HALEKAI Sailing Around the World

Nancy and Burger invite you to read about their adventures afloat and ashore.

06 April 2017 | St Lucie Inlet, Florida
02 April 2017 | Stocking Island, Exuma
01 April 2017 | George Town, Exumas
30 March 2017 | George Town, Bahamas
22 March 2017 | Elizabeth Island, Exumas
09 March 2017 | George Town, Exumas
04 March 2017 | Thompson's Bay, Long Island
03 March 2017 | Stella Maris, Long Island
02 March 2017 | Long Island
26 February 2017 | Crossing from Water Cay to Comer Channel, Jumentos
25 February 2017 | Double-Breasted Cay to Thompson's Bay, Long Island
23 February 2017 | Double-Breasted Cay, Jumentos
19 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Jumentos
16 February 2017 | Duncan Town, Ragged Island
15 February 2017
14 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Jumentos
10 February 2017 | Hog Cay, the Jumentos
06 February 2017 | Duncan Town, Ragged Island
05 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Ragged Islands
05 February 2017 | Duncan Town, Ragged Island

Bali Hai

15 August 2013 | Isla Vedra, Ibiza
We had lumpy seas all day yesterday as we sailed south along the east coast of Ibiza. The anchorages were exposed to the onshore wind and the marinas were full--and would have been beyond our budget anyway. The cheapest, no-frills berth in Ibiza Town would have cost 163 EUR (over $200) a night, power and water extra! So we continued around the southern tip and anchored in a sheltered spot just around the corner, with high rock walls on two sides.

Our peace was short-lived. As dusk approached we began to be rocked by the wakes of dozens of powerboats speeding back to Ibiza Town, famous for its trendy night life. But the consolation was our sunset view of Isla Vedra up the coast, a rock island that was used as Bali Hai in the movie South Pacific. Now we have to find that movie ...

Along the Forbidding Coast

13 August 2013 | Sant Elmo, Mallorca
Photo: at anchor in Cala de la Calobra
We finally left Puerto de Pollensa yesterday, and sailed south along the dramatic, forbidding west coast. The high cliffs are honey-combed with caves and dotted with medieval round watchtowers (see photos!).

We anchored overnight at one of Mallorca's major tourist attractions, the Cala de la Calobra. There's a small sand beach and a lagoon inshore of it, in a crevice between the rocks. A narrow tunnel connects the beach with the next cove. That's where the tourists arrive, by bus or by ferry.

We arrived just before dusk after the tourists had gone and left this morning before the next bus and ferry-loads arrived, so we didn't get to experience the mayhem. Plenty of charter yachts filled the anchorage, but it was still peaceful as we dined in the cockpit in the shelter of the surrounding cliffs.

As we continued down the coast today, I noticed a large area with red trees and wondered if there was a blight, but then saw the black ground and realized there'd been a wildfire. We learned later that the fire was just two weeks ago, caused by an unattended barbecue grill. We missed the headlines about the hundreds of tourists and locals who had to be evacuated. It was the worst forest fire in Mallorca in 15 years.

We had to pay 29 EUR ($40) just to tie up to a mooring ball in Sant Elm Bay, a small beach resort area on the southwest corner of the island. Summer moorings have been laid all over the island to generate more tourist income, although in many places one can still find room to anchor if you're lucky and it's not full.

What cute little "water cars" they have here, with their mini water slides! Wish our grandkiddies were here, they'd love it. A humongous motor yacht, at least a couple of hundred feet long, is anchored behind us (see photos).

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How We Spend Our Time

12 August 2013 | Puerto de Pollensa, Mallorca
A whole week has gone by since we arrived in Mallorca. Lest my "readership" think that all we do is sail and sightsee, here's the real picture: Of our seven days in Puerto de Pollensa, only two were spent exploring the island. The rest of the time we were busy maintaining and fixing things (Burger), doing laundry, cleaning, managing our finances, route planning, blogging, etc. (me). We like to shop together and we take turns cooking, depending on who feels most inspired.

What did my Schatzi fix this week? Let's see ... without going into much detail, this time it was the outboard (cleaned carburetor, changed spark plugs), the engine (oil change), the starter battery (replaced, but it didn't fix the starter problem) and the electric system, which is very complicated with our dual 110/220 volt set-up. Depending on the situation, the batteries can be charged by shore power, the generator, the engine, the wind generator, the towing generator, the solar panels, or a combination of two or more.

Whenever Burger starts fuming while troubleshooting a problem, I just lay low till he's fixed it, more confident than he is that he'll figure it out. Which he always does. Then he beams with pride, and gets a big kiss. :)

A Lovely Day in Palma

11 August 2013 | Palma, Mallorca
We didn't want to leave Mallorca without visiting Palma, the largest yachting center of the Balearics and perhaps the Med, and a port city of almost half a million people. And we're so glad we did! We had no idea what an attractive city it is. Instead of sailing there we took the convenient, hour-long nonstop bus from Pollensa.

It was easy to explore the old town by foot, with its many pedestrian lanes and restricted traffic district. There are many modern sculptures and architecture mixed in with the old, making it a delightful place to explore. The weather was sunny and breezy, perfect. There were lots of shady, tree-lined streets. A two-lane bike path wound its way all throughout the city, with bikes for rent at the bus/train station.

A strange bit of street entertainment we'd never encountered before: a costumed person would appear to be sitting on air, holding onto a post with one arm. The most charming one was a black man who expressed his pleasure with a large white-toothed grin and a shout of glee each time someone added to his donation jug. (See photo: can you guess what's holding him up?)

We stopped to visit a contemporary museum of Spanish art, Museu FundaciĆ³n Juan March, housed in a beautifully restored 17th century mansion. It was a small collection but there were works by Picasso, Miro and Dali among others. We added to our own art collection by buying a mobile inspired by Miro.

While having lunch in a cafe, we marveled at the hordes of cruise ship tourists who were shopping across the street in, of all things, a Disney store! Why would you want to buy Disney stuff in Mallorca??

About the only Moorish remains left in the city are the Banyos Arabes, a Muslim hamam that was once part of a larger estate. We took a quick tour and then rested on a bench in the peaceful garden.

Palma's main tourist attraction is the huge limestone Gothic cathedral that dominates the waterfront, built after the Spanish conquered the islands from the Moors in the 13th century. We've seen so many churches and cathedrals that we're a bit jaded by now, but this cathedral was amazing. The altar was redesigned a hundred years ago quite unconventionally by Antonio Gaudi, and a side altar was reformed recently by Mallorcan artist Miquel Barcelo, most unusually and amid a lot of controversy (see photos). Many of the stained glass windows are magnificent.

We walked along the waterfront park past the several marinas. We decided to give the palace and the castle a miss, as just too much for one day, and made our way back to the bus station, stopping en route for ice coffee. It was a particularly lovely day.

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A Spectacular Road Trip

08 August 2013 | Mallorca, Balearics
Photo: View of Puerto Soller from the town of Soller.

The weather of the western Mediterranean is often unpredictable, with days of calm common in summer. We set out from Bonifacio under power and were pleasantly surprised when the wind picked up from the north for several hours, saving us fuel while allowing us to sail along the rugged north coast of Sardinia at a brisk 7-8 knots. It was 300 miles to our next destination Mallorca in the Balearics.

By sunset the wind died and we motored through the night, a pattern that continued till we reached Puerto de Pollensa on the north coast. There we anchored in the crowded bay, encircled by craggy but beautiful mountains. The next day we were able to get a berth in the marina, so we could leave the boat securely while we did some sightseeing around the island.

We rented a car for a day and drove along windy steep roads along the northwest coast, stopping first at the 13th century monastery of Lluch, famous among other things for the contributions of Spanish artist Antonio Gaudi. Though there were several large tour buses in the parking lot the grounds were large enough to absorb the masses without it being crowded.

Next we drove on for lunch at Fornalutx (never did learn how to pronounce that final "tx"), touted by our Rough Guide as the prettiest town on the island. It was indeed pretty, with its honey-colored houses and quaint cobblestoned lanes decorated profusely with potted plants.

From there we drove to the beach town of Puerto de Soller, which was packed full of tourists. We had considered it as our next port but seeing how crowded the busy the little harbor is, we've decided to give it a miss. There was also a surge coming in the entrance, causing some boats to rock violently. No thanks!

Onward to Deya, where poet Robert Graves spent much of his life. Deya competes with Fornalutx for the beauty prize, in our opinion. Wealthy villas enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, cliffs and ocean.

Our last stop was yet another beautiful place, Valldemossa, made famous by George Sands and Frederic Chopin who spent the cold, dreary winter of 1838-39 in the centuries old Cartuja de Valldemossa (monastery). After exploring the small town we restored our energy with ice cream and capucchino while people watching outside the monastery walls.

The road south led out of the mountains to the bypass road around Palma, where we stopped in to shop at the largest Lidl's we've seen yet. Then we drove north along the fast highway, through the flat central plain of Mallorca, back "home."

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Vessel Name: Halekai
Vessel Make/Model: Alden 50 Center Cockpit
Hailing Port: Berlin
Crew: Nancy and Burger Zapf
About:
We sailed around the world in stages aboard Halekai, leaving Annapolis, Maryland in 2004. After several seasons in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, Halekai was shipped from Thailand to Turkey to avoid the pirates in June 2011. [...]
Extra:
We left Germany aboard our first boat, Phantasus, a LeComte NorthEast 38, and crossed the Atlantic in 1975. Six years later we spent a year sailing her from the US East Coast to the South Pacific. After acquiring Halekai, our Alden 50, in 1993, we cruised extensiviely up and down the US East [...]
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