26 July 2006 - Nearly there........ postcard from Mags
From Carloforte we pottered round to a small bay for a swim before setting off on a two night trip to Minorca. We planned to arrive in the morning at Mahon. We had a good wind and the second day it looked as if we would arrive too early at midnight! It is rare for us to have to slow down. However, the wind dropped and instead of motoring we did allow ourselves to drift gently along whilst the sails were still pulling satisfactorily.
As I mentioned in the last post card it seems that every trip must have its own small crisis. On the second day of this trip, whilst motoring, I came below to detect a rather strong bilge smell. I poked around, looked under the floor boards to explain the smell of bad eggs. I tracked it down eventually to the batteries which were extremely hot! Barry had been doubtful about the health of the batteries since we left Turkey and now his suspicions were confirmed. A quick phone call to Bill the engineer reassured us that we could with care get to Barcelona without endangering ourselves. (Barry had looked up Nigel Calder's tome on mechanical systems where there is a picture of an exploded battery so there was reason for our concern!) The discovery of defunct batteries has also explained a variety of unusual things that have occurred on our last few passages. When reeling in the genoa with the electric winch two nights previously all the instruments flickered and reset themselves. Prior to that the log had reset itself to zero 3 miles out from Carloforte and looking back we believe this must have happened again while using an electric winch when the batteries just could not provide the voltage. It may also explain the autopilot problem albeit the duff flex was not helping.
Mahon is a nice place and we did some shopping in a super market in the old town where we were stunned by the magnificent mixture of frozen fish and shell fish. It just made you want to experiment. My Spanish is very limited so it was guesswork but we bought a mixture of shell fish and fish possibly intended for a paella or a soup and something I thought might be fish stock. We got diverted on our journey home by a couple or beers followed by a paella in the same restaurant on the riverside. So it was the next night that we experimented. I created a fish soup from what I had bought and some onions and potatoes and it was voted a great success. We followed it with fresh pineapple. Each country offers us changes in diet. Now back in Spain we have also rediscovered gazpachio which we both love.
We are now up the creek in Puerto de Cala de Addaya. It was an interesting entry and we kept on going despite the 1 metre depth reading! I was impressed at Barry's coolness as I peered over the side to see a muddy swirling around the boat. We draw 1.75 metres but as Barry explains this is from the water line and we ground when the instrument shows 1 metre. It was all a bit just but we are anchored now in 2 metres, the last boat up the creek. The creek is quiet with no houses just us and wild life and a few visiting dinghies now and again.