Monday, July 9, 2012

Time to say bye to Pollenca July 6, 2012

The 'Pine Walk' at Pollenca Bay

A day at the beach, looking out to the large anchorage 

Market day at Pollenca

We have been enjoying our stay at Pollenca, and before you know it, three weeks have gone by! After a while Puerto Pollenca has become ‘our’ neighborhood. We know the good restaurants with suckling pig, roasted lamb shoulder, and sizzling steak; the little shop with wonderful home-made pastries; and the well-stocked groceries.  We routinely take the 5-minute dinghy ride from our boat to shore, do a little grocery, or stop by a coffee, or take an evening walk. A few of our friends from Port Vell in Barcelona are also anchored here, plus some new yachties we’ve met, so we have a bit of social life going, including a birthday dinner. Summer has quietly arrived, bringing the occasional heat wave – especially if it’s a south wind from Africa. But most days the temperature is pleasant, as there’s usually a cooling sea breeze at the anchorage. The bay of Pollenca is very big, but it’s well sheltered from the swell from the open sea.

We had one gale which was not really forecasted. It started in the afternoon, and the wind kept strengthening until it peaked with 48 knot gusts. The sound on the rigging was like a freight train, white caps whipped up within the short fetch and immediately blown flat into foamy spindrifts. Boats all around were dragging, including some unoccupied boats that drifted out into the middle of the bay. It was pandemonium! There is a government seaplane hanger at the other side of the bay, and fire-fighting seaplanes routinely takeoff and land on the water. We watched a seaplane landed during the height of the gale, and the plane was blown backwards on the water, unable to reach the hanger! Miraculously our anchor held. It went on for hours until mid night when it finally winded down.  And the hope to watch the Euro 2010 final, Spain vs Italy, was blown off as we wanted to stay on the boat, just in case.  We knew Spain had won, by the sounds of firework and cheering. 

Storm looming, our summer awning wildly flapping 

Forecast called for a moderate 20 knot wind, but it peaked at a gale force level of 50 knots. The blue boat dragged anchor and was getting blown out of the bay.

Seaplane unable to land on the water and forced to depart

Finally it’s time to move on. We picked a blustery day to sail west-ward around the northern coast of Mallorca, towards Ibiza, the next Balearic island. The fresh easterly was directly behind us and we made good speed on a dead run, with poled-out genoa and staysail wing-on-wing. But we had forgotten how choppy the sea can be, with a 15-20 knot wind having blown through the night. Anything not secured in the cabin was sent flying.  Ah, too much wind, too little wind….

 One more hiking trip before leaving Pollenca. This is Saint Boquer, a scenic pass looking out the north coast of Mallorca.

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