After spending a few days in Sóller (Mallorca), it’s time to move on and continue exploring the island. We head to Pollensa, in the northern side of Mallorca, which seems to be a natural step before jumping to Menorca.
As we reported in our previous blog post, on Sunday 28th March we arrived in Sóller, after a 19 hour crossing from Barcelona. This was the first time I managed to sleep soundly on a crossing, maybe the fact that the engine was off for the entire trip helped me relax with the sound of the sea…Flavio on the other hand, was not so lucky and only managed to sleep for one hour. When we arrived, it was hot (24C) so we immediately got changed, put some shorts on and went straight to a terrace to have a deserved breakfast (it was 12:00pm by then). From there we waited for Fred, Steph and Roc (our friends from the Maritim in Barcelona and their dog). We had some beers & lunch together and Fred picked up a a very good place, nearby a roundabout…
Then they took us to the lovely inland town of Sóller (it can be accessed from Port of Sóller by taking an old tram). In the afternoon, they drove us back to our “floating home” and we took a powerful and needed siesta: after a one day crossing you end up pretty knackered, jet-lagged and land-sick (the opposite of seasick).
The next Monday, when we woke up and climbed the ladder that takes to the cockpit, we realized that we were no longer in Barcelona…where the hell are we? It’s indeed an awkward feeling: when we are inside the boat we don’t realize, and actually forget, that we are no longer in Barcelona. We now wake up in different places almost every day and we are constantly surprised by the ever changing external world.
The long Easter weekend was approaching and we took the opportunity to move north. At 9:00am we left Port de Sóller behind and visited Cala Tuent for a quick stop: it’s a little bay surrounded by cliffs and trees, we could have easily spent the entire day there…but we had to continue if we wanted to get to Pollença before dusk. But after 30 minutes of navigation, we stopped at Cala Calobra, where we met with Gerard (another friend from the Club Maritimo in Barcelona). Cala Calobra is described as one of the best anchorages in Mallorca, and I have to agree with that statement: it’s a paradisal place that you definitely want to visit if you happen to be in Mallorca.
After having a nice aperitif with Gerard & Co. we continued our journey to Pollença: the wind, as predicted, was against us so we had to motor. We had the opportunity to see the Formentor Lighthouse very closely from the sea, I had only seen it by land when I visited Mallorca with friends…
We got to Pollença at 6:30pm and we took a berth at PortsIB. The next day, we decided to rent a bike to visit Alcudia: a town that pleasantly surprised us, with its ancient walls and narrow well-kept streets. There we had lunch at Básico Steak House: a restaurant that had just opened – it was a great experience, super friendly staff and first-rate products, what else should you ask for? After lunch, we continued our journey to Bonaire, where we enjoyed a nice bike tour along orchards paths with nice smells of green, grass and flowers.
The next day we set course for Ciutadella (Menorca): as usual we looked again and againthe weather forecast: we got plenty of wind when we left the dock (not ideal) but the the wind was unstable as we were exiting the bay. Finally – as expected – as we moved away from land the the wind settled and we got stable wind of 10-12 knots coming from 120º (broad reach) and it was clearly the time to hoist our beloved “Genny” (the gennaker sail).
At first we were a bit reluctant, as we wanted to make sure that the wind was stable enough both in strength and direction, but after a few minutes it was clear that had no more excuses to wait. It’s far to say that since October, Flavio was working to get the bowsprit (a spar running out from a ship’s bow, used to improve the gennaker performance) installed, it’s been one of the most time-consuming projects so far, so there were lots of expectations for this moment…it’s not an easy sail to handle and you need to practice and be well-coordinated. We succeeded at the first attempt and we enjoyed very much the following 5 hours sailing as we were making direct course to Ciutadella.
Upon our arrival at Ports IB (public port where we had reserved a berth) we went to a nearby restaurant to get some typical menorquin food and collected the dock keys.
As a side note: this was a special day for me, as Athletic Bilbao was playing the football “Copa del Rey” final against Real Sociedad. I had big expectations for the match, till the match started…
While we were watching the game, we opened a cider bottle that was kindly given to us by the crew of the boat “Andoko” last summer in Ibiza… zorionak bikote (something like, congrats in basque language….). In 15 days’ time, I will wear again the Athletic shirt as we are playing another Copa del Rey final, this time against Barça.
On Sunday, the tramontana (wind from N-NE) was blowing and we took advantage to visit Ciutadella. We had a long walk and discovered some very nice hidden places: Ciutadella is definitely a well recommended stop for those visiting the island.
On Easter Monday we sailed to the south and spent the day anchored in Cala Macarella – Macarelleta, Cala En Turqueta and Cala Son Saura: some of the nicest beaches in Menorca with crystal clear water, still too cold to have a swim though.
On Tuesday we had to work, so before booting up my PC I went to the nearby Fish Market and bought a fresh Cap Roig (scorpion fish). All in all, it’s been a very full week, which gave us a good flavour of what the Balearic Islands have to offer in spring time.