Wind in the Balearics

July 19, 2012

Nice allusion to that classic boating tale, Wind in the Willows I thought.  And appropriate too as the winds once again dominate our life just at the moment.  We’re swinging on a buoy in Porto Colom yet again as we wait for the wind to blow itself out.  Indeed, it may even be the same buoy we used when Naomi and Ken were here…..


Tanya and Jack with Duncan aboard “Blank Canvas” – we owe them a drink!


We left you as J’s sister, Lizzie, departed “Rampage” in Pollenca.  We accompanied her to Palma to see her off although not before having a few excitements over her passport (left on the boat,) and my kindle (left at the bus stop.)  Suffice to say it all ended happily, thank goodness and on our return to Rampage that evening we discovered a note from Jack and Tanya who we met originally whilst overwintering in Barcelona.  We made contact and arranged to get together for a drink aboard “Blank Canvas” after Jinny’s arrival.  In the meantime, having moved out to the anchorage, the winds having finally abated, we hired a car and returned to Palma 24 hours later to pick Jinny up at the airport.  On returning to Pollenca we had a great meal in a tapas bar before heading on out to the boat.  We remained on the anchor for a second night in order to spend time with Jack and Tanya before setting off for Minorca.  Yes, we actually made it there this time, anchoring off Ciudadela.  Jinny had had difficulty sleeping the first two nights due to the noise of water lapping.  Her third night was spent in a very rock and rolly anchorage in Ciudadela but this time she slept like a log.  Was she starting to get her sea legs or maybe it was all the wine she & J consumed that evening?…. 


Jinny enjoys the warm Mediterranean sea!


From there we went round the corner of the island to the north shore and on to Fornells, where we picked up a buoy and settled in for a couple of days.  On the Saturday, J and I left Jinny on board whilst we went ashore to do the shopping.  As we made our way back to the tender, we met Jane and Clive from “Jane G” coming the opposite direction.  So we had a coffee and arranged to meet up that evening for a drink or two…..

Jinny with Clive aboard “Jane G” …


… and Jane G herself!

We remained in Fornells for a further couple of days; there appeared to be some sort of minor fiesta going on so there were lots of craft and food stalls to browse.   

The cake stall which so delighted our guest!

We then made our way round to Mahon, having been told that the anchorage there was once again open to boats to spend up to 3 nights there.  It is a lovely little place, fairly crowded but very picturesque under the walls of the old fortifications.  At the behest of the mate, we rose at 0615 next morning however and departed soon after, heading to Porto Colom in order to be back on Mallorca in comfortable time for Jinny’s return to the UK.  We had a good trip there, mostly on the motor as there was little or no wind.


We’ve been on the buoy here ever since.  Jinny left on 12 July, catching the bus to Palma and then a second one on to the airport; once again there was a drama on her departure due to a delay in the bus to Palma which led to her catching her flight by the skin of her teeth.


Now, there has been bereavement in the “Rampage” familyw this week.  Our dinghy, which has been showing signs of age, finally decided to settle into a terminal decline.  The deck started to come undone from the tubes, threatening to dump any passengers straight into the water.  Surgery was attempted but, sadly, it failed.  So we decided, reluctantly, that the poor old thing should be put out of its misery and a new one purchased.  So having seen Jinny off last Thursday, we once again we hired a car and drove to Palma (I think we may be single-handedly keeping the rental companies in business!) the next day to visit various chandleries and bought a new, somewhat smaller, dinghy.  We are not yet settled on whether to keep it or not, as it may prove to be too small – it can best be described as a minimal dinghy!  Ah well, at least we no longer have 3 or 4 inches of water sloshing round our ankles as we make our way ashore!

Our new and “rampaging” (if somewhat minimal) dinghy


After Jinny left, the winds were quite high and from the north, so we stayed on the buoy in Porto Colom several days.  No real excitements except for Saturday, when the winds were at their peak.  I had, I thought, tied the brand new dinghy securely to the back of the boat.  J and I sat below ignoring the shrieking of the rigging and general swaying round of the boat as the wind vented itself.  Then I happened to look out of the back of the boat – errrrr, no dinghy. 


You get a feeling of slight panic on discovering something like this, especially when there’s a gale blowing, as it means you’re stuck on board and can’t get ashore, since trying to come alongside anywhere in such a wind is not something to be undertaken lightly.  Nothing else for it: I put a tee shirt, shoes, towel and mobile phone into a dry bag and swam ashore to hunt for the dinghy on the lee shore of the bay.  Luckily, Porto Colom bay is almost completely enclosed so there was little chance of the dinghy having made it to the open sea.


In the end, I spotted the dinghy being rescued in the middle of the bay by another yachtsman.  Setting out from his catamaran in his own tender, he had caught up with ours and then his own  outboard failed; he took some of our fuel but still couldn’t get his engine going, so he transferred to our dinghy and made his way back to his catamaran.  In the meantime, I was doing my impression of a mad man on the shore, trying to attract his attention.  This failed but his companion on board did spot me and to our relief we were reunited with the dinghy.


Our very memorable meal out for J’s birthday


That evening, it being J’s birthday, we went out for supper, winding up in a restaurant  looking over mooring.  J had mussels to start whilst I had garlic prawns followed by a chateaubriand, accompanied by an excellent bottle of rose.  Still not too sure of how we made it back to the boat ….


To demonstrate just how very windy it was, our line to the mooring buoy wore right through! Thankfully the skipper had had the foresight to put on a second “safety” line as insurance!


Monday was still too windy to leave, so we stayed for one more night before heading north towards Pollenca again, stopping off in Cala Molto that night.  At the moment we are on a mooring buoy under the lighthouse but plan to go over to the anchorage tomorrow for several reasons.  Firstly we need fuel, water and victuals and also it is very rock and rolly here with the wake from all the passing power boats (mostly Italian!) and day trip boats.  Not sure we would recommend it although the water is lovely and clear here for swimming.  Indeed we dug out our scuba gear this morning in order to clean the hull but decided very  quickly that little needed doing other than the waterline.  J’s hard work keying the coppercoat whilst we were on the hard has obviously paid off.

Some of the many highly decorated boats in Porto Colom Bay on Monday evening as the town celebrated some fiesta or other – we joined in with all the fun!



  1. Ah just typical, i leave and all the fun starts! Wish I could have seen the skipper searching for the dinghy, no pics J ???
    Well done for putting on the extra rope Dinky, must have been a hell of a wind, J and I would have had to see off more wine to sleep I think. XXXX

    • Er no pics – didn’t think it was politic!

  2. where are you guys actually trying to go to anyway???
    Terri x

    • Good question! We’re somewhat unclear ourselves. Came to the Balearics principally to meet up with Naomi and family and have stayed in this area as others come to join us. We hope to head up to the French/Spanish border with Maggie & Colin, meet up briefly with Polly & Tommy in mid August and then bimble around that area until D’s other sister flies into BCN in Sept. Will make our way south after that but no definite plans re the winter yet.

  3. Lovely little dinghy – so glad she isn’t lost at sea.

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