Sunday Island arrived in Palma Mallorca on Monday the 23rd May after cruising the French canals for since October. Apologies but this post is a month overdue. Read on to find out why!
Issy and Max enjoyed going back to their own school and being celebrities for the week. We enjoyed some nice anchorages around Palma before berthing at RCNP yacht club.
There was much work to get done on Sunday island, as usual my list was longer than your arm. The primary reason to stop in Palma was to open our storage container where everything from our house was stored and decide what we needed onboard Sunday Island and what should go into storage.
I took responsibility for all the boat stuff like anchors, lines, sails, and electronics while Emilie took care of all the homie stuff. We had some interesting discussions such as “why do we need three bread boards on the boat?” or “why do we need three anchors on the boat?”
The kids were very reasonable about not being allowed to bring all their toys and treasures onboard and asked if they could give their toys to kids without. A beautiful gesture to remind us what amazing little people they have become.
In amongst the chaos of “moving in”, I had do deliver SY Privenance to Sete in France and Emilie had a wedding to attend in Malta. While we were away Issy and Max stayed with Auntie Amanda, Uncle Beaver and Nanna Lyn.
I returned from France at 10pm in the evening exhausted from the delivery and brokerage viewings of Provenance. I took the liberty of the kids being away to install some more B&G instruments and the AIS. I also removed the deteriorating engine box lining and re lined the engine box with some special fire proof insulation.
After two weeks in Palma Emilie had fitted as much as possible onboard to make Sunday Island a home and a school, and I had squeezed as many sails, tools and electronics onboard as possible. We also loaded the deck with surfboards, Solar panels, the kids Optimist dinghy “Rainbow” and a collapsible bike.
Nana Lyn went off to the airport to return to Tasmania, and Emilie returned from Malta. The next day after securing everything onboard we weighed anchor from the Port of Palma opposite it’s stunning cathedral, and set sail for our 600nm passage to Malta.
We enjoyed light winds to settle into the voyage, and as we passed the Cape Salines light house we dropped the sails, stripped off and all went for a swim.
The wind started to pick up in the evening from the NE. We had a good forecast with a bit of light upwind at the start of the voyage and then down wind sailing all the way to Malta courtesy of the mistral.
Issy and Max were enjoying their first big passage. The barometer was dropping and we began to experience swell from the north indicating the forecasted winds approach. Issy seems to have overcome any indication of sea sickness. I made preparations for the wind ahead including running Jack lines (a safety line you can clip your harness to) on deck
The second evening the Mistral began to kick in and we dropped the missen and put two reefs in the mainsail. Just after sunset we lowered the poles out Genoa and settled in for a bumpy down wind ride with gusts up to 40kts.
When the kids woke up to their new environment they were excited. The wind was building to force 6, and the sea to sea state 6.
While cruising in our previous yacht in Tasmania the kids saw force 12 (70kts) twice, so this was not their first storm and they both seemed completely unfazed by the wind and waves, thinking it was a great way to improve their acrobatics in the cabin.
Sailing. Rainbow and bike on foredeck
When I circumnavigated the Mediterranean in preparation for my Mini Transat 10 years ago I experience numerous pods of dolphins, migrating whales, sunfish, sharks, turtles, tuna and a pleather of sea birds. I was looking forward to sharing this experience with the children. As I write this we are 30nm from Malta. After 5 days at sea and 600nm we have only seen 3 lone dolphins, one shear water bird and a Pigeon who landed on our deck. Finally Humans have managed to kill the Mediterranean! How sad that the children have not seen a dolphin since we left Tasmania two years ago!
The Mistral blew strong for three days with winds exceeding 40kts and a confused sea. Emilie and I worked great as a team keeping watches and entertaining the kids, as well as all the daily chores like cooking, cleaning and maintenance. We worked well sailing the boat, reefing and taking in sails and it is good to know I have such a wonderful woman and sailor by my side for the adventures ahead. Even if she does insist on keeping three breadboards and 20 cushions onboard.
Issy and max had their first pet onboard “Ninni” the caterpillar.
Some stats from this voyage:
Rhumline Length 600nm (about the same as sailing from Sydney to Hobart) Max speed 14.2kts
Max recorded wind 45kts
Number of droplets of water in the bilge 0
Best daily run 176nm (in 24 hrs)
Number of breadboards remaining 3
On our approach to the anchorage I went to crank our Perkins 4236 and nothing happened. Leaving Emilie and the kids on deck I went below to have a look and made the conclusion the starter motor was not functioning. There was not much to be done but sail into an anchorage and find an auto electrician.
Sailing between Gozo and Malta
We sailed into Melliha bay, dropped anchor and went for a well earned swim. I then turned my attention to removing the starter motor, and hand turning the engine to ensure there was no water ingress from the stormy seas of the previous days into the exhaust.
Installing the new 3x 175W solar
We spent the next four days anchored in Melliha trying to have the starter repaired. We enjoyed some great swimming, Issy learnt to stand up scurf behind our 2.5hp engine, and we explored some beaches. It was good to relax for a few days at anchor before the next big event.
Sailing Rainbow the oppi with kids