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Matilda - Waltzing Round the Med
16/08/2014, Palma

Another overnighter took us to Palma in Mallorca where we arrived at 0700 hours in rain and grey skies, the first real rain we've seen for a couple of years, and it all looked very uninspiring. We anchored outside in the bay and luckily the day improved and we could finally see the cathedral through the mist.

The first day and night were OK but on the second, the wind came up and the sea started playing up making the boat move around uncomfortably until we both felt a bit sea sick! On the third morning, the Port officials came by and told us we weren't allowed to anchor there anyway! Wondered why we were all on our own!

We moved into La Lonja Marina and were expecting to pay an extortionate amount of money as they had quoted us €162 on a web site. It turned out to be €82 per night so we splashed out on 2 nights and gave Matilda a good clean before the family arrived.

We are berthed just below the cathedral too. Not a bad spot is it?!

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14/08/2014, Mahon

We haven't done a 'long' crossing since 2009, only a few overnights last summer and two this year so were quite keen to get one 'under our belt' and see how we, and Matilda, handled it. In the event, the 4-day crossing to Mahon was very easy albeit with a lot of motor sailing. We were lucky enough to have a full or nearly full-moon every night which always makes the night go better, and the most glorious sunsets and sunrises.

We are now anchored in Cala Teulera just inside the entrance to Mahon. The pilot book says there are moorings that can be picked up but, in fact, they have been removed and boats are 'encouraged' to go into one of the expensive marinas. We were approached in the anchorage by the Ballierics Port Authority who said it was forbidden to anchor unless all the marinas were full. And the marinas charge upwards of 100 euros per night. Quite disappointing and, needless to say, made us decide not to stay here. Maybe they have enough rich people, they don't need the rest of us!

Andy and I are had our first holiday together here in Menorca three weeks after we'd met! Neither of us can quite remember it so, when we went ashore to get a Spanish sim card, we treated ourselves to a celebratory lunch of Spanish Fish Stew and a couple of San Miguel's.

Off to Mallorca tomorrow which should take about 16 hours. Really looking forward to a few weeks there catching up with family and friends.

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En Passage to Mallorca

Just passing through the Bonafacio Strait. Sardinia on the left. Corsica on the right. 279 miles gone, 220 to go!

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Pacific Crossing of 09 Reunion
09/08/2014, Salerno

On our last big trip on Drimia, we met some fantastic cruisers and have stayed good friends with many of them. We were lucky enough to be joined by a couple of our favourites this week, Anne and Gordon off Equinox and Ian Mikado and his girlfriend, Michelle, who we hadn't met before but who managed to fit in like she'd been cruising forever! Gordon and Anne, who for some strange reason we called Morag and Flash, live in Scotland but have a house in Abruzzi in Northern Italy and Ian and Michelle are Aussies from Brisbane.
They were only able to stay with us for 5 days so we sailed a whole 83 miles (well, motored) from Salerno to Amalfi to Agropoli and back to Salerno but managed to eat and drink for most of that time and laugh. It was so good to have them with us and we tried to persuade them to come on the 4-day crossing to Mahon in Menorca but apparently they preferred to go back to Abruzzi and sample several of the local wines and eat Anne's fabulous Italian cooking. Can't think why.

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Today we did a short 10 mile hop and anchored off Amalfi. Not the most comfortable night with all the ferries and trip boats roaring past causing a lot of wash but a very pretty view from the cockpit. All over Italy they have fireworks every night during August, not sure why but probably to celebrate a Saint's Day, and we were treated to a fantastic display from one end of the bay to the other. This was followed by a flotilla of little boats roaring around us whooping and blowing horns which we enthusiastically joined in with.

Anne and Gordon off Equinox, who many of you will know from our last Pacific crossing, and Ian Mikado and his girlfriend, Michelle are on board with us for a week so it was a treat. Anne claimed they had organised is specially! Thank you. St Morag!

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