We have not had any internet, so over 300 miles have passed beneath our keel since we wrote. We made an easy overnight from Menorca to Soller in Mallorca. Every cruiser we met said it was the best place in Mallorca, and since it also has a train for Harry, we sailed directly there. Since it is August, every anchorage is jam packed, and this was no different, but by arriving early in the morning we could grab a good place with some room--or at least some room until late afternoon. The Victorian tram up to the main town of Soller from the port provided some nice views. But at 4 euro one way the bus (1 euro 20) is a good option for another trip. From Soller, we took the narrow gauge train, built in the 1920's to carry fruits and vegetables from Soller to Palma. This was 10 euro for a one way ticket, but Harry did enjoy himself as you can see in this photo. There were several very long tunnels to get through the mountains, but in under an hour we were in Palma.
Palma proved to be a surprise. We knew Mallorca was another Mediterranean playground for the rich and famous, and it was the King's Cup racing week, so we expected lots of glitz, Cartier and Armani stores, and so forth. What we found was a delightful old city with narrow alleys to wander, a beautiful cathedral, and the best chandlery we've seen in years. (Sailors never go far from the sea...) We were glad we didn't bring the boat into the harbour, since there is no place to anchor and the marinas are very costly, but it was easy to get there by train, and the bus back to Soller took half the time of the trains and only cost 3 euro 95 each.
The winds were right, so the next day we sailed 30 miles to Cala San Ponsa, a big sandy bay, for overnight, and then with a first light start we contined another 70 miles to Formentera, the small island just to the south of Ibiza. With the August crowds and the reputation of Ibiza for all-night parties, we chose the quiet anchorage of Espalmador. The cruising guides said that by the end of the season the sand gets thin here, and so it proved to be. We moved around to find a clear patch of sand, only to have a motor boat, with no windlass and only one man aboard, drag and get caught on our anchor just at dusk! Luckily just an hour before Carlos and Juan, on La Sultana, had stopped by in a kayak, talked for awhile, and invited us for lunch the following day. They were swimming when this happened and they volunteered to snorkel over and dive down to free the man's anchor. Another wonderful example of the generosity of cruisers in helping each other out. Carlos did an Atlantic circle with his boat--before the arrival of his 3 sons--and we had a wonderful time trading sailing stories, eating his wonderful Spanish rice, and getting to know the 4 young women who were guests for the week on his boat. We had them over to Cormorant that evening. It is always so special to get to meet local people, and if we ever get to Madrid we now have several invitations.
Again the winds were right, so we left Thursday morning with easterly winds and sailed much of the way to Almerimar, where we arrived early Saturday morning. It has been great to cross paths and catch up with our good friends Bo and Vivi who are moving east to Turkey. We plan to leave the boat here for about 6 weeks. We will catch a space-a military flight from Rota to the USA for a short visit, then do more boat chores in preparation for the Atlantic crossing.
Cruising-sailing updates will be on hold until late Sept., but we will still make g