Hide and Seek
Written by Pieter Jan on Nov 10, 2019 — 2 min read
From: Portopetro Bay, Mallorca, Spain
To: Colònia de Sant Jordi, Mallorca, Spain
We had a lazy morning inside the boat. It was raining and cold outside, so we elected to stay in and read a bit.
Around noon, it started to clear up a bit. Suddenly, we heard a loud knocking on the hull. When somebody knocks on the hull here, it’s usually not a good sign. I stuck my head outside.
“Sir! You cannot anchor here!”
“Really? My charts say I can from November to April”
“No sir, it’s protected here because of the sea grass.”
Wait what? The obnoxious weed that gets in the way of every good anchor spot is actually protected? Turns out Posidonia oceanica and the common cruiser have the same habitat: shallow bays in the Mediterranean. Around here, the grass gets precedence.
“You can go to the other side of the bay, anchor in sand.”
Thanks but no thanks, Señor Seagrass. The other side of the bay is too narrow and exposed to swell. We’ll be on our way.
I cut two new genua(the foresail) sheets from a big reel of dyneema that the previous owner had left on the boat (thanks!) and off we went.
We needed to go to the south side of the island anyway. These days we’re playing hide and seek with storm systems we don’t want to deal with. Most of the time we find a sheltered place to lay low. Sometimes we get caught out in the open.
Outside the bay, the sailing was great, but weird. A sizeable swell was coming in from the north, but the wind was blowing 12 to 18 knots from the west, over the island. It created an interesting situation that I have never encountered before: Close-hauled sailing(sailing with the wind coming from almost the front of the boat) with big following seas. Vite & Rêves started surfing very smoothly.
We surfed past Cap de Ses Salines. The north swell died out and was replaced by short choppy waves. The wind increased to 30 knots. Oh well. Sometimes you need to deal with 30 knots to avoid the 50 knots later on.
We arrived just after sunset in the semi-protected bay of Colònia de Sant Jordi. We’ll check tomorrow if we can find a safe place inside the harbor.
We couldn’t see the bottom when we anchored. No idea if there’s seagrass here. If there is: sorry for dropping our anchor on your heads, leafy friends!