: long blog alert!!
Excuse the language but that bloody swell... again. It comes to something when you're resting your arse against the shower cubicle wall in order to not fall over. Trying to cook wasn't easy either and it wasn't amusing when glasses, plates and cups started to scoot across the table whilst sat on cork mats!
As we lay awake looking at the lights twinkling away from the hotel on the beach front it looked so very inviting. So much so that we 'googled it' and drooled over the fact that for approx £500 one of us could take a room for seven consecutive nights of undisturbed sleep... bliss. Then reality kicked in and sleeping on the beach became a serious contender if it wasn't for those hungry mozzies.
We've concluded that when you're on holiday for a couple of weeks on a yacht you pretty much put up with what ever you're faced with. It is after all a holiday, something totally different from the normal routines of life. As liveaboards we've learnt that a decent night sleep is one of the most important requirements aboard in order to make calculated and safe decisions. We find ourselves for the first time ever questioning what we are doing and, for the first time ever a 9 month winter contract is seriously being considered in preference to a 6 month contract on the basis that we've only three months to contend with should the swell continue to be an issue as we head towards the eastern Mediterranean. The one thing we do know is that we're certainly not prepared to give it all up just yet as we love our cruising life afloat.
Knowing that we were actually in the "most sheltered cala on the south side" of the island we give Cala Santa Galdana the lowest of scores, a swell-ometer rating of 0/10. We weren't the only ones to have had the worst experience ever. It was only after checking the Cruising Associations, 'CAptain's Mate' that we became aware of other cruisers experiencing exactly the same issue. It was described as "RCC Pilot Book by Hutt describes this as 'most sheltered anchorage on the south coast' we can not disagree more having spent possibly the worst night ever rocking and rolling with a swell off the cliffs and rocks that appeared as it went dark. On a positive note the sea is beautiful and clear, holding is good in sand but we felt unsafe swimming due to the large number of speed boats and tourist boats coming through the anchorage at great speed. Overall disappointing and such a shame as a beautiful coast line."
With SE winds now forecast for the next few days followed by strong NE winds we decided to head clockwise around the island (rather than nose into it) towards Puerto Fornells, reported to be a long cala with a narrow entrance providing excellent shelter from all directions except that swell can find its way if gales arrive from the N or NW. We weren't sure whether anchoring was allowed now that we're in July so in the early hours we booked a mooring buoy for a whole week to allow us to catch up on sleep, visit some sights and regroup our thoughts!
At first light we were off like a shot! The swell was up, approximate 2m which made for a rolly ride until we rounded Capo Dartuch again where conditions improved dramatically to no swell, flat calm, in fact mirror-like conditions which allowed us to hug the coastline to enjoy the scenery!
Just after passing Cabo Nati we sighted another turtle - that's three turtles since entering the Med. This one was inquisitive as he lifted his head briefly to take a look at us before continuing on his way.
This part of the island is truly magnificent with its rugged coastline comprising of several calas, caves and unspoilt countryside scattered with ancient monuments such as talayots (towers), navetas (burial mounds) and taulas (T-shaped monuments).
talayots and stone walls
As we rounding Cabo Cavalleria heading SE we were outside the lee of the land with the full force of the wind and swell right on the nose again making our progress slow.
Upon our arrival in the harbour, we immediately noticed several yachts at anchor in designated areas - isn't that typical. With winds now gusting in excess of 20 knots attaching ourselves to the mooring buoy was going to be a challenge and with no marinero around we were on our own. Yet again the lasso technique worked a treat, first attempt! If you've read our previous two blogs, you will recall that there was a Frenchman who was anchored extremely close to us. In our last anchorage at Santa Galdana he turned up a few hours after our arrival but fortunately anchored some distance away and now that we've arrived here we find that he arrived shortly after - guess he's also had the worst night of his life too!
Total distance this season: 880.15 miles
Total undisturbed nights of sleep: too many!!