Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wind wind wind

After five nights in Porto Cristo we left on Thursday morning to head north again. In deference to Beth, who has never done any yacht sailing before, we departed about 8.30am when the sea was still flat and there was no wind at all. Just as well in fact, as after four hours or so she started to get a bit queasy. We managed some sailing with the wind almost aft, more motoring, and got back to Colonia de San Pedro for the third time, much to Ben’s disgust. (He thinks it’s boring).

The forecast was for gales on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and sure enough about 12.30 on Friday lunchtime, after a morning of showers and thunder, the wind arrived. Not gales exactly but a fairly steady force 5-6, peaking with a 45-knot gust somewhere around 4am on Saturday. It’s from just south of east so we’re well sheltered here in the lee of the hills – Alcudia across the bay is much more exposed, and the south of Mallorca could be pretty horrible. The rain is full of orange dust from the Sahara which has left messy spots all over the boat.

The winds are modest by northern European standards – we’ve been remembering a day in a marina miles inland in the Dutch delta when we saw steady force 7 and a peak of 50 knots - but this is probably the strongest wind we’ve seen in a while.

It’s hard to tell, given the weather, but judging by Thursday which was hot and calm, there seem to be fewer tourists around than on our previous visit. We thought the peak might be the first two weeks in August and this could well be correct. If so, hooray. I’ve spent most of my life avoiding top holiday destinations at peak time for a jolly good reason – they’re loathsome.

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