Friday, 18 August 2017

2016 On Mango

2015 ended by us spending Christmas on Mango and using our cockpit tent for the first time since leaving Biscay.  We had hoped to get out for a sail but the weather was not conducive.
Easter was mainly spent catching up on maintenance, testing our new mainsail and fitting new solar panels and regulators.
Our plan for the summer was to cruise Sardinia which is about a 3 day passage from where we are based in Spain.  We were initially delayed by a minor injury Helen sustained, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the summer has been characterized by more frequent than usual strong winds which would have given us a headache as they have been stronger in Sardinia and finding a weather window to get back would have been all consuming.
Our foretaste of having escaped some challenging sailing came when we were just short of Fornells in Minorca and we heard a gale warning on the VHF, the forecast had been for the following night to be a 5 gusting 6 and for light winds to follow.  In the event we were stuck in Fornells for 10 days while two gales blew themselves out.
So, rather than going to Sardinia we circumnavigated Minorca and revisited some of our favourite places in North Mallorca and had some good sailing but more motoring that we have had to do in previous years
Fornells did not impress when we first entered, but it grew on us as we stayed there and we would go again There is plenty of room in the harbour, but it does have a lot of motor boat and dinghy sailing activity (which was a useful distraction when we were stuck on the boat during the blows).  The town is small and pleasant and the old fortified tower at the entrance has been restored in to an interesting museum.
After Fornells we sailed down to Addaia past a rocky coastline with lots of inlets which would make wonderful day anchorages.  We arrived at Addaia doing over 7 knots under sail with a following wind and had to do a smart sail drop as the channel is very narrow and winds.  The main part of the inlet is mainly filled with mooring buoys but being a shallow draft catamaran we were able to go through to a shallow pool beyond the moorings and anchor in idyllic surroundings with a pleasant walk along bridleways into the town.

ps Our apologies, yet again I forgot to make a note of our cruising stats before leaving the boat.

Posting on hold

For the time being we have gone back to work.  Mango is still based in Spain and cruising to the Balearics so each year is pretty much a repeat of the previous ones so we are not actively maintaining the blog.

This year we learnt the hard way that you need to filter fuel even if it comes from a reputable source (we found rust in our tanks from fuel we got from a marina) and if you are not using a boat regularly you need to empty all your petrol tanks before leaving and clean the tanks as deposits build up.

2017 seems to be a repeat of 2016 for regular Tramontanas and gales from the East.

The upside of being in Spain is that it is warm, being rained on is not a hardship and the seafood is unbelievably fresh after the poor stuff one sees on UK fish counters.

The upside we have found of having Mango is that she is so light she will sail in winds when everyone else is motoring so we can go for a day sail.  We put a new main on last year and found that we had more weather helm, put on a new jib this year and the sails are now perfectly balanced so it is probably worth replacing sails as a set if you can.

We have decided to go back to wire shrouds as we have found that the Spectra shrouds are affected by tempreature to a degree that they need regular adjusting which is too much work for a short handed cruising boat unless one invests in some expensive dead eye arrangements.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Another Balearics cruise

We have decided to base Mango on the Spanish coast for a couple of years as we realised that we need to keep working for a while but have enjoyed the Balaerics so much that we decided to sacrifice being able to sail every weekend to be able to have longish holidays in the Med.

This year we went out for July and August and sailed out to Soller (on Mallorca), which was as beautiful as we remembered and from there went up to Pollensa and then to Menorca and managed to sail round to Mahon.  We had hoped to do more but the weather was unsettled and as we avoid going to sea when a Force 5 or thunderstorms are forecast so our sailing time was constrained.

Mahon was well worth the visit.  We did not get ashore as the weather turned and we decided to head back to Mallorca rather than get weather bound by a NE gale.  We had heard that it was difficult to moor in Mahon, but the anchorages had space and there was loads of empty spaces on the pontoons we saw near the islands.

We had driven out to the boat on our new (to us) motorhome and came back via Vielha (which took us roughly through the middle of the Pyrenees).  It was (almost) worth the loss of sailing time as the scenery is so dramatic.  We were particularly impressed by the amount of hydroelectric plants there were on the rivers - nothing wasted.

Biggest surprise of the trip was another Tiki 30 moored across the pontoon from us.

Biggest anxiety of the trip was a wheel bearing starting to make a noise after descending the Pyrenees, but after a check by an wonderful French mechanic and following his advice on driving slowly we got back without any problems.

Some photos from the trip are below.

Puerto de Soller 

Torent de Pareis

Passing Ile de L'Aire, Menorca
Clouds being sucked into a thunderstorm over Valencia

View over canal running alongside the river Ebro

Lake behind dam

Dam in Pyrenees (sorry, forgot to note the name)

Half way up

Rest area before Vielha tunnel (all downhill from here)

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Back home

We have added pictures to the posts and will add stats to this page when we have worked them out.  We spend a lot more time motoring and a lot less time in marinas this year than last year so it will be interesting to compare the stats.

For UK sailors one of the most amazing things about sailing around the Balearics was the clarity of the water.  When we were crossing the south side of Formentorar we could make out sand patches on the bottom through about 18m of water!  We could always check the anchor by going swimming, and if the water was still just looking could be sufficient, below are pictures taken when anchored in 6m of water, the anchor is directly underneath us.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Left Balearics

After a brief cruise down to Binirassi, which was too croweded for comfort, we spent a few days watching the weather whilst in Cala Blanco and then Cala Charracca until we saw what looked like a settled period, so after a long restraunt lunch in Portinax we set of on a night sail to the Columbretes, a small group of (ex)volcanic islands of the Spanish coast.
Cala Charraca

The wind was stronger and the sea nastier than forecast, but both died away on the approach and we arrived in sunshine. The main anchorage is in the bowl of the defunct volcano and is spectacular.

After 2 nights we left and the predicted wind materialized giving us a wonderful fetch and reach to the Spanish coast where we will be laying up for the winter.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Completed circumnavigation of Ibiza and Formentorar

Went the whole way round Ibiza without going ashore until the last couple of days as the anchorages were all very full. Formentorar was more pleasant to visit with nice anchorages and we did go ashore and met a Tiki 26 owner who is able to keep his boat in the lagoon in La Sabina.
Cala Sahona

To look at Ibiza is attractive with pine hills, fantastically shaped rocks and loads of little coves with clear water; but the whole area suffers from an overabundance of super yachts and big motor boats which in turn mean loads of wash and a plethora of jet skis and ribs all going flat out. The nicest bit is the NE corner which does not seem to suffer so badly.
We would only visit again well out of season.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Why we do not wave at power boats

We sail to enjoy the challenge of making the boat go as well as is comfortable for the conditions and to enjoy peaceful anchorages.
Both these objectives are frequently disrupted by planing and semi planing power boats with noisy engines kicking up huge wakes which affect other boats a mile or more away from where the power boat passed.
The wakes are the worst problem as they shake the wind from our sails in light weather and in stronger winds create nasty cross seas that fling the boat around.
And then there is the smell of diesel or 2 stroke exhaust.
All the above applies whether sailing or at anchor.
So we do wave at traditional displacement motor boats but we do not wave at power boats as we are usually busy preparing to cope with their wake.

In September there was an article in the Huddersfield Examiner about 2 men from Huddersfield being hospitalised and flown home following the small motor boat they were in in Ibiza being overtaken by a large power boat and the wash being so extreme that they  thrown up in the air a number of time of times and suffered serious injuries when landing back on their boat each time.