Well it’s been a while and quite a lot has happened. Sandra’s filled everyone in on our adventures from Gibraltar to Morocco then back to Spain and around the Spanish coast to Calpe. We’ve had family onboard in Julie and Brian after the Camino trail walk …… We hope they enjoyed a little r & r.
We then jumped off mainland Spain and headed for the fun and frivolity of the Balearics (this is where the xxx r rated put the kiddies to bed, sealed section of the blog begins). As we know America has the right to bear arms (and they do this with gusto). Well the Spanish have the right to go naked in public as long as nobody takes offence (they also do this with gusto ).
Our first stop was Formentera where Barb & Brian now joined us and we hope they enjoyed their time onboard Nawii also. Campbell and Debbie on Walanthea are also with us and it was here that Campbell observed just how bad the GFC had hit Spain with so many girls unable to afford tops and some poor souls could not even scrape up enough for bottoms.
It was pretty tough anchored in some amazing bays with crystal warm waters, but continually reminded of the poverty around us (the naked girls were quite heart breaking especially for anyone with a pace maker).
One morning I’d had enough and decided to go for a paddle in our kayak to the next bay, hoping to find a more affluent Spaniard, unfortunately or fortunately the situation only worsened ….. The bay was beautiful, which means there is also going to be a lot of people and you guessed it, not a bathing costume to be seen, it’s just so sad. No longer can we show off our obvious wealth, so the bathers will have to go …( when in Spain …… you get the drift).
As I’m paddling back I notice a Helia arriving (same model boat as ours) it’s German flagged and the first one I’ve seen since leaving La Rochelle , I cruise over for a chat ..luckily they speak good English … They’ve had the boat for just over twelve months and are very happy with it so far, as they were trying to anchor I bade them farewell and started on my return trip.
For those that don’t know, on all Spanish beaches they have little paddle boats with water slides on them that can be hired for around 10 euro an hour (lots of people that can’t afford bathers hire these also).
One of these slide paddle boats was directly in front of me on my return, and as I changed course to avoid collision, it, like a pirate ship, changed course also. Hmmm. I then notice the woman sitting on the front with her partner not to be seen behind the slide, I’m now 50 meters away and change course to the other side, the pirate vessel changes course also. I’m now only 10 meters and closing, and to my surprise the young lady takes her bikini bottoms off (one of the wealthy ones) and shimmies around to the front of the craft where her partner is waiting and he is obviously very excited to see her (I tried to warn you). She then sits herself on top of him and rock and rolls to the rhythm of the waves. (I feel like a mills and boon writer) anyway as you can imagine I’m a little surprised by this, surely they know I’m here and yep they know and begin waving and laughing, I just wave back and give a small clap and paddle on, if that’s the kick then I’m pleased that in some small way to be able to help them. I can no longer look at those paddle craft with the same innocence they once owned.
Sorry to drag this out but like the SEF, it had to be told. In all seriousness the Balearics have been fantastic and we could comfortably (like Christopher Skase) retire here.
The last Island in the Balearics was Menorca where we also had a fab time, and Sandra posted a number of photos of some glorious bays and events. I look forward to visiting the Islands on the way back out of the Med.
We left Menorca on Thursday 2nd Oct. Just around from Fornells on the Nth East, winds favourable…..we had a great sail averaging 7/8 kts boat speed for the first 18 hours. Sandra was at the helm while I was having a sleep, around 1am the motors came on and woke me up, the wind had died to around 2 kts so motor sailing was the go for the next 18 hours. Around 2pm we had our first glimpse of Italy’s Island Sardinia, the southern end was shrouded with dark storm like clouds at exactly where we were hoping to go….from out on the ocean you have an excellent view of the weather system building up so we attempted to dodge around a few inhospitable sections, one with a water spout forming. As it was now late afternoon we decided to head further North and try for a cove with protection from the prevailing northerly winds, we just hugged the coast until we came across Buggaroo (not sure if that’s how it’s spelt) dropped the pick and settled in for the night.
Campbell & Deb arrive and snuggle in 50 meters off, no get together for drinks as we are a little sleep deprived. Up early the next morning and have a fun sail (5.5 knots in 8/9 knots of breeze with a following light sea, just gorgeous) to San Pietro marina Tour Nautico. We spent two nights here and head out today to a new anchorage where we will wait out the easterly winds for more favourable conditions to push over to Sicily.
Today is Campbell’s 60th birthday so we will celebrate on anchor and party late into the night if the old fellow can keep up. Here’s hoping the GFC has not bitten Italy as severely as Spain or should that be has (just kidding and again we loved all of Spain especially the Gaurdia Civil for allowing us safe unencumbered passage).
On the boating front Nawii has been behaving very well, we will have a few maintenance jobs to do in Marina Ragusa but looking forward to it. One annoying problem is the VHF aerial keeps working loose, anyone got any fix let me know, as it’s at the top of the mast it’s not the easiest to get to, I’ve now tightened it three times (it’s a great view from the mast top).
Arivadirtchi from all onboard Nawii
By: Jeff & Sandra O’Connor, Fountaine Pajot, Helia 44, Nawii