We really have had a wonderful time in the Balearics, but all good things must come to an end. As our last guests left us the weather started to become unsettled. The clouds came over and we had the first rain we had seen for some time, and it looked like it was set in for a few days. We stayed put on a mooring an extra day just to chill out and do some “housework”. Moving on the next day it is still overcast. Without the sun the calas lack the beautiful turquoise waters we have marvelled at so far, and look nothing like the pictures in the brochures. Travelling north up the east coast of Mallorca now we have the prevailing north east breeze on the nose and we are punching into a nasty, short chop. Now we are evaluating calas for protection against these, rather than how nice they look as venues for SUPing and swimming. It sounds like complaining about being in paradise, but we have to admit we are suffering “cala fatigue” as they are all starting to look much the same. And what is it with those ugly hotel developments?! I bet they make them look really good in the package tour brochures! The short time at Cabrera made us realise we had not been spending much time ashore exploring on land or even getting out for a walk, other than a flying visit to the supermarket to load up on Fever Tree tonic! So we have resolved to change that now.
When we finally reached the NE corner of Mallorca, rounding Punta d’es Calo, the landscape had changed. Dramatic, rocky cliffs stretching high above us around a wide bay, no hotels, supermarkets, calas or much of anything in sight on this corner. It reminded me of Iceland where we had travelled this time last year. From ITIKI we could see some hikers on land, a few hiking trails and caves to explore. Great opportunity to go ashore and stretch our legs! This was a tricky anchorage according to the pilot. Sand over rock and some posidonia thrown in for good measure, and with the cloud cover its very difficult to pick an nice sandy spot to drop the pick. A quick swim over the anchor by our fearless Skipper Keith reassured him that we would hold well as the anchor had dropped into a hole beside a rock! Lifting it may be another story …
As we started getting ready to head ashore there was a distant rumble of thunder. Hmmm… lets get ITIKI ready for a spot of rain, just in case. All hatches closed, helm station and rear clears all lowered and just in time as the mother of all thunderstorms parked itself over the NE corner of Mallorca, our anchorage at Cala es Calo to be exact - the heavens opened with rains of biblical proportions! A boat, two hulls, two humans, we contemplated the collection of further pairs of things... We were tucked up nicely in our cocoon but with wet weather gear on in case we had to lift and reset the anchor in a hurry. ITIKI was hit with several strong gusts maxing out at 35kts - the anchor held us securely, its well dug in now, but would we be able to lift it in the morning?? No time to think of that now, fortunately the wind dropped out but the lighting and thunder just sat above us, with one clap right above my head sending me 2 feet in the air. No going ashore now. The volume of water was astounding – the rain continued unabated for about 7 hours. We had pea sized hailstones bouncing off the deck and under the clears onto the helm station. Our cocktail deck is a great venue for consuming various liquids but also makes an excellent water collection surface, funnelling its bounty down the steps into the helm station. We collected several buckets thinking it would come in handy for something… (you never know!) before giving up on that idea, and getting on with important activities of the evening (cocktails, dinner and the grand final of the Mallorcan backgammon championships… Lynda won!) We hoped those hikers we saw made it back to their cars ok. Sadly we heard the next day of severe flooding on the land with several fatalities. Creepily Facebook offered me the opportunity to confirm to the world that I was safe from the floods in Mallorca! OMG they know where I am and know what is happening around me! Feeling a little weird about that. We were fortunate to be on ITIKI and not to cop too much of a battering. The boat is certainly very clean now with all of the salt spray well and truly removed.
We crossed to Menorca the next morning with a reasonable southerly breeze carrying us across, and as always its great to get some sails up. We made landfall on the western end of the island into what looked on the map to be a reasonably sheltered anchorage. We had planned to make our way slowly along the south coast to Mahon harbour on the east cost, however the weather had other ideas. The breeze was due to swing around and come in from the north by the time we arrived, but that hadn't happened yet so all the anchorages on the south coast would be exposed. We were both hit with a strong sense of “Cala fatigue” so we decided to turn east and head into Mahon harbour. Of course as soon as we did that the breeze and swell duly turned and started coming from the direction we were heading – motors on again!
Mahon was lovely and such a relief to be there, we could relax. Nailed the med mooring at the Club Maritimo and enjoyed a couple of good nights sleep. We decided to “do” Menorca the fast way, completely confusing Nebo, by hiring a car and touring by land. This turned out to be a great decision as there are some incredible archeological sites across the island that we could never have accessed by dinghy! These are Talayotic settlements and burial sites dating back over 2000 years! Although Menorca was was formed around the same time as the alps it is relatively flat, with the highest peak at 357m. From there we could see pretty much the whole island. I am sure there are some lovely calas to be visited, but they will have to wait until we are on our way back. Next stop - Sardinia! And yes the anchor lifted, with no problem at all!