Sunday, 31 July 2011


Hi from Clare,                                                  Saturday 30th July

When last I wrote we were in Mahon on the island of Menorca. You may recall we had been invited on a French yacht for drinks. The young French couple had two children and although they claimed to speak little English, once they got started and with the help of gesticulation, we found that language wasn’t a problem. The guy (Laurent) is a journalist with a regional newspaper in the south of France, his wife (Laurence) works in advertising for the same newspaper. They are holidaying with their children Lucile and Luca for one month. Laurent is very envious of our early retirement and sailing lifestyle. He said that to get the government pension in France you need to be in the workforce for forty years. He didn’t start full time work until he was twenty nine and so he will retire when he is sixty nine. At present being in his late thirties this seems incomprehensible to him.  We spent a most enjoyable evening with them. The following morning Laurent came to our boat and gave us his email and home address encouraging us to keep in contact.  Who knows, one day we might meet again – I do hope so.

The past week has been a real mixture. We have had cycles of lovely sunny days, sparkling aqua seas followed by grey sky, grey sea, persistent rain and thunder storms. It’s hot when the sun is out, chilly when it rains - really quite weird.

We had a good sail in sunny conditions from Menorca to Porto Colom on the east coast of Mallorca. On arrival we knew quite a few yachts in the anchorage and so planned a social few days.  That night we dined out with Tony and Jacqui from the Aussie catamaran ‘Tactical Directions’

The next morning started out sunny so we washed Eye Candy with fresh water and polished her to a sparkling shine. Shortly after we finished the rain started (didn’t we look stupid) and we spent the next few days sheltering from torrential rain. Our American friends Sam and Bill on ‘Blue Banana’ went ashore that morning (in sunny weather) for a Doctor’s appointment as they both have heavy colds. However down came the rain causing the streets to run like rivers. Sam and Bill got soaked to the skin and dripped pools of water in the pharmacy while waiting for their prescriptions. They returned to their boat shivering and looking like drowned rats.

                Blue Banana in Port Colom                                  Jacqui, Clare and Sam

So after the gloom in Porto Colom the sun came out and we had one of our best sails ever. ‘Eye Candy’, ‘Blue Banana’ and ‘Tactical Directions’ sailed 35 miles to the capital city of Palma in perfect conditions. We enjoyed 15-20 knots of wind behind us and on the beam on a flat sea.  Eye Candy averaged 6.6 knots with a maximum speed of 9.1 knots. The conditions were so perfect that there was hardly any movement on the boat. I was staggered to learn that we had achieved 9.1 knots.

It wasn’t a race but I know some of you will be asking so ‘Tactical’ came first, then the ‘Candies’ followed by the ‘Bananas’ – What a sail.

We spent a day in Palma which is where we picked the boat up n 2005.  We revisited the Club De Mar Marina and Andrew called in and spoke to the dealer who commissioned our boat and we also spotted the chap who installed out electronics and had a short chat. As you would expect they did not remember us personally but they did remember commissioning an Aussie yacht. We then walked along the waterfront calling in at the very well stocked ship chandlers.  I bought a new dinner set for the boat and “wait for it” - - - Andrew couldn’t find anything he needed; this is definitely a first.

We revisited the Mallorca Cathedral which dates back to the early 1300. From 1904 to 1914 Antoni Gaudi restored the interior. After seeing Gaudi’s Cathedral Sagrada  Familia in Barcelona I wondered if I would recognize his work in the Mallorca Cathedral. Well not to worry, it was instantly recognizable.


                       Palma Cathedral                                                    Gaudi interior

The Bananas have generator problems and so are now in a marina in Palma for a week.  ‘Tactical’ and ‘Eye Candy are anchored out in a large bay which is a short bus ride from Palma. Tony (Tactical Directions) had a failed electric pump in one of his toilets and so Andrew helped him replace that yesterday. We were the only one without a failure until last night when Andrew discovered a water leak in the hot water tank. We have repaired this tank three or four times before and as it has now failed in yet another spot we think it would be prudent to replace the unit.  

Early this morning I wiped the boat dry after last night’s rain and Andrew set off for Palma to purchase a new hot water tank.  His famous last words were “keep adjusting the solar panels” so we could take full charging advantage of the sunshine. But as I said earlier “the past week has been a real mixture”; shortly after Andrew left the sun disappeared and we had heavy rain and another thunder storm – oh well more wiping required.

        Changeable weather in Sant Ponza                                      Andrew and Bill

We will stay here in Santa Ponza (near Palma) for a few days and then head for Ibiza. At the moment it is lovely and sunny, I just wish it would stay that way.

Love Candy xx