Monday 24 June 2013

Formentera with the boys

We spend the day cleaning the boat, making beds and reorganising the cabins in preparation for the arrival of the boys and Lucie, who are going to spend a few days with us at the start of their holidays. We collect Jamie and Lucie by rib from the beach and after dinner we take the water taxi back to the Blue Marlin where we have arranged to meet Tom whose flight arrives late this evening.

 It is Sunday and the club is heaving; we are crammed in shoulder to shoulder, clutching our drinks and propelled to the music by the collective undulations of the crowd. I push my way to the entrance, but I find a long taxi queue where people have been waiting over an hour. There is another queue, snaking deep into the car park, of posh frocks and tight t-shirts, waiting their turn to get into the club. Occasionally, expensive cars sweep up and dispense parties of VIPs who are greeted by smiling doormen and jealously eyed by the queuers, their gaze raking these newcomers from glossy locks to vertiginous heels, as they stride past the bouncers. It is 11pm and we have had enough of this madness so we return to Juno and wait for Tom to call. His flight is delayed but eventually at one in the morning he arrives and we leave the kids eating snacks in the cockpit while we head to bed.

It is a short sail to Formentera the following morning where we pick up a mooring buoy in our favourite anchorage at Espalmador. There is an on-shore westerly wind which is forecast to strengthen, so after a rolly night we move to a more sheltered bay near the port of Las Salinas, a short dinghy trip to the harbour. We hire a Jeep and drive to Es Pujols, the Italian part of the Island, spending the afternoon with the kids playing Frisbee on the beach. The wind has picked up considerably and I do two trips ashore in the rib for dinner. When we return to Juno it is late and the onshore wind is pushing white surf across the bar into the lagoon where our rib is docked. We make it safely back to the boat but as the night wears on the wind increases, veering to the northwest and exposing our anchorage to the building seas. I have a fretful night, concerned that our mooring buoy is only rated for boats up to fifteen metres. I set the anchor alarm and just before dawn I am awoken by Fatty who has heard the beeping before me. I race up on deck but it is just the wind backing to the west swinging us out of range of the alarm and by morning the wind has subsided and the day dawns bright and sunny. After a visit to the caves and the famous light house we drop the kids back to the beach and sail around to Es Pujols on the East side of the island, where the water is calm and sheltered from the gusting westerly wind.

Dinner is at Chez Gerdi, a very cool Italian restaurant, spread over several levels of dark wood decking, with deep sumptuous sofas, white leather chairs and glorious Italian food. The staff are charming and they deliver us back to Juno in their newly acquired water taxi, handing us a gift of dried pasta and bottled ragout as they disappear into the night. The next day is our last day with the boys and we anchor off another beautiful sandy beach before heading to the port where they catch the ferry to Ibiza town and on to the airport for the flight home. It has been a fun few days and we have enjoyed getting to know Lucie, who makes us all laugh with her quirky turns of phrase.


The following morning Fatty and I wake early for the 70 mile trip back to Palma. There is little wind so we motor in the still air, reading books (Fatty), polishing stainless (me) and by early evening we drop anchor in a quiet bay on the western end of Mallorca called Cala Portal. We have supper on board and then two more episodes of the Game of Thrones, the TV series that we have become addicted to. The following day is my birthday and we dock in Palma where Oyster invite us to join them for the prize-giving party for the Superyacht regatta which has been held in the bay of Palma over the past few days. Oyster have sold their first one hundred footer which has done well in the regatta despite not owning a spinnaker. Apparently the owner didn't know what a spinnaker was; in fact he wasn't sure he wanted his new boat until this regatta, and now he has ordered a new spinnaker, taken his yacht off the market and everyone is happy. The winning yacht in the J class is Hanuman, owned by Netscape founder Jim Clarke. Apparently he is donating to charity the same amount that it takes to run his boat for just one week - a cool $800,000!

If you are wondering why my photography has improved so much in this post - the answer is that Tom took all the pictures on his new camera. Its all about the rule of thirds apparently.

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