Arrived at the Balearic Islands

Menorca is the first island we visit. In Cala de la Olla we find a sheltered cove and we drop anchor at eight metres in the sand. So, after three years, we actually left Italy and arrived in Spain. Just at the time when Corona seems to become a bigger issue here in Spain again. Our timing simply still has room for improvement. 

What surprises us is that despite the massive increase in the number of cases in the country, hardly anyone wears the prescribed masks, let alone keeps the safety distance of 1.5m. The boats are full up to the persenning and party is celebrated. Armed with diving goggles and snorkel I jump into the crystal clear water and do an anchor check. 26°C water temperature are ideal to have a close look at the anchor. Everything below this temperature I look at on the plotter. On the way to the anchor I notice the abundance of fish, that Poseidon Grass seems to be intact here, so that the fish find the necessary protection. I extend the anchor control a bit and dive along the reef edge. Also here numerous fish from big to small, the smallest being the cheekiest and approaching the mask up to 20cm. I reach for one and it was gone. The day was reserved for relaxing, after all we had been on the road for two nights, during which there was not much sleep. Tomorrow the wind is predicted to be north-westerly with 15 knots, which will take us to the bay Cala de Trebaluger, also in the south of Menorca, and with almost 17 nautical miles a walk. We leave the bay under sail with 15 knots of wind the mainsail and the genoa fully set. Outside it is already 18 knots and we set the 1st reef. The wind is still increasing and at 24 knots the 2nd reef is due. We furl the genoa in half. The south coast of Menorca consists mainly of cliffy coastline, in which some deep bays cut into. From these bays it blows with 28 knots and we reach the totally overcrowded Cala de Trebaluger after less than 2.5 hours. 

The wind dies down a little and I discover a still free spot where we can lay 38m chain. Already on the way here we notice a clearly higher shipping traffic than in Italy. In the bays there is holiday mode, this means drop the anchor where possible or not. A place close to the beach is preferred, no matter if the bay is full or the vessel has 54 feet, whether catamaran or mono, you somehow push through the anchor field, throw the anchor and only if you disagree with your neighbour after a long discussion, you raise anchor again and leave the bay without understanding, or throw the anchor insultingly further outside. You can certainly imagine that some charter skippers are a little overtaxed. In any case, the whole thing has entertainment value and so we decide to stay one day longer.

Rushes of reeds hit me in the face and the river, which is not very wide at its mouth into Cala Trebaluger anyway, becomes narrower and narrower. I persuaded Gaby to go up the river once. We overcome the short stretch of sandy beach by pulling our dinghy over the barrier with all the strength we have. In the brackish water the river is not very deep and I have to pull the boat a good 100 meters upstream. In the shallow water, small fishes flit out of the sand in all directions. Gaby always has a hell of respect for the fish and is happy to sit in the boat. The river gets deeper and I jump into the boat to start the outboard. Slowly we follow the course of the river and in only a short time we are far away from the hustle and bustle of the Cala, from the coming and going boats. But now we are stuck, the rushes sting on the skin and we have to turn back. I would have liked to go a little further, but unfortunately this is not possible. With some effort we turn the boat around and make our way back. In front of us a jumping fish and then we come to the shallow part of the river which announces the near sea. The last meters Gaby walks along the bank while I wade through the river. The boat is quickly brought back into the sea. We are preparing to tackle the 40 nautical miles to Mallorca tomorrow. 

We first want to go to Port de Pollenca, freshen up our provisions and then sail down the east coast of Mallorca. What we experience in Pollenca and how we like the east coast, you will find out in the next blog. Until then, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.

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