May 1993 - Almerimar to Mahon

1 May 1993 Almerimar, Spain
A beautiful day with light winds – we should have left today. Ah well! I got the sat nav working - I just dismantled the antenna and reassembled it and it worked! I also worked out that a 0.364 metre dipole will do the job of the Navstar 2000S antenna because it works on 400 MHz. Glenys finished off the mosquito netting for the hatches.

2 May 1993 Almerimar to Mar Menor (Day 1)
We left on a beautiful morning with five or six other boats. We motored to San Jose and decided to continue overnight to Mar Menor. A school of dolphins visited us during the night.

3 May 1993 Almerimar to Mar Menor (Day 2)
We ended up motoring all the way. It was a pleasant approach to the canal entrance to Mar Menor. I really liked having a swing bridge opened for us. We motored to Mar De Cristal where my dad and mum had their boat for a while. We left a note on “Red Blazer” from my dad. We filled up with fuel.

The wind was causing a swell on the west side of the Mar Menor, so we motored across to La Manga and anchored there. The Mar Menor is an amazing huge lagoon about 12 miles long and a mile wide with several small islands. The water is very shallow never exceeding about 15 metres. The La Manga side is a heavily built up strip of land between the lagoon and the sea.

Unfortunately, Glenys has developed severe toothache from a dodgy crown and had to go to see a doctor who gave her some painfillers for the infection - they don’t seem to be working.

4 May 1993 Mar Menor
We had a 20-25 knot wind all day from the east, but the anchorage is pretty calm and the holding is good so no problems.

Glenys went to a dentist who told her that the nerve is causing the trouble and needs to be removed. It will take 4 days so she will get it done in Ibiza. The dentist said throw away the drugs that the doctor prescribed (£30 down the drain) and he prescribed some more (£30 well spent!)

The outboard played up while I was taking Glenys ashore, so I had 10 minutes rowing exercise against the strong wind and the outboard got its death sentence! I will buy a new one as soon as possible. I tidied up my Mediterranean charts and we decided to go to the Ionian for July/August. At ten o’clock, the barometric pressure was down to 1015 and two hours later had dropped a further 2 millibars - I guess that there’s bad wether on the way.

5 May 1993 Mar Menor
It was gusting 30+ knots and raining all night. At eight o’clock in the morning, the pressure was down to 1009. It rained cats and dogs all day. The wind backed to the north in the evening.

We stayed in all day – I typed an astronavigation program into my pocket computer. Glenys’ tooth has stopped troubling her, thank goodness.

6 May 1993 Mar Menor to Ibiza Town (Day 1)
We woke up to a beautiful morning – blue skies and NW 15 knot wind. I underestimated the time it takes to get to the swing bridge and we missed it. (Very slack!) We hove to under mizzen alone until half past nine and then arrived at the bridge 5 minutes early.

No wind again, looks like we will be motoring all day. We stopped the engine just before lunch, so that we could all go for a swim! The wind picked up at about five o’clock and we had a downwind sail all night. The wind was 20° from directly behind and no more than 15 knots, so the main bashed and banged with the swell all night.

We had an interesting encounter with a fishing boat at eight p.m. He appeared to be going to cross in front of us, but about 1 mile away he headed straight for us. I stood on, because I was under sail, but I was very apprehensive. He veered off about 100 metres away from us and all the crew started to shout “Hola” accompanied by the hooting of the ship’s horn – we all waved back and had a good laugh. I suspect that they do this a lot!

7 May 1993 Mar Menor to Ibiza Town (Day 2)
We sailed until six o’clock in the morning, when the boat’s speed finally dropped below 3 knots. We motored through the channel between Ibiza and Formentera then sailed to the harbour entrance.

We initially went into Marina Neuva, but they charged £23 per day (mid season). So we asked for our money back (got charged £4 for the trouble) and went to the Club Nautico at £12 per day. We moored bows to the concrete dock.

8 May 1993 Ibiza Town
Glenys cleaned the boat and I built a gang plank. Called a “passerelle” on fancy yachts, mine was built from old bits of wood and uses the spinnaker halyard to lift it up and down. We need this to be able to get Ceris on and off the boat when she arrives in a few days time.

9 May 1993 Ibiza Town
We looked around Ibiza Town which is very nice. Neville and Margaret from “Bonnie Day” arrived - so we just had to go for a drink or two with them.

10 May 1993 Ibiza Town
We did jobs on the boat and generally lurked about Ibiza Town. Glenys and the boys went over to look at the cruise ship coming in.

Neville from Bonnie Day owns a 3.6 hp Mercury outboard just like our heap of crap. He listened to me moaning about mine and bragged that his outboard is fantastically reliable and has never failed him. This morning, he decided that he would take the dinghy across the bay to a fuel station. I was sitting in our cockpit talking to Glenys when I noticed someone rowing a dinghy about 400 metres away. Looking closer, I saw that it was Neville rowing in a wide circle around us back to Bonnie Day, obviously trying not to be seen. The telephoto lens came out and there was a wry smile on his face when he got closer and saw that he had been caught out.