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The Mate has her say for a change!

May 26, 2010

I’ve decided it’s high time I made a contribution to the blog. Yes I know Duncan is much more amusing and whimsical but it’s just too bad. I’ve been quiet long enough!

I am actually writing this with no hope of posting it tonight because the little cala (bay) we’re anchored in has no reception for the dongle ‘tho we do seem to be able to send & receive texts from the cockpit. It’s hopeless trying to take the laptop up there because you just can’t see the screen in the sunlight.

Cala Mitjana

The cala we’re in tonight is particularly beautiful. In fact the last few nights have been lovely so let me fill you in on what’s been happening since Duncan took his unexpected dip. Initially, after leaving Pollenca, we sailed round to Puerto de Alcudia, about 12 or so miles round the coast beyond the next headland. Our friends, Jack & Tanya had recommended Cala Aucanada in the bay of Alcudia but it was too shallow for Rampage so we anchored outside the marina at the port of Alcudia instead. The marina itself wasn’t bad with several chandleries so we were able to order one of the two much needed new anodes (vital protection on underwater metal bits that stops them eroding in the salt water! The second one is waiting for us in Palma.) Anyway, because of this we needed to stay a few days to await its arrival.

Puerto de Alcudia

We were fairly unimpressed by the touristy town that has grown up around the port. One of the most irritating aspects was the lack of a decent supermarket/market or place to buy proper food. There were several Spars but they seem to limit themselves to booze, sweets, crisps etc and fairly horrendous “souvenirs.” However, Tanya had also said that the old town of Alcudia was lovely and worth a visit so we decided to take the bikes ashore and go to see. We also thought we might find better shops away from the coast.

Alcudia old town

The trip proved worthwhile. We found an ironmongers where D was able to buy the bits and pieces he needed, plus an excellent supermarket next door where we stocked up for the next few days. However, before doing the shopping we went further into the town until we came to a large arch (no, not another stinking arch, Meg – quite a nice one!) which led into the old part of the town. We locked the bikes up & went for a stroll round the streets and up onto the “quite impressive ancient walls” (D’s words,) which partly surround the old town. As someone who has spent quite a bit of time in Chester, these ones cannot really compare but they were nice enough. It was all very attractive so we stopped for a drink at one of the many restaurants before making our way back to the bikes – to enable us to drink in the atmosphere, of course!

Next day D decided to don his scuba gear once more and remove the super-whizzo, fancy propeller we have and replace it with the original prop until we can replace both anodes. He thought he might need my help with this so I duly started to dig out my wetsuit – quite an effort as it was well buried in a locker under our bed. Before I had got into the water however, he was back at the surface with the prop which had come off much more easily than expected. However, having squeezed my fat bum into my wetsuit, I was not now going to be so easily put off so we spent the next hour or so scrubbing the bottom of the hull. Believe it not, it was quite a satisfactory job, in much the same way that turning a laundry basket of crumpled washing into neatly ironed and fold clothes is satisfying. (It’s worth noting that I no longer do virtually any ironing and feel very much better for it.)  Actually, because “Rampage” has been copper bottomed, it really isn’t too bad and has saved us the hassle and expense of having her lifted out of the water whilst in Barcelona.

Another view of Alcudia old town with a glimpse of the walls in the background.

We left Alcudia last Saturday (22nd) with no firm destination in mind. We caught sight of both “Blank Canvas” and “Æfnityr” in Cala Aucanada as we were leaving Alcudia Bay. 20 miles down the coast, we stopped for the night in a little bay called Cala Molto. After Puerto de Alcudia it was heavenly. There were no buildings around and just a couple of other yachts anchored up. It was very still and peaceful sitting watching the sun go down over the bay. We left fairly early on Sunday morning because we needed to shop for a few bits and there was nothing at all where we were. Instead we called in to a place called Cala Ratjada just a bit further down the coast. Ratjada is a proper little town with a harbour and marina. We “parked up” outside the harbour walls and took the tender into the marina where we tied up & ventured ashore.

One of the other two yachts anchored with us in Cala Molto

Afterwards we carried on down the coast to a place that had been recommended to us: Porto Colom. It was just lovely there so we stayed two nights. It is a near-perfect natural harbour and the town is very unspoilt. No ghastly, Brit tourists, no noise, no horrible hotels and “developments”; just a few quiet restaurants where we had some delicious tapas for lunch, looking out over the water, the yachts and the fishing boats. The old town to the north, where we went for a stroll yesterday evening, was attractive but largely deserted; we suspect that it is used by the Spanish themselves for 2nd homes as most places were shuttered up, it being only May.

Looking south to the entrance to Porto Colom harbour

 

Restaurant overlooking the harbour

 

Looking north to the old part of Porto Colom

Now tonight we’re in another little bay: Cala Mitjana. There are three fingers and we have had the middle one to ourselves all day and couldn’t even see the other boats in the northern finger. On the headland above us is a dream house ‘though again, the owners don’t seem to be in residence. There are a few people about but they appear to be staff. I had a lovely swim earlier and then attacked the dirt & growth on the waterline. This was quite successful & I managed about ½ of one side before I began to feel chilly and had to get out of the water. I had planned to do another stint later today but now there are some funny little creatures in the water. We saw them last evening in Porto Colom too & aren’t sure what they are but they could be juvenile jelly fish or similar. No idea whether they sting but not taking any chances! Anyway, by 8pm all the other boats had disappeared so we’ve moved “Rampage” round into the northern finger, as we think it will be more sheltered. *

Another view of the beautiful Cala Mitjana

Tomorrow night we are planning to go on round the headland of Caba de Salinas on the SE corner of Mallorca and find an anchorage somewhere there before heading on for Palma. We want to visit some small islands just south of Mallorca that are a conservation area and reputed to be really beautiful. However, you have to get a permit to go there from an office in Palma and they need a minimum of 3 days notice so we’ll go on to visit Ibiza and Formentera while we’re waiting and visit Cabrera sometime next month en route to Menorca. This is always assuming we get permission to go as it is limited to a maximum of 50 yachts a night. By all accounts it is very strictly controlled. The boats that are staying have to pick up designated mooring buoys and produce proof of permission to stay each night. No jet skis and only limited unsupervised movement ashore. Many of the bays are prohibited and others you can go into by boat but not land. There may, however be an opportunity to scuba dive – we shall see if it pans out.

Since starting this we have arrived in Ensenada de la Rapita – an anchorage just outside Colonia San Jordi and we plan to be in Santa Ponsa, west of Palma Bay by tomorrow night.

* Point to note for other cruisers: Cala Mitjada may be very pretty but it proved fairly uncomfortable last night due to the swell which kept us rocking & rolling all night. P’raps that’s why everyone else was gone by 8pm?

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3 comments

  1. ‘Too sunny to read the screen…’ poor you! Oh, it sounds fab. We have had some very relaxing landlubber holidays on Mallorca and so I’m very, very jealous. As will Chris be when he hears you are visiting the nature reserves!
    Have a wonderful time.
    xxx


  2. Dear Julia and Duncan
    Sounds like you are having a great time in your new lifestyle. Much love Inge


  3. Oh Julia
    So very jealous spent many a happy hour at Cala Mitjana relaxing on the beach and swimming in those crystal clear waters. Seems ages till our holiday in September but i can sit and read you blog and dream till then.I cant believe it’s over 12 months since you left us, still miss you especially the blonde moments.
    Sue xx



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