Monday Evening 10th May
“Elton”, Andrew’s magnificent 110ft yacht takes your breath away. Having been kitted out for the charter market, everything was catered for and we felt very privileged to be “allowed” aboard.
Our hosts made us very welcome and settled us in to the “owner’s suite”, very sumptuous, before enjoying a couple of drinks and a “get-to-know-you”chat.
We also met up with the skipper of Andrew’s other yacht, who gave us the grand tour of this beautiful Italian classic boat that he rescued from a breakers yard last year, and it is now going through restoration by a local ship-writes. Once complete this one will also impress!!!
Tomorrow we’ll head off to Ibiza, should take around 8-hours but due to weather and sea state we’re not leaving till 0900hrs.
We spent our first night in untold luxury; we’ve both slept on many different boats over the years but never had such a big, comfortable bed with a luxurious en-suite including a bath!!!!
Tuesday 11th May
Following a very comfortable night moored in the marina, we were ready for the off. As planned we slipped our mooring at 0900hrs and took a course to Ibiza and after we left the protection of the harbour moles, we hoisted the sails. It was fascinating to watch Ollie unfurl the jib from the cockpit by just pushing buttons, everything is hydraulic and we were now underway.
Though the wind was cold and causing a certain amount of disruption to the sea, we had blue skies and the sun was shining, but we appreciated why we held off leaving ‘till later!!!!
Making good progress, we sailed along the coast towards the headland near Gandia when we then then kicked off towards Ibiza at which point Ollie put a reefed main out. Again the main was hoisted hydraulically, the only manual import was pressing the button and securing the reef, we were fascinated especially after the hours we have physically pulled on sheets to raise mains, and pull jibs in and out etc, etc., mind you when you see the size of the sheets on Elton, there would be no-way one could do this manually.
Travelling along nicely at around 10-knots we were making good progress though the sea-state was a little on the choppy side. Then gradually the wind died, Ollie took the reef out and played with the hydraulic buttons coaxing the sails to gather as much wind as was available until the inevitable happened, the wind vanished. The jib was furled, the main dropped into the boom box and on went the engine; Shock Horror but it is what it is, we just got on with it but our timings were now well and truly comprised.
Running on engine with the main stowed, our rapid progress slipped and the boat rocked for the rest of the journey much to ChristIne’s stomach disgust though I have to say this brave girl contained everything!!!!!!!
Earlier in the day ChristIne, tongue in cheek, asked the skipper what time will we see the Dolphins to which he replied, midday: Guess what, midday came and went, no dolphins. Around about four o’clock the skipper said, the dolphins have arrived, albeit a bit late, ChristIne asked if he was joking, no he said so we both headed to the pulpit and hey presto, there they were, having a wale of a time playing around the bows. We watched for ages before they left, it reminded us of the time we sailed across the bay at Soufriere (St Lucia) in Anam Cara, amazing sight.
Though there was minimal wind, what there was was cold and we now wished we could get there. One reason ChristIne wanted to sail is to see how she would be if we both join “Elton” and do the Atlantic crossing in November, as you can imagine the answer flowed both ways and I’m still none the wiser to the answer, yet!!!!
Land ahoy, great but unfortunately it seemed to take ages to get there. Due to the size of Elton, entering a marina is rather expensive (€450) and as we are totally self contained we headed for a bay that was out of the path of what little wind there was and also out of the swell. Due to the slow speed on engine our original ETA of around 1700hrs was well and truly blown out of the window, as by the time we had dropped the anchor it was more like 2000hrs, oh well the joys of sailing.
Now it was the turn of Annica to head to the galley. Being so late we would have been more than happy with a simple snack but no, she had the necessary ingredients for her Pork dish, we just had to wait! Well it was certainly well worth waiting for we thoroughly enjoyed everything, if this is her regular standard we are in for a treat.
Coffee followed by bed after a thoroughly enjoyable day, out in the sun and out on the sea.