To Mallorca (again)

10 to 19 August 2020

Cala Xarraca, Ibiza to Cala Santa Ponsa, 39° 30′ 8″N 02° 28′ 03″E, 67nm, 12 hours

to Palma, 39 33 05″N 02 38 00″E 

to Palmanova, 39 31′ 01″N 02 32′ 05″E

to Santa Ponsa, 39° 30′ 8″N 02° 28′ 03″E

Total 40nm, 7 hour 30

So we decided to go that extra bit east with SV Momentum and return to Mallorca for a third time. It meant not only prolonging our time with Babs and Rene but also the chance to see our friend John and our Pintail family, Fiona and Fernie again.

Plus we don’t have to be back in Gibraltar until late October.

Before we left Ibiza, at anchor in Cala Xarraca we were treated to a sunset acrobatics display by the occupants of a neighbouring boat. We guessed that they were probably performers from Ibiza’s famous clubs, now largely closed due to the pandemic.

We were anchors up at sunrise for our crossing to Mallorca and Stefan was determined to beat Momentum despite their cheeky head start. 

Motoring out of the anchorage we were not alone. It seemed that others had been waiting for this weather window too.

From no wind in the shelter of Ibiza we caught a gentle breeze as we got further away and the sails went quickly up. We are still surprised by the speed Pintail can make in lighter winds with the new sails. She sped off at 6+ knots and we were sailing at 30° off the wind which is unheard of.

It was a lovely sail. We took the lead and Stefan kept a careful eye on how Momentum was doing, all the time tweaking the sails to ensure victory. During the uneventful passage we were not quite as domestic as Babs who managed to russle up some banana muffins for a lucky Rene. We did, however, use the time to hoover the carpet, clean the cockpit and polish the helm.

I also managed to knit a commissioned scarf for Momentum‘s rabbit!  And we sort of won the race. Technically we put our engine on first when the wind reduced and the flapping of the sails got too much but we got there first and don’t pay too much heed to the racing rules!

Our payback for such a glorious day at sea was a less than perfect anchorage in Santa Ponsa. Our first night there was horribly rolly with the swell tipping us from side to side sleeplessly. The following day was stormy with accompanying strong winds. Wind shifts through the night saw two of our neighbours uprooted from their spots and being blown passed us. When the wind calmed we then had to contend with the continuing swell for another night. The weather didn’t stop Stefan joining Rene and Rizzo on a hike up the hill for a view across the anchorage and he even found some ruins!

After those sleepless nights we headed to Palma for a couple of nights in the harbour and better opportunities for land based activity. We hoped that proximity to decent chandlers that might also bring an end to our dinghy woes. We found a cheap spot in a shipyard more used to super yachts. Pintail’s mast was dwarfed by our neighbours and it was a steep climb up to the dock.

On two consecutive mornings, whilst Rene and Stefan enjoyed long bike rides, I joined Babs and Rizzo on their early morning walks. We watched the sun rise over the great cathedral 

and wandered almost entirely alone through the old streets.

There are very noticeably fewer tourists around all the city sights. An art gallery along the way hinted at the cause.

Our walks reminded me of all the great public art we have become used to seeing throughout Spain. Around the modern art museum we found some particularly intriguing examples, one seemingly fresh from The Wizard of Oz.

Rizzo made friends with 3 month old Rock in a lush park along the way

and despite having steered clear of cafes and bars, Babs and I couldn’t resist treating ourselves to a coffee out in a nearly empty cafe, with hand sanitiser on the side of course!

Leaving Palma to return to anchor in Palmanova Bay the dinghy continued to leak despite multiple attempts to find and fix the hole. Somehow it was getting worse and remained a mystery how water continued to gush in. Even Rene was baffled.

In the now familiar waters of Palmanova we were able to catch up with John and his daughter Vicky for lunch on board and even braved a restaurant on the beach to meet up for dinner with Fiona and Fernie. There was no escaping the fact that Palmanova and Magaluf, usually full of holidaymakers, were very quiet indeed. Restaurants were very empty, some shops not even open and the impact of the virus on local businesses really clear. John told of rising levels of poverty on the island and the rising infection rate in the Balearics can only make this worse. We did our best to support the economy by adding a Mallorca tea towel to our collection. How we have managed to visit three times without getting one is a mystery!

After our Mallorcan reunions it was finally time to say goodbye to Babs and Rene. They were continuing on to Menorca and, tempted though we were, with the infection rate rising by the day we felt it just wasn’t worth the risk of putting another couple of hundred miles between us and Gibraltar. We had shared a short but very sweet time together with two of our favourite people and, despite the smiles as we waved goodbye, parting was very sad. We miss you, Babs and Rene

and not forgetting our favourite boat dog. Let’s make sure its not another two years before we see you three again.

Our parting was, however, made slightly easier by a reunion with the familiar bright orange dinghy of SV Off Course. And just like that we exchanged one Dutchman for 2 and a half.

We were back Off Course…

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