Tag Archives: Linea

Ibiza and mainland Spain again four an a half years on! Late September 2020

We had a great crossing to Ibiza.   We miss having our own personal crew  already.  Not to mention The Travel Tapes  videographer.    You will have to make do with just my photographs now. 

We were delighted by the incredible anchorage on the North West coast. Cala Grosa was spectacular.  The sedimentary rocks had been twisted and folded into extraordinary sculpted patterns.  My geological advisor Glen Ward tells me that this occurs when the rock is wet and therefore more ‘plastic’ and pliable.  The tectonic plate that Ibiza sits on was subject to massive forces as it collided with neighbouring plates. The solid rock is corrugated into wrinkles, runkles, crinkles, crimps and pleats to astonishing effect.

The stars were amazing and the sun rise well worth the early start but, oh, it was a rolly night.

We made good progress the next day and called into San Antoni de Portmany for a fuel stop.  Thence to a beautiful bay a short distance away.  We anchored in pristine clear water.  At 14m deep we could clearly see the bottom. We had a calm night in strong wind, the low headland providing perfect protection.  We set off for the mainland at first light with a few other boats in sight. 

The marina and harbour in Denia is huge but pleasant.  We had a lovely dinner out and gorgeous showers in our own individual bathroom!

We had arranged to meet Gwendoline and Glen (Friends from Marina de Ragusa) for lunch in Javea so we attempted to find the bus station.  We had left a little bit late and were struggling to reach the bus station in time to catch the 1200h bus.  We thought that it might be possible to pick the bus up on its route out of town.  We stopped a passing lady and I asked her in my Spanish/Italian mix where the bus stop was.  She replied in faultless English that she didn’t think there was a bus to Javea but that she was going there in 20mins and would be happy to give us a lift!

Well, we happily accepted and were given a scenic ride over the Montgo mountain to Javea.  So thank you to Jet, Funeral services director, from www.adiosconamor.es.

We had a great catch up lunch with the two Gees – such fun and a fantastic meal at La Siesta.

The next day, we set off to Altea.  The wind had really picked up and the seas were lumpy.  Initially, we were on a run with the head sail only.  We were tonking along at 7.5kts…which is very fast for us as we normally cover the ground at about 5kts on average.

The wind shifted a bit so we decided to put the main sail up on the third reefing line as the wind was consistently 25kts and gusting to 30kts.  We reduced the size of the head sail too and still we were washing all the windows and bombing along.  I don’t really like the tipping up so I was doing my usual clinging to the winches in the cockpit.  Anyway, we made record time and arrived at Altea with plenty of time for a shower, pre-prandial complementary cava and a stroll before dinner.  Nice to be on terra firma.

The trip to Alicante by complete contrast was just “Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way.”

We had 10kts just b’aft of the beam and all the sails up.  We were fairly level the whole way and still made excellent speeds of between 6 and 6.5kts all the way.  Lovely.

We booked into the Real Club de Regatas in Alicante for two nights so we could go and see the Volvo Ocean Race Exhinbition and have a good explore round town.

The exhibition was very interesting.  The town was a surprise with its wavy esplanade, palm trees, statues, bourgainvilla, gorgeous seafront buildings, le Barrio or old quarter, the Santa Barbara Castle and the Bull Ring, theatre and cathedral.

 

 

The next leg was a biggy from Alicante to Cartagena – about 65nm.  We arose at 0530h and dodged through cargo and fishing vessels on our departure from the port without incident.  Using our fancy new radar together with the AIS, we could ‘see’ all the vessels and obstacles around us in the darkest predawn dark of the night.

Then the sun finally made an appearance and we could relax a little. 

The last two hops passed without incident.

We have now arrived at our winter berth in Almerimar, on the costa del Sol where we are trying to sell the boat.

I have volunteered at a Oxfam type shop here and will start Spanish lessons soon.

 

 

We hope that more liveaboards will arrive over the coming days and that we are able to meet the community soon.

There are as always, lots of boat jobs to keep us busy until the boat sells.  We need to lose weight and try to get fit too.  As per….!  We are hiring a car to explore the area around us and will try to keep you all up to speed n ow that I have a working blog again!

Thanks for reading!

 

Magical Mallorca, Mid September 2020

 

We left to head off to Mallorca and had a rolly night at anchor just along the north coast, followed by a fantastic sail across to Porto Pollensa anchorage.  We anchored up in familiar territory again.  Five seasons ago we set off from here to go to Sardinia for the first time.

Josh was particularly happy as he used to spend his summer holidays here as a child and teenager and so he was keen to see some old haunts and meet up with people he knew.

We went ashore and wandered along the front, reminiscing.  We had a fine meal at one of the restaurants and then Josh took us to meet his old tennis coach who runs a bar nearby.  Rafa was a delight and invited us to come and play tennis the next day.  We duly met him and I had my first lesson and knock up for about 20 years!

It was great fun.  I loved how Rafa would say, ‘Good shop’ whenever you hit the ball sweetly.

The following day we headed by bus up into the town as there was a market on.  There was a bit more hustle and bustle up in Pollenca but it was still much quieter than normal for this time of year.  We had some incredible empanadas from the bakery stall.  I have to say that they truly did rival Weatherhead’s pork pies!  Totally delicious.

Ian found a bar along the sea front in which to watch the Tour De France so he was happy and Josh and Erin topped up their tans on the beach.  We ordered Pimientos de Padron to keep the hunger pangs at bay.

We decided to hike over to a bay on the north coast. It was impressive scenery. Towering rock faces and boulders, wild rosemary and juniper growing all around and paths unevenly forged by torrential downpours in winter.

Unfortunately, when we arrived and were preparing for a welcome dip we noticed that the centre of the bay was a veritable soup of plastic debris. Of course, we had no bags to put anything into but the sea provided four perfect bags and we spent the next hour scooping partially decomposed plastic bags, lolly sticks, tampon applicators, fishing nets, fishing lines, ropes and plastic cups and containers out of the water and off the beach. Others around us joined in and we lugged our plastic hoard back over the hills to town to dispose of it in a bin. Gone are the days of beach combing for shells.

After a few fab days in Pollenca we filled up with fuel and water and sailed round the headland to the north to go back to our beloved Soller.

We anchored in a good spot opposite the Esplendido Hotel and soon met up with friends Nikki and Mark on Freda who live here during the summer.  It was extremely quiet ashore.  N and M invited us round for drinks with some fellow yachties from Cartagena and we had a fantastic evening finally rolling into the tender after midnight!

Soller.

We took the bus into Palma the following day and had a lovely time aimlessly wandering around the streets.  It, too, was practically deserted.  A good number of shops, cafes and restaurants were closed up and graffiti was visible everywhere.  We marvelled at the stunning cathedral without crowds of tourists around – such a beautiful city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we met up with the yachtie friends in Soller town.  We walked to Fornalutx and back to Soller taking a few scenic beers en route. 

We had a fantastic meal (good value) at Bar Molino and then we went to the cooperative to stock up on wine supplies. 

 

We bought four litres of their best rose at 2 Euros a litre!  They sell vegetables, fruit, olive oil and other produce made and grown by locals in Soller and district.  Such a great idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday afternoon Erin and I went up to Soller to attend a workshop to teach us how to make lavender oil.  We met Joaquim and Rose of Jabon de Mallorca, (www.jabondemallorca.es) and fellow tutee Barbara from Argentina, and had an interesting hour and a half learning all about the process.

We came away with our own ‘home made’ oil, lavender perfume and lavender floral water as well as some wonderful almond oil, shampoo bar and an ingenious soap holder.  It was a interesting experience courtesy of Erin for my Christmas present.

Checking the weather we realised that we had a good opportunity to cross to Ibiza soon.  Erin and Josh decided they wanted to fly home to the UK and so we planned to drop them in Andratx on Monday morning and they could easily fly home from Palma airport.

We motored from Soller, sadly saying farewell to N and M, and made good, if very lumpy progress.  We all felt particularly bilious.  Clearly the fuel had been getting a good mix up too, being sloshed about in the tank from side to side and up and down, because, just as we came into the harbour of Andratx, the engine stalled.  By now, there was a little wind behind us.  Ian put the headsail out and we sailed in.  Luckily, we were able to call the marina and request assistance on to the mooring buoy that we had booked.

Ian changed the fuel filters, and pumped out some gunk from the fuel pipes, using a handy bicycle tyre pump, and managed to get the engine going again.  So, that was a huge relief!  We are so practiced at this now my heart rate hardly went up at all!  I think that is the 6th time we have had to moor under sail! No problem!

Early on Monday morning we bid a sad farewell to Erin and Josh.  We shall miss them dearly.  We needed to set off for Ibiza.  But not until we had sorted out the ropes and pulleys on the dinghy davits which had decided to play silly buggers.  Half an hour and a good bit of swearing later we were on our way waving madly at Josh and Erin’s drone as it hovered overhead.  (See The Travel Tapes video on Erin’s You tube channel for some amazing drone footage of Linea leaving Andratx port.)

Next, we bounce to the Spanish mainland via Ibiza.

Back on board Linea – June and a bit of July 2020 (Now with photos!)

21 June 2020:

We arrived back in the late evening having had a lift from our Roman friend Michele.  We were so excited to see Linea again. We took all the clutter out of the front bunk so that Erin had a sliver of space to sleep in and we all crashed out. 

Stove top pizza night.

We retrieved the bikes from their spot in the marina and began to put the boat (Bavaria Lagoon 430) back together.  Sheena came down from Rome for a night and we cycled about and swam.  We re-acquainted ourselves with Pepe from the vegetable stall and the vini sfosi (Wine on tap shop! £2.10 per litre, bring your own bottles!)  I bet his sales had gone right through the floor since our departure in November.

 

 

Dirty cockpit locker
Clean cockpit locker!
Ian goes up the mast again.
Fierce backgammon tournament commences.
Creating a new sun shade for the windscreen. (Greenhouse)

Erin was a joy to have on board.  She got stuck in to the many tasks we threw at her.  She produced some videos for her You Tube Channel The Travel Tapes, too.  We played Rummykub.  We had our own mini lock down/bubble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These COVID times. Travel in the new normal! Thanks to Sue Browning for the funky mask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a day trip to Rome. Due to the Covid situation the city was virtually deserted. Here are some incredible pictures taken on the day.

Soon we were ready for a shakedown sail and this years’ blue water cruising. We decided to go to the Pontine Islands about 35miles southwest of Gaeta.  We were due to be lifted out of the water the following week to have the hull cleaned and to fit the newly refurbished and shiny Max Prop propeller and fancy new rope cutter, so a few days away would be great.  On the 1st July we headed out of the marina to the anchorage.  We finished off the remaining jobs and checked the wind.  We were off with our buddy boat TakaMaka.  Initially, we were heading for Ponza but the wind angle was better for Ventotene so we headed further south.  We anchored off between Ventotene and San Sebastion. 

The next day things had calmed enough for us to get the dinghy off and go ashore.  Ventotene was delightful. We liked the old Roman harbour hewn out of rock and the town square perched up high on the rock above.  We had a people watching coffee in the square.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later, we sailed over to Ponza, seeing a huge pod of dolphins on the way which lifted our spirits some more. 

The anchorage in Ponza was spectacular.  Sheer cliffs line the shore.  Fallen arches remain stranded in the water.  Caves and tunnels abound.  We explored the next day and Erin and Ian bravely dived through the tunnels with the numerous jelly fish whilst Maik and I manned the dinghy.

We then moved round to the west side of the island as the wind was due to change in the middle of the night and boy were we glad we had.  By 0200h there must have been at least 20 yachts coming in to escape from the wind and the waves that must have been pounding the eastern shoreline!

Later in the morning, my friends Sheena and Cecilia came into the bay on their friend Lorenzo’s beautiful yacht which they had chartered for Cecilia’s birthday.  Erin and I paddle-boarded over and we had a lovely chat and catch up. 

Then it was time to leave again.  We went back round to the east side and anchored just north of the harbour at Ponza.  We took a trip to shore but Ponza town was nothing like as charming as Ventotene, so after having a coffee and purchasing some delicious pizzas and breads for lunch (£27!) we went back to Linea to do an hour’s bottom scraping.  Sheen arrived and came over for a chat.  It has been so nice to see more of Sheen since we have been in Italy.  It is almost 40 years since we first meet at Carnegie College of PE and HMS, Leeds.

Bob and Robin from Windarra who invited us to their 4th July celebrations.
Agriturismo up above beautiful Itri, not far from Gaeta.
A yummy selection of starters.
Bam’s gorgeous old Fiat 500.
Everyone piling into Bam’s Cinquecento

We had a lovely downwind sail with the gennaker flying all the way back to Gaeta only to be told that the lift out had been postponed.  Hey ho!

We still had things to do and soon it would be my birthday.

I had a fabulous day.  Some gorgeous pressies, a lovely lunch at Le Macellerie in Gaeta old town and then film night on board Maik’s spacious catamaran TakaMaka!

The lift out never actually happened as it was postponed again until Tuesday and we had to catch the wind for a suitable crossing to Sardinia.

We waved goodbye to Maik and the next morning at 0600h we motored out of Gaeta for possibly the last time.

Our sail across to Sardinia was fantastic and stress free.  We arrived in pitch dark and had to hove to just off the anchorage until dawn when we could safely go in to Brandinchi bay and anchor.  It is nice to be back in familiar territory.  We chilled for a few days.  Marvelled at the visiting dolphin and took a walk along the beach.  Ian and Erin practiced their SUP (stand up paddleboarding) techniques.

We moved to San Paolo bay with a stunning view of Tavolara mountain and met up with Heatwave, Heiko and Birgit, friends from MDR.

Chores to be done:  laundry, shopping and trying a Sardinian beer, Ichnusa.

We managed to get our gas bottle refilled here by the delightful Stephano who came down to the small marina to deliver it!

Next stop was Olbia Town quay where we were to pick up Josh.  All went smoothly except that I needed to go to the dentist to sort out a sore tooth after I bit on a very hard piece of dried fruit in my muesli!!

One root canal treatment later all was good.  We had re- provisioned, fuelled up, and filled up with water.  Fantastic – good to go!

Or maybe not.

During the last few days Ian had noticed that the house batteries were not keeping their charge. We really need their power to pump water to the taps, provide light and power for phones and charts etc.

So the decision was made that they needed to be replaced.  We sussed out where we could get them.  The lovely Claudio at EuroNautica organised everything and delivered them to us on the quay in Olbia.  We tested them and winched them on board.  We winched the old ones out and he took them away for disposal.  Ian connected them all up and we have full power again.

Brilliant.

Next time we head north to Corsica.

Guest Blog; Keira and Lucy on Linea

20/08/19-01/09/19

A few highlights from a fantastic two week holiday in Croatia…

After a flying visit to Dubrovnik with Keira, we travelled 4 hours by ferry on Wednesday to Milna on the island of Brač. Sarah and Ian were on the town quay awaiting our arrival and we walked to where Linea was moored. After a long catch up, a delicious homemade curry, and a few glasses of wine, we were ready for bed, and slept soundly for the first night on the boat.

Thursday, we set off to Smrka bay, which was beautiful, it even housed an old Military tunnel left over from the Former Yugoslavia, and an old house left in its ori​ginal state.

The house was complete with an outside shower and toilet, as well as a large open fire in the main room of the house, used for cooking a traditional supper for dinner guests who wish to enjoy a traditional Croatian meal.

Friday, we managed to sail the full 19 miles to Vis as we were lucky with the 5.6 knots of wind in our favour.

The incredible dolphin sightings out at sea- thanks Ian for always spotting them whilst we were deeply involved in our respective books

Saturday was by far the most interesting day as we set off from Vis town by Land Rover to visit three different military bases. Equipped with helmets and headlamps, the tour started in the underground tunnels. We explored the labyrinth of tunnels and bunkers, saw the remains of cannons and abandoned warehouses.

The views from the top were incredible! The tour guide pointed out Tito’s cave and informed us that the leader used this as a Partisan hideout from the invading Nazi forces during the Second World War. We were left fascinated by a tour so rich in culture and history that afterwards, we spent some time discussing it with our guide over a well-earned beer.

The view from the top

Sunday, we sailed 30 miles to Korčula.

I think now it is the right time to mention that England thrashed Australia in the Ashes. Despite mine and Keira’s disinterest in the cricket, I know that S+I will be thrilled that I mention this here, it did create a buzzy atmosphere on the boat and we celebrated by enjoying G+T’s on the top deck and were introduced to ‘Black Mariah’.

The following three days were spent in Lastovo’s Archipelago Nature park- the most idyllic place of all. We were spoilt by the luscious vegetation and marine life that surrounded us. Some personal highlights from this wonderful island: locals who travelled around by dinghy delivering bread and pastries to any anchored vessel, the four of us star gazing on the top deck- mesmerised by the little air pollution, the exhausting yet thoroughly enjoyable 20 mile cycle around the island topped with a fantastic lunch in ‘Fumari’.

Next up was a 30 mile sail to Ston, we spent the evening in a restaurant where a large table of crew members dined from the world’s second largest super yacht named ‘Perlorus’.

The ‘much talked about’ Pelorus super yacht

We indulged in freshly barbequed fish and home grown salad and chips and enjoyed conversing with the crew members and learning how ‘the other half live’! Keira and I spent our last night on the boat in Cavtat before S+I took us to shore to wave us goodbye as we parted ways. A truly unforgettable holiday filled with cultural discoveries, delicious food, some exercise, and great company- thank you Sarah and Ian for a wonderful boating experience. 

I don’t know if you want to put this in the blog but I just wanted to say a special thank you to Ian for teaching me the basics about sailing, I can confidently work out the maths when it comes to calculating the distance, speed, and duration from destination to destination (just about!) Sarah, thank you for inspiring me with your cooking and acting as nurse when I fell over and cut my knee. I am so grateful to you both for inviting me onto the boat, you spoilt me! I look back with such fond memories that will stay with me forever. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Murter to Brac

The view south from the terrace of Ali and Paul’s villa in Osibova Bay.

Having waved off Alice and Ian we set sail to the south to sort out Ian’s tooth and head for Brac to meet the Clements-Hunts. We arrived in our anchorage after a fantastic downwind sail. We listened to Test Match Special commentary on the World Cup Cricket the whole way! Fantastic! 

We arrived in Vinisce, a large protected bay where we have been before.  It was quite busy on a Thursday as it is a good last stop for charter boats returning to base in Trogir.

However, we squeezed in next to an Austrian boat we had previously seen in Prolak Mali Zdrelac.

Nice spot.   

Next morning we motored over to Trogir and anchored off resort town called Segut from where we could take the dinghy ashore for Ian’s visit to the dentist. 

The wind was fairly brisk but the holding was good and we felt reasonably confident in leaving the boat for a couple of hours.

Ian’s treatment went well and now all that remains is for him to have a crown fitted at some point.  But, no more pain.

We scuttled back to Vinisce and awaited further windy and unsettled weather.

The weather forecast was still rather gloomy; showing that there would be strong gusts accompanied by thunder and lightning over the next few days. 

Although we had started the engine and had every intention of setting off to Brac on the Saturday to meet up with Alison and Paul et al, in the end, we just weren’t happy and decided to play safe and stay in the wonderful protection of Vinisce.

On the plus side, were able to listen to the cricket and some of the tennis on Five Live but decided to download the Wimbledon men’s final so I could watch it at leisure on Monday.  (Hence, I was off my phone for 24 hours so I wouldn’t accidentally hear/see the results although one of the commentators on TMS nearly let the cat out of the bag! In any case, we couldn’t have coped with the tension of listening to/watching both the cricket and the tennis simultaneously!)

We went ashore and took a lovely walk all the way along to the headland.  With a couple of restaurants, bars, shops, buses and bakery there was everything here that we could possibly need, and all so close at hand.

On Monday, after the promised storms had failed to materialise fully and we felt safe enough to set off.  I watched the tennis.  What a match!

We arrived into Osibova Bay on Brac.  We saw everyone waving and really appreciated the wonderful welcome but couldn’t find a spot to anchor nearby because of the depth and narrowness of the bay.  We elected to take a mooring buoy and hang the expense!

We soon locked up the boat and shot over to Ali and Paul’s villa nearby.  It was so lovely to see them all.  We were delighted to meet Sarah, Rupert, George and Anna, too!

We spent the next few days enjoying the feeling of terra firma beneath our feet, eating, drinking, walking, cycling, chatting, reading and relaxing (and, I cannot deny, utilising the luxury of guilt free showers, free flowing fresh water and a washing machine!)

The land gang had organised a boat hire for a few days and so together with our dinghy we were all ten of us able to head out to explore the little bays and inlets nearby.  We packed a picnic and set off.  Jojo acted as wine waiter between the two boats.  We swam in the crystal clear waters and took a walk to an impressive lighthouse.

On the Wednesday, Ian offered to take Paul, Aaron, Jojo, George and Anna for a day out on Linea. 

They were then going to anchor in a bay called Smrka, a little further down the coast. 

Uala Smrka, O Brac, where we enjoyed the traditional and freshly prepared food from www.milnaski.com

There, Ali had organised a traditional Croatian dining experience for us all in a magical setting.  We ate an amazing meal cooked by Andrea and her husband.  All the food was cooked over open coals or under a peka (a metal dome that sits over a dish of meat and potatoes, cooking for hours)

The produce used in cooking, the wine and the olive oil had all been grown on Andrea’s family farm near Milna, Brac.  It was a lovely evening. (You must book in advance on www.milnaski.com)

We stayed on board Linea that night and Andrea gave everyone else a lift home. 

Next day, we motored back to Osibova bay and took up our mooring buoy.  Still no one had come to charge us. (Yeah!)

Next day, we were just sitting around enjoying a pre-prandial drink when a guy came up the steps of the villa.  The mooring buoy fee collector from Lucice Bay restaurant had tracked us down.  Hey ho!  We coughed up the 140Euros we owed him for three nights on a block of concrete with no other services or facilities. The final night we got for free as we had left before he came to collect!

After yet another fantastic group effort on the meal production front, we bid farewell to everyone and went home to Linea.  It had been a wonderful week catching up with great friends from Bangkok days, gosh….26 and a bit years since we first met!

We set off up the coast to the north – aiming for our hurricane hole of Rogoznica.  Whilst en route, my brother Paddy phoned to say he’d like to come and visit and bring my rather large and bulky birthday pressie with him, if that would be ok. 

Absolutely!  And, I was even more delighted, when I guessed that the pressie was to be the size and shape of my nephew Louis!

So, we now have a new set of visitors to look forward to which helps me feel less bereft about having to say goodbye to the last ones.

Next time, read about our week with Paddy and Louis.