The Course is Set - To CorsicaDavid
07/15/2012, Cap Ferrat
It's been 15 days since we reached mainland France and they have been the toughest I've had in the Mediterranean so far. One of the problems is that any natural harbor that was along this coast was blocked off and made into a marina or commercial port starting 500 years ago. So there really are very few well protected bays to anchor in. Another is that the weather and wind change direction as quickly as politician do and the forecasts are usually 100% backwards. If the wind is forecast for westerlies at 10 knots, we get easterlies at 20. It's really unbelievable how quickly the wind clocks around 180 degrees and goes from zero to hurricane strength. There's a story related to this that I'll leave untold for now.
When in France…Lindy Moored
07/09/2012, Saint Tropez
Hello fellow blog readers! Lindy here. It has been some amazing days here on Palarran. I came on the vessel last Thursday, and that night we went out for dinner. Because of my dietary needs, the meal I ordered was sent to Elaina's mouth instead of mine. I ended up with pesto pasta and Elaina ate pesto ravioli. Yum! Due the motion sickness patch I decided to wear, my overall wellbeing was very impaired. It seemed that all of the side effects applied to me. I overcame a very dry mouth, semi hallucinations, extreme drowsiness, and pain around the patch. I suggest never ever ever using this form of anti-sea-sickness. Instead I recommend Bonine, which is the most amazing pill ever for seasickness. Anyway, the next morning we all enjoyed walking around Cassis. We went to a wonderful farmers market to stock up on goods. Elaina and I stopped at a bakery on the way back to the boat. I had the best muffin ever! After our grocery shopping, we all hopped on the dingy and rode off to explore. Cassis is known because of several large fjords called Calanques in French. We came across a mini port and went for a short hike and a little swim. Elaina and I treaded water while waiting for the dingy to pick us up. After that adventure, we went to a little cove and enjoyed cliff jumping and more swimming. Cliff jumping has been my all-time favorite experience so far. After getting back to the boat, the adults went to a winery for a tour while Elaina and I did some shopping. Soon after, we all went out for dinner. All the ladies went to one restaurant while the men went for mussels and fries. During our dinner, Elaina and I had to use the lue. An easy misunderstanding occurred where Elaina accidentally went into the men's bathroom. She got a very weird look from another man trying to use the restroom. When in France, right?
Passage to France then CassisDavid
We left Mahon on Minorca at 9:45am for our 220 mile passage to Marseilles. Nick took the helm as we left the dock and went to the fuel dock. He did an awesome job of maneuvering Palarran through the harbor. The wind was blowing from astern at 12 knots so we raised the spinnaker and sailed all day at between 7 and 10 knots until the wind increased to 16 knots. At that point we doused the chute and went to a single reefed main and full jib. Unfortunately that only lasted a few hours before the wind died and we motored the rest of the way.
We made it to the Cote D'Azur without any problems. We are currently anchored off the Ile de Porquerolles and I will update the blog when I get proper internet access.
Leaving the Balearic'sDavid
06/29/2012, Mahon, Minorca
To start this post, I need to send out some overdue Thank-You's. First off I'd like to thank Stosh and Kerry for their contributions in time and effort to making the crossing with me. Thank you Skinny for all you brought to the delivery also. I'll never forget our day of conversation during the gale. We both attained a greater appreciation for the sea and seamanship and a bond of friendship forged from frothy breakers. Thank you to all my co-workers back at Bel-Aire for making this lifelong dream a possibility. I think about work and how nice it would be to kick back at my desk every once in a while. Thanks Joe, Matt, and Adam and the Beckman family for joining us here in the Balearic's.
Beckman's join the adventureEmily and Kevin Beckman
We began our voyage to Soller using an iron wind (aka diesel). Thanks to our good natured captain, we were able to view the opposite side of the island we hiked the day prior. We reveled in spectacular views of mountainous topography, with sheer cliffs bordering the sea's edge. As we sit here in Palma awaiting our train back to Soller, we find it impossible to describe the enchanting beauty of this island. We later arrived at Port Soller around lunchtime. After we set anchor, we motored to shore in the dingy. Our party split into factions, separating into Chinese and Indian cuisine. Lunch was followed by a quick bit of shopping, and our young lads received their infamous "walking around money". Back on the Palarran, the master grillers delighted us with perfectly seasoned hamburger patties, as well as a tuna salad. However, our day's festivities were not yet complete as we returned once more to land to watch the Euro Cup in a local drinking establishment. In "El Canto", we witnessed Italy's victory against England. The few overzealous Brits in the bar were bloody disappointed. Our long but lovely day closed with a splash of Bailey's, and the rocking of the boat lulled us into a deep, well-deserved sleep.