From Ibiza to Mallorca + Menorca and back to France. David’s brother spent his holiday onboard Ker Marie and we experienced a sailors worst nightmare.
After the rigging, that has been done in Hyères/France we set sail back to Ibiza. Ibiza is easy. The island is relatively small so If you need to hide from certain weather you can go to the other side of the island in a fair amount of time. We have spent quite some time in Ibiza before so after a few weeks it was time for something else. We hoisted our sails and were heading for Mallorca where we were picking up David’s brother, Stephen, who was spending 10 days on Ker Marie.
It all started with an extremely uncomfortable (read: very very roly) motoring day. The wind was not as predicted and the seas were very confusing. Resulting in our quest being very uncomfortable. After 1.5 days we finally arrived on the other side of the island where we had a few relaxed nights in a bay. But the last night in that particular bay was a sailors worst nightmare. We were moored on a buoy. Generally we don’t like being on a buoy, especially David, because one; you need to pay for it and two; how are you sure this buoy is going to hold your 16 tons boat in a bit of wind?
That night we had winds around 15 knots, nothing special but I went out of bed several times to check the buoy and our lines. All good. Until Stephen woke us up at 6 in the morning. ‘Something is not right’ he said.
We got up and the scene was unbelievable! The mooring buoy broke (not our lines) and we have been drifting to the rocks were we stranded with our bow faced only one meter away from the rocks.
David automatically said ‘get into the dinghy and start the engine’ so we could try to pull away the boat very slowly. But how unlucky that our outboard engine broke down the night before. That was of no use. Everyone in the anchorage was still asleep and there was no option of getting to them because they were too far away. We had do to something ‘NOW’.
David had the idea to use the bow thruster to try and swing our bow a bit between the rocks from one side to another, meanwhile he had full reverse throttle. Several calls on the VHF radio asking for help were made but no answer. After half an hour it seemed like Ker Marie was moving, and yes she was, very slowly. David did it! He saved Ker Marie!
Slowly he manoeuvred backwards while we had all sort of weird feelings. Of being angry and complete happiness that we got out! The swearing vocabulary has been taken to a next level, that’s for sure.
We were all so happy but we had to be careful and see if we had any damage. We checked all the floor lockers and I dived down to see if we had damage on the hull. So far we didn’t notice any severe damage, only some beauty marks. We got into contact with the marina a bit later and handed them over the broken buoy. Even the guy was surprised that this buoy basically broke from the block in the water. Unlucky or not looked after? We know what we are doing; Never on a buoy again!
After all the checks we decided to get out of there, and so we did, after a full day of sailing we arrived in a beautiful anchorage in Menorca. Menorca is lovely and a lot smaller, making it easier to shelter from weather, which can be changing all the time in the mediteranian. Compare to Mallorca anchoring is allowed in more places and there seems to be more space. We had a lovely week in several anchorages and ended up in Mahon where Stephen flew out back home again. Mahon was a pleasant surprise for me. I absolutely love it. It is not a big city but very lively and vibrant. It is located in a big sea inlet where you almost think you are on a lake when you approach the city. We had the best mojito ever and a lovely dinner in a tiny backyard with cozy lighting in an Italian restaurant. Mahon has stolen our hearts, but time to move again. Stephen got a taxi to the airport and David and I set sail back to France.
To France? Yes, to France to pick up our hoover. Can you believe it? Long story short; When we were in Hyeres our almost new hoover broke down and we brought it back. Took 2 weeks they said, but instead it took 5 and we already left France.
The crossing to France was not very nice. The wind was different then predicted which meant we had to cross back to Spain first and then cross the Gulf of Lion. We had fairly strong winds, little wind, swell and no swell. Not the best crossing we had so far.
We had to be near Toulon but the wind directed us to Marseille in the end. We haven’t been up the coast near Marseille but we both liked it. The coastline is very pretty and we had a lovely time in a small place called Cassis.
During sailing we were stopped by the douane and they came on board with 6 men strong. They looked in every little locker to see if we had to hide something. I thought it was a great experience! One of the man was happy to be on board of an Amel I think. He kept on saying to his colleague ‘Un Amel, cest tres bien, solide’! It made me giggle while I was behind the wheel steering us in the right direction. After spending an hour on board they gave us a piece of paper that we were all good. The douane boat came along side again and all of them stepped back onto their boat. A wave and gone they were!
Finally we picked up our hoover after a bike ride of 20km land inwards…times two! Mister hoover maker forgot to enclose the battery. After being reunited with my yellow Dewalt hoover we decided to get up the French coast a bit more to see some super yacht madness. Saint Tropez was our first stop. A little visit through town with a drink on a terrace was enough for us to set sail again towards Cannes. And Cannes really surprised me. I didn’t know that Cannes had a few islands just off the coast.
les Îles de Lérins are a group of four Mediterranean islands off the French Riviera in Cannes. We have been anchoring between the two largest islands in this group named Île Sainte-Marguerite and the Île Saint-Honorat. Yes it is a bit of super yacht madness but you can find your spot. Somehow it was all very relaxed. There is even a pizza boat floating around. The island of Île Saint-Honorat is beautiful and the 21 monks currently make up the community of the monastery on here. Absolutely a must see when your in the area!
After spending some time in the French Riviera we made our way towards the North of Italy. We spent two days in a Marina in Imperia to get ourselves ready to go all the way down to the South of Italy (Messina) to pick up David’s friend who will spent a week on board Ker Marie. Imperia was great and David and I found an absolute winner of a restaurant! As I am writing this we are half way, so more about that in my next reading.
Thank you very much for all you loyal followers, I appreciate that a lot!
Speak to you soon!