Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Memorable Cruise, part 5

Cala de Fornells Entrance

By then, the wind was beginning to blow strongly. I decided to row with it for about a mile or so to a different beach where a path appeared to lead to my objective. I anticipated the row back would be quite an effort, especially as the strength of wind was gradually increasing. Lacking foresight, I had set off without liquid refreshment, and I was wearing inadequate footwear in the form of a pair of open sandals. The path was exceedingly rocky, which meant I had to take care not to twist an ankle or stub a toe. During the ascent I sweated profusely, but I was rewarded by seeing flowers, insects and birds, the likes of which I had not seen elsewhere. When I reached the dilapidated houses I was accosted by wild goats. Undeterred, I entered one of the buildings and found it had pink marble floors. The ruin must have been a splendid place in its time. The view from that vantage point enabled me to see large tracts of the Island. Through my mini-binoculars I observed four newly-built ‘Mickey Mouse’ hamlets with their pseudo classical architecture. I also saw a hotel, complete with its own crowded beach, which was so typical of packaged holidays.

As I had anticipated, the row back to ‘Secant’ was strenuous, but it gave me exercise, and I welcomed being cooled by spray from the crests of waves. Over the course of the afternoon the wind increased to the extent that the boat dragged her anchor once more. The business of resetting the anchor was becoming quite tiresome, especially as other yachts were holding firm. Why weren’t we? There was ample scope, and our rode was entirely of calibrated chain. The Bruce anchor wasn’t fully to blame; more so, it was the hull shape of ‘Secant’ which lacked depth at her bow. Finally, we managed to get her to hold. Although there must have been at least a Force 5, the water where we were anchored was comparatively smooth, because of the protection afforded by Isla Sargantanas.

'Secant', a view from the crow's nest

Gordon went for a swim in the direction of the Island. I wondered what I should do if the yacht were to drag her anchor in his absence, and sure enough, as soon as he reached the Island, ‘Secant’ quite rapidly slipped astern. I was able to start the engine and retrieve her anchor before motoring towards Isla Sargantanas, which, by then was at least half a mile away. Gordon had observed what was happening, and he decided to swim for the boat. I found him about a quarter-of-mile from the Island, and fortunately the boarding ladder was in its usual place; therefore he was able to climb aboard.

Fornells Moorings

Yet again we anchored, but we were not happy, because the wind continued to increase. Consequently, we motored the yacht to the Fornells moorings where we picked up a secure buoy for the night.

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