Finally we were off to Cabrera, a little island to the South of Mellorca. My mum and everyone else had recommended this place. It’s a national park so you need a permit but we’d managed to secure one!!

There’s a fair bit of rain around at the moment on the weather forecast, which is fine if it’s just rain, but it’s pretty dark so we’re not sure if it could also be thunder and lightning storms which we’re not so fine about. Getting to Cabrera would bring us 15NM closer to Ibiza though so it’s a step in the right direction and fingers crossed will stay clear of those dark rain clouds too.

It was a beautiful sunny day and a great sail. As we neared the island we were still under sail and racing a few other boats, and the clock as we need to be there before 6pm. Simon’s the competitive one so he was on the wheel.

We wanted to keep sailing for as long as we could because a) everyone else was and we didn’t want to loose face, b) it’s a nature reserve so it makes sense to try and be a bit green and c) we’re trying to save engine hours/gas.

Between Cabrera and a little island to starboard, there’s a dangerous wreck bang smack in the way so you have to go to Port of the wreck to avoid getting stuck between the rocks and the wreck – or so me and every other helmsman thought. But not Simon, he toyed with the wind angle and managed to finally find a course between the wreck and the rocks. Crazy!


Anyway that mean’t that we had a straight line straight into the bay. Awesome!

All day, Simon has been harking on about ‘I bet there’s a pub, I’m going to have a beer’. Anyway I’d read the pilot and knew for sure there’s not, there’s only an information centre  and you can’t stray too far on the island without a guide.

As we entered we saw a fort, with a few people climbing around the ramparts – hummm not sure that was mentioned in my trusty book.


Then we round the corner and low and behold we see a pub with lots of sailors relaxing outside. OK so I owed Simon a beer.


First we had to moor up. The Mr Man came out on the dinghy and checked our reservation. We needed a white mooring buoy – right at the back of the field in a beautiful, picturesque spot but the furthest possible place from the pub! We raced ahead, when suddenly a bigger boat came the other way. ‘Can we have that mooring buoy to be near our friends?’ The yellow mooring buoy near the pub? Sure we need a white mooring buoy way over the other side. So we let them have it.

We finally secured ourselves in a lovely spot between a nice Benneteau and a German boat (sporting two naked bodies of course). Then we set off to the pub!


We tied up alongside the jetty, and since everyone tells us you must lock up your dinghy, we wrapped her in chain and added the padlock.

Then we found ourselves a lovely table in the sunshine and got us a couple of beers. Next up we wanted food. It looked like they were doing some kind of tapas that was fast running out – but the kind you had to pay for. Simon sent me inside to order. The barman was as snotty as they come.

Me: “Are you still serving food?

Him: “Yes“… silence

Me: “Can I order some?

Him: “Yes“… silence

Me: “Do I order here or over there?

Him: “Over there

Good so we were getting somewhere. I’d seen the next table having cheese ham and bread and that would be just fine for us.

Me: “Could I have some cheese, some ham and some bread?

Him: “Yes“… silence

Me: “Do I pay now or later?

Him: “Now“… silence

Me: “Erm ok so how much is it?

Him: “21 Euros

Me: “OK and you’ll bring it out to us or shall I wait?

Him “Yes“… silence.

I was sure glad to get out of there. Back at the table Simon asked what I’d ordered? “Cheese, ham and bread for 21 Euros”. As I said it I knew it was madness but it hadn’t dawned on me before – yep turns out I’d ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. Oh well it tasted good and I sure wasn’t going back in to talk to the barman.

We sat there a while in the sun with our beers and did a spot of people watching. The couple off the German boat turned up, took the table next to us and shared a few laughs.

There was a couple of drunk guys on a dingy that were ferrying their fellow sailors from the dock to the main boat. They were so drunk that the skipper on the main boat had come in close to pick them up and was circling in the bay. Eventually one-by-one they got them all onboard and headed off towards the mainland.

There was also some nutter on a dingy who got really mad at a police boat. He backed up, then drove straight at it yelling as he went. He rammed the police boat (which didn’t move) and bounced off so hard he almost fell in the water. No idea what that was about but at least he’s picking fights with boats and not people.

There were lots of overloaded dinghies coming and going to keep us entertained, the bums were almost touching the water. For some reason everyone seemed to be rowing and not in a straight line. Not sure if this was an environmental thing but we were glad for the electric motor that is charged via solar.

The owner of a huge catamaran obviously decided that dingying was too hard and simply moored up alongside the tiny jetty to dispel 20 or so adventurers onto land.

Then a large dinghy with some divers came in and were circling around. Next there was a bit of shouting and arm waving. Seems we’d parked our dinghy in their spot.


Simon ran off to move the dingy… without the padlock key… so he called out ‘I need the key’ so I jumped up and ran too. Straight through some kind off cesspit puddle right outside the pub. It stunk!!

We moved the dinghy around the corner and then settled back to our beers. Then I thought ‘What’s that smell?’ My foot. I told Simon about it and he had a good laugh at my expense with the Germans who had obviously seen it happen. Oh well I’ve seen their roody parts – so I think I get the last laugh!

Humm I loved Cabrera but not really what I expected. A deserted island I think without the pub and the crazy people. Could stay a while but if the weather is right we’ll need to move on again.

Porto Petro (Mallorca)

Back in Mallorca! It’s odd to be here earlier than expected and after a longer than expected crossing – I’m not quite ready to be back in Spain. It was pretty full on as we approached and I wasn’t sure about climbing up front and changing the courtesy flag but thought it pretty rude not to. So I botched it quickly, rolling the italian flag away. I’ll have to tidy it up later.

We headed towards the natural harbour of Porto Petro. It’s steep sided and as we got closer and closer to land we couldn’t spot the entrance. Eventually though we saw a few small fishing boats nipping in and out of a stretch of rock – hurrah! By the time we were through the headlands it was much calmer.

The guide says that there are summer mooring buoys but we weren’t sure if they would still be there this late in the season so we were pleased to find them, some with yachts on and some without. Usually a dinghy comes out and helps you dock but no-one arrived so we just helped ourselves. There were a fair few onlookers so we were pretty chuffed with ourselves when we hooked it first time.

It’s a lovely bay and a great place to relax after a long crossing.

Many of the (mostly German and Spanish yachts) were there for lunch before setting out again. Late in the afternoon we were visited by a ‘marina dude’ on a dingy. He demanded 25 Euros for the mooring. Now in the pilot it says the moorings are free for two nights. We mentioned this but apparently that has not been the case for three years now. We stumped up the cash and then checked the pilot again. Although it’s the latest edition it was published in 2011. Grrr! Still cheaper than the marina which was charging 60 Euros a night.

The crossing had taken it out of us a bit so we snoozed away the afternoon and had dinner onboard.

The following morning we were struck with a case of cabin fever. We successfully inflated and launched mini-Interlude and headed inshore for a lovely, relaxed breaky. There is a really laid-back feel here at the moment, mainly older couples and groups making the most of the out-of-season sunshine. And the weather was behaving for them too.

We recharged our Spanish sim cards so we could get a weather update, popped to the Spar shop and spent a small fortune on English food products (mainly digestive biscuits and more squash). We’d just finished the squash that my mum packed me up with so that was good fortune.

We checked in with the office to see if we could get a permit to visit the island of Cabrera. We could if only we had our papers with us. Oh well, back onboard we checked the weather and then booked a mooring at Cabrera online. I’m made up because we missed out last time we were here as we couldn’t get a mooring for love or money. Can’t wait!

Fornells, Menorca

We spent more time than we thought in Alcudia, waiting for some help with our service batteries. When it came down to it we learned more from the forums than we did from the paid-for electrician that we waited 4 days for AND as it turns out the anomalies we were seeing were probably due mostly to user error. It seems an easy amps in amps in equation – so we think we’re good but I guess only time will tell…

Anyway it was time to get some more sea miles under us. Time to head to Menorca. We’d contacted Mahon marina, where we were expected to pass through on our journey through to Italy as it’s banded around as the ‘jump-off point for Sardinia’. Anyway they’d quoted us a ridiculous price, which was the same for a berthing, pontoon or mooring – not happy Jan! We didn’t really like the cut of their jib.

As we were already on North/West of Mallorca we decided to sail West and head around that side of Menorca to Fornells in the North. There they have moorings for just 29 Euros and it was equidistance whichever way we went. Also the weather patterns were favourable that way so it seemed a no-brainer.

So we got up at day-break, refuelled at the 24-hour fuel dock, and made the most of the good winds. They picked up during the day an by the time we reached Fornells we had 20-25 knots and some choppy seas. Fornells is pretty protected though so by the time we were through the heads the conditions were much nicer. A nice man came out in a dingy and helped us tie up. He gave Simon a thumbs up and said ‘Excellent Captain’, however, I’m pretty sure it was my line skills that brokered the deal 😛

The town of Fornells is postcard perfect.


Unfortunately, we had lots to do as we’re planning to do the overnight to Sardinia tomorrow. So instead of taking our dingy out she was stowed below for better visibility during the crossing. Lots of chores were accomplished. We’re also busy planning the next part of our trip, Sardinia, Corsica and Italy. So it was dinner and an earlyish night, ready for an early start.

We’re pretty gutted that we didn’t get to make land at Fornells though. It’s definitely on the ‘Interlude II’ list, but Sardinia was calling and the weather window was good so we resigned ourselves to the fact it was not to be. Next time!


Most times when you talk to other boat owners one of the major topics thrown into the conversational ring is… “So what issues have you had with her?”

Hoping around Mallorca we started to notice our batteries weren’t charging back up to where they should be which was a worry. We’ve been very lucky with our yacht from what I’ve gathered from other boat owners who seem to suffer greatly with this or that system going down.

Maybe part of it is due to us trying to keep our boat simple. We don’t have gensets or aircon or bow thrusters or countless other things that need maintaining and stress other systems onboard. But was this due to change? Was something… Broken?

After a few cloudy days, which meant the solar panels weren’t putting much back into the bank we decided to motor for a while. This normally kicks in the charge relay but it wasn’t having a bean of it right at the moment we really needed some juice in those batteries. As we watched the volts creep lower and lower we decided to limp into Alcudia marina to get things checked out.


Of course as soon as we tried to get someone to take a look we were told.. “Today?! No.. Too busy… Monday.” Ugh. So we were trapped!

We’d actually visited Alicanti around 12 years ago when the owner of the first company I worked for took the whole company on holiday, which was very nice!

It was lovely picking out the spots that we remembered and getting some beach time in never hurts either. I mean if you have to wait for someone there’s worse places to be stuck right?


So.. Monday came around and after a visit from the local electrician we were told there was nothing wrong with the system. We’d just let the batteries drain too low. Once below a point they the engine can’t put charge back into them. Er. Ok? Wouldn’t that be exactly when you’d want them to charge?


What it again highlighted to me was how much you need to know about wide range of topics to do a trip like this. I spent a solid day learning the best I could about charging systems and batteries. I also got a ton of advice from the Cruisers Forum.

It’s quite embarrassing when things start to click and you realise how green you’ve been. Luckily we didn’t do any damage but it has highlighted our need to have a workaround in place if it happens again. It’s one thing limping into your nearest port but we’ve got a few overnight crossings coming up. I’m now researching battery monitors, crossover switches and other fun things.

Beautiful Birthday bays

For a long time when planning this trip, we’ve often asked ourselves, “I wonder what we’ll be doing on our Birthdays?” Anyway it’s hard to plan as we’re always so dependent on the weather and when it came to it, Mother Nature stepped in again. Yep she blew a bit of a guster, so our best option was to race around to the other side of the island and hide in an anchorage. It’s seems to be our one and only defensive weapon at the moment.

Anyway I think Mother Nature and I would get on rather well as she picked some stunning bays.

Cala Trenc

First Cala Trenc, a beautiful long bay on the South Coast of the Island. Due to the forecast (strong Northly winds and big swells) we decided to stop here for a few days, protected from the wind by land. It was cloudy most days which was refreshing and sometimes a little daunting. TRENC 1 Staying here for a few days gave us some time to just chill the hell out. We spent some of this time practicing our dives, bombs and pencils. You never know when you’re going to need them. TRENC 2 The first night we headed over to the beach to explore and have a beer. As we were making our usual elegant landing from the dinghy we were approached by a couple and their friends who asked us to take their kids for a dinghy ride. These kids were all as cute as buttons so who could deny them? Not Simon.

First the boys, who apparently had never been in a boat before, and then the girls as they didn’t want to miss out. The parents were made up, except for the mother of the littlest girl who couldn’t yet swim (whoops). The kids didn’t seem too impressed with our electric motor and kept asking if they could go faster. Anyway Simon pulled off a fair few donuts before returning them to the shore, leaving us wondering if we’d have drained the battery and would have to row back. Still it earned us a beer so we were happy with that. TRENC 3 TRENC 4 TRENC 5 TRENC 6 TRENC 7 Next day Simon spoilt me rotten for my birthday. First up, bacon and egg sangers. It was hilarious to watch him try and crack an egg before we realised they were hard boiled. Well how were we to know? So bacon and cold boiled egg sangers – not bad! TRENC 9 Then a coffee and scrumptious cake at the beach bar – no singing – perfect! TRENC 8 Followed by a long walk down the beach right to the nudist end – ding dong! – and back. And then a bottle of bubbly with some steak and veggies as the sun set. TRENC 10 I’m not sure I could have had a better Birthday if we’d planned it.

Cala Romantica

Once we reluctantly escaped Cala Trenc we decided to make our way onwards and upwards. We were headed originally for Cala Barcus but on reaching there saw that it was crowded and super swelly so kept on sailing. This swell thing is really starting to catch us out and the wind was howling too, plus a dirty great big cloud appeared overhead and it started to feel like the end of the world. We were keen to find some shelter as it can get a bit scary.

Anyway we literally headed into the next bay, following a glass bottom boat, and found just enough anchorage for one 38” boat. Score!



It was a nice rocky inlet that provided good protection and just enough swing room not to annoy the glass bottom boat captains too much (I hope). A few hours later the cloud disappeared and sunshine came out. This mean’t that we had the courage to leave Interlude unattended for a while and head inshore. Romantica4


Sometimes this place naming thing really catches us out, the name in the pilot is not the same as the one on the chart or the one that someone has recommended. Anyway this place was called Cala Estany D’en Mas on the chart but the beach bars called it Cala Romantica (maybe it’s a sodding marketing ploy or maybe it means the same thing?)

Anyway it was a lovely, romantic place with a bricked coastal path that provided a good viewing platform overlooking the bay and beach, and a couple of bars that served us up a great plate of fishy pasta and a beer.