Trip on Pina Colada starting 2018-09-01 in BSAOct18
Sailing in Mallorca September 1 – 8 – report by Ian Collins
Boat: Elan 43 ‘Pina Colada’
I would like to start by saying a big thank you to Kath and Rhian for inviting me, also how upset and concerned I was on hearing about Kath’s accident and hospitalisation. Particularly knowing how damned annoyed she’d be at missing the trip.
It was an early flight from Bristol where I joined Rhian and her friend Marguerite. On arrival we took a bus to the harbour in Palma. Then a lengthy wait while the Spanish staff attempted to placate the German hirers and get them on their way. We became slaves to our stomachs and needed to eat so advised the office that we were heading into town and they could sort us out in the morning. They looked both grateful and relieved. We found a pleasant café with tables outdoors in a square close by and ate while awaiting the arrival of Sue Fowle who had taken Kath’s place.
Sorted and victualled by 1100 we sailed away from Palma. The advantage of our late start was being able to see that most boats were heading south, so we headed west. With the sails raised, in a reasonable wind and a calm sea we rounded Pta de Cala Figuera and Isla El Toro and around 1800 we anchored opposite the beach at Cala de Pellicas. Using the dinghy we motored in and found the only restaurant open. “Scuba” it didn’t look appealing but something about “beggars and choice” came to mind and as often happens the food was good and the service delightful. Then back to find the boat in the dark. We managed, and so followed a quiet night.
Monday we made our way back across Palma Bay in light winds on a calm sea rounding Capo Blanco and heading for Rapita which has a modern marina with good facilities but is some way from the town. We made use of the excellent on-site restaurant. Here I make a note to myself to practise stern-to mooring. Primarily I’m a channel sailor and realised I had only moored that way maybe four times in about six years.
On Tuesday around 1000 we sailed out to a lively sea and some good sailing. We headed south to pass between the two largest of the nature reserve islands, Isla Conajera and I. de Cabrera, well worth doing just to see the amazing strata in the rocks. Then back toward the mainland passing close to the lighthouse on Isla Horadad to an anchorage in a lovely secluded bay, well protected from the prevailing south easterly wind just north west of Pte Salinas. This was a really pleasant stay. Gin and tonics, a pasta dinner, dessert and of course wine. In the morning the reason for this tranquillity made itself known. We were visited by the “Vigilante”. No, not in retaliation for the Arrmada. This very attractive young lady on a rib emblazoned Vigilante on both boat and tee shirt came to advise us that we had anchored in a conservation area with a full explanation of the what’s and why’s. We apologised but pointed out that it wasn’t marked on our chart, she forgave us. Then added it was a recent designation and as such wasn’t on the charts.
Well breakfasted and cooled by a swim headed away round Cabo Salinas around 1030 straight into the wind. We motored north east close to the coast that became more developed the farther we travelled. This part of the coast offered the potential for anchoring in many small bays, except, many others had got there before us. Around 1400 we arrived at Cala D’Or with its marina; busy, but able to accommodate. This left us a comfortable distance for a two stage return to Palma. In the evening we sat on the lawn of the prestigious Yacht Club for G&T’s before strolling along past many large and pretentious floating plastic palaces for a fish meal at “Raputa” that was going to be halibut, that by the time we were seated turned out to have swum away. But we had no lasting complaints as the alternatives were very acceptable.
After breakfast at the Yacht Club we sailed out and back toward Cabo Salinas, this time with good winds and a lively sea. Sue had noticed a small tear on the sail, second batten down from the head and it was as we neared the point, sailing well, that it tore right across saved between the stitching at the luff and leech. We carefully lowered the main and continued on sailing well with the only the Genoa to anchor behind Isla Montana in the bay south of Pto Colonia St Jordi not too far from several other yachts. I do so love anchoring where the bottom can be clearly seen and the tidal range measured in inches not metres. I was swimming several hundred metres from the boat when once again the “Vigilante” stopped by but with no one on deck she didn’t linger. I’m thinking, hopefully, courtesy call?
The final day and we weighed anchor and rounded Capo Blanco crossing Palma Bay to fuel at Puerto Portas Super Yacht marina. Here we were overshadowed but it’s the same sea and as long as the sun shone, why should we care. At Palma the staff asked that we raft alongside several others including a large catamaran with a high freeboard and lofty safety netting. It was pointed out that Sue would never be able to get off the boat with that sort of obstacle course but after some searching they found us a place moored stern to (the staffs’ reversing was no better than mine). We tided ourselves and headed in for a meal. The town was packed but we eventually found a place with a table and had another really good meal.
Our afternoon flight allowed for a morning sightseeing and for me, revisiting sights and memories of earlier holidays. Then a final drink at the harbour side. A taxi to the airport and the flight home.
I’ve left the boat to last. An Elan Impression 43 named Pina Colada. Roomy, comfortable, but showing its age a little. I did some small repairs while we were in charge. It’s a boat that appears to have been built with Mediterranean Charters in mind and for what we experienced it was adequate. For a 43 foot boat a larger rudder and a few more horses added to the 28 it already has would have helped when close handling as she was slow to respond. The galley was well equipped. The cabins were comfortable with two heads one of which boasted a quite large shower. So no complaints it did the job and we were on holiday.
Rhian and Sue were a first class crew and made my time sailing in the Med a joy. Thank you girls; and Kath get well soon to sail soonest.