Sunday, 18 June 2017

Finally, Ibiza

After our delay in Denia, we had a choice : motor sail 11 hours (20 litres of diesel / 25 euros) or stay another night in Denia at 40 Euros per night and hope for better winds the following day. Since the forecast was not encouraging, we left at 8:30 a.m. for a very calm day. We pointed our nose in the direction of Cala Hort, a large cove 50 miles from Denia.

We did it !  Es Vedra, Ibiza.
Towering over the Cala is the natural cathedral of Es Vedra, a rock surging out of the southeast coast of Ibiza, once a religious site honoring the goddess Tanit. Our guide also said something about this bay being the little Bermuda triangle of Ibiza, but with no further explanation. I should have paid more attention.

As we arrived, there were only 5 or 6 boats and we found a gorgeous spot in turquoise water surrounded by ocre cliffs and scrub pines. After a celebatory drink, we decided we needed a rest and would stay 2 nights here.

The next morning, I lifted the floor boards between the motor and galley to find, once again, the cans and bottles floating in a puddle of diesel. Re-remove cans, re-pump diesel, re-wash cans, etc. We pumped another 1/4 litre of diesel from the surrounding bilges, cleaned up everything we had touched, and dealt with the slippery greasy pile of wipes, newspapers and bottles. We realize now that the diesel will continue to leak out for quite a while, each time the boat moves in some new way.

Anyway… time for a swim in this gorgeous cove. The fish had already gathered in anticipation of a feeding.

I dove in, felt the diesel and sweat dissolve, my spirits reviving. I pulled on my mask and fins.

That’s when I saw it.

A piece of fishing net, wrapped around the propeller. Shock, fear. How long has that been there ? Is it going to block the propeller ? Is it going to wedge deeper around the shaft and cause a leak ?

Even in warm turquise water this is not a sight anyone ever wants to see...

The next hours were really nasty. I dove and dove and dove and dove (note : need desperately to buy a scuba tank) to pull and cut away as much as a could from the shaft. The biggest part came off easily but a few turns of line were (are) stuck deep under the zinc. The propeller turns, there is no sign of a leak. Exhausted and cold, I decided to stop after about 30 minutes. Patrick poured me a gin-and-tonic with chips to replenish my resources. The alcohol in the gin, the citrus acid in the lime, and the salt of the chips told me I had hundreds of little cuts in my hands from my diving job. I looked at my hands and noticed a big bruise growing on my thumb where I had tightly gripped the pliers to pull out the lines. More gin, please.

The first cut
 After that, I had the bad idea to look under the floor boards again...ya know, just to check. More diesel puddles. Crisis time. Cursing and tears in paradise. Patrick banished me to the cockpit, mopped up the puddle, and went for a swim. We agreed to a 24-hour halt to all propeller or diesel repairs and tried to pretend to be on vacation.

Did I mention that it’s breath-takingly gorgeous here ?

Because of the high cliffs around the bay, our internet was out. We suspected that it was a topographical problem, but the potential stress of losing our link to the outside world just added to our sour moods.

We’ve now moved on to Cala Tarida and have recuperated enough to begin enjoying life again. I’ve cut away as much of the line as possible and am convinced that the remaining frayed bits aren’t causing problems. The diesel continues to leak out at a rate of 1/4 litre per day but we know that it must stop soon. Our internet came back to life as soon as the cliffs got smaller.

Did I mention how beautiful it is here?


Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

Oh goodness, what are the chances that you'd have something else happen after the whole diesel fiasco. I feel for you. I'd break down in tears and be asking for double G&Ts if I was in your situation. Hang in there. Sure hoping the next post from you guys is really boring because nothing has gone wrong. :-)

Sailing Mareda said...

Thanks Ellen. Boring post in preparation. We've almost forgotten our woes after the turquoise waters and warm winds of Ibiza. Oh, right, there's that jellyfish thing, but Patrick's almost forgotten that, too ! In anycase, that's our 3 bad things, so we're good for the rest of the summer, right?