Thursday 16th July
We had a lovely night sail to Mallorca Tuesday night. We had left Cala Salona for the other side of Formentera where reportedly there was a supermarket close to the anchorage at Cala Pujols. We entered another beautiful bay with again turquoise sea and dramatic cliffs, these full of caves and nooks and crannies.
We headed for shore to get some lunch and stock up the cupboards, we spotted a rough stone jetty to the west of the main beach, keen not to have to park the dingy on the beach we diverted and tied up. Above, was what looked at first sight to be just another beach cafe but turned out to be a delightful, if a trifle expensive restaurant – Chez Gerdi. The meal started with a complimentary glass of Cava and a small portion of gazpacho, as we perused the menu the discussion turned to putting off our night sail and enjoying a long boozy lunch and an afternoon snooze. It is such a privilege to have such freedom – “it’s nice here let’s stay”. As it turned out we had a long but unboozy lunch, got to the supermarket, Penny satisfied her shopping itch in the local boutiques and with the anchorage again filling with yachts we decided to set sail, leaving just an hour later than planned.
It was Stephens first night sail and the first for many years for Penny, they couldn’t have asked for a more enchanting night. An hour after leaving we were treated to a magnificent sunset, the sky was full of wispy clouds that reflected amazing colors long after the sun had disappeared.
And, we were actually sailing for the first time in days, squeezing 5-6kts out of the 11kts of wind.
As darkness fell, being a moonless night, the stars were spectacular. We managed to sail for nearly six hours but gradually the wind died and we were forced to turn the motor on again. The wind was on the beam and the sea calm, so we had little heal and the ride was smooth. During our watches there was enough traffic to keep us interested and awake and the boys on watch at 6am were treated to the sun rising above the cliffs of Mallorca. Penny and I had dolphins swimming at our bow, one turned his head and looked us straight in the eye, we both agreed he’d come to say hello.
We are now in Puerto Soller on the north coast of Mallorca, when we arrived yesterday we were keen to get tied up to a dock for the night, to fill with water, dump rubbish, get some wifi etc. etc. and we needed to top up with fuel. The marina was full but we managed to reserve a berth for the next night. The area outside the marina was crowded so we tucked ourselves under the cliffs in a protected corner and anchored in 20m just out of the bay, where we had space to ourselves. It is all very pretty and as Penny commented “not a bad place to queue for petrol”.
While we ate supper we were joined by another Oyster, who promptly turned on all his deck and spreader lights. We decided to join the party and switched on ours, as it turned out it was entirely appropriate. Our guide book tells us that the 15th July is the day for the local festival of the Virgin de Carmen. The Bay was surrounded by torch lights, fireworks were lit and a small water borne procession carrying the Madonna a blaze with light, bizarrely they past us just a few feet from our stern, our brightly lit mast greeting them.
Puerto Soller is a nice little town with all the facilities we need, so once stern to on our berth we set about our tasks for the day. It is so hot and so much more humid here that even the smallest effort makes us drip with sweat, so we work slowly. We miss being at anchor and being able to cool off in the sea but it is much easier to lug the shopping and laundry on and off the boat while tied up.
In the evening we took the tram five miles inland to the old village of Soller to explore and find supper. The area was once a wealthy and thriving orange and lemon exporting port and we travel up the valley passing obviously once grand villas and acres of citrus groves. The village itself had a gentle feel to it, the normal narrow streets and a typical overly large church, all built of mellow colored stone. We ate in a charming courtyard garden behind a small hotel, and decided this was a good introduction to Mallorca.