Making Waves in Mallorca
You’ve now learned how the SY Staatenlos battled the stormy seas all the way from Montenegro to Mallorca.
We faced many trials and tribulations, which climaxed when we were unwittingly involved in a faux-kidnapping drama that could have put us in some hot water. However, there were also moments of calm during the storm, such as when I met the boat at a beach and waved to them at sea, or the joyful moment when I finally joined my crew again and we all indulged in a decadent dessert.
It’s now time to pick back up where we left off, reunited at last in Mallorca, and to see what kind of waves we can make…
Chilling in the bay
Let’s introduce the characters, as we obviously had some different guests on the boat who joined us on this leg of the journey.
First, we were joined by Maximilian, a German dating coach who I wrote about last year at Heureka. We also still had Florian with us, who you first met in Trogir, Croatia. He had sailed with us for a bit, went home to Germany briefly, and then flew back in to meet the Staatenlos again in Sardinia. From there he sailed with the boat all the way to Mallorca. Of course we also still had Josh, our skipper, and I was back with the boat again after taking some time away.
On our first day in Mallorca, we sailed around and went to a nearby bay. In English, it’s called the Three Finger Bay, and its Mallorcan name is Cala Portals Vells. It’s a beautiful bay with three sandy beaches, but there were a lot of boats there so it was hard for us to find a good place to anchor. We finally found a spot, and just chilled there in the bay for the remainder of the day.
The waves were rather rough because of the recently nasty weather, so we decided to wait another day before setting sail. While we waited and hung out for the day, I had some fun riding around on my underwater Manta scooter again.
A day’s journey to Port de Sóller
The next day, we sailed from the Three Finger Bay all the way to Port de Sóller. Port de Sóller is a big town in the middle of the north coast of Mallorca where a lot of wealthy people live.
Port de Sóller has a nice big bay where we were able to anchor safely and with ease. The ride was about 35 nautical miles, which took almost the whole day but was quite beautiful.
We enjoyed sailing all along the western and northern coastlines where we could see many impressive mountains. We also saw the Island of Dragonera, close to the mainland of Mallorca, where we paused to take some beautiful pictures.
We stopped again at some point, maybe half an hour away from Port de Sóller, to anchor the ship at a very nice rock formation. We had a lot of fun snorkeling around there and using my Manta scooter again too.
From there, we continued into Port de Sóller and anchored the ship. It was nice to see quite a few other sailors around, although it was also a bit surprising because of the bad weather. We left the boat for a while and went into town together for dinner at a nice local restaurant.
Crashing ships in the night
After dinner, we went back to the boat only to discover that another storm was already brewing. The storm caused some unexpectedly strong winds which surprised us as well as many of the other boats nearby.
There was nothing we could do but watch as the first boats began crashing together that stormy night. Luckily, nothing terrible happened and no one got hurt — they were just two catamarans bumping into each other. I imagine the damage will probably cost several thousand euros to each owner though.
We were glad to be anchored safely and far enough away from the other boats that nothing happened to us that night. Nevertheless, we stayed awake all throughout the storm and we started the motor just in case.
We waited there for another hour or two for the storm to pass. We were lucky to still be fairly well protected from the waves and the wind until the worst of the storm was over.
Sickened sailing west
The next morning, the waves were still quite high due to the storm. There were also strong winds coming in from the wrong direction. We had to make it about 30 kilometers back along the northern coast with the waves coming at us from the north.
We were sailing west, so it would have been much more inconvenient if the waves had been coming from the west. Instead, the waves were coming in from behind or to the side of the boat, which was okay. Little did we know things were about to become much worse.
The waves were almost three meters high, and the next day they would hit us from the front of our ship, which would have made it very difficult to sail. Instead, we decided to head back over to the western side of Mallorca, where the water was somewhat calmer.
Despite our best efforts, it turned out to be a very rough ride and almost everyone aboard got seasick. I ate some ginger because it’s really good for preventing and treating seasickness, but it was still uncomfortable. 🥴
We actually had Maximilian’s girlfriend Imke with us that day too. She had wanted to try out sailing and by the time we informed her of the high waves, she was apparently already on her way and still wanted to join us. She turned out not to be very happy with the circumstances. Unfortunately, it was not a great introduction to sailing for her.
After we passed the Island of Dragonera again on the western coast, we were relieved as the sea got smoother, the waves lessened, and it became quite convenient cruising once again.
A ghost from the past
That night we stayed in Paguera, a holiday town in Mallorca which is typically very popular with tourists.
As a child, I had many sunny vacations — and launched my gamboling career — in this bustling town alongside my parents, and I was eager to see it again as an adult. While I don’t have very many vivid memories from such a young age, I do remember climbing around that same rocky coast as a young child 25 years ago. 😊
Visiting now, I found Paguera to be practically a ghost town thanks to covid-1984. It was interesting to visit Paguera under these conditions, which was a stark contrast to the memories I have of this place in my childhood.
Even though Paguera appeared to be a shell of its former self due to the hysteria caused by the harmless flu, we still found a way to enjoy our time there. We had a nice evening together at the steakhouse before saying goodbye to Max and Imke. Max would rejoin us again just a few days later back on the boat.
It was already quite cold, so we wanted to leave Mallorca again quickly even though we had only been there for a few days. The next day, we continued back into the port of Palma because there was more rough weather expected, and we also had some work to do there.
Back to Palma
On our way back from Paguera, we enjoyed one more stop at some little islands off the coast near Palma. Everyone took advantage of some nice snorkeling and sunbathing there, and I used my underwater scooter again. The water was nice and warm at around 23 degrees, which was actually warmer than it was outside.
We headed back to Palma and returned to Real Club Nautico, where we had stayed before. We would remain docked there in the Palma marina for three more days to wait out the bad weather and do some work on the boat.
By now we had already installed and had a chance to test out our new Ultramarine anchor, which turned out to be a great investment. Now in the Palma Marina, we mostly had electronic work to do. We bought and installed a new radar and a thermal imaging camera, which are especially helpful at night.
Ever since we installed this new equipment, we have been extremely comfortable sailing. You can read more about this and all of our other equipment in the last post. After adding these updates to the boat, we got some other minor repairs done and completed an electronic update of our charts too.
We enjoyed these few days in Palma, just working on the boat and hanging out. There were still some nice restaurants open nearby which we went to, even though they had to close at midnight thanks to the absurd covid restrictions.
Tour de Mallorca
We were just about ready to leave Palma and head for Ibiza, but I had one more thing to do here. I was looking forward to a long-awaited island tour of Mallorca with my friend Johannes, who is the founder of the Nomad Cruise. Johannes would sail with us to Ibiza after we first enjoyed a day trip together around Mallorca by car.
We started by going up into the mountains to visit a very famous beach in the north called La Calobra. This beach is a bit further east than when we went to Port de Sóller. Normally it is completely crowded with people, but because of “coronoia” we were basically the only people there.
Well, maybe it also had something to do with the terrible weather. We went high up in the mountains where we could actually see snow, which is a very rare sight in Mallorca especially at this time of year. There was only a little snow, but it was enough for us to see and touch.
The weather started out foggy and bad, but at some point, it lightened up a little and we were able to take some good pictures. La Calobra was still nice despite the weather and lack of a crowd, so we walked around there for a while.
Next, we continued to Platja de Formentor in the very east of Mallorca. which is known for its very impressive rock formations and stunningly high cliffs. We walked around there for a while and visited the lighthouse at the very end.
Then we drove to a little town in the east near Alcudia, which is named Pollentia Blanca. We had lunch at a little local restaurant and continued from there all the way back to Palma.
I had been invited by a local friend to visit his farm in Mallorca, so Johannes dropped me off there to see it. Rather than taking the main street to get there, Johannes drove along the back roads through the island.
It was nice to see the southern part of Mallorca as well, which is not so mountainous. There is one big hill there called Puig de Randa, so we decided to go up to the sanctuary on top and enjoy some views overlooking Mallorca. The weather there was already much nicer at that point, as you can see in the pictures.
Back to work
Johannes dropped me off at the farm of this friend I mentioned who has four dogs. I came there to record an audiobook because that friend is an entrepreneur who works with audiobooks.
After recording, we went to dinner together in a nearby town called Llucmajor, which was full of Germans. Later that night after dinner, I took a taxi back to the boat.
We spent the next day just getting the last bit of work done and exploring a bit more of Palma. That night we went out for dinner at a nice restaurant again with some of those same people whom I had dined with the evenings before.
Now we had Johannes arriving on board, Maximilian again, and also a Greek girl who was just trying to hitch a ride to mainland Spain. We took her with us upon the agreement that she would do some cooking and cleaning for the boat. She ended up leaving quite quickly once we arrived in mainland Spain, but that’s a story for another day.
I left together with this group from Palma de Mallorca on a Friday. We spent another day and one additional night in the Three Finger Bay, which is only about ten kilometers away from Palma. At midnight, we left the bay to relax in the water and grill some tasty meat before we continued onward to Ibiza in the dead of night.
Are you ready to make a splash in Ibiza? Stay tuned. It’s coming up…