Alicante to Aguadulce

Cape Palos
Cape Palos

Sunday finds us in Alicante Marina meeting Tim & Jane from their flight from London. The first night we spent on the anchor off the island of Tabarca, about 10 miles south of Alicante.

Next we headed south to Cape Palos, and took a couple of sun shots with the sextant en route (5 miles out, not bad!). Once there, out came the paddleboard.

Next stop was Carboneras Beach, with a great view as long as you’re not looking west (cement factory). On the way we intercepted Brizo, a Discovery 55 owned by some of Tim’s friends. They were on their way to get a new engine start battery so we left them to it.

At Carboneras we took the tender ashore for some urgent provisions, a cocktail or two and a rather disappointing meal. Win some, lose some.

Then finally we took the opportunity to practice with the cruising chute in light winds. Too light, really, but a good learning experience all the same. Back in Aguadulce Marina we had a meal ashore (half a metre of pizza) before saying good-bye, for the time being, to Tim & Jane.

Back to Gruissan

After lots more maintenance and lots more visitors (Carol, Ruth, Jo, Spider, Gill, Andy) we left Palma on Wednesday 27 October for the short trip to Andratx before the long trip to Port Argelès-sur-Mer.

A final evening in Andratx (most of the mooring buoys had been removed) was very pleasant and the next morning we motored north to the Spanish mainland and on to the French border, ably assisted by Batty. Approaching Port Argelès-sur-Mer we flew the Code Zero (a lightweight sail for reaching) but after a few minutes a huge gust luffed us up and the bowsprit, holding the tack of the code zero, broke and the sail flogged itself to pieces.

The fun wasn’t quite over as the next morning at Port Argelès-sur-Mer the wind was Beaufort Force 9 gusting 10! Needless to say, we stayed put until early afternoon when the wind dropped and we motored the final 35 nm to Gruissan.

On Sunday we spent the morning preparing Mistral for the winter e.g. removing sails, protecting lines, removing the bimini, filling the fuel tank etc. The boat will be at Gruissan for the winter before new adventures in 2022.

Thanks to everyone who helped us in 2021 – friends, family and contractors!

Round the Island

Mallorca, that is.

With Shirls on board again and fair weather forecast, we thought we’d sail clockwise around Mallorca.

On The Beach
On The Beach

Our route was Palma – Andratx – Soller – Deia – Soller – Pollensa – Port Petro – Sa Rapita beach – Palma. The fun started in Deia when we dropped anchor to go to lunch at the famous Sa Foradada restaurant. The anchor got stuck in rocks, I missed lunch, and we waited until 1015 the next morning for a diver to come and free our anchor.

After a second night in Soller (wind and rain, lots of boats having problems in the middle of the night) we continued on to Pollensa, Port Petro, the beautiful Sa Rapita beach and back to Palma. But not before the cockpit chartplotter packed up and the mainsail refused to furl. The joys of boat ownership.

August in the Balearics

August has been and gone and with it some of our guests – Laura, Rory, Laura 2, the Nicols family (Calum, Ceri, Isabel, Mia and Tilly), Amanda and Valerie.

We’ve done mostly short trips exploring the south of Mallorca and anchoring overnight when the weather was suitable. Cala Blanca, Andratx, Soller, Deia, Sa Rapita and Las Isletas have all been visited at least once. We’re looking forward to returning to Portals Vells but in August it was always too crowded.

It was lovely having our French neighbours on board (neighbours in France, not French!). Everybody did plenty of eating, drinking, swimming and snorkelling, and we even managed an evening of Mario Kart!