Monday 1 May 2017

The Next Episode

After an indolent summer last year in the Greek islands watching the barnacles grow on the hull and the anchor slowly rusting into the sea bed, we have decided, (or rather Fatty has conceded) that it is once again time to reach out for distant shores. So, after much consideration we have decided to cross the Atlantic on Juno for the third time. Just writing these words I feel my pulse quicken at the prospect of another ocean crossing. 

I am very pleased that we have a great crew for this next trip; Rosie, newly on the dole with time on his hands and a taste for adventure, will be bringing his helming skills and endless newly acquired equipment; Mervyn, a very experienced sailor and good friend who has sailed many miles on his own boats, is joining us to catch a lift to his new house being built on Antigua; Oults (Nicholas, to his mother), on the third time of asking, has run out of reasons to say no and has promised to teach us how to use a sextant. And of course Andrew, who has sailed almost as many miles on Juno as I have, and will be once more in charge of victualing.  Fatty has decided that a 747 goes much better across the Atlantic than Juno, so she, Saz, J, C and Amanda will be on the finish line to meet us on our arrival in St Lucia. I can’t think of anything better.

Between now and then we have another Mediterranean summer to enjoy. My mother is coming to Palma in June from where we will set off for Menorca and then maybe Corsica and the French Riviera. Or we might just lurk in the Balearics drifting around the party islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera with friends and family.  As you can appreciate these are very tough decisions. In September we head back to Palma to prepare for the Atlantic and then in October we will start to work our way west towards Gibraltar and down the African coast to the Canary Islands, the departure point for the crossing.

In preparation for this next episode there have been some developments on Juno.  I have installed a fridge in the cockpit table that has already resulted in an alarming increase in the consumption of Estrella, our favourite Spanish beer.  I have also fitted a Seagull water filter in the galley that enables us to drink the water in our tanks, regardless of the source, marking an end to the rapid accumulation of empty plastic water bottles that have a half-life of eternity and a ghastly effect on both pocket and environment. Notice the use of the first person singular, nominative case, personal pronoun.  These improvements have been implemented by your correspondent, making them much more satisfying and of course demanding constant admiration from a long-suffering Fatty.

Over the winter we have also sanded the teak decks, installed a new boat PC, a new audio system and various other minor improvements and upgrades. Here I move to the plural because these modifications (and in truth many of the above as well) have been achieved with the help of Lars and Anna Lena; a charming Swedish couple who are taking a sabbatical year to cruise the Mediterranean on their Baltic yacht Odin, and have been our neighbours and constant companions in the marina in Palma over the winter. Lars can turn his hand to anything practical and Anna Lena feeds us with Carpaccio of reindeer, Swedish meatballs and home made Gravlax, which is simply heavenly.  In honour of Lars’ contribution, the Swedish sheepskin that adorns the saloon sofa now bears his name, keeping his place on Juno in time immemorial.

In the past few weeks Palma Mallorca has begun to blossom as the warming spring sunshine attracts the tourists – half a million over Easter week alone – and bars and restaurants, closed for the winter, open their doors for the new season. The Palma boat show is in full swing and we have been ejected from the marina, our berths taken by new boats for sale.  The sailing community is by its nature peripatetic and our neighbourhood of yachts in the marina will soon be sailing to the four winds; something both unsettling and exciting.  As the temperature drops over the bank holiday weekend and the rain begins to fall in London, my iPhone tells me that it is also raining in St Lucia – but under the clouds it is 29 degrees, the sea temperature a balmy 26 degrees.


  1. Am hoping this is the same Juno that we were admiring earlier today in Es Grau, Menorca!
    Enjoy the rest of your travels!

  2. Hi yes that was us in Es Grau. Next time you see us please come and say hi.