Spirit of Discovery blog
After clearing Ibiza shortly before 2330 it was a short 66M passage to Palma, Majorca so 0600 came around very quickly!! With both eyes taking some time to fully open we embarked our pilot at 0700 and then glided quietly into the harbour, before a swift 90’ turn and an astern manoeuvre to the berth. It was a fabulous start to the day and we are expecting 22’C today - not bad for the end of October.
After my normal breakfast of a full bowl of muesli, walnuts, Strawberries, Goji Berries and sliced banana it was time for yet another Plaque exchange for this maiden call.
Palma is the cosmopolitan capital of Majorca, the most popular and largest of the Balearic Islands with its host of bars, restaurants and stylish shops, a palm-shaded seafront promenade and attractive Old Town. Past settlers have left their mark on this vibrant city, and it retains a wealth of attractions including the Bellver castle which had dominated the skyline since the 14th century.
There are some fabulous tours here including “Scenic Palma & Valldemossa”, “Caves of the Dragon & Porto Cristo”, “Narrow-Gauge Train to Soller”, “Rugged North Coast & La Granja” and “An evening in Palma Majorca”. Although not today, I have visited Valldemossa, high up in the hills, and it is a delightful town. Today I headed ashore once again with my cycle buddy Rico and we had an excellent 40km ride out to the east of Palma and following a dedicated cycle path. On the way back we stopped for a “cheeky” little beer as we were staying in port overnight and there are just too many bars and restaurants not to stop. After the beer stop we headed back to the ship and enroute I took the opportunity for a few snaps of Palma Cathedral, a Gothic Masterpiece which took over 400 years to complete.
With an overnight stop I let Staff Captain Matt go ashore for dinner, whilst I took the chance to enjoy another fabulous meal in the Grand Dining Room with Kevin (and Jean) Woodford, the man behind Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook, and “Ready Steady Cook” to name but a few of the many TV shows he has been in.
After an excellent night’s sleep and a lie in until 0630!! I had hoped to sail at 0730. What I had overlooked was that it was ferry rush hour traffic in Palma so we had to hand around until just after 0800 – I could have grabbed a true lie in until 0700!! Anyway it was a beautiful morning for a sailaway and at least by sailing slightly later we had some twilight. Once clear of the port we disembarked our pilot and then spent the whole morning + the early afternoon close coasting approx 1.5M off Majorca and mainly the NW coast which is very dramatic.
Captain Julian Burgess
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