Friday, May 14, 2010

Cala Taulera, Menorca

After our overnight sail, we slept most of yesterday afternoon. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake. Today we were awakened by a thunderstorm, and the forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms throughout the day. The long dinghy ride to town could be quite wet if one of those showers happens when we're out there.

Late in the afternoon yesterday we saw that the people on the neighboring Swiss catamaran, Inspirity, had returned, so we went to say hello and ask where the dinghy dock is. I wondered if they were simply vacationing or cruising full time as we are. Olivier and Corinne moved aboard a year ago and have an ambitious sailing plan. They plan to circumnavigate, but instead of going through the Panama Canal as most people do, they want to go around Cape Horn! They've been working on outfitting their boat for the high latitudes, and it sounds like they'll be very comfortable with their central heating that uses hot water. Their power generation set-up is also impressive with a huge array of solar panels and two wind generators. Alaska and British Columbia are also on their list of places to visit, and it would be fun to be back on the West Coast to say hello to them when they get there.

Olivier has sailed in the Mediterranean for 20 years, so we hit him up for advice on the weather. They use the same basic sources we do, but with their experience, they interpret them a bit differently. For example, we saw the mistral (a strong northerly wind) in the forecast for tomorrow, so we thought we would leave here on Sunday for Sardinia. Their advice was to wait until Monday to let the seas settle rather than suffer with big waves on our beam. Sounds good to us, especially after the rough passage to here from Mallorca.

I was also pleased to hear that they like a different marina in Cagliari from St. Elmo, the one we're headed to. There's nothing wrong with St. Elmo except that they've only replied to one of my e-mail messages. I'm trying to keep them advised of our plans as they requested, but I don't know if my messages are getting through. It's nice to know there's an alternative.

Later: Just half an hour before we had planned to go to town, the thunderstorms hit again. Now the mistral seems to be raging, as well, and although we're getting gusts to 30 knots, our anchorage is smooth and protected. It would be rougher if we were tied to the dock in Cartagena. We feel secure with our two anchors out, but we're still running the anchor alarm, just in case.

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