To continue our journey to Sardinia please use the following link:Sardinia
Log Entry Saturday 20th September
Due to the "volatile" nature of the recent weather (forecast against actual) we decide to double check the long range forcast before we leave, we go ashore to a local hotel to use their computer, ours has been trouble some for some time - there is also a distinct lack of "wi-fi" which does not help! All looks good, we give our selves the green light-we are off!
We have lunch and raise our anchor about 1230 hours and travel south east across Palma Bay. It should have been a brisk sail according to the forecast, it was actually a slight head wind, we decide to make our way along the south coast of the island and see what weather lies ahead. We had not been too keen to motor all the way for a number of reasons, if the weather did not turn more favourable we always had the option to stop further down the coast and await better winds (as we had done for the last couple of weeks!).
As dusk begins to fall we enter the "Freu de Cabrera", the channel between Mallorca and I. de Cabrera, still motor sailing we decide to continue - we had waited long enough for fair winds perhaps they would never be? We had a good three days travel ahead of us we settle into our shift pattern and prepare for the nights passage.
Log Entry Friday 19th September
We have been waiting a good weather window for our 300 mile non-stop trip to Sardinia, Saturday looks good with relatively usable winds forecast. We are well prepared but do the last minute stocking up for the 3 day trip - a lazy day in order!
The day in the anchorage begins as normal, the local boats flood in and play with their toys, thunder showers were forcast later in the day so the anchorage would certainly clear early.
The thunder showers arrived as forecast, that in itself was unusual, in recent weeks we had been threatened, but nothing materialised - this time they hit with a vengeance.
Log Entry Monday 15th September
All repairs have been complete for some time for our trip to Sardinia, we have been faced with strong head winds for almost a week, and then gales set in ahead of us. Still the weather here locally is still good and we decide to stay put and await more favourable conditions in which to make the 3 day sail east to Sardinia. Our hopes to winter in Tunisia are now changed, we cannot get a berth any where, the area has become so attractive to people like us it is completely full! As the waters are controlled by the military we are reluctant to just turn up and hope for the best as we undoubtedly would be turned away, back out to sea. Who knows where we will end up this winter.
We are half way through September so the tourists are starting to demise, the temperatures are beginning to fall, early morning and late evening the temperatures can be as low as 23C (still over 30C during the day!) - Ann gets out her winter gear, slipper boots any way!
We pass the time moving around local anchorages, taking the best shelter from the wind and weather. We could not want to be in a more beautiful place, we are still snorkeling with the fish and enjoying the good weather. The visitors to the anchorages are getting less, the "locals" wear long trousers, and long sleeve shirts? We still find it very pleasant.
Log Entry Monday 1st September
Ann and I head back to Andraitx, we are to order required spares and get Sailaway ready for the trip to Sardinia, from there we hope to head south to Tunisia.
Log Entry Wednesday 27th August
We wake to cloud initially, the skies have not been so blue the last few days, but it always brightens up. We complete our daily tasks, feed the fish, swim and decide head ashore in the evening for a "farewell dinner"
We pick a good fish restruant over looking the bay, the food and wine was excellant - a little too much (food that is!)?
The evening goes on quite late, in the morning we return to Las Illetas, and Alan returns home, the week passed so quickly.
Log Entry Tuesday 26th August
Our trip back south could not have been more different, too little wind and a very calm sea, we play for hours at "sailing". The coast line is beautiful, the sun very hot.
We have periods of engine on and off, due to the terrain the winds are very localised, all goes well.
Due to the extended playtime, we arrive quite late at the anchorage, have dinner and discuss our plans in the morning - going ashore!
Log Entry Monday 25th August
We get the dinghy ready - the exercise becoming as efficient as a military operation, or some thing similar?
We head ashore as planned, the town we like, very picturesque and quaint, Alan and I spend time walking around the marina looking at boats (we had not seen any for a while).
We dine early on board and head back ashore in the evening to the west side of the harbour, the old town. The bars and restaurants are what one would expect, we return to Sailaway long after dark.
Tomorrow we leave for San Telmo.
Log Entry Sunday 24th August
Our trip to Soller was not an easy one, the wind unlike the forecast blew hard and swung round hitting us right on the nose. The inland passage past Isla Dragonera was difficult enough, but once to seaward we decided to carry on, ne vessel behind us turned back. As the wind grew in strength as is common to these waters so did the sea. With wind and sea against us our average speed over the ground during the trip was only 2.7 knots!
By the time we reached Soller the wind had begun to drop off, once in the shelter of the busy harbour all was calm, we drop anchor and take to the water, dinner would be ready soon, an early night planned and a trip ashore in the morning.
Log Entry Thursday 21st August
With Alan accustomed to the strange way of life aboard Sailaway, and combined with our anchorage becoming crowded - one yacht turned up with it's own helicopter - We left, our destination Puerto de Andraitx. We loved the west coast of the island, known for it's less favourable weather but a very dramatic coastline. We thought Alan would like it too?
We arrive about 1900 hours, and, as all good crew - showered shaved and ashore (Ann did not shave on this occasion!). A good evening was had by all then back to Sailaway.
As the new day broke the plan was to go back ashore and have a good look around, a few bits and pieces, broken previously aboard also needed replacing.
The evening had been planned by Alan, before his arrival he had enquired if we had missed our Indian food obviously we had? Alan brought all ingredients with him, today we had purchased chicken. He did well with the limited facilities, Ann and I watched from the cockpit (with a cold beer!), below Alan worked as I had ever seen before - it was 30 degrees in the cockpit, slightly hotter below decks!
The meal was excellant, the evening went on for some time!
Log Entry Saturday 16th August
The end of our visit to Alcudia approaches, we are due to head back south to meet up with a friend of ours (Alan), who is to spend a week with us accruing sea miles. A leaving party is thought to be the best way to leave! Warren, Adele and Poppy had been joined by their friends Craig, Jane, Jennifer and Ben. They all join us for a farewell party aboard Sailaway.
All arrived about 1100 hours, needless to say the odd beer was consumed over the day, the kids seemed to enjoy the adventure? The girls seemed to concentrate on gaining a tan as apposed to the water. The guys and kids enjoy swimming, fishing but especially riding the bow waves of the passing ferries in the dinghy.
A combination of heat and sun takes it's tole, all are ashore by about 2000 hours, we prepare for our departure in the morning.
Log Entry Thursday 14th August
A strange day for us, we are hit by unusual strong winds, the anchor holding in the bay was said to be good, it changed by mid-morning! As we sat aboard waiting to go ashore, boats began dragging their anchors around us, it was not long before we became a casualty. We reset our anchor four times before it held but we felt it best to stay aboard and not go ashore just in case. A sail boat along side of us had been left at anchor, we had seen no one aboard since our arrival`- not a good idea, off it went on it's own. I notified the port as it began to drift across the busy harbour entrance - little interest was shown!
We watched it drift off into the distance, eventually the "Savamento" turned up (the equivalent of our RNLI), the sailboat's anchor had reset it's self some two miles away in the bay. They looked at it and left - it would be interesting to see the look on the owners face when they return!
Log Entry Wednesday 13th August
We now spend a few days in Alcudia bay with Warren, Adele and of coarse our crew mate Poppy. We meet them ashore, visiting the local beaches, bars and restaurants. A lot of time is spent on Sailaway, taking advantage of the good weather and the various water associated activities.
Warren and Adele adopt quite quickly to life aboard Sailaway, once Poppy has briefed them on rules and regulations, a couple of nights were spent aboard watching the sun go down!
With all under taken the day ends with the a good nights sleep - some times even a "siesta!"
Log Entry Tuesday 12th August
As the "anchor team" (Ann & Poppy) raise the anchor together for the last time on this trip at least it is hard to believe ten days have passed. Poppy's excitement is now "bubbling" as we round the Isle de Alcudia the reunion with her parents only an hour or so away! We are impressed as to how she has taken to the life on board, and what knowledge she has retained. She is now strong in nautical terminology (port, starboard etc) and is able to identify a vessels coarse from it's navigation lights.
We will all be together for the next few days - we are confident Poppy will want to share her adventures with over 80 sea miles to her credit!
Log Entry Monday 11th August
We leave Soller today and make for a small anchorage called Cala de San Vincente, half way between Soller and Alcudia. Warren and Adele (Poppy's parents) fly in for the family vacation on Tuesday morning. We plan to meet up with them on the Tuesday at Alcudia. San Vincente is entirely as the Spanish pilot book describes, it's bays entrance difficult to spot amongst the numerous ravines on the coast line, but once found well worth a visit. The resort stretches along the available 300m of beach, but is very busy with the expected activities. Poppy loves the water and beach as most kids do, we barely have the anchor set and we hear those words "Can we go to the beach now". Once Sailaway is secure off we go!
We only have the afternoon and evening here as in the morning we move on, the full afternoon is spent on the beach and in the water. Wild goats pose for the cameras! As darkness falls we make our way back to Sailaway, we dine in the cockpit as usual and retire early - Poppy's excitement due to seeing her Mum and Dad becoming very evident.
Log Entry Saturday 9th August
Our journey today to Puerto de Soller is quite a short on, approximately 18 nautical miles. The winds as usual will be light and variable, with a great deal of influence from the rugged shore line. It has become evident very quickly that the majority of our movement around these islands will be "motor sailing". A lot of vessels travel without any canvas raised at all. Still the scenery is extremely rugged and beautiful - reminds us of the sea lochs on the west coast of Scotland.
We make our way up the west coast of the island until we eventually turn into the extremely protected harbour, the entrance is a break in the cliffs, less than 200m wide, but extends well in land. The entrance itself is well lit by two new light houses, the old buildings maintained as monuments for public viewing. The town thrives with tourists, its large marina developed from the original port is full of please craft, ferry's and please trips also operate from the marina - the water is always busy. It is interesting to notice the increase in English tourist also.
Ashore there are the usual bars and restaurants, the water front is service by a local tram, utilising the same tracks a "tourist train" operates through to Palma.
Log Entry Friday 8th August
The anchorage is extremely picturesque, we now begin to see a totally different contrast with rugged mountains behind the shore line.
Once the daily jobs are complete on "Slave ship Sailaway" then the crew can go ashore. The jobs vary from scrubbing the decks, hoovering below deck and the odd "hair cut" for the crew!
Once ashore, the beaches are good, well maintained, we do "beach stuff" the sun stays hot well into the evening.
The small town is friendly, the restruant's all "politely touting" for business.
We have an early night as we move on again in the morning.
Log Entry Thursday 7th August
With the receipt of our new refrigeration unit, and it's installation complete, we continue our journey north, our destination San Telmo, a small resort opposite the Isle de Dragonera. Poppy now helps with the steering and rope work - as her confidence grows.
We round the small "Isle de Pantaleu", dropping our anchor behind it. It is a very busy bay as one would expect at this time of year.
Log Entry Wednesday 6th August
The port is a thriving tourist resort as well as a working port, well equipped to cover all of our needs. We pick up all the bits and pieces we need, we have to order a new fridge, the service is excellant - nothing seems to be a problem!
The temperatures during the day continue to climb, between early to mid afternoon it remains uncomfortable to be out in the sun.
Log Entry Tuesday 5th August
We leave after breakfast, it is Poppy's first voyage - she takes control of the task to raise the anchor. We make our way our of the Bahia de Palma and head up the west coast of the island to Puerto de Andraitx about four hours away.
The winds were very light, a combination of sail and motor see us arrive early afternoon, the temperatures reach over the 40's (degrees Celsius).
We drop anchor, a combination of "sea air and heat" result in all being ready for an early night, a quick swim, watch a movie, then off to bed. We go ashore in the morning.
Log Entry Monday 4th August
Today our plan is to leave Las Illetas and begin to make our way north, we could hardly leave the area without a trip into Palma and visit the old part of the town. We use the "Tourist Bus" to explore the city itself. Equipped with headphones we learn about the local history and culture. The coach has designated stops, you can disembark at various points, explore and rejoin the tour - well worth doing!
We return back to Las Illetas and decide to conclude our visit with a celebratory dinner in one of the many beach bars, all went well.
Log Entry Saturday 2nd August
Our objective is to sail to the north of the island (Mallorca), to Alcudia and meet up with Warren & Adele when they return in 10 days time, we get Poppy accustomed to the boat, the motion and the way of life on board - she take to it all without any issues!.
We spend our time on the numerous local beaches as well as swimming from Sailaway, Poppy takes to the new way of life very easily.
Log Entry Wednesday 30th July
We leave early (0730 hours), the wind is against us but we have to be in Palma (Mellorca) to pick Poppy up on the 1st August. We start of with good conditions, as we leave Ibiza, the mist develops and visibility reduces. There is so much traffic on the water we spend most of the night on the radar as well as the usual necessary, visual watches.
At around 0700 hours the following morning we round Pta de Cala Figuera into Bahia De Palma, our destination Las Illetas, a series of islands across the bay.
All went well, we drop anchor about 0915 hours, time to catch up on some sleep. The trip had been difficult due to the winds, the direct coarse would have meant we had to travel 70 miles, the wind direction, and its shift meant we actually covered 94 miles.
The anchorage is excellant, very busy with craft of all nationalities. It is unusually very "anchor friendly" with dinghy docks created to secure your dinghy as you go ashore. The beaches are also crowded, well serviced with beach bars and cafes.
Log Entry Tuesday 29th July
With the problem identified, we need a replacement alternator, it's off to the city for us! We seek advice and quickly source a unit, we have the cab driver drop us off in the old town, lunch and further pilotage information are also required. It is a busy town, with a surprisingly high percentage of german tourists, well catered for.
We do a quick tour around the old town and settle down for a long, Spanish lunch until the shops re-open to obtain the pilotage for the islands ahead. The afternoon passes very quickly. It amazes us how quickly our days pass, our children believe we should be bored (doing nothing) now?
Once the pilotage is obtained we take a ferry across the bay to our anchorage, an early night ahead as in the morning we leave for Palma (Mellorca), we feel quite exhausted after our long lunch!.
Log Entry Monday 28th July
As we rounded Pta Portas, Ibiza was only about 5 miles away, we would be able to resolve the problem and secure any required spares. We dropped anchor just off Ibiza at Caba Tal Manca about 2030 hours on Sunday evening.
The anchorage was excellant, Monday was spent on the problem, the power enhancement unit had actually failed and destroyed both alternators - not so fail safe after all! We now needed a further replacement alternator and to add further insult to injury the refrigeration electronics had also burnt out! A costly "fail safe" experience!
Log Entry Sunday 27th July
As day break came following the second night at sea we had no idea what was in store for us! We had seen no wind at all for about twelve hours, the sea was so calm it could only be described as "oily!", even the engine/gear box sounded different as the usual loading with waves or swell was no longer evident. We had seen many vessels of considerable size during the night (navigation lights only) our first day light sighting was a shipment of Sunseekers, heading for the Balearics!
To relieve the boredom, the engine noise changed radically - we had a problem. We had lost our ability to create power, our alternator had failed, or so we thought. Our charging system is enhanced with a failsafe "Sterling Digital Power Unit". The unit creates far more power from a standard alternator per revolution. Not a problem to us we have a spare alternator and as Ann stood watch the unit was changed - all was well, we carried on.
Within hours the replacement alternator failed - we now faced a further over night passage with no method of charging our batteries, other than our solar panels. We were 45 miles south of Ibiza with 8 hours to night fall - Ibiza here we come!