Tuesday, 4. 7. 2017, Blanes – Cap d’Agde
The weather suits nicely for the route from Blanes to Cap d’Agde, even at Cap Creus, which ist he
special mark on this route, looks for a good sail. The course leads us along an attractive landscape which is only interrupted by some «holiday bunkers» as Loretta da Mar, Palamos etc.
It is a perfect weather for our sail a light breeze from south-east is pushing us north. Lateron the wind turns more east and increases ist force to 5 Bf. in the evening. We are much too fast as we have initially planned to arrive at Cap d’Agde in the early morning around 7.00. Now it looks more like an ETA of around 02.00. We do not like entering an unknown port at night if the wind is that strong. Therefore we decide to wait 4-5 hours at sea prior entering the marina n the first day lightThe following hours are no pleasure at all as we were badly shaken by a rough sea. I can not sleep in my bunk in the bow cabin, too much up and downs from the waves. Therefore I move on to the floor of the salon, even there I find no sleep. When I take my watch shift I feel a bit squeasy and help myself out of our board pharmacie. After a few endless laps of honours we finally entert he port of Cap d’Agde. The first approach to the pier of the capitainerie the wind blows our bow off, also the next try for a neighboring pier but the third one is perfect. Nice, first a sleep of ninety minutes to recover a bit, then checkin at the harbor office and finally a nice shower. The air last night was very humid, everything is sticky and we have a thick fog covering the port. I would have been a difficult approach into the port even with the support of radar. Also the wind did not decrease a bit. The whole scene looks more like automne then mid summer and we are reminded to the cool days in the Bretagne durcng end of winter and beginning of spring this year.
After the shower we take another sleep of about 4 hours. Then we visit the village. Last year we imagined how it would be to arrive here on our own boat. It was last year when we visited our first boat we found on the Internet. Pictures from the drive into the estuary oft he Rhone to Port Saint Louis and the first surveil of a potential boat appear in front of our eyes. Even this boat had a very special interieur of saloon and berth we decided against it and we are still very happy with our Santjana. In the evening we enjoy a tasty Quiche Loraine, we bought at the l’Èpicerie du Port nearby. Then we take another long sleep in our bunks, which we badly need.
Thursday, 6. 7. 2017, Cap d’Agde
We are preparing our breakfast when we got a visit from the French customs.
After twenty minutes of checking papers and asking lots of questions the two officers leave again and we are able to take our breakfast. Then we visit the nearby ships chandlers since our order
has arrived. Finally, Santjana is getting her Spinaker pole, which enables our capabilities in light winds. However, we did not feel of light winds even here in the Mediteranean, on the contrary.
Since we had quiet a bit o carry we were offered a transport of the new goods and ourselves from the ships chandlery to our berth. Navicap USHIP – many thanks for this SUPER service!
Meanwhile the spipole is hanging from the mast waiting for its first operation. In the later afternoon, we stroll a bit along the harbor promenade and enjoy some Gallettes Coques Saint Jacques. They taste nearly as good as the ones we tried while staying in the Bretagne earlier this year. Now I’m sitting in the cool cockpit in the shade of our bimini writting this blog. After that we try to replace some of our cordage, as some of them look rather a bit used and worn.
6.7. – 20.7.2017 Cap d’Agde
Summary of two weeks Cap d’Agde
- Mostly nice weather, not to say HOT, only the last few days were rather cool and windy
- We saw some very remarkable berthing maneuvers. The absolute highlight was the french skipper who entered the port under auto-pilot at full throttle at eleven in the night, finally ramming the jetty next to us. The jetty didn’t swim that good after the ramming and needed some repairs by the local capitainerie.
- Some nice trips to the near beach if only the water temperature would have been somewhat higher….
- Replaced the three reefs, reefing is much smoother than before…
- Sanded some patches on deck and repainted them again
- Replaced faulty switch of the water pressure pump, water circuit is working again like earlier Added our stock of food and mineral water
- Beside the works on the boat we could also enjoy the life of normal tourists by our promenades in the evening, tasting oysters as well as tasting a Pastis now and then. We even found a restaurant witch the typical Gallettes like we had when staying the three months in Brittany, we only missed the Saint Jacques mussels there….
20.7.2017 Cap d’Agde – Fornells (Menorca)
On Thursday morning 20. July 2017 we go for a last shopping in France, like bred, fresh vegetables, then paying for our berth and we leave the port of Cap
d’Agde around 10.30 towards the Balearic islands. On the way, we recognize a big dark cloud not too far from us with frequent lightnings underneath. We leave the cloud to port and appreciate that
the cloud disappears eastwards. The strong easterly wind left a nasty swell and we need to activate our sea legs after the long time at land.
The swell increase on Friday morning, somehow the waves run together from three different directions causing a really nasty movement of the boat. The sky covers more and more and the range of visibility decreases more and more. It looks more and more like another thunderstorm is building up in front of us. We discover the coastline of Menorca rather late, when passing along the coastline towards Fornells. We can see Cabo Cavalleria, pointing to Bahia Fornells behind. After the bumpy voyage of the last two days we find an very calm sea within the bay of Fornells. We a decent place and anchor deep in the bay in about 5m depth.
After the anchor is set first follows a jump into the water, wow, that’s life! Then follows a small dinner, we were both not very hungry during the last two days. We postpone the visit of Fornells to the next day and stay on board both enjoying the evening and the calm environment.
Saturday, 22.7.2017 Fornells
Getting up, going for a swim around our boat, shower at the stern and then breakfast, like holiday!
We pump our Dinghy since we would like what’s evolved since we last visited Fornell some fifteen years ago. The village has grown from a sleepy village of fishermen and hippies to a real holiday resort but still keeping some of it’s charm. The outboarder is not very willing, understandable after a two months break hanging from the rail. After some dozens of attempts of firing up the outboarder it comes back to life.
The is quite strong at present though we wait a bit and push off the visit to tomorrow. We turn to some of our jobs on board, like painting some damaged spots. After finishing these jobs, we cool down by am jump into the sea around us. We enjoy this a lot, as it was that hot when we stayed in port at Cap d’Agde without the possibility of jumping offboard.
After the morning swim and breakfast, we take the dinghy for a ride and land in the small port of Fornells. This weekend Fornells celebrates the Fiesta of Sant Antoni, obviously THE event of the year of Fornells. On the main place two riders come up on their horse riding towards the tribune, greeting there then riding up and down on the place, mostly while their horse is just standing on their hind legs. A music band is playing the same piece again and again. After a while the same scene repeats with to other riders and horses. Very nice to see, the horses very nicely trimmed, beautiful horses with black fur and mane. After a while we get away of this hustle and bustle and ride back in our Snoopy towards Santjana, which is patiently waiting for us some distance away. The sky is covered but the air is hot and sticky nevertheless. Another jump into the water is waiting.
Today strong wind is announced. First it is blowing from Southeast, the surface of the bay is covered with white crests. The ride with the Dinghy is quite wet today. We spend the rest of the day on board. In the evening around 8 o’clock the wind is suddenly changing it’s direction to Northeast and the boat behind us seems to approaching us. We suddenly notice that it’s not the boat behind us, but we are moving because our anchor drags! Then firing up the engine, switch on our plotter, jump into some clothing everything at the same time. We haul up our anchor turn a few circles, until we found another suitable place to throw anchor again. Everything fine again now. We enjoy our dinner and sunset. The is increasing again in the meanwhile it is blowing at 6Bf with gusts of up to 8Bf. The surface of the bay is completely covered with white crests. I stay awake as the development is a bit fishy for me. Every now and then I have a glance on the plotter screen comparing it with the view outside.
Tuesday 25.7.2017 Fornells
On Tuesday morning around 02:30 another gust is whizzing through the bay and
Santjana drifts again. Wake up Doris, firing up the engine and then to the windlass on the foredeck to rise the anchor again. There is not much time to spend since we are drifting quite rapidly
through the field of the other boats. Some more chain would have been better, 30m over 5m depth at this windspeed was a bit too little…. In the meantime, Doris is awake and at the wheel and we go
to search a better place to anchor while it is pitch-dark among us. Only the anchor lights of some boats are lit, while some others are unlit and very hard to be seen.
After a while the anchor is set again, lights out again. After 5 minutes, another heavy gust and the whole repeats. A gaze back to the stern where the dinghy sits shows the dinghy nearly flying, unfortunately with the out boarder still attached to it. As it can not fly, the dinghy flips itself on the back, giving the out boarder a deep dive with saltwater. Will it ever fire up afterwards…?!
In the yacht pilot it is written that the anchor ground in this bay is somewhat difficult. This time we go back behind the other boats and this time we get a good hold. We hold anchor watch checking the position and the movement of the boat on the plotter from time to time. Around 17.00 the whole story is over and the wind eases more and more. I’m drying the dinghy and cleaning and checking the out boarder, witch fires up after a few attempts, perhaps coughing a bit reluctantly!
After a glass of Rosé we go for a nice and long sleep in our bunks, since there is only very gentle wind announced for this night.
Wednesday, 26.7.2017 Fornells
At 07:30 we wake up by the sound of wind pipping through our rigg, what the heck, there should be lot of wind today?! Glancing the speedo shows already 27 kn,
together with some raindrops which turns into a real downpour. We can hardly see the other boats through the curtain of heavy rain. The shower continues for half an hour, small waterfalls coming
down from the deck. After half an hour, the whole thing is over and the sun starts again looking through some holes in the clouds.
In the afternoon we take our dinghy for a ride to the harbor to get some fresh food and stroll through the village. Then the afternoon concludes with a fine apero with sardines from Cap d’Agde, tomatoes and mozzarella, then spending some time on writing this blog, reading and so on.
It is always a great feeling climbing out of the own bunk and then jumping into the sea for a nice swim around the boat. There are many fishes in the sea weed,
only few jelly fishes we have seen upto now. We move Santjana somewhat north to free up the area for the sail club of Fornells, as they had to move among our boat. When our anchor is at
sea-level, I look a bit strange. What the heck is that? Not only anchor, mud and a big bunch of seaweed but also a quite heavy old anchor chain. No wonder, we were that stable at anchor this
night! Somebody must have dropped this chain some when in the past for some reason and we have picked it up incidentally.
Again it is quite hot with about 30 degrees. We mostly use the shady side of the street through Fornells. While enjoying a cool glass of beer in one of the bars we also enjoy the spectacle with the local policeman who is trying to prevent drivers driving through the bus station. There are always some very clever guys trying to shorten their way instead of driving around the bus station. The policeman blocks such attempts by a sharp whistle and then some discussion with the driver leading them back to the traffic sign and explaining at large what’ wrong by driving the wrong way. Somehow the whole scene reminds us to th e movie of Lois de Funes in «Gendarm of St. Tropez».
On the time table at the bus station we find out there is a regular bus between Fornells and Mahon. And as we still not get a place for our boat in Mahon we decide to visit the town by bus. We are curious to see what has changed there since our last visit some 15 years ago. The night is clear and a perfect dream with all the stars even the milky way can we see here.
Friday, 28.07.2017 Fornells
Checking the web page of maritima.meteoconsult.es shows some more wind today, therefore we decide to push off our trip to Mahon until
tomorrow. Since we made rather bad experiences with the holding here, it might be wiser. When I prepare the dinghy, suddenly quite a lot of water is running into the dinghy. Strange it was bone
dry yesterday…?! We take it out of the water and check the bottom, there is nothing specific to be seen only a few spots where the glue went off. Putting some glue on these patches and then
putting the dinghy back into the water…. Same effect still water is leaking in this time we can precisely see the leak. So, dinghy again out of water, again putting some glue to the spot and a
We take another ride with our dinghy in the evening to get three jerrycans of water to the boat. Only too good for us that there is a hose lying on the pier. Our dinghy does not like this action at all, as there is another leak open and water is sipping in. At least we got only wet feet when arriving back at Santjana’s stern.