Saturday, September 29, 2012

get out your land legs, mate!

after having done all the nescessary work to our beloved maloo, mark and i thought it was time for a little treat and time to get off the boat for a bit. so we hired a car and of we went to explore the island of mallorca - without any real plan and a rather superficial map. what a great way to go on adventure!
the first adventure was actually to pick up the car at the airport. we decided to ride our bikes out along the coast and then just to cut inland at the airport. part one( the coast) was beautiful - with a strong wind making huge seas, we fortunately didn't have to sail! - part two (cutting inland) had us going on the highway with our bikes...since then i know that what the spanish word "loco" means!

with a great new citroen berlingo we then went to port andratx, supposedly one of the nicest places in the med where all the rich and pretty are said to meet...well, not when we were there! but we saw a scary reminder of what can happen, when the seas get too high and you pull out of a bay too late. a rather new 62ft catamaran must have broken the mooring of the buoy as the swell was rocking the yacht up and down. the cat went straight on to the rocks and a couple of days of waves completely ground it to pieces.

with our heads full of horror scenarios we had to distract ourselves and went up to soller and further through some crazy winding roads full with bike riders and busses. with the roads hardly wider then our car we had a few near heart attacks there (and please mind, that this is written by an austrian girl! - so you get the picture) - bike rider meets bus meets berlingo....not good! (as mark put it)

but the landscape is breathtaking and (for me) rather unexpected to be seen on mallorca.

we went up the coast to pollenca and drove by alcudia only to find "shindig" of andrew and chele there, had a quick drink and drove back home to palma.

the next day had us explore the south west further. we drove through arenal on a rainy morning, which is a very scary thing to do! - and sat in the sun in the afternoon in calla figuera (well worth a visit) and watched the ducks.

what a great way to "waste" time!

generally mallorca is a beautiful island - even though you find those hotel-resort-bunker towns. these places however can be avoided...the only issue is: this sland is just run over by tourists!;) being part of the problem we prepare to leave!

as the winds seem to calm down and it is time to get moving, we plan to stock up on provisions and move on by sunday. at the moment we hope only to make a quick stop on ibiza, as we want to make our way down the spanish coast as fast as possible.
we hope to do a inland trip to morocco to see marrakech hence traveling fast past ibiza. at the moment we´re not sure if we travel down to rabat and leave our boat there, or maybe even leave it in gibraltar and just move over by ferry (advantage being we don't have to clear into morocco which apparently can be a bot nerve wrecking) time and winds will tell us! but till then we still have a few miles to cover!

so...sails out!

panurama tramuntana

making friends along the road....they were sooooo soft!

boats of calla figuera

in soller - a lot of flags for one country

now which one is the spicy one?

very yummy tomatos

a cat on the rocks

a scary reminder!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

mallorca, i must have been mistaken

mark and i made our way to palma de mallorca...and finally we have internet again! sorry for not posting for so long, but therefore you get to read a loooot in one hit ;)

so far mallorca has shown us it´s pretty face. i have to admit, that i was not totally convinced that this island would be something special after only seeing it on tv in shows about arenal and ballermann or about scandalous hotels with cockroaches crawling under the bed.

but it is like thinking australia is all desert and kangaroos or germany would be all octoberfest (even though...? - no, just a joke :) )

however - we found this great (affordable) marina thanks to a tip of the crew from azzurro II we got before we left kusadasi. we plan to stay here for a week, discovering the island and doing some work on the boat preparing our wonderful maloo for the big lake past gibraltar!
a new masttop-navigation light will have to be put on (climbing the mast! hurray!), a new life raft will be mounted etc...

i wonder if i´ll still fit in all these tight spaces after all that great food i had in the past weeks !?

Friday, September 14, 2012

how to catch a swordfish,a night on land and la cabrera

from mahon on menorca we had a wonderful sail down to portocolom on mallorca.
for the very first time we had our gennaker up for more than 5min and loved it.

under way, the boys trawled some lines again...and again Lukas pulled a little tuna out! - great for sashimi!

shortly after we tied up in portocolom a spanish boat came in, with a wonderful 1m long swordfish lying on the back of their boat. of course we had to find out, where they'd caught it - and we were quite surprised that they'd pulled it out just at the opposite jetty! a commercial fishing-boat hat tied up there to unload tones of massive swordfish caught around the area of mallorca. they just happend to be at the right spot in the right time and got a freebee since the little fellow was to small to  be sold. after lending them a water hose (we also borrowed from the marina) we were rewarded with what would have to be the most beautiful fillet...and it just tasted divine! 

the next day had us say our goodbyes to Michael and Lukas, desperately finding space for all their fishing gear on our boat, which Michael left with us for the atlantic-crossing, and meet our new crew for 4 days. 

we spend a night on land in a wonderful finca surrounded by a breathtaking garden and being woken up by the calls of a donkey (i just looooove donkeys - even if they wake me up). how different it is to use a toilet the one does not have to pump ;)

the next morning we sailed down to la cabrera - a nature reserve just south of mallorca and spend one not so nice night on a very rolling and rocking buoy, and one wonderful calm night on a much better buoy! ( in la cabrera you have to book a buoy ahead and depending on boat size you are allocated a buoy in a certain color - in our case yellow for boats from 12-15m. these buoys are right in the middle of the bay though...and they roll if swell is coming in. the white buoys are for smaller boats. however they are built the same way, but in much better positions - so the second night we moved!) we had great snorcheling, a wonderful island-walk...and a phantastic time with lots of laughter with our friends which i hope to see again soon!!!!! 

we then moved on to porto petro and back to portocolom to drop off our crew.

la cabrera 

buoyfiled of la cabrera...make sure you pick one that´s right at the end (preferably white of color!)

never seen so many tiny lizards

flying Tobi

Sunday, September 9, 2012

mahon, or where the big gun lives!

the anchorage in mahon was just pure bliss! wonderful water, calm and not a wave to disturb our well deserved sleep.

surrounded by huge stone walls, which happened to be part of the "la mola fortaleza isabel II" - a hugh fortress built 160 years ago to fight off any french or british invaders.
these days the fortress is a museum which can be visited...but one can´t escape the feeling, that it is all there and ready to go if needed  - especially with spain´s biggest gun just waiting there.
scary and spectacular at the same time, i have to admit.

after a wonderful last evening spent with Andrew and Shelly, who sailed along side us  from Carloforte to Menorca, we went on to Mallorca.
Lukas and Michael had a plane to catch, and some new visitors were just around the corner.

anchorage in mahon

la mola fortaleza isabel II

inside the fort

karline in the light

the big gun...reaches targets 35km away!

what more to say ;)

this one´s for you, buddy! - you got it good in altenmarkt, mate!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

from cagliari to carloforte on isola di san pietro - or: how to be thrown in the deep end!

the lack of seabreeze on our trip from salina to cagliari should have given us a clue that the next days would be up for no good. seabreeze establishes nearly always...and if it´s missing then only because a stronger wind from the opposite direction is equaling it out - and surely sooner or later this will be the winner! this time the mistral (yes, one of meltemi's cousins ;) ) started, blowing with 30kn+ in the marina in cagliari, bringing rain and the first autumn mornings.

but as we were waiting for our new crew (my uncle Micahel and cousin Lukas) to come with us across to the balearics, we anyway planned on staying in cagliari for a couple of days.
after taking them aboard and checking the weather files over and over, we decided to take our chance and use a little windhole the mistral provided to make it around to san pietro. carloforte has quite a well protected marina and the island is supposed to be why not hang out here and wait for a good time to cross to menorca? but we had to get there first. we got up at sparrow's fart and at 7.30am we were out of the marina in cagliari with a sky looking like a grey soup that could either turn into a wonderful surprise lunch, or a nasty pot of stinkin' brew. well, guess what we had!?
the first downpoor got us 1h after we left and from that on, we went through rain front after rain front. the waves had built up in the last 3 days of mistral to quite a substantial size for the mediterranean and with the wind now doing a 360° with every rain front, some quite interesting pyramidical cross seas built up.

i was expecting a massive bout of seasickness from our new crew - and who would have been surprised with the boat rocking and moving and splashing down the waves.
but there is apparently a lot of seaworthiness in styrian boys! - no green faces, no fear! good on them blokes!

we tied off in the marina sifredi in carloforte planning to wait for the right pattern of wind to shoot us across to menorca. just as i was writing this post mark came with a pretty grim face and said something i don´t like to hear " karline, we have a problem!" 

we discovered saltwater in the bilge under our front bed - and this is not to joke with. we just spent more than 3 hours searching for the leak, hoping desperately that our first thought (being that the bow thruster would have suffered some damage in all that smashing about) would not be true and water may have come in through somewhere on the deck of the boat. unfortunately the first thought was right! a bit of laminate around housing of the bow thruster must have loosened up resulting in about 1 teaspoon of water coming in every 10 to 20 minutes when the boat was still. no idea how much it was under way.
so, a leak under the waterline....not good! 

thankfully with the help of a neighbor in the marina who happened to be a boat surveyor for the last 40 years and the crew from the sifredi marine boatyard of carloforte we could get evereything fixed with the boat in the water. a diver sealed the area, and once dry it was laminated over from the inside - diver chiseled the seal off again - and all good!

even though our stay in carloforte did not turn out as expected, i surely will remember this little town with a fond feeling not only for being cute, but especially because of the people we met. there were Andrew and his lovely wife Shelly who helped us with their truely amazing experience of years of boatbuilding and living the sailor´s life, there were the lovely people from the marine sefredi, who though our italian was as bad as their english gave us great tips for dinner and taught us about san pietro and it´s history and there was Nicoletta, our helpful neighbor, who jumped in as a translator and left us with wonderful potatos from her garden and a glas of fantastic homemade strawberry-jam and an invitation to see her in turin.

nevertheless, time moves on, and the part time crew has a flight to catch, so we made our way to mahon on menorca. unfortunately this time with too little wind which had us motoring almost all the way...but at least gave Lukas the chance to catch the first tuna!!!!!

appart from the great catch nothing special to report! a wonderful night, a great sunrise ...welcome to spain!


more rain!


they know how to build boats in carloforte...and rescue ours;)

Lukas Bluefin Baumann (+ his helper Michael ;)) and his big catch

Saturday, September 1, 2012

about a calm night and a party without us

well - what to say about the trip from the island of salina to cagliari on sardinia?
another 2-nighter...this time we had a little bit this "it´s going to be a piece of piss (i.e. "a gmahte wiesn" in german) sot of feeling  - and it was.

we started off with a beautiful and unexpected sail, as the weatherforecast gave us different info about the start of our trip.
at 10.30pm (mark was just off watch) the wind died off though...completely! leaving us with a rather uncomfortable swell that didn't let me sleep when i was off shift. this time mark and i tried 4/4 hours which suits us much better.

after 10 hours also the swell died and there it was....the thyrennien sea looking like a lake of chrome. our volvo penta works hard against the odd current, but trustworthy as always she pushed us further and further.

hoping to do a sailing-trip to australia we were a bit disappointed to motor....but soon got rewarded with a lot of dolphins swimming with us, staying at the front of the boat for what felt like 10 minutes. just such a special experience. they see you from a far and surely a few would break from the pod just to come and have a look what the heck you're doing out there in the middle of the sea!!!

the rest was fairly unspectacular. until mark discovered that somebody did hitchhike our boat and had a party: a view squids! and they left a bloody mess!!!

at 1.00pm we tied off in cagliari, explored the (to me) rather strange city and had a good night's sleep.


looking out for dolphines

a very tacky sunset...yes, we made this photo ourselves!

remains of a squid-party night