The 200 mile leg from Sardinia to Mallorca is almost due west, just perfect in the fresh northerly wind which blew for 36 hours. With reefed main (another novelty) and the yankee sheet-blocked well forward, Tainui just flew. I was off colour, as is usual for me in these sea conditions, and I found myself becoming progressively more depressed. The proverbial Black Dog had been shadowing me for a while and the message was clear – time for a change. The Med in summer is too hot, the winds are too light, the marinas all too expensive and the anchorages crowded. Winter is the time to be here (if at all), I reckon.
After a 4 am landfall at Cabrera Island to the south of Mallorca, I was at anchor and deeply asleep within minutes. 10,000 prisoners were kept here during the Napoleonic wars and 75% of them died in captivity on the island. All that remains is the majestic fortress tower on the headland. A force 8 cold front blew through later in the morning.The weather had abated by the time the local national park dignitaries woke me rudely. They told me I had to leave immediately and go to Palma to apply for a cruising permit before I could come back. My SOLAS protestations were to no avail. They threatened to bring in the police if I didn’t piss off there and then, so I did.
10 miles to the north I found a windward shore (la Rapida), dropped the anchor onto white sand in the clearest water imaginable, and collapsed once more into a 2 day coma. Yachts and carousing jet skiers didn’t matter a jot.
It is 18 miles from here up to Palma, where Maxine is joining the boat for the trip to Ibiza, Formentera and then the Spanish mainland. I am heartily sick of my own company and she will be a most welcome Tainui recidivist. I can tell you that for nothing.