Trip on Gael starting 2016-06-01 in BSAJune16

Mallorca June 2016 – report by Becky Goddard

Boat: ‘Gael’ - Sun Odyssey 439 (4 cabins) via Cruesa charters and UK agents Nautilus

Skipper: Bob Buchanan

Crew: Becky Goddard, Mick Mahady, Hugh Hayward, Colin Evans, Kevin Lay and David Winks

After a few days enjoying the island of Mallorca we gathered at the pontoon for handover on June 2nd after tracking down the charter company who had not informed us they had moved offices as well as berths!

After a delivery of all the pre-ordered necessaries from a local Spar shop we slipped moorings and managed a short sail to Cala Portals where we dropped the hook and set to preparing dinner. That was when we discovered that the oven part of the cooker wasn’t working! Cooking for 7 on two rings was challenging but we rang the charterers about the problem so that a repair or replacement could be arranged for our next stop at Port Soller.

Sadly the lack of wind meant we motored to Soller on the next day while Kev rigged a fishing line (he didn’t catch anything).We dinghyed ashore for dinner and discovered a big leak in the dinghy – wet feet and one dead phone (Becky’s – it was in a plastic bag!)

Next day we waited for the arrival of Pepe who didn’t look old enough to drive let alone fix a cooker. Whilst waiting we took the dinghy ashore for a bit of shopping and showers and landed near the centre of town – where we were hustled off because it was Spanish navy moorings only!

Pepe arrived about 11 am but couldn’t solve the problem – it seemed that the gas valve as well as the thermocouple were u/s .Pepe installed a new thermocouple but said further repairs would have to be done later. We said we were going to Pollensa next day where we would be on a quayside – easier for loading a new cooker!

We left Soller about 1300 but had to motor again until passing the northern tip of the island when we tried a genoa in very light winds! We ate ashore again in Pollensa!

The next day (Sunday) we waited and waited for Pepe as well as ringing him only to find his phone off. At 11.30 we decided to go as the passage was a long one to Minorca – we left and were pleased to find some wind F3 close hauled. As we were raising the sails we noticed one of our fenders making a bid for freedom so we did a MOB exercise (sharpened by the cost of a replacement). (Pepe texted to say he was on his way to Pollensa about 1300 so we texted him not to bother!) We dropped the hook in Cala Santa Galdana about 20.30 – a lovely bay with some new ugly hotels fringing it! At least we could swim the next day! The race between Bob (67), Colin (52) and Dave (80) back to the boat from the shore was won resoundingly by Dave!!!

We noticed the aft hull was pretty weedy and the rudder was covered in barnacles. Not good for a boat at the beginning of the season!

Monday morning saw us having more swims before leaving for Port Mahon about 12.30 – we managed to sail most of it and berthed about 20.00 in Port Mahon marina. We ate ashore in a great restaurant and wove our way back to the boat absolutely full of food and wine!

Next morning saw us all going ashore for breakfast and some shopping (beer stocks were getting perilously low). Chasing Dave to hurry up he replied he’d go on the next dinghy load – he hadn’t realised the implications of being in the marina!!

We left the marina about 10.30 but had to motor for over 9 hours to Cala de Canamel on the south east coast of Mallorca. After the exceedingly boring crossing between the islands more drink was taken that evening than usual and in the cockpit great hilarity was raised when Micks heavy and heavy duty torch went off the bathing platform in about 4 metres of water – it stayed alight for some time so the professional diver (Colin) put a marker buoy (empty mayo bottle weighted with a fishing lead) down so we could try to retrieve it in the morning when sober! He managed it free diving and when rinsed and dried out it worked again!

We left this lovely bay and motor/sailed to Porto Cristo arriving about 15.00. This seemed to be a marina full of German boats visited only for a few weeks per year – not much good for the local economy! The meal ashore that night was a bit scant so everyone was up and hungry for a substantial breakfast next morning! Some went ashore for a cooked breakfast including beans!

We left for our last night’s anchorage at Porto Campos (San Jordi) about 11.00 and had to motor till we were round the southeastern tip of the island. Although the sea state was a bit swelly the sea settled down about 19.00 and we dinghyed ashore for dinner. This is only a small village/town so the choice of eateries was very limited but very good!

The next day – our last – we left the millpond bay after swimming and motored back to Palma our home berth arriving about 16.00 after refueling. (We did approx 42 hours motoring and bought 145 litres of fuel! Wonder how much that dirty hull and rudder slowed us down?) 266 miles travelled!

We did the hand over fairly promptly after our arrival but did make complaints about the cooker. We have used Cruesa Charters many times before but we felt the level of service and boat condition was poor. We will be making our feelings known to Nautilus Yacht Charters also and probably won’t be using them again.

One crew member left for the airport that evening but the rest of us slept on board and wobbled around Palma on the Saturday prior to flying home in the evening. Once again Thanks Bob for a great trip – let’s do it again next year – Southern Ionian?