En este capitulo, quise intentar escribir todos en español. Después de pensar en él, decidía que puede no ser el mejor de ideas.  Cuando he traslado a Mallorca, pense sit u vives en un otra pais, es importante apprender la idioma del pais.  He encontrado que mi español es mejor cuando estoy hablando alguien que no entiende inglés.  Un dia, estaba hablar para 45 minutos con un amigo solamente en español y era muy feliz.  Sin duda, yo sé mi español es malo, pero la única manera de mejorar es practicar.  Es verdad, que algunas veces necesito utilizar un diccionario para encontrar la palabra correcta, o pregunta mis amigos españoles, pero estoy intentando apprender mas.  Pero, porque muchos de los personas que leer mis cartas no hablan español, entonces pienso es mejor escribir en inglés. ¿Si?  ¿Vale contigo? Bastante español….para ahora.

There are a couple of new things to write about.  As I wrote in the last chapter of my “Letters,” the ceramica has been busy once again.  Yesterday the fruits of my labour came out of the oven and I was able to see the finished items at last.  I had made a set of six dinner plates and four cups to keep on Amélie.  When I bought the boat, it did come with a pretty full complement of dinner ware, but they weren’t exactly what I thought would be nice to eat off of, so I had decided to produce my own set.  I also had made several other items as well.  I had decided to make a couple of very formal-looking serving platters, one of which involved coming up with a new design.  The design so intrigued me that I then produced four tazas (coffee or tea cups) with the same pattern. 

Also worth telling you about is the move of Amélie from Puerto de Andratx to Palma.  The journey wasn’t all that big of a deal.  After casting off the mooring lines in Andratx, we eased out of the harbour and began to motor toward the marina.  I dearly would have like to say that I raised the sails, but Amélie has no sails to raise.  But instead, she has these two monster diesel engines.  I say monster, as each one of them is considerably larger than even my car has.  But the good news is that they are quiet, and after turning the corner that attempts to shelter Andratx from strong winds from the east, Amélie was on a course to Palma.

The past weeks since Amélie came into my life has been different.  Good different, but different none-the-less.  I don’t even think I can explain the feeling of once again being able to be on a boat.  I do miss being on sailing boat, but the very fact that at least I can be on any boat is a good thing.  And Amélie has turned out to be a wonderful improvement in the quality of my life.

The journey itself was not a big thing.  I had checked the distance between Andratx and Palma several times, and depending on how far out to sea Amélie would go, the distance covered would be about 23 miles.  At a speed of 10 knots, that would mean that the trip should take a couple of hours.  I had also checked with some boat friends in Andratx and had been told to plan on a 3 – 4 hour trip.  So, a couple of hours v. 3 – 4 hours.  Hmmm.  Obviously, there was a disparity in assumptions about how long it would take, but it didn’t make any difference.  I had decided to move Amélie into a marina in Palma for the winter, and move her I would do.  (Now, just a note of reference:  all previous boats I have had were sailing boats, and about the fastest I was able to go was 6.5 knots, and I think that was only down a long hill.  Amélie will go 19 knots but that would be too reminiscent of being on Concorde, so 10-12 knots will do nicely.)

One of the things any (somewhat) smart boater does before any trip is to check the weather forecast.  I did this, on just about every website weather projection I could find.  The range of predictions spanned the entire gambit: clear skies, low winds, smooth seas were included in the best-case scenarios; all the way to overcast, light rain, and serious waves.  But one of the things I have learnt since weather forecasts began to appear on line is that these forecasters must be using quija boards or coin-tosses when they make their predictions.  The day before the move, the weather in Andratx was a mixed bag.  Sunny skies quickly degenerated to strong winds and storm clouds.  We even saw seven waterspouts that began to descend to the sea just outside the harbour, but after a couple of hours, the skies cleared and all looked good for the next day’s voyage.  But at some point overnight, the weather went completely downhill.

In the morning, the skies weren’t all that bad, but the swell that was pouring into the harbour of Andratx made it brutally difficult to even get into Améliña (I had named the tender the equivalent of ‘little Amélie – pathetic, isn’t it?).  But the word of the day was ‘persevere, and after an hour of waiting for things to settle down, off we went.  Once outside of the harbour, the water began to settle a bit and after 80 minutes or so, we pulled into the little bay in front of Sol y Mar, and within another 40 minutes, we were in Palma. 

I had been told that I would be able to tie up Amélie on the quay directly in front of the clubhouse of the Royal Club Nautico in Palma, but upon arrival was told that the regatta boats that had been occupying that quay during the previous week were still there.  Buggers.  So Amélie was relegated to a berth out on the end of one of the floating quays in the marina.  Yesterday, when checking with the marina, I was told that most of the regatta boats had departed, so in the next day or two I will take Amélie over to where she will spend the winter.  All in all, a good week so far.


on the phone (speaking Spanish, no doubt)

one of the platters

tazas with the latest design


one of the waterspouts in Andratx


heading toward Palma...


leaving Andratx in my wake


approaching Amélie's winter marina home

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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, James B. Rieley