I always find it funny when you make an unplanned decision to do something and then it leads to much more than just that change of plans. In this case, our change of plans to stop for the winter in Spain. Who would've thought we'd still be here 9 months later! The truth is, Spain is an unexpected gem. It suits us in so many ways. We really like it here and it has such a good vibe. People are so kind and laid back, even to pedestrians and bikes- what a concept! And we haven't even seen half of it. That is the trouble with moving at a snail's pace on the boat. We sometimes long for the fast lane. But we can say we have cruised the Baleares well and it is almost time to move on. There is so much more to see. Every time I look at the Italy, Greece and France guides sitting on the shelf I obsess a little about not having done enough in those places.
We've checked out numerous more anchorages and pretty spots on Menorca over the past couple of weeks. More sandy beaches where to have not is better than to have when it comes to beachware. We are opting to have, since we are noticing more freckles by the day... And to think that in Australia the staff went around at public events squirting sunscreen into the palms of anyone who wanted some. "Slip, slop, slap" I think was the campaign. We did more hiking of course, some more swims where we saw a photogenic octopus, not to mention a photogenic us! The water had silt in the shallows that day but it was still clear enough. It was fun to see the historic city of Mahon, but it didn't supply us with the air conditioned museums we were hoping for. The best eclairs we've ever tasted though! And an unforgettable anchorage.
It seems like the past week or so the temps have moved up the ladder some and the sun is baking us & the boat. They say its a dry heat but we take sweat showers regularly on hikes and now carry sports drink to stay upright. Jon says he's getting twinges of Asia. But it is true the islands would be more humid. I sometimes carefully study the satellite image of a trail area to see if I can spot areas with a good density of trees and then we zero in on that area of the coast for anchoring. Sick! The Med is of course, very dry. But it isn't unusual to have a heavy dew overnight. We use our watermaker for all the water we need and I clean the deck with a heavy cloth using the dew. Because we haven't had to crash & bash since I don't know when, the deck stays pretty salt free so its easy to keep up with it. Helps with the varnish & the stainless. Our old girl is 31 this year! But she doesn't look it. Anyway, you never see anyone wasting water here. Never see anyone rinsing their boat or any "free" spigots to take water from. It is a precious commodity for sure.
We found a wide dock and brought our mainsail in to measure it for the new sail we are trying to order. It tore as we were getting it back on and generally looks like a rag so no doubt it needs replacing but as usual, it seems hard to get anyone to take our money. There seems to be such fits & starts in communication and when it comes time to actually finalize the order and take payment for the work, everything seems to break down. We had the same experience in other countries. We don't get it.
On the side, we continue to put time into our website Venture Farther that shares info on cruising destinations, satellite images, position reporting and marker based e-books. Jon has a lifetime of great ideas and programming tasks to keep him busy over his coffee and I am studiously entering markers for the places we're visiting. And it is growing! Members are adding markers (one guy is going at it entering info for the Netherlands like crazy) and I'm getting some competition with staying on top for total markers entered, which is a good thing. We continue to regularly download satellite files ourselves because even though you wouldn't expect it, many anchorages are poorly charted here with very few soundings. It was funny we even had one anchorage that had this huge, tall, rock- like a small island that wasn't on the chart at all.
And now we are back on Mallorca getting close to working our way back to the mainland. We would like to pull into the city of Cartagena, shoehorn our way into our favorite style of berthing- the Med-Moor, and then after a quick boat washdown (under cover of darkness even though it is metered), rent a car to travel inland some. There are some famous places to see like Seville, the Alhambra palace, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Cordoba. We're ready for some life in the fast lane! We'll see how much we can pack in.
Things have gotten busier here, especially at weekends and I thought this picture was so funny. Everyone was having such a nice time though, including us, enjoying the full on feel of summer boating in the Med!