01 September, 2012


Malua is at 39:06,67N 01:30,79E
After a long slow beat into the wind Malua covered the 66 nm miles from Islotes Columbretes to the northern coast of Ibiza and I dropped anchor in the wide bay of Cala Portinatx along with a number of other yachts and stink boats. It was good to get back into the cruising frame of mind. How close are you to me and into the calas and coves of the Balearics.
Malua handled the crossing from mainland Spain to the Balearics in the true style of a cruising yacht – with easy.
A magical moment on Malua

Malua in Cruising Mode
Malua is currently at 38:52,07N 01:18,09 at Cala Port Roig
The wind rose in a few minutes as it always does in the middle of the night and I found myself close to a lee shore. I was sure the anchor was well dug in to I lay listening to the wind in the rigging. Just to be sure I got up and to my surprise the 54ft Halber Rassie which was anchored next to me was right on the rocks. The family was from Panama and we had spend a few minutes discussing the cruising in his country the previous day. Their lights came on and a torch was shone on the ever closing rocks. Before I knew it there was a bang and then the master fired up his engine and steamed away from the shore, dragging his anchor as he moved forward. On the bow was his son of not more than 12 years – handling the situation well. They came away from the rocks but the over large catamaran that – of course anchored after dark was now bearing down of the same lee shore. It was time for Malua to start up her engines just in case we had to move at a moments notice. I must say the cat master skilfully manoeuvred his craft away from the rocks and re-anchored all in one move. The Halber Rassie on the other hand circled the anchorage not making his mind up as there where he would try to re-anchor. After a long time he chose a spot on my port side a good distance off. Down went the anchor and it held. I could now switch off the engine and return to bed.
After the sun was will up I decided I needed to get out of this anchorages and find another place for the following night. Up anchor and up sail and off we went down wind along the northern coast of Ibiza.
It was a great sail until I had to turn the corner and sail up wind along the eastern coast. There are a number off lying island which had to be negotiated. One passage had only 10 meters of water and as the cruising guide said the wind funnels between the mainland and the island and the sea can get quite rough. Yes in excess of 27 knits of wind and a very choppy sea. Malua struggled onto the choppy sea but after about 2 hour popped out the other side into the open sea. Now to find a sheltered anchorage for the afternoon and evening.
Malua is now in a Cala Port Roig along with more than 20 other vessels but there is no rock and roll and I will sleep well again tonight.
Another magic moment on Malua

Malua crossing the Greenwich Meridium
Malua was at 37:54.306N 0:00.0W on 29/08/2012 at sea off Spain
The moon is full, the wind at 23 knots is aft of the beam and we are running down the coast of Spain to wards Gibraltar touching our hull speed of 8.4 knots. What a great sail.
I was watching the GPS as is ticked down 0:00 East to 0:00 West so we crossed the Greenwich meridian and Malua is again in the Western Hemisphere. Not since 2006 has Malua been in the western hemisphere but then we crossed the international date line at 180 – exactly the other side of the world. We were sailing along the coast of Fiji when we moved from E to W on the GPS now we are back.
The next great crossing will be back into the Southern hemisphere

Malua is at 37:35.761N 00:58.74W at Cartagena
The ocean and weather is so unpredictable which makes sailing challenging and rewarding. Having posted the last blog when Malua crossed the Prime Meridian the weather started to change and change it did. The wind rose from the pleasant 15 knots to 20 then 30 and finally at the height of the storm the gust where a lot more than 40 knots. Malua was running before the wind with the genoa poled out and the full main. Well first I put one reef in which is easily done. Then as the wind increased I pulled the second reef in the main. Now that is not so easy because one has to get the main off the stays so it means changing course more side on to the wind and of course the waves which had by this time build in to white cap rollers. Denny is usually in charge of stowing all things down below and not having her on board I had not done the usual diligent job so turning side on to the waves to pull in the reef resulted on a few major bangs from down below as items rearranged themselves either in cupboards, bookshelves or just on counter tops landing on the floor. My cupboard which I usually bolt flew open and deposited most of the items on the floor. Remember to prepare Malua for the sea not just going to sea.
Having pulled in the second reef and furled the genoa Malua was still surfing down the waves at more than 7 knots. But the moon was full and the wind aft of the beam, its warm so what more could one ask for..... well a lot of thunder and lightening, rain is of course what came next. So out with the wet weather gear.
I arrived at Cartagena at about 5:00 am and the wind is still blowing but the bay gives one protection from the sea so I slipped behind a high headland and dropped and stowed the sails and cleaned up down below.
With things ship shape I motored into the port just ahead of two tugs dragging a large ship into the entrance. I arrived at the marina with not a sole in sight and the wind still blowing at 25 knots so I just nosed Malua into a dock and made her secure. Now for a good sleep.

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