Tag Archives: palma

38º 10.7N – 32º 31.9W

Or for those of you with less sense of direction, about a day west of the Açores.  Once there, a quick refuel and shopping trip and we can leave on the last leg to Palma – a further 7 days away.

Its been a long old slog.  Starting from just above Venezuela, a slower boat than promised, lacking in fuel range and we have had to take our time. Two weeks from Grenada to the Açores, which , if you look at the picture below, could still easily be classed as mid atlantic.  A cockroach infestation to keep you on your toes, a Captain that doesn’t want to fill the fresh water tanks as it will slow us down – no concern that one of our water makers has failed, a broken heat exchanger that I repaired with epoxy 5 days ago, running the generator for just 5 hours a day so no air conditioning, random hot water for showers, bilge pumps that don’t work …….the list goes on – and this boat is commercially registered, so you could charter it if you can stomach the smell of diesel fuel from one of the leaking tanks  !!!

 

 

 

All that said, I will be very happy to see land in about 24 hours time.

We did encounter a pod of migrating hump back whales a couple of days ago.  Close enough to hear the thundering as they slammed back into the water – that was a first for me.  Only had the trusty Samsung to hand and didn’t get a chance to zoom in.  Thankfully they were quite close.

 

 

Plodding on, I noticed this add in a paper the other week.  I kind of admired its bluntness. I might just bear them in mind for when my time comes.  Not much straight talking in the world any more, was a tad refreshing, like the yellow snow in my last post.

 

Hoping to get into Palma on the 11th and shall instantly whisk the missus in for a couple of days R & R before hitting the study books hard again on the 21st .  Looking forward to catching up with some old chums that I haven’t seen in a while too.

 

That’ll do for now – 3 exams down, 3 more to convert !  I am amazed that since my switch from Sainsbury to Asda, Sainsbury have noticed my lack of custom to the point that they now want to merge with Asda – they must miss me, who can blame them?

 

 

 

 


Spending Quality Time with the Family

I have been away for a while, for that I apologise.  Nothing spectacular has happened to bring me back to my blog, I just thought I should swing by and say hello.  A bit more of a photo story today – that’s good for those of you that don’t like to read.

I stopped by the coffee shop the other week with Jean-Claude, our chef.  We were waiting for the supermarket to open and had time for a coffee when I saw the family at the table opposite fully engaged with each other.  I like the idea of family holidays, it’s a time when you can all get together from your busy schedules and spend time with each other and just catch up – you know what I mean?  A good old chin wag and a joke, pulling faces and making laughter as you chat and interact endlessly until the sunset ???

A good old fashioned chin wag

A good old fashioned chin wag

Alternatively – find a café with free wifi and behave just like you are at home in Germany while you text your friends telling them what a wild time you are having in Mallorca.

 

I have mentioned Jean-Claude before, the magical chef with more than his fair share of Parkinson’s.  Here he is, a sharp old boy who just can’t control the movement of his body as he would like.  To the unknowing onlooker, you might just think he was pissed at 8 o’clock in the morning.

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But this old boy is one sharp cookie.  We were recently talking in the crew mess, JC with a glass of red in one hand, a knob of cheese in the other (yup – stereotypical french man, probably had garlic in his pockets too) when he said something in french to me that I roughly translated as,

When I die, I want to come back as a shower in an all girls school

In my mind, I was questioning if I got the translation right.  Let’s be fair, it’s not in your every day phrase book unless perhaps you are on the Monty Python payroll.  As quickly as the questioning look appeared on my face, a little wry smile appeared on JC’s – it seemed I had nailed the translation perfectly !  I laughed immediately and then had to translate for Matt the deck hand as he had no idea why we were both laughing so hard.

Moving on – I have been treating myself to an hour on the beach at the weekends.  There are some benefits of my job, small perks that one must really take advantage of in order to maximise your time away from home.  I found a quiet secluded spot, with not too much going on, took a book and a bottle of water and relaxed for an hour.

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Something of a distraction so early on a Saturday morning !

But talking of treats – there is a place here in Palma called ‘Cappuchinos’.  This place sells what is by far the best carrot cake I have ever eaten so as a small treat this weekend, I also headed there.

 

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Then I took the next photo.  Later that night I noticed the timings on the photos were just 3 minutes apart

 

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The treats have been fast and furious this week mainly because due to an injury, I have had to completely refrain from any exercise.  A little bit of knee pain last week after a quick 10k run up the hill seemed to have a lasting effect.  I went to the hospital to see the doctor, they took a few X-rays and told me I needed to rest for a while to let the damage to my joints recover.  It is amazing in Mallorca, the health care is really good and the X-Rays show great detail.

 

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All said and done, I am in good shape and will live to fight another day.  When I have something of interest to share, you will be the first to know – until then

 

 

 

Float like a butterfly

Sting like a bee

His hands can’t hit

What his eyes can’t see

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Balearic Bill

I had an hour on the beach today – very pleasant indeed, I might try and do it again next weekend. I don’t really have anything else interesting to tell you today but if anyone ever tells you there is no drugs problem in the Balearics, please direct them to the video below.

I saw this ‘guy’ today at a major junction on the Passeo Maritimo – the main road along the seafront from one side of Palma to another.  I couldn’t resist grabbing my phone from the cradle and filming him.  Sorry its only short but it took me a few seconds to realise what was going on.

So here he is, Balearic Bill – enjoy !!

 


Ready Steady Cook

Ok, so the Stoner Dude was funny !!

It is time however – to hit the ground with a thud, and start running again – race day is fast approaching.  I say fast approaching but I still have two months.  I did start this week in earnest though and plan a big half marathon distance up that bloody mountain on Sunday morning – that is going to be a slog and a record breaker.  Highest elevation climb and quite possibly longest distance too at around 22.5kms.  It is also a potential ankle breaker on the way back down – that route is tough on my bike.  I am expecting a time of around 2:30.  If it rains, I will stay in bed.

90kgs this evening, with a target race weight of just 88kgs so it really is ‘Game On’ now.  That said, I have just arranged a Sunday afternoon pizza fest at Diablito’s later this month with a few chums and Mr & Mrs. Cooper are ‘on island’ at the moment, I may even treat them to the best carrot cake ever !!

Or maybe I will just eat all of it myself.


Big Brother IS watching you!!

Thought it was an urban myth did you? An Orwell fantasy?  Well no.

A couple of nights ago, I spilt a Belgian beer all over my lovely Mac.  I know what you are thinking, what a waste of good beer – I thought that too.  The other end of that argument is that it also shafted the afore mentioned Mac.  Now, to cut a long story short, I called the Apple store in Birmingham for help.  The automated answering service knew my name and pronounced it well, then asked me if I was calling about the iPhone 6 I purchased in 2014 or the Mac book Pro I purchased in 2010. Getting scary I thought.  Then I realised, the Mac was bought in Sint Maarten and the iPhone in Florida – neither of which required my UK phone number!!!!

Think about that next time you are clicking away happily on Facebook, liking shit that you have no idea of its origin.

Now sadly, I am suffering a very old windows laptop from circa 2009, still back then Windows Vista was all the rage.  My update history suggests I haven’t used it in almost a year and there were 79 updates that I needed to take – my verdict, it is shit.  I will be more careful with my beer in future.

So I left Mallorca on Friday and had a long long drive to Dunkirk.  As I left Palma and headed for Alcudia in the north of the island, I started to enjoy the drive.  I decided to immerse myself in the local culture and found a local Spanish radio station to listen to.  It took me about half a mile to realise that Spanish radio was in fact a load of shit and I found my own music shortly after.

Barcelona was the cluster fuck that I have come to expect from Spain, 8.30 on a Friday evening and it took me nearly two hours to make 4 or 5 miles onto the motorway but when I got free, it was simple cruising all the way.  I really wanted to make the Millau bridge during daylight and stop to take in the sights but time and daylight were not on my side.  Being honest, to make the bridge during daylight was a little ambitious on my behalf.

Needless to say – I made it safe and sound to the shores of blighty where the temperature was nice and cool.  The first weather forecast I saw was warning me of an impending heat wave – something I really couldn’t care for – I was looking for some cool wet weather!

This weekend is Great North Run time – tending to an injury at the moment but wont let that put me off too much – so long as I don’t need to stop for a dump on the way round, I should be ok.  You will fing coverage on the BBC.

 

 


With love – from Spain

Wind is blowing hard at the moment and bringing some sloppy surf onto the island.  It certainly isn’t Portugal but if you are an islander or even someone who has been stuck here for a few months with work and has island fever, it may come as a welcome break for you.

I had some fun at the bank today.  My spanish bank card expired 15 months ago but as I haven’t been here for any  length of time I never bothered renewing it until today, and that was only prompted last night on the way to squash by Tall Paul who handed me a bank statement. So, the transcript of what happened in the bank (tranlsated into English for the ease of my multi cultural readers)

me – Morning, I need a new bank card please

handing over the old card, the spanish lady looks at it, turns her face sour like a bulldog licking piss off a thistle then says

bank girl – You have ID?

I gave her my driving license as I never thought to take anything else to the bank to get a new card

bank girl – This is a driving licence

me thinking to myself – no shit Sherlock !

bank girl – I need a passport

me, facial expression – oh fucking hell, here we go again, anything but help the client – spanish stylie – 15 minutes back to the boat to get it, 15 minutes back to the bank, another 15 minutes to find a parking space

bank girl after clearly reading my expression – OK, I can do it with this

She then read the address they held on the system for me to confirm where to send the card. it wasn’t my address and it was not an address I had ever had in Mallorca.  I told her that was wrong and then gave her the statement that had been sent to me just days before.  She naturally looked confused, I now feared the worst and was waiting for the one thing that sends a spear of pain and fear down your spine – The Spanish Shrug.

The Spanish Shrug is that moment in time where, without the use of words, the locals can tell you that exactly not one single fuck is given  for your plight – worse still, the shrug also implies that not one single fuck will be given at some point in the near or mid distant future.  You are, as we so politely say in blighty – up shit creek without a paddle!

To my complete and utter amazement, she calmly started updating the address on her computer with the address on the statement that her bank had produced in the last 7 days.  Then she cut my old card in half and told me a new card will be with me in 7 to 10 days

Now, lets be clear, thats 7 to 10 working days – clearer still, 7 – 10 Spanish working days so lets call it 3 weeks before the new card might land on Tall Paul’s doorstep but to really add insult to injury, they will also charge me 25€ for the privellage of sending me a new card.

 

Don’t even get me started about vodafone Spain changing my phone contract a year ago and taking treble the normal monthly fee without even telling me!

 

If you have ever wondered why the eurozone is having problems – come out to any of the latin countries and see for yourself exactly why there are problems.

 

Me personally – I love it

 

 


A Trip to Trumpton

Always good to start the week off with something dashing – I quit my job this morning.  Been niggling away at me now for a few months and finally I decided today was the day, after working a months notice, I will have completed a whole year on board.  For some reason, other potential employers like to see a year as a minimum.

Of course, the skipper was dismayed and has this afternoon been trying to tempt me to stay but you know when the little seed is planted and it will only ever grow – that really makes me think the best option is to move on.

Had a busy weekend exploring the delights of Palma.  First stop was the most important for the weekend – Lórien in Palma, an absolute must for any serious beer drinkers.  When I say serious beer drinkers, I don’t mean people that can swill down 10 pints of Budpiss or wife beater – I mean the serious drinker that only drinks two beers on their visit, yet savours the mouthful of flavours that they ingest – best of all, it is twice the strength of that pish you get everywhere else so you only need a couple and you are done for.

Hot on the tail of Lòrien was Magaluf or Shagaluf as some of you might know it.  Just on the outskirts of this huge free sperm exchange is a place called Pirates.  I last went there around 5 years ago and loved it, this time it was almost just as good. I say almost because for my part there was too much girl dancing when the acrobatics could have been more.  Still though, – if you find yourself in Shagaluf and you are not full of strangers sperm, Pirates is a must see.

Not quite last on my score list was a Saturday evening meal in a little place called Na Burguesa, a shack that clings to the hillside overlooking Génova and the whole of Palma from one side of the bay to the other, and out back to the mountains.  A nice little number too – got there in daylight and stayed until after dark.  After dinner, we headed into Palma to Hostel Cuba, a new place for me, somewhere I haven’t been since it opened but ……..I haven’t really missed anything.  Full of people trying to look too good rather than having a good time – reminded me of a trip once to Pacha where the locals were easy to spot, they danced rooted to the spot in fear of spoiling their hair or creasing their clothes.  Of course it wasn’t long before we had seen enough and headed for an old favourite ‘ Café Lisboa’.  Still liking this place although I have to admit it is missing something since the smoking ban came into force – it was a bit like a seedy Jazz club before but with a different playlist, mostly rocky stuff with thick smoke so if you were looking for someone at the other end of the bar, you had to walk down there to see them, no standing on your tip toes and making eye contact.

Saving the best to last was of course ‘The Diner’ for sunday brunch – a superb score to  finish off the weekend.

Still full of cold and feeling the effects of all of the food i have eaten this weekend I need to focus.  We leave Palma on Monday and head for Sardinia where we have two races to compete in – and I use the word ‘compete’ very very loosely indeed.


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