XII Bar Blues - A trip round the bay

19 June 2016 | Cabrera
19 June 2016 | Palma
07 June 2016 | Portocolom
07 June 2016 | Portocolom
02 June 2016 | Mahon
29 May 2016 | Fornells
24 June 2015 | Port Cros
17 June 2015 | Rade de la Badine
17 June 2015 | La Ciotat
27 July 2014 | Port Napoleon
06 July 2014 | Cala Santa Ponsa
24 June 2014 | Cala San Vicente
22 June 2014 | Cala Bassa
17 June 2014 | Call de S'Oli, Formentera
15 June 2014 | Palma Nova
12 June 2014 | Portocolom
07 June 2014 | Fornells, Menorca
03 June 2014 | Golf du Lion
28 May 2014 | Port Napoleon
25 August 2013 | French Riviera

Cabrera Lizard

19 June 2016 | Cabrera
JMP

Contrasts

19 June 2016 | Palma
JMP
Cruising under sail provides contrasts, some quite stark. The pensioners made their way from Portocolom, via a delightful mooring in Porto Petro where they had a sandy Cala all to themselves for a while, to the Island of Cabrera which is the centrepiece of the marine national park off the south east coast of Mallorca.

The island boasts a large natural harbour in which the authorities have laid just fifty moorings (just as well, much of the harbour is very deep). This provides security for the visiting yottie and peaceful surroundings as the buoys are well spaced with around 100 metres between them in some cases. Apart from the "cantina", left over from the days when the Spanish military ran the place, there is no commerce ashore. A guide can be arranged for more serious walking but the designated paths provide enough variety for the casual stroller who can take in a modest but interesting museum and, if feeling energetic, an uphill walk to the fort that guards the harbour entrance.

Wildlife includes a lizard said to be unique to the island (well done Darwin) and nesting Ospreys. The pensioners spotted a falcon, perhaps a peregrine or perhaps Eleonora's falcon.

So thence to anchor off Palma Nova. Any prejudices the reader might have about this place are probably right. The anchorage itself is sound enough but the shoreline is covered in large hotels themselves surrounded by bars and restaurants doing a excellent job of parting vacationing football supporters from their cash. (There's some sort of footy tournament going on). All good stuff if you like that sort of thing but the pensioners stayed afloat prior to making a pilotage passage to berth in the marina belonging to the Real Club Nautico Palma.

The contrast between this rather swish establishment and the average south-coast-of-England yacht club is striking. Lots of marble, two swimming pools, three restaurants and a 950 berth marina. Makes most Yacht Clubs in Blighty look like a garden shed.

Progress 2

07 June 2016 | Portocolom
JMP

Progress 1

07 June 2016 | Portocolom
JMP
So here's a couple of pics to show what's been happening to yachts and their design over the past forty years or so.

We have, as our next-door neighbours in Portocolom, on Mallorca's east coast, a Swan 65 ketch designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built to the highest standards in Finland by Nautor. It is elegant, beautifully made, efficient and a joy to behold. Then we have something which is none of those things, a Leopard 48 catamaran built in South Africa. The catamaran does make a tolerable apartment with an anchor however.

Adventures at Isla Colom

02 June 2016 | Mahon
JMP
The Three Pensioners are now down to two, one having reached the view that the pleasures of Salcombe in the rain outweigh the attractions of Mahon in the sunshine. Such diversity of opinion is, of course, the stuff of the Yottin community and fuels the fascinating debates about things like the relative merits of different mainsail reefing systems about which yotties care a lot and about which the rest of the populace couldn't give a stuff.

The mooring buoy in the delightful Bahia de Fornells was dropped on 30th May and passage made to an anchorage behind Isla Colom on Menorca's east coast. Another delightful spot, far from crowded, which provided the perfect setting for what we will here call "adventures". Details of these escapades are classified in order to sustain the reputations of those involved. In any case all good fun and an excellent prelude to tapas at the bar on the front in the nearby village.

Motor boaters might be interested to know that we shared the anchorage with "Nahlin" (300 ft, built 1930, currently the property of Sir James Dyson and with an interesting history)

XII Bar Blues is now, unusually, in a Marina (in downtown Mahon) and the crew are applying themselves to the task of researching the bar and restaurant options available locally.

Striking out for Menorca

29 May 2016 | Fornells
JMP
It is, of course, not in the remotest bit surprising to find that Johnny Frog (JF) is on strike again (over some rather modest reforms to the labour laws which mostly don't have any effect on those on strike). It is, however, bloody annoying that one cannot buy diesel when you need it. Thus the crew of XII Bar Blues found themselves hanging around filling stations instead of hanging around bars which is their more natural habitat.

A decent weather window for a trip to Menorca was in prospect on Mr Noah's Grib files but with the likelihood of a calm patch after 24 hours and hence the desire for full tanks.

In the end good luck prevailed and under the glowering stares of the locals, jerry cans were filled and taken to the boat. The DS did a good job of trying to explain that this was needed and not greedy stockpiling. This brave effort at improving international relations was , as is usual in the socialist heaven, met with that shrugging business for which JF enjoys fame.

31 hours and 215 miles later the 3 Pensioners aboard ( not the same 3 as the last Balearic adventure) picked up a mooring buoy in Fornells on the north coast of Menorca. Mr Noah's forecast turned out to be spot on and fast reaching conditions prevailed for the first 18 hours or so followed by the light winds that made the fuel run a necessity.

Es Cranc maintains its high standards for straightforward grub at low prices and the Pensioners will make a second visit in three days in order to adhere to the audit standards of a certain well-known yacht club.

Tio Pepe has been procured so that the tradition of an Occasional Small Sherry can be upheld. The skipper is convinced that he read (doubtless in an august scientific journal) that the aforementioned OSS is exempt from the governments guidelines on these matters - anyhow it's none of their business !
Vessel Name: XII Bar Blues
Vessel Make/Model: X-Yachts X-442
Hailing Port: Lymington, Hampshire, England
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Created 26 June 2009