In Menorca the winter is usually very mild… “usually” but not this year! We had a couple of weeks between December and January that the temperature dropped to 1-2 degrees celsius. In the morning was hard to go out of the duvet and the windows in the saloon where white of condensation with drops of water. We don’t have a proper heating system but I hope to have one for our next winter, so far I’m hugging a little electric fan heater we use in the saloon, together with a dehumidifier (humidity is worst than cold in a boat). Also the wind can be freezing cold here, but you need to wear clothes in layers, because when the sun is high in the sky you start peeling away your layers to feel the warm on your skin.
Because in Mahon the strong NW wind blows almost every 10 days (and the mooring lines in the front are not very long) we decided to stay far away from the concrete pontoon, we don’t have a nice gangway, neither it would be possible to use one in 2.5 meters of distance, so we have the dinghy attached at the boat cleat and the pontoon for going in and out from the boat and when it’s raining our dinghy become a swimming pool. Yes, the winter on a boat is a lot of fun!
However Menorca is spectacular also in the winter and if you hike around the hundreds possible tracks you definitely don’t feel the cold. René and Babs know almost all the camí in Menorca and every time we go for new rides, like the Cava Des Coloms or the Punta Nati Light house, and many other.
Also Giuseppe and Patrizia are back on their catamaran and we often meet them. They introduce us to Luisa and Luca that have a gorgeous traditional Casa de Campo close to Mahon with a lot of fruits trees. Luca convince Giuseppe and Carmine to go for bike tours around Menorca… just 40km offroad with 656m of ascend … they come back dirty and exhausted.
Luisa invites Patrizia and me to join the yoga lessons with Silvia and I also meet Paola, when the weather is fine we do it in the garden of Luisa’s house. We have great time and nice new friends, and even if the covid situation creates many restrictions hiking or having lunch in a table outside (only day time) is still possible and safe and we enjoy all this a lot!!!
In Mahon you can buy very fresh and tasty fish, I love to try everything is local and generally in Spain, and here even more, there is an amazing choice of fish and the ladies at the counter can tell you the best way of cooking it while they clean it for you! I love the fish market!!!
We also met Brett (from NZ) and Neus (from Mahon) that live on their wooden gulet Black Marlin. They have covered the boat to do their winter boat work. Once we decide to meet on our cockpit for a light lunch and to watch the Prada America’s Cup… we ended up chatting and laughing till 7pm! The Prada team is amazing!!!
Finally the weather is warmer and outdoor bars are available again! even if the winds often blows very strong. One morning we record 67knots of wind and the boat shiver frenetically for 10 minutes. The bay of Mahon is 5km deep and this strong wind creates waves inside the port but they are used to it and all the boat are properly tided so everything is fine.
During the time in Marina is easy to spend time on fun projects and activity like painting my red pants (there was a dark sika stain) or sewing a shoes holder… But I also dusted off my Segni di Mare jewellery box and started designing jewelry again, and I love it! It’s a soft start and I need also to polish the website. Strange because on a nomad life on a sailing boat it’s very rare to wear jewelry but for me the fun is to design them. I might start selling them again, not as a business but for passion, to enjoy when someone choose one of my piece and to save some money for new designs.
Carmine has finally bought a wise. It looks an easy decision but actually involved to dismantle the skipper toilet and build a workshop for the wise. Now we have more tools and a luxury small workshop with a solid bench. Carmine is very proud of the new construction, I only helped to make the drawer.
We plan to stay in Mahon till March, but in early Feb and a good weather window opens up to sail East with light winds and almost no waves. It’s a hard decision to leave, we have nice friends and we are very confy here, but it’s too good to let it go. This means we have to finish all the boat work needed to sail again, and in few days we re-install the autopilot that Carmine was servicing, fix a leak from a cleat, tidy up all the things that are around when you are in the quite water of the marina and get ready to go. Also the temperature is good so no excuse, we leave the marina for a night at Es Grau anchorage ready to sail at 5am the following morning toward Stintino in Sardinia.
Ciao Menorca, apparently if it is so hard to leave is because you have been very well in that place and you are sad to move on. But new to us places are on our plan and we also want to go to visit are relatives in Naples so we are also excited to move on and go sailing again!