31st May 2021
Cala Teulera, Mahon, Menorca – Cala Tirant, Menorca via Illa Colom, Cala Addaya & Cala de la Olla, Menorca
Aquatic life can sometimes feel like a chore. There are the miles to walk for provisions, the never-ending maintenance list and the constant checking of the weather to make sure that we and Ruffian are safe. This life of ‘chores’ occasionally gives way to a feeling of bliss where the weather allows us to move as we please, the water looks like it’s been enhanced by photoshop and we get to see sights that can only be experienced by boat.*
After days of hiding from wind and swell, their absence allowed us to venture to a new playground. Heading along the coast we had no idea where that playground was, but the still blue water sitting behind an island with an AIS target we knew, tempted us into the national park.
From June 1st anchoring in the park is prohibited and paying for mooring balls is compulsory, so with just 2 days before the 1st, this was our opportunity to visit without straining our wallet. The mooring field took up the prime space and as Ruffian rolled at anchor we were invited onto a ball, out of the swell and all within Ruffian’s budget of €0.
As Ruffian sat on flat water and the sun beating down we felt like we were on holiday. Beaches invited us to paddle in their waters, trails beckoned asking us to walk and everywhere we went we found new wildlife. In the shallows of the beach little fishies tickled our feet as they dined on dead foot skin (hmmmm, nice!) and ashore tortoises sauntered along owning the land that they’d inhabited since the time of dinosaurs.
The deadline of the 1st June was on us and suddenly the national park was out of bounds, but this didn’t mean that we had to give up that holiday feeling. We once again sought out a bay with blue water and a beach of white sand, but this time we found somewhere that looked like it had featured as a photoshop ‘after’ picture. The blues were so blue, the whites so white, the shadows so dark, the water so clear and the bay so deserted; this was the Balearics we’d been seeking, but we thought might have been lost to the progress of time.
Day after day the exploring continued and once again, we found ourselves alone. This time however we were exploring the hills as Iain had spied a derelict anti-aircraft battery (nice romantic POI) atop of one highpoints and made a cunning plan to reach it.
Striking out we found what could only be described as a goat trail leading to the top but, the further we went, the more we felt like we were on the wrong side of the law. In our defence we reasoned that we hadn’t seen any ‘keep out’, ‘danger of death’ or ‘stay off my land signs’ so surely we weren’t being that bad?
Circling the high point we suddenly felt very much the wrong side of the law as cows complete with horns lined the horizon and had a scary ‘we eat humans’ glint in their eyes. The romantic POI was abandoned and down we went to re-join the coastal island path. It was at this point we found all the ‘keep out’, ‘danger of death’ and ‘stay off my land’ signs.
Coming back to Ruffian our once deserted bay was about to have another guest and we were about to be given a rare sight. A boat full of Germans motored up to us and with ‘tackle out’ the chap on the bow dropped his anchor. He then proceeded to lean low checking the chain with his third eye ‘winking’ at us. We shuddered at the thought of all those dangly bits getting caught in all the wrong places, chafe as they sat on the non-slip deck and the state of the velour as they relaxed on their cushions. Naked sailing is not something anyone ever wants to witness, but they, like us were having a grand old time on their holiday.
*Even the chores make this an amazing life and, hands down, beats sitting in an anonymous office in Reading overlooking a carpark while the rain lashes down outside before having to sit in a car for 2 hours in nose to tail traffic.
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