Barca – Puerto Pollenca

We set sail for an overnight crossing from Barcelona to Puerto Pollenca in Mallorca with the plan being to circumnavigate the island, as we have to date only covered the northern part of the island.

The forecast winds of 15-20 knots, and the direction meant it was predicting we should be on a beam reach all the way, as ever this never happened and the wind was sadly on the nose most of the way. There was the usual amount of commercial traffic en route, but with the exception of one incident it was a pretty straightforward crossing.

In the wee small hours when it was pitch black (no moonlight) I saw a white strobe light flashing high up, and then lower down, more or less directly on our path. A “white flashing strobe light” does not figure in the rules of the sea. I headed over a bit to port to give some room as the only thing I could think of was that someone was in distress/difficulty. I slowed down, then stopped and looked through the binoculars whilst trying to identify what it was and also trying to gauge the actual distance. I was stopped dead in the water when this “thing” swept past my starboard at a speed of around six to ten knots and disappeared over the horizon still flashing away! I could see no shape or outline of anything – really wierd!

The other unusual thing is that when a boat reaches really deep water the echo sounder (depth gauge) records the last depth and then stops giving out readings until it comes back into soundings. Our echo sounder had been stuck on something like 185 metres, but when this thing passed it read 12 metres………spooky!! I have absolutely no idea what this was, but if anyone can shed light on this (no pun intended) I would love to hear from them. I thought perhaps a submarine, but have no idea whether or not this could have been a possibility!

Sunrise en route


When we got within telecoms range of Mallorca we received a text from our friends Pete and Debbie asking where we were and how long it would be until we arrived. At this point we were around 2 1/2 – 3 hours away from Puerto Pollenca, and when we told Pete this he replied saying he had secured a mooring for us close inshore – jubbly – saves anchoring further out and having longer dinghy trips when going ashore.

We duly arrived in the bay and Pete directed us to the mooring, and even though we were a wee bit tired (19-20hrs since leaving Barca) we switched the engine off took all the readings, jumped into Pete’s dinghy, and went over to their boat “Paradox” to have a well earned coffee and a good catch up chat for an hour or so, then it was back to Sun Dog for a few hours sleep.

During the next few weeks the four of us had a truly fantastic time together, amongst other things we hired a car between us and went to Palma then over the mountain road to Soller (where we had stopped the previous month or so and had a rolly old night at anchor) this mountain road afforded some spectacular scenery.



We stopped in Soller for a coffee stop but we all found the heat quite overpowering, so it was back to the air conditioned car. There then followed another mountain drive during which we stopped for a juice at a restaurant/café midway back to Puerto Pollenca. What a view from the restaurant and a really interesting stop.


Once back at Puerto Pollenca we headed out on yet another spectacular road along to the lighthouse at Cabo Formentor. It was neat to be at the lighthouse which we have all viewed from the sea sitting proudly on top of the cliffs and looking out at our previous routes.

There are various viewpoints and photo opportunities along this road and we duly took advantage of them.



A great day out.

We had many other lovely days out, visiting amongst others Alcudia Old Town along with Alcudia Port. We also enjoyed taking either Paradox or Sun Dog out for a sail and then anchoring in a Cala. Going for a swim off the boat was so refreshing, and we made full use of Pete & Debbies Magma BBQ …..hard to beat!





When the weather forecast was right for them, Pete and Debbie decided they would head over to Minorca for a few weeks before heading back to Port Ginesta so we said our goodbyes and thanked them for their excellent company.

Sara and I have simply fallen in love with this town and started to seriously look at the housing market, which until then we had been kind of “tyre kicking”. Cutting a long story short we subsequently found an apartment for sale close to the Church Square our favourite spot in the town. The property was being offered at a reduced price for a quick sale, so we arranged an initial viewing. There is no doubt that in the apartment we will hear some restaurant noise as its immediately above one. It is reasonably spacious apartment, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, but it does need a bit of TLC.

We mulled this over for a number of days, had a second viewing, followed by a third, spoke with an English speaking solicitor who was really helpful, and very informative. He highlighted a number of areas for us to consider, which we did, and then decided that we would make an offer which was subject to a number of caveats. In truth this reflected the amount of work required to bring the apartment back up to scratch. We were not really confident that this offer would be accepted, but submitted it anyway through the estate agent, and got on with our holiday.

We headed out to visit the town of Pollenca which lies about 3 miles inland from the port. Apparently the historical reason the town was located here was because it would give the towns people time to prepare for any Pirate attacks which were not uncommon. This is an attractive town and has all that one would associate with the main town of the area. We wandered around like any other tourists and duly climbed the 365 steps (one for each day of the year) up to the church at the top of the hill. The views were worth the effort, and the coffee when we came back down delicious.

A few more days passed and we went back to the estate agent who informed us that our offer had indeed been rejected – no real shock there! But then he surprised us by saying that if we increased our offer very slightly they would agree to sell and also agree to our caveats. After a final cogitation, we decided to agree and proceed. Then with the help of both the lawyer and estate agent, got the complicated (for us) Spanish legal system underway. If there are no unforeseen snags then the apartment will be ours early October and I will come over to get the necessary work done.

Once we had all of this completed and knew we were now definitely relocating to Mallorca, we managed to arrange for the boat to be lifted out of the water at the Club Nautico during the morning of the day we were departing Mallorca. This will be good for the boat as she hasn’t stood out of the water for any decent long periods in recent years. The other thing I am hopefully going to sort out is my own swinging mooring in the bay. Which means that next year we could be in the apartment, walk round to the dinghy (45-60 seconds) and then out to the boat in the bay.

I am absolutely certain we will make better use of the boat around the islands, as in truth the boat was becoming more of a floating apartment than a boat in Barcelona. This was because one can only go up or down the mainland coast with few overnight anchorages necessitating overnights in a Marina – and boy these marinas know how to charge in high season!!

So we have terminated our membership of Real Club Maritime de Barcelona and will miss all the friends who have helped us so much over the years in the club. Special mention to Nico, Jan and Niels, and Pepe.

Chapters in life close so that other one’s can begin – and we are really looking forward to this one!

Whilst all this was going on we got a text message from Pete & Debbie saying they had had enough of Minorca (too congested in the Calas during August) and were heading back to the relative calm of Puerto Pollenca. This would mean more meals out at “Meatasaurus Restaurants” as Pete simply cannot survive without meat, and Debbie and Sara chatting away nineteen to the dozen like long lost sisters……lovely.

So that established the pattern for another couple of week or so, good food, lots of laughter and all conducted in great company.

Eventually Pete & Debbie headed back for Ginesta and we headed off a few days later to Palma airport. No circumnavigation of Mallorca this time around, but from next year we will hopefully be perfectly positioned to do just that and more.

What an eventful and fun packed holiday – truly an outstandingly memorable one 🙂

Our final bonus was when the boat was lifted out when we saw clearly that the Ultrasonic Antifouling is working superbly well – the following photos show the hull as she was lifted untouched straight from the water.
After eight months in Mediterranean waters one would expect serious growth on the hull, but you can see both sides of the boat in the photos below……no need for me to say anything else really as the photos speak for themselves.

Starboard Side

Port Side

UltraSonic Antifouling – Final Opinion

Well its now over seven months since Sun Dog was lifted out the water, had the underside cleaned and new antifouling applied. This was to enable the final “objective test” on the efficacy of the Ultra Sonic Antifouling fitted originally fitted in April 2013. See previous posts on this under categories.

Sun Dog has just been lifted out with the bottom completely clear of growth, the only thing on the underside was a coating of slime which washed off easily.

These photos show the boat as she was lifted untouched out of the water….not even rinsed off!

Starboard Side

Port Side

I am now both absolutely convinced and impressed with this product, and the underside of the boat is really clean despite the best efforts of the Mediterranean. I am also delighted that the bow thruster tube that used to foul up really badly (and stop the thruster being effective) is also clean and the thruster is working beautifully. On a long keel boat this is a real boon when allocated a tight berth in a marina.

I would also make the following observations to aid anyone considering fitting this equipment to their boat.

(1) Mistake I made at the outset was not having cleaned and antifouled the hull before fitting, because if I had then this evaluation would have confirmed its benefits to me sooner.

(2) With us fitting the two transponder system the current draw I plan for is around 1 amp and our small solar panels were simply not sufficient enough. Consideration should therefore be given to strong enough solar panel/wind generators. If the boat is kept in a marina connected to shore power and has a battery charger connected, then obviously there are no issues.

(3) We have left this kit running 24/7 but perhaps the manufacturers could integrate (for those on a swinging mooring or at anchor) some kind of timer so that in the hours of darkness the unit could be switched off – thus reducing overall 24 hour power draw. Might also be relevant for yachts on long passages…….

(4) With the hull being clean the boat sails much better through less drag, and when it comes to power boats I would assume there would be a noticeable increase in speed against revs, coupled with a noticeable reduction in fuel costs.

So to all those who have been asking me about this product I can now say with confidence that I am totally convinced on its effectiveness – subject to the above quantifications/observations.

For the sake of clarity: I have no association with the company or any of its agent and the above comments (and those of previous posts on Ultra Sonic Antifouling) are purely my personal observations and experience.