Palma de Mallorca
The weather forecast for today was a lot of wind and rain. We had to go to Palma as the girls were leaving tomorrow and we wanted to see Palma a bit before the girls left. We motored (again) all the way from Portal Vells again to get there quickly. The sky was grey and it was cold. When entering the port/marina area at Palma you have no clue where to go. The charts are a bit unclear so we just started to make phone calls to all the different marina’s. But nobody wanted us. All marinas were full so what to do. We were definitely not going out with this severe weather coming up. After some time we decided to just berth anywhere. We found a concrete wall, which looked like a sort of jetty, where we just put the boat along the side. Many many fenders and just when we finished berthing it started. The sky was pitch black, rain pouring down straight from heaven … my god … we are in the MED! We saw 2 other brand new Saona’s navigating through the marina to find a place … well, inside it was warm and cozy and we just had to wait till it was over. It took about half an hour before the rain stopped. 5 Minutes later we had the marinero’s coming alongside and telling us we were not allowed to stay there. We told them we would not leave the marina with this kind of weather and that we wanted a berth for 2 days as our girls had to leave the next day from Palma. They were very friendly and made a phone call and yez! We could stay at the jetty where you normally wait when you enter the marina and then contact the office. Thank you so much Real Club Nautico de Palma.
Port of Palma
Palma Port is located in the middle of the city, just in front of the maze of old streets that make up the Old Town. 10 Minutes walk and you are right in the center of the town. The waterfront promenade, which was reclaimed from the sea in the Sixties, connects the entire port from one end to the other. The port is divided into four very different areas: the commercial docks, the Poniente Quays, the marina docks, and the West Breakwater. It provides services which, despite space limitations, have consolidated the port as one of the most important cruise ports in the entire Mediterranean. Also, there is a very big mega repair industry over here. Very impressive! Commercial cargo, recreational sailing (the Bay of Palma hosts some of the Mediterranean’s most important regattas, including The King’s Cup and the HRH Princess Sofia Trophy), the arrival and departure of passengers and commercial fishing activities has made it essential to optimize the use of the facilities and, above all, to make the most of the available space. The Port of Palma combines tradition and the latest technology to perfection and is the physical demonstration of the Mediterranean philosophy (unhurried and calm), yet has a modern character that makes it highly regarded by both its inhabitants and visitors
Real Club Nautico de Palma
This royal yacht club is it the oldest, biggest and foremost yacht clubs in the Balearics. Situated near the center of Palma, it offers good security with easy access for all nautical goods and services. There are 946 moorings of which 589 are for members that are managed from the Capitania building at the western end of the main quay. The old clubhouse continues to be in the old port and the clubs yard and repair facilities are also concentrated here. It is the base for some prestigious regattas such as the King’s Cup and the Princess Sofia Trophy, in which many members of the Spanish Royal Family frequently participate. Although we were here end of October we found the fees were very reasonable and include water, electricity, and WiFi. The sights in the marina are amazing. On one side our view from sea level was the Cathedral of Palma which is beautifully lighted in the night. And next to us we saw the megayachts coming in. And on the other side, we could see the megayachts that were wrapped for winter maintenance. Never saw something like this before!
We were lucky we could stay at such a nice spot at the Real Club Nautico de Palma! When you walk towards the marina office you pass by a small supermarket, right on the terrain of the marina! The pricing in the supermarket is not cheap but well equipt! Fresh products, fresh bread, meat, chicken, toilet paper, alcohol, whatever! Not suitable for provisioning for 3 weeks but for a few days it is perfect! We went to the marina office to register. The ladies are very friendly and helpful. We asked them if we could stay for 2 nights as the girls were leaving the next day and the weather forecasts were not good to sail further down to Sicily. Apparently, you are not allowed to stay at the waiting pontoon for more than one day except when there are urgent reasons to stay there. Then you are allowed to stay one day longer. But the marina also has to ask permission to do this. But this time of year and the weather forecasts made we could stay an extra day.
Our plan was to sail to Sicily where we made a reservation to stay over the winter time. From October till May. But weather forecasts had not been good for days now so we just wanted to wait a bit more to make a final decision. Especially in Italy, they had severe weather and storms. So-called Medicanes, a Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone. Never heard of it before but it exists!
Palma’s old town
A visit to Palma’s picturesque Old Town is a must do! Known in Spanish as ‘El Casco Antiguo’, it’s where the majority of must-see tourist attractions are located, such as the majestic ‘La Seu’ Cathedral, the Royal Palace of Almudaina and Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum. If culture is not really your thing just simply wander through the medieval streets. The vibrant city center has many things to offer: The Borne, known as the ‘golden mile’ and the main shopping street of Jaime III, the historic area of Casco Antiguo or the old-town as it’s known, the popular tourist zone La Lonja, the trendy area of Santa Catalina, the seafront lively strip along Paseo Marítimo, the fisherman’s barrio of Portixol and so on.
We also just wandered through the small streets. We even did some shopping at Zara Home. I lost some cutlery along the way …. had a few drinks and went back to the marina. And then we met Patricia! Who is Patricia your probably asking yourself? Well, Patricia is a small falcon and she is guarding the marina against the seagulls. She prevents the seagulls from sitting and shitting on the boats! Never heard of it or seen that before. The owner walks in the marina all day from 08.00 till 18.00. I think it’s really a great idea and service as well!
To go to town takes about a 10 minutes walk. In the evening we went into town with the girls, had a nice dinner and went back home. The girls were picked up by a taxi the next morning to go to the airport. The taxi came about next to our boat, what a service! We said goodbye to our girls, it had been a great week! See you soon again in Holland! Love you!