Sailing from Barcelona to Majorca. One might think, why is it worth a story? One hundred twenty nautical miles to the islands isn’t a big deal. Frankly, that was our opinion too. We cast off on Sunday night around 19.00. The wind was forecasted northeast at 15 knots, in gusts up to 20, predicted swell of 1,5 m. Around midnight, the wind should decrease to 10 knots, and the waves were expected to be less than one meter. The main course was 160 degrees; in other words, a perfect angle to wind and waves. I like to point out that I checked five different wind models (GFS, ECMWF, ICON, MetOFFICE, and AROME), and they all predicted the same.
I spare you the wave highs, as we know that even the attempt of guessing is ridiculous. However, the direction of the easterly waves was correct. We cut them smoothly, and freshly painted Athene didn’t bother. It was impressive that she sailed between 6.5 and 7.5 knots in these conditions.
I like to mention a new approach of getting from A to B. Instead of programming a fixed waypoint, I set the autopilot to wind modus, 80 degrees to true wind direction, trimmed the sails to the best of my knowledge, and was pleased to see that boat constantly sailed fast. That was the good part.
We have no idea why; seasickness caught both of us. The first victim was the writer. In total, I spent three hours in front of the toilet bowl. Soon Beate joined in and amused herself with starboard on deck. It was terrible. The diesel heater offered some relief in the cabin, as it was pitch wet outside and cold. I checked the course, radar, sails in bright moments and was pleased with the idea of sailing at a constant angle to the wind. The boat sailed almost at top speed for 14 hours until dawn the following day. Lucky us, the wind shifts were on our side, meaning the ship was on track at any time. Around noon we moored in Alcúdia safely.
One would think that we both hibernated, as the trip had worked on us. Around two o’clock in the small hours, I woke up because something was wrong. I listened. The only noise was the ticking clock – no ambulance, no police, no disco music, no people chatting all night long on the quay, no idiot car drivers speeding, no nothing. Six months in Barcelona had left its mark on me. For two days, I missed the hustle and bustle of that great city. In Alcúdia, I felt what I imagined to be a hero in a Stephen King novel, with all folks gone – the last stand. Amazing how fast one gets used to the metropolitian lifestyle.
All the best and happy Easter