be surprised if we landed a shark. Slightly scared to use it but thank you to Peter for all his help. Let the trials begin!
The first day of Charlie and Nicola’s visit involved a visit to the old town of Palma. While Mallorca has a reputation for crowded resorts and cheap holidays, it was evident why so many yachts are kept here as old Palma is truly lovely. Charlie played guide as we explored the beautiful cathedral and old royal palace.
Fortune would have it that friends Shelley and Duncan Macintyre were also on the island for a quick holiday before a long-awaited house move and joined us for drinks and a BBQ on board that evening. It’s always great to welcome friends and we were delighted to see them. Yet another late night Spanish style with plans to meet up at anchor where they were staying if the winds played fair in a few days time.
Monday involved stocking the boat up for the week. That meant Tom and Charlie first doing a trip on bikes to the fresh market. Next a walk to Carrefour for a few more items. Said Carrefour which we had been told was “just along the harbour” proved to be miles away! This meant a dash back to the boat to leave before check out time – spaces are in high demand here!
Tom was given a late heads up that an old family friend, Stewart Webster, and his wife, Jennifer, were in town too. A sneaky feeling told me we’d bump into them, and low and behold there they were tucking into lunch as we dashed back from Carrefour. Sadly we only had time for quick hellos. Next time, more time Stewart, but wonderful to see you and meet Jennifer!
In our planning for this area, Cabrera Islands had come up as a must see destination. So the required 20 days in advance we had duly worked through the admin to reserve ourselves a permit to sail there and take a mooring buoy for two nights. For reference for any other sailors, the link is http://www.caib.es/govern/organigrama/area.do?lang=ca&coduo=114365 It was well worth the effort of the admin and a real trip highlight.
We spent two days there simply enjoying the stunning surroundings. On the first morning, we marched off on a three hour walk to a lighthouse – beautifully scenic and we sighted many of the blue-bellied lizards these islands are famed for. Indeed, many of these lizards seemed to have made the lighthouse their home. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Nicola dance as she did that day and she generated a decent squeal too as lizards dashed around her feet!
Cabrera was the sort of place you could easily enjoy for a week – far away from the busy bays of Mallorca.
The winds were being kind so we set sail to visit Shelley and Duncan in Cala Mondrago where they were staying. The bays in Mallorca get very busy during the day but generally empty out come evening as many head home or for marinas. Arriving late afternoon we jostled our way in. A German told us he was going out and would be coming back later for the night and wanted his same (prime) spot back. This amused us and a bit of joking about not having left his towel in place was the topic of conversation. Much to our astonishment, we then noticed he had left his dinghy anchored in said spot with some of his children in it. The sea equivalent of a towel then!
A row ashore by Susie and use of Shelley’s hire car for shopping and then Shelley and Duncan joined us onboard for sundowners. More rowing by Tom who is steadily improving his rowing, ferrying everyone ashore and we enjoyed tapas on the beachfront for dinner. We were glad we had made the effort to see Duncan and Shelley again and enjoy some quality time with them. Best of luck in the new house!
The next day we had planned to anchor in a Cala that was noted as being popular but narrow. When we arrived we found it narrow, windy and with a small power boat that had plonked himself right in the middle and was shouting instructions. We tried to get closer thinking he was giving advise, while also trying to avoid another German boat following us in, trying to be aggressive and get a spot. Result was we got entangled with the boat who was actually advising he was swinging and we should stay away! Too late, lots of fenders, and our poor dinghy was trapped on his anchor line. These events certainly do test the nerves at times.
So we fled the Cala and headed off to a perfectly nice turquoise blue watered beach and anchored in miles of space for the night. Charlie and Nicola produced a three course meal well enjoyed and yes another late Spanish evening! I shan’t mention Charlie’s line and hook that meant the planned kippers for breakfast didn’t materialise.
Our final day saw us sail back to Palma and another opportunity to test the parasailor. We’re getting better at flying it and learning the best methods for hoisting and dropping. Final sundowners and the boys had to pose with their respective beards. A fair contribution from Charlie that led the girls to comment it would suit him to grow it more. A slap up dinner throughly enjoyed and yes more late evening drinks.
Before we knew it the week was up and in the blink of an eye our friends had headed off. Timing there flight, we waved at their plane as we sailed off to our next anchorage. The boat always feels a little lonely and empty after visitors have left. This time was no exception.
Charlie and Nicola – as ever so great to sail with you, a week was not enough, and thank you kindly for all you did and just being the fabulous friends you are. We really hope New Zealand and the Pacific Islands will be on your agenda for 2014. Who knows, by then Tom may have learned how to use those illluminous squid lures! And who knows what length his beard will be!
Next, Adina comes out of the water to check her rudder and do some other boat maintenance. Not sure how long this will take but as soon as she’s back in the water we’re off to Sardinia, Italia! Going to find some new anchorages – will reserve them with our dinghy anchored 😉