Week 12 of Summer Cruise – Sardinia to Majorca by Andy Bowerman

After several weeks basking in the Mediterranean sunshine, Quartette made it safely to Cagliari, in southern Sardinia, with hardly any faults to report or deal with – in fact the only major issue seems to be the lack of a pencil sharpener! John and crew handed over to Andy, Dean, Helen and Jon, as a bewildering array of changing crew transhipped to a 50’ charter yacht, for the return to Olbia. Both boats were suitably victualled and left about Midday Sunday 20/7 - in opposite directions.

The Mediterranean weather was reliably warm and sunny, but also quite windy and the breeze/sea state remained fickle for the whole week, with a strong NW breeze and lumpy sea from a mostly uncomfortable direction. The coastal run to Port Teulada started well, with a surprise collection by car to a local restaurant, where the driver turned out to be the waiter as well. Next day the headlands proved windy and rough, so we elected to hide in a rusty, dusty old port called Porto Ponte Romano, but it was sheltered, it was free, plus there proved to be a truly excellent Italian restaurant close by.

We sat out the strong breeze for a day and two nights, then left early on the Wednesday morning for Majorca. The wind and waves set us on a course for Algeria, which was less than desirable, but at least we were sailing – albeit slightly in the wrong direction!

Like all long distance passages (this one was 241M) it was a time for contemplation of the scenery, one's inner self, the odd bit of boat spotting and plotting progress, creeping across the chart a few millimetres every few hours. We saw lots of sea. But the clear starlit night sky was utterly stunning to observe and our only wish was a better knowledge of the stars and constellations.

Eventually with thoughts of African pirates in mind, we veered north under engine and the trusty old donk dragged us nearer our rhum line. The second night saw some threatening thunder storms and lightening, which was quite pretty at times - but a bit too close for comfort. It spattered with rain occasionally but, it was warmish rain and not that serious, so eventually we left the storm heading east and gratefully picked up an easterly breeze, which most inconveniently, was almost dead astern. But that sunset was truly glorious:

Eventually, the distant haze of the Majorcan hills hove into view and rather late in the evening, we squeezed into a crowded Palma marina, to the sound of shorebased revelry and music, coming from a restless resort at gone 2300 – but that didn’t stop any of us sleeping off a total of 293 Miles and about 20 night hours. Judith, Simon and Richard arrived in glorious sunshine all ready for a week’s cruising the Balearic Islands, but still no pencil sharpener. Richard did locate the original ship's registration document, so that should cut down the marina registration process in Spain by at least 30 minutes each time….!

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