We awoke on the 6th to howling winds of 30+ knots. We were sheltered in Cala Gat but we could see boats further out being tossed all over the place. We swam, climbed on the rocks and had breakfast, waiting for the gusts to abate. Eventually we got impatient and headed out of the tiny Cala, bearing west. Upon leaving the bay, the waves grew large and soon we had 3 metre swells overtaking us. The wind was also very strong and as we were in no hurry, we turned back to safety. We dropped anchor just off Cala Rajada in 3 metres, above sand. The girls prepared a delicious lunch of sausages and peppers as Bumblebee was buffeted by the wind.
Later on the wind died down and we surfed out of the bay on huge waves, past the caves de Atra and into the safety of Cala de Canyamel. Once Bumblebee was securely anchored, we went ashore to explore and find some decent wifi.
The next day we sailed to the minuscule Cala Petita, where we found a perfect beach with filthy water. Disappointed, we walked but did not swim. We moved on down the south east coast to Cala Magraner, where we would anchor for the night. As we arrived we were reassured to find a few other yachts with the same idea.
While swimming, Julia spotted an octopus hiding under our anchor, which she harassed for ages trying to get him to emerge for a photo. We also saw a goat chased around the cliffs by a dog, finding safety on an impossibly inaccessible promontory above the boat. Later we rowed the dinghy ashore and walked along the cliff top until the light faded.
We were running low on water and supplies so the next morning we pulled into Port Petro. The welcome was not quite what we hoped for and we were relived of 20 Euros to fill up our tanks and nip to the shops for an hour. To assist in Slawek’s progression up the RYA ladder, he was appointed skipper for the day. The stern-to mooring in crosswinds was a good introduction and was smoothly executed. From Porto Petro, he lead us to Cala d’es Burgit where we spent the night moored with a line to shore just around the corner in Cala Mondrago. The water since Cala Petita was much cleaner and Mondrago was no exception.
We had hoped to spend a night in the tiny fishing village of Cala Figuera, but the online booking system wouldn’t cooperate. Instead we arrived just before lunch the following day. The tiny quay was empty, so we helped ourselves and tied up. No one came to bother us for payment so we left Bumblebee and went for a wander around the tiny harbour.
We had lunch in Cala Figuera, then pushed on along the south coast to a remote little spot called Cala des Marmois. This was by far the closest thing to perfection we had experienced so far! The water was gin clear and there was a small beach flanked by stunning cliffs, which concealed caves with air pockets. We climbed the cliffs on both sides, swam into the tiny caves and enjoyed a little piece of paradise. As the sun began to set, the day trippers left and we had the bay to ourselves and just one other yacht.
On the morning of the 10th we rounded the south western point of Mallorca and began our way up the west coast. We would be saying farewell to Ania and Slawek the next morning so decided to book ourselves into the Marina at Rapita. With our berth secure, we first stopped at a beach along the way for a stroll and a drink. We then sailed on past the marina to check out Cala Pi. As we neared our destination, we had an early supper on the go when the heavens opened and we were caught in a mighty deluge. Thunder and lightning surrounded us and we even saw a small twister on the horizon. As quickly as it came, it was gone and the sun appeared as we anchored below the small town of Cala Pi.
We returned to Marina sa Rapita and went the whole night without sleep thanks to the tacky nightclub beside the marina. At 7am Ania and Slawek left for their flight back to Amsterdam. Paulina was still with us and within the hour we had two new crew, as James and Katherine pulled up in their hire car. They arrived armed with breakfast and a brand new ensign. This was no ordinary ensign, it was sourced by my mum from her friend Robin Ashburner, who is an authority on all things vexillologic. As you can see the old one looked like it had circumnavigated the globe. We received it in that state so the kudos was not rightly ours, however with the new flag hoisted, Bumblebee clearly meant business.
James and Katherine’s first day onboard was almost completely windless. We made slow progress under engine up the western coast. Paulina needed to leave us after lunch to catch her flight back to Warsaw, so we scoured the coast for a suitable stopping point. We discovered a beach club nestled into the hillside called sHares, not cheap but there was a pool and a bar snack menu.
That night we anchored just outside the marina and took J&K ashore by dinghy. They had a house rented so would not be sleeping on the boat.
The next morning we found J&K waiting for us in the marina, again armed with breakfast and even lunch. Today we would visit the island of Cabrera, 2 hours off the south western coast. The island is a nature reserve and in order to visit we had to book a mooring buoy in advance.
On the way we intercepted a pair of dolphins who inspected the boat momentarily, then headed on their way. Our first dolphin sighting since Sicily!
We attached to a mooring buoy in the main bay of Cabrera and climbed a hill to the old fort. From here we had a panoramic view of the bay and the coast. We returned to the boat for a swim and some lunch. We were not staying the night so were soon on our way, as there was much to see. As we slipped out of the bay we saw a stunning classic yacht proudly dangling an impressive ensign.
Just around the corner in the next door bay there was a large cave. It was too deep to anchor so one of us hovered with the boat while the others went for a closer look with the dinghy and snorkeling kit.
We motored clockwise around Cabrera to a deserted bay on the south side. This was a little slice of paradise; there were plenty of mooring buoys and no other boats to be seen.
The sun was now quite low so we headed back to the cave to see the inside illuminated by the low light. The airs were gentle so we boldly motored within a couple of metres of the caves entrance. At this point Julia decided to leap in with the waterproof camera to get some closer shots. She leaped off the bow and re-emerged with the news she had dropped the camera, I looked at the depth gauge, it read 19 metres. We swam over the area and estimated the camera to be on the seabed at about 16 metres. Only by diving down half way was it possible to see the grey strap attached to the camera.
There is obviously a happy ending to this story as the photos from the camera make up this post. It was after countless attempts to reach the bottom, for a camera that was invisible for the first ten metres, as the light was fading, until we had success. Armed with her freedive fins, Julia descended to ten metres then spotted the camera and carried on into the deep. I was very concerned that no help was around if something went wrong but she broke the surface some time later triumphantly clutching the camera!
That evening we had a perfect sail back to Mallorca. Healed over at seven knots we saw the sun go down and arrived in San Jordi to drop the anchor in the dark. The next day we had a farewell lunch at the Panoramica restaurant on the approach to Palma.
On our own once again we set sail after lunch for Cala Portals Vells, across the bay, skipping past Palma. The sea was rough and the Cala was crowded but with no guests onboard we didn’t mind. There were caves to explore, dug out in the 15th century to build the city of Palma. We explored the small beaches and snorkeled amongst the rocks. Julia spotted an octopus and I spotted some kind of ‘glamour’ photo shoot going on above.
With little time and lots to see, we headed north to Port Andratx where we could hire a car and explore more efficiently. What should have been a one hour hop turned into a five hour mission as the sea threw up huge waves and the wind howled past at 30 knots.
Port Andratx was a pleasant surprise, we moored up for a very reasonable fee right in the heart of the town. Trip Advisors no.1 pizza place was just next door and we ate there twice. On the 15th we bussed into the next door town and hired a car. We started our tour at Port Soller and headed back along the coastal road via Deia, Banyalbufar and Estelencs. The sky was grey but could not detract from these stunning locations. On the last leg of our journey I clipped the edge of the skinny road and within a few minutes we had a flat tyre. 20 minutes later we were back in action on the spare and returned the car slightly less pristine than we had received her.
On Friday the wind shifted for the west and blew in a favourable direction to cross to Ibiza. We took our chance and departed Mallorca, with high hopes for a comfortable 9 hour sail to one of the last islands of our journey.