It was a Friday afternoon when we finally got our port engine back.
The mechanic, Santis from Nautic Centre, did such a great job with it (the engine was all clean and shiny and had even been sprayed with some Volvo green paint), that I swear I saw some tears forming in GC’s eyes when, with the help of a crane, the engine was lowered back in place.
Having thanked Santis and his team for the great job done, we set off from Mahon as quickly as possible: it was already 4pm, and we didn’t have many hours of daylight ahead of us.
We spent the night at anchor in Cala -en-Porter (famous for Cova d’en Xoroi, a very popular disco set in a cave, with a breathtaking sunset bar), ready to go to Mallorca first thing the following morning.
On our way to Palma, we stopped twice along the coast: first at Coves d’Arta’ on the NE side of Mallorca and then at Es Caragol, a superb spot on the S side.
When we finally got to Palma, we only had the time to drop anchor before being welcomed by a thunderstorm. The weather was changing and heavy rain and storms had been forecasted for the coming days both in Mallorca and Ibiza, our next destination.
An important decision laid ahead of us: did we want to get wet in Mallorca or in Ibiza?
We agreed we’d get up the next day and decide there and then.
The day after the weather seemed ok: the sky was clear and the sun was shining, so we decided to make a move to Ibiza. We were half way through, when we started to see a dark wall of cumulonimbus clouds ahead and behind us.
The weather was rapidly changing and we were exactly in the middle of the storm, closing onto us.
We turned the radar on to see the scale of it: it was huge and approaching at incredible speed. The rain started to hit Gladan with rage, the sky was turbulent and lighting was striking closer and closer. Maybe leaving Mallorca had not been such a good idea after all…!
We pushed the foot on the accelerator, so to speak, to get away from it. At full throttle, we tried to outrun the storm and get to Ibiza before sunset. It was getting late and we had to find a sheltered place quickly. We didn’t like the idea of being at sea at night in such stormy weather.
After checking Navionics repeatedly, I found a very protected bay, Portinatx, which seemed a good spot for the night.
It was almost dark when we finally dropped anchor in the bay. We were very relieved to have escaped the full brunt of the storm, and were feeling grateful to Gladan for being so nippy.
The day after, we found out about the intensity of the storm, which had hit Mallorca very badly: a river had overflowed and 13 people had died as a result.
We stayed a few days in Ibiza waiting for the weather to get better and then made a move to mainland Spain.
After two nights at anchor along the Costa Blanca, we got to Cartagena. But the bad weather was following us!
Strong winds of up to 50 knots had been forecasted for the day after, so we moored inside the port. Storm Leslie was making its way to Spain after battering Portugal, forcing hundreds to flee their homes.
Leslie kept us company for a full day: strong winds, torrential rain, bent palm trees, boats pushed and pulled in all directions…
All of a sudden though, the rain stopped, the clouds disappeared and a fierce sunset put the sky on fire.