Written by Mia:
Making our way around the North Coast of Menorca we debated whether or not to go to Addaia, mostly because it was rather close to the last place we stayed, Puerto Fornells and partly because the pilotage (think Lonely Planet for boating) warned us of a tricky approach in the form of a gate (sort of a Z on its side) due to a series of natural rocks and narrow channels. When we got there we found it was marked with more buoys, making it easier to navigate than the pilotage had warned us. We were rewarded by the sight of a Spanish community with lots of family Sunday lunches, small docks and a playground and all of this before we reached the charming marina which was nestled around a little bird reserve island. What a treat!
Following us in close behind was another Halberg Rassy flying Swiss flag, Moira, that we had seen but not had the chance to speak to when we were in Soller in May. We both anchored outside the marina and a little later when we all went ashore we introduced ourselves to Tom and Claudia, the other HR owners. As it happens, Jon and Tom had been in contact on the Hallberg Rassy Yahoo forums and had already swapped tips and tricks. In fact, our upcoming Solar power solution is surprisingly similar to Moira’s.
The netting on our boat tells everyone that we have a small crew member on board (either a dog or a kid) and lovely French family popped by to see if it was a kid, who were anchored MUCH further in – this is the advantage of having an Ovni with a lifting keel. We met up on several occasions, Teo played well with the two boys who were 6 and 7. Ahhhh the language of Lego! The boys barely realised they did not share a common language. The family had just moved back to Europe from New Caledonia and we loved hearing their stories. They said that it was totally normal for someone to borrow laundry, so they walk by your garden wearing a not so fresh shirt and they might ”swap” with you, taking a nice clean shirt from your washing line and leaving theirs behind. Usually, a few days later the borrowed item would reappear accompanied by a bag of mangos or some fish or something as a “thank you”. We took a couple of long hikes together and cooked dinner for each other while the kids played.
The second day we were in Addaia there was some anchoring trouble as people were slipping and repositioning. We would soon meet someone who would teach us all about anchoring in mud. Everyone was up on deck and watching the situation unfold Pelorus Jack flying a Canadian flag arrives. They scoped the place out and our first contact with Brian was when he joked if the anchorage was only for Halberg Rassy’s. We quickly became friends with Brian and Kathleen and very much enjoyed their company and appreciated the advice they gave us. We had dinner together a few times and lots of cups of tea. Kathleen took Teo on a date to bake chocolate chip cookies! Thanks to them we booked our stay in Cabrera, and it is one of the highlights so far. These are dreamy neighbours! We miss them dearly and look forward to the next time our paths cross!
Jon’s Comments about anchoring:
Watching Brian and Kathleen anchor was a real pleasure, they took their time, asked us where our and anchor was and how much chain we had down. They also explained that they would have a short-scope and keep out of our way. Brian spent 15 minutes setting up his anchor setup while Kathleen slowly lapped around the bay – finally they anchored spent a few minutes ensuring it was properly set. In the following few days of strong winds they were fairly much the only boat not to slip – experience shows and pays. After watching other slipping and being unsure how well our anchor was going to hold we decided to copy Brian’s setup. It’s an anchoring technique that I’ve read about for hurricane winds, but it works well in soft mud with a strong gusts too! Putting it simply, you attach too anchors together, one ahead of the other with a few meters of chain between them. Our stern anchor is very good in mud so that went down first, with our new Rocna anchor (also good in mud) a couple of meters behind it. This allowed us to have much less chain down (so we don’t swing as big a circle) but still have very good holding.
There seems to be quite a nice English community in the marina as well and we met some of the locals including Bright Eyes, who also have plans to cross with Oddessey this winter, and another Halberg Rassy. They also recommended Sebastian, the local boat yard guy, in the Marina there and we will be returning soon to leave Itchy Foot in his care when we go to Tresco in a couple of weeks. We are watching the weather window.