Mahon is a very pretty natural harbour. It reminded me a bit of Bonifacio but without the cliffs and the harbour inlet is much wider. The city itself is very small with steep streets and pedestrianised areas. After a whole week at sea we first treated ourselves to some tapas and sangria. So nice to be in Spain!
After picking up the outboard engine we directly untied Scehawk and moved to a little anchorage just around the corner. We couldn’t wait to put the dinghy back in the water and test the new engine. Its so fast! And so shiny! And it starts with just one pull! We were racing it around until we ran out of gas.
The next days we waited out another storm. It’s definitely almost autumn, the weather is getting very stormy and grey around here. We met another cruising couple who had family over for a few days and felt the pressure of showing them around the island. They headed out during the storm and were caught in a thunderstorm and little tornadoes that knocked the boat over. They anchored in a tight cove and the waves kept hitting them and throwing them around. We were happy we stayed in the sheltered anchorage in Mahon!
The anchor dance
As the storm hit the anchorage, the wind changed direction from north to south with enormous force. This means that all the boats turn as well, pulling on their anchors in an opposite direction from where it was set. Anchors are very likely to get loose when the wind turns like that. Ours got loose as well, but we were prepared and immediately anchored again. Around us was total chaos: two boats got their anchors tangled and caught a third boat. One small boat dragged all the way across the anchorage without anyone on board. People were running around screaming at their spouses and screaming at their neighbours. It wasn’t pretty. But we knew we were safe, so we opened a beer and watched the show from the front row.
That night we were woken up by another loud bang. We ran on deck prepared to fight for our new outboard, but this time a huge sailboat was drifting into our boat (for those who know their boats: it was a Swan 65). There were two older men on deck, watching the situation but not doing anything. We started our engine and carefully observed what was going on. We were still on our anchor, but they were drifting backwards towards the rocks! They waited for ages until it was too late: they ran their million euro property on the ground. We didn’t really understand how one can be that careless, maybe they had had one too many?
It was beautiful sailing weather the next day, so we sailed to Cala Coves. That is a tight little anchorage where yachts are on anchor as well as tied up to the shore. It was the first time we did this with Scehawk and we were lucky that it wasn’t crowded. It took us almost all afternoon to tie up and it was such a weird feeling being to close to the rocks. We heard the waves breaking all night and didn’t sleep much. But it was a very pretty spot.
We headed to Ciutadella the next day where we anchored just outside of the city. We only stayed for one evening because we had to get going towards Spain: we had four pairs of guests lined up and had to make up for lost time in Sicily. We would have loved to stay in Menorca a bit longer!