Anchor Bay Ballet

On Friday we headed for Mahon, the capital of Menorca, as Eric and Roz had flights home on Saturday. All the marinas were choc-a-bloc, so we diverted to Cala Taulera at the entrance to the port. The anchorage was very full but we were keen to get in as the forecast was for high winds the next day and this Cala laying sandwiched been an island on one side and a promontory of the mainland on the other was well protected. With some clever maneuvering by the skipper we found a slot and dropped our anchor.

It’s a funny thing but some people when they are on their own boat, particularly when at anchor, seem to put up an invisible wall around themselves and do their own thing. Sometimes this will manifest as music being played too loudly, or running a noisy generator though the peace of the evening, oblivious to the disturbance being caused. For others, especially the French in our experience, it is a visual assault, they parade around their yachts naked. On the Friday afternoon we arrived the man on the yacht next to us was proudly displaying all, while his wife sat next to him in a bikini, the next day they changed around with her hanging out the towels on the bows bare as a baby and he was in swimming trunks. What were the rules that dictated their dressing or not each morning? Eric decided they had been cruising so long they only had one pair of pants left between them and therefore had to take the wearing of them in turns.

Another sign of a long term live aboard boat is the amount of stuff on the decks, hanging from the rails and fixed to the stern. Just three months in, we quietly promised ourselves that we will keep our boat looking beautiful and our clothes on. A large supply of spare underwear will be kept at all times. Time will tell.

Just after we had dropped Eric and Roz at the dock the wind started to get up. Boats looking for shelter flooded into the already full anchorage. As the wind blows from slightly differing directions, the boats, always trying to have their bows into the wind, swing around their anchors. Exactly when and how much a boat swings depends on a myriad of things, such as the size of the boat, length and weight of chain deployed, and profile of the hull under the water.  The anchorage turns into a stage full of unchoreographed ballet dancers, pirouetting around there own central point. For this dance to work, all the boats need to have enough space around them so that if their neighbours swing is slightly out of time with theirs nobody bumps into each other. When it is crowded this can lead to some close encounters and tense moments.

We prepared for the night, putting out a bit more chain, clearing the decks and attaching a few fender over the side, just in case. We had a bit of space around us and our large anchor and heavy chain held us tight but it appeared that the other side of anchorage wasn’t so lucky, every now and again a shout would go up, torches would flash and a rush of activity could be seen. It was too dark to really see what was going on but hopefully no serious incidents occurred. As it happened the wind eased just after midnight and this particular performance slowed to a more sedate pace. Rick feeling happy that all was safe could come to bed and I was spared my early morning watch.

4 thoughts on “Anchor Bay Ballet

  1. Great. Glad to read the storm gave you no real problems. Looking forward to reading about your passage of Menorca’s south coast…and hope the entertainment provided by nude sailors continues to offer an interesting alternative to the horizon and geological features that surround you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. love your blog, and often read it out to Dad so he can savour the information without struggling with the words. All is well here, with Jon off to the Fastnet in the next few days and Dad’s 91st birthday next week. We’re all (J&S plus Dad and me and Peter) are hiring a plastic boat on the Canal Littoral a la Loire in early September. Don’t think it’ll be anything like Raya, but there should be good wine and we will be able to send Jon off on his bike for fresh croissants in the morning.

    thinking of you and your adventure
    Joanna and Peter

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanna, wish Mac a very Happy Birthday from us. We are in UK for a few weeks in October so will pop in and see him. All four Penn McKay’s with us at the end of the month. Have a great time in France. X


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