Boo Too Dolly Cruise, Menorca to Mallorca - 13 – 18 October 2004
Captain Oliver, Boo, Flossie, Kirsty, Pete, Jinny, Paul, Luke.
Wednesday 13th October
It's always a treat to have a smooth transit from home to boat so when Flossie and I arrived at Puerto Fornells two hours ahead of schedule we were greeted by Boo and Oliver with a glass or two of rose the start could not have been better! Having smuggled my 20kg squidgy bag on board we were dispatched to the town for a late afternoon promenade before returning for a swim and delicious dinner on board. Oliver has amassed an excellent crew. Not only do we feel safe on board but we are looked after with consummate ease. We do feel spoilt and privileged to be here.
Thursday 14th October
Leaving Fornells at a civilised hour in sunshine and calm seas we note black clouds on the horizon, was this the warning sign for sailing into the Mediterranean autumn? So, with the motor off and sails raised, the thunder and lightening arrive on cue followed by a gigantic hailstorm and a freak wave over the bow. Then we experience a 180° wind shift in about 45 seconds and find ourselves sailing back to where we have come from. An unexpected but exciting start to the Dolly Cruise.
Today's destination is the port town of Ciutadella – access to the quay is through a long, narrow channel and to my amateur eyes mooring would be tricky, but I bow to the expertise of the crew who manoeuvred the boat in a calm and quiet manner into our mooring for the night. We seem to be developing a pattern of activity here: sailing, lunch, exploration (shopping), dinner – the perfect combination for a very happy time.
Friday 15th October
Oliver tried hard to be an honorary girl – he even joined us briefly for a shopping trip before retreating to the boat with strict instructions that we were to depart at midday. Our destination was the remote and pretty bay of Cala Macarella. Three hours steady sailing before we dropped anchor to idle the afternoon away with some major swimming activity. We have now discovered the benefits of a good crew, each with their different jobs to do. Pete and Paul obviously have the boat to look after while Jinny and Luke distract us with their efforts. Even Oliver got into the act, administering medicine to Flossie who lost her sea legs temporarily. After all, he is medically qualified on water.
Saturday 16th October
This morning found us preparing for our longest sail of the trip, our destination being Puerto Pedro on Mallorca. The journey took approximately six hours which included some very exciting sailing, getting up to speeds of between 11 and 12 knots. At one stage the dinghy broke free thereby giving us an idea of what a man overboard exercise would entail, i.e. marking the dinghy, bringing in the sails and motoring back to the spot for retrieval, by no means an easy feat. What has to have been the highlight of the day, though, was when Flossie spotted a dolphin on our port side, we rushed to the bow of the boat where we found four or five dolphins leaping and playing in the water. They stayed with us until their ear defenders got too wet and could no longer drown out Flossie's and my attempts at Dolphin speak!
Dinner that night really tested Oliver's mettle as an honorary girl when Boo and Flossie hit the Irish coffees.
Sunday 17th October
This morning Flossie and I had the privilege of looking over Paul's seriously impressive equipment. For days now we have been living it up on deck whilst Paul has been on his knees in the engine room keeping everything running smoothly.
Today it looked as though Flossie and I were to lose our amateur status as we single-handedly steered the boat to the stunning island of Cabrera, managing to avoid local fishing boats and shipwrecks en route.
One has to seek special permission to drop anchor overnight on Isla de Cabrera as it is a special marine reserve.
We had a wonderful afternoon playing on the dinghy in and out of caves and exploring the island's impressive museum and then climbing up to the castle, where we could appreciate the 360 degree panorama before returning to Boo Too for yet more pampering by the crew. The evening was completed by Paul entertaining us all with an impromptu concert on his beautiful ¾ sized guitar.
Monday 18th October
The final leg of our journey saw the crew raising the sails in preparation for a perfect sail across to Palma, maintaining a steady 6-7 knots in near perfect conditions taking approximately 3 hours to get to our next retail mecca.
Our arrival in Palma marked the end of an extremely enjoyable six days filled with adventure, fun and laughter – this was all due to the remarkable generosity of our host and hostess and the efforts of their charming and hardworking crew.