FIXING SAILS AND DECK GEAR
It is the 24th of July, 2020.
I had a really great time sailing around and exploring Formentera and Ibiza. But now Mallorca was the next major destination and I was pretty excited. Ellidah was parked in Denia and I had just arrived back in Spain after a couple of weeks at work in Norway.
Before I left for work, I sent away my sails to a sailmaker to give them service after an incident in Ibiza earlier where I managed to rip the main while shaking out a reef. The sails weren’t finished by the time I arrived, so I decided to leave the Marina by the engine and find a sweet place to anchor up until they were finished.
I motored down to Calpe and anchored up right outside the big rock that guards the bay like a giant monument. The weather was beautifully warm and the sea was flat so I ended up just relaxing, swimming and doing nothing for a couple of days.
Back in Denia, I finally got my sails back on board and I had never seen them as nice and clean before. Next on the to-do list was to change a guard rail stanchion that I managed to bend while leaving Cartagena earlier this season, and I was lucky to find the perfect fit in a local chandlery.
GETTING CREW ONBOARD ELLIDAH AGAIN
Alexandre is a true down to earth guy from Brazil that lives in Luxembourg. He loves beer as much as I, won’t say no to a good adventure, and is an absolute legend on the guitar. It also turned out that he loves sailing and it goes without saying that we quickly became good mates.
We met up in the afternoon and went on a supply run straight away to get some provisions of food and beverages onboard for the upcoming trip.
Alexandre was quite keen on the idea too after I told him about the beach drummers and my last visit there.
THE FIRST SIGN FROM NEPTUNE
We set off early morning Wednesday 29th of July and had decent wind for most of the trip to Ibiza. When we arrived in Cala Benirras around 21:00 the same evening, it turned out that the anchorage was too crowded for us to fit in. I did a few attempts but, we were just too close to all the other boats.
With the crash incident from earlier freshly in mind, I motored over to San Miguel just around the corner instead where it was less crowded.
The clock was ticking and it was getting close to midnight and pitch dark. We must have made seven or eight attempts to set the anchor, but it wouldn’t stick to the bottom. I came up full of seaweed or just slipped along the bottom every time.
It was almost like something was trying to prevent me from anchoring that night and my gut feeling told me that something fishy was going on.
Did you read “The Start” where I told you I was a bit superstitious?
I said to Alex: “Fuck it, let’s just sail straight to Mallorca instead, there is something going on here”. The weather looked really good for a quick little passage and we set off again into the night.
WHEN SOMETHING FEELS WRONG, IT PROBABLY IS
The weather was good and Ellidah was in her best element. We were doing great speed with the first reef set in the main and sailed perfectly through the entire night. The episode from last night was still rolling around in the back of my head.
I was sitting in the cockpit enjoying the first light in the morning with my coffee when I heard some weird clunking noises all of a sudden. When you get used to your boat, you notice noises that aren’t supposed to be there.
Alexandre had a look downstairs to see if it was any of the cabinet doors that were slamming which isn’t uncommon, but that wasn’t it.
A quick trip up to the bow revealed the source. The anchor was hanging ONLY from the security rope and was bouncing just under the bow spirit. My chain wasn’t attached to the anchor anymore!
The swivel locking pin between the anchor and the chain had seized.
I can’t believe how it hadn’t even fallen into the sea. It was just lying there on the chainplate screaming: “Look, this is how a broken pin looks like”, and I was angry at myself for not doing a proper check on my anchoring equipment earlier.
If we had managed to anchor up the night before in Cala Benirras or San Miguel, this could have happened while we were asleep and that would most likely have ended with us drifting out at sea, into another boat or even worse, on the shore rocks!
NEPTUNE’S MERCY FOR SACRIFICING COINS AND NOBLE DROPS
Never have I ever failed to set the anchor that many times in a row and ended up giving up, but the one time it happens may very well have saved Ellidah.
Now I know why many sailors get superstitious. My crew knows me for throwing coins into the sea for Neptune every now and then.
Could that have been it, or was it just pure luck or coincidence?
Did Neptune save us from a disaster?
I’m gonna keep throwing them, that’s for sure.
Anyways, I ditched the swivel for a 10mm shackle and got the anchor back up on the bow spirit.
ARRIVING IN SANTA PONSA ON MALLORCA
We arrived around lunchtime Thursday the 30th of July in Mallorca and anchored up in the bay outside a small town called Santa Ponsa (See on map). This time, the anchor set at the first attempt.
It was a beautiful huge and busy anchorage with excellent access to the city and the beach. Ellie was put in the water and it was time to go and explore the place for a few days while waiting for our next crew member to arrive.
David onboard Bobbie G and his crew were anchored up a bit further south in S’Arenal, and the plan was to sail down there to catch up with them as soon as we got tired of the party scene in Santa Ponsa.
It is definitely a tourist destination and I was surprised about how busy and full of people it was when considering that we were in the middle of a pandemic. We did however have a great time here and you can read more about how we explored Mallorca and got more crew onboard in the next post.
I hope you enjoyed reading “Did Neptune save us from a disaster?” and I will end this post by reminding you:
If you have a boat, check your anchoring equipment and let me know in the comment field below if you had any similar experiences!