MILOCURA arrives in Puerto Rico

April 9th, 2007

Narly four months to the date of our departure from
Gran Canaria, we have safely arrived in Puerto Rico on
April 4.

The sail up the Windward, Leeward and Virgin islands
was very nice and we both enjoyed it very much.

We have an exiting year ahead of us and will try our
best to keep you posted (catching up with the pending
trip reports too!)

Love to all,

Orestes and Zoa
MILOCURA, Fajardo, Puerto Rico

MILOCURA in Saint Lucia

December 27th, 2006

Dear family and friends,

Just a short note to let you know that we have safely
arrived in Saint Lucia, in the Lesser Antilles.

A 16 day trip from Gran Canaria to Puerto Rico turned
into a 23 day ordeal, which tested the capacity of the
crew to cope with adversity.

It successfully tested also the capacity of near
family to deal with what seemed to be serious risk to
the crew, compounded by the loss of Zoa’s father, the
great value of friendship and the power of moral
support from far away, as well as the value of
organizations like the USA Coast Guard.

After some extremely exiting first nine days of very
fast and exhilarating sailing, we broke both rudders,
1000 nautical miles from Puerto Rico….drifted for
five days and nights, re invented rudder making out of
brilliant ideas from the crew and friends, rudder
making again, and again, until we got something that
worked just enough and only part of the time….
The delivery of food, fuel and water, 600 miles from
Saint Lucia, and the constant calls from close friends
and family kept us focused, never ever a thought of
quiting, never.

We kept our integrity too, no one got hurt, even when
conditions were right for many accidents, and
MILOCURA, what can we say, we felt safe on her,
drifting in the middle of the big Ocean on our magic
carpet that reassured us that another day would come
for more trials, tests and some progress.

We kept the best records of our whole journey and we
will share them with you in time.

Now we have nearly taken MILOCURA back to her clean
and shining state, only waiting for her new greatly
improved rudder design, which will maintain the
fundamental characteristics of the original but that
ensures integrity even during very extreme sailing
conditions.

Wishing all a healthy and happy 2007. Love to all,

Orestes and the crew
MILOCURA, Saint Lucia

We are on our way to the Caribbean!!

December 1st, 2006

Dear family and friends,

MILOCURA is now on her way to the Caribbean, having
left Gran Canaria at 09:45 today December 1st.

We have 2890 nautical miles to go but, fully loaded
with your good wishes and positive energy (some wine
and beer too, of course)  we are sure to make good
progress and get there safely.

Stay in touch…next stop Puerto Rico!!

Love to all,

Orestes, Juan Enrique, Victor and MILOCURA

“MILOCURA” turns 16 and the trip between Cadiz and Lancerote in the Canaries

November 25th, 2006

MILOCURA

 

   

   

“MILOCURA” turns 16 and the trip between Cadiz and Lancerote in the Canaries

Part one, Cadiz to Safi, Morocco
 

Dear family and friends,

 

It is November and the count down to the Atlantic crossing has started. We are now moored at the Puerto deportivo de las Palmas, in the city of Las Palmas, capital of the island of Gran Canaria, some 550 nautical miles south west of Gibraltar and 150 miles west of the coast of Morocco.

 

When we eventually arrived in Lancerote, one of the most northerly of the Canaries, the log on MILOCURA was reading more than 16,000 nautical miles so, a sweet 16 celebration was in order but left pending for a while.

 

Here in Gran Canaria we will stay until December 1st, our planned departure date for the Caribbean, some 2700 nautical miles west, south west of the Canaries.

 

Our trip from Cadiz, in mainland Spain, was a difficult and dangerous one, probably the worst that we have had….MILOCURA and the crew performed extremely well, but not without some bumps and bruises!!

 

Before you start reading this account get yourself comfortable, preferably with a drink of your choice, and be ready to close your eyes and imagine how it was on board…..have fun!

 

While in Cadiz we received our crew for the trip, Octavio and his wife Marianne, their son Leif and his partner Lindsey.

The Marmolejo and Trifilio families have a long history of seafaring adventures together….this will prove vital during the trip.

 

Marianne and Zoa (evidently the smarter ones of the two families) were flying to the Canaries to meet us there, for what was going to be a four to five day 600 nautical miles trip (in the end we sailed and motored more than 1200 nautical miles to get there!).

 

The departure date was set for October 21st, when a small weather window was expected within the otherwise unattractive weather picture ….it was then or cancellation for at least ten more days.

The window was just to get us started. We expected to be faced with head winds and fairly heavy seas all the way to the Canaries.

Left over heavy seas from a couple of weeks of low-pressure fronts entering the west of the Iberian peninsula from the Atlantic Ocean.

 

While we got ready, we enjoyed Cadiz, its people and places, particularly some of the most delicious tapas and Flamenco bars !

 

Encouraged by the departure on the 20th of a neighboring vessel, we got ready for our departure next day (we latter found out the this particular vessel had aborted five days into the trip and had returned to mainland Spain to lick their wounds).

 

Mid day on the 21st, and after fueling up, Zoa and Marianne said good by as we departed Cadiz, taking a generally westerly-south westerly direction, well in line with the direction to the Canaries but, with winds from the south-south west, the going was uncomfortable, with 20/25 knot winds and moderate seas.

 

It is 07:00 of October 23, we plotted our position and found ourselves some 60 miles due west of the city of Casablanca, in Morocco. We had advanced some 210 nautical miles towards our target in 43 hours, not a good show. Half of that time was motoring only, to try and gain ground towards the Canaries.

We could not continue in this way…we knew the winds will remain from this direction so there was no use in keeping to the same strategy.

This was especially true as the port engine quits due to plugged fuel filters…our drama begins.

 

With winds shifting more and more from the south we decided to tack to the north west and head for the island of Madeira, which lay at about the same distance as the Canaries, but, due to the wind change we gained more ground going there instead….we were still 400 miles away from both destinations any way, so we had to keep both options open.

 

Madeira was not an option considered at the last minute, by the way. It was in fact our first choice when we were planning the trip, and it was only left as second choice due to the predicted bad weather in the general direction of the Madeira archipelago.

 

It is 06:00 of October 24, we had sailed the last 23 hours advancing over the water some 180 miles but, unfortunately, as we advanced north west the winds got stronger, the seas heavier and the wind direction shifted more and more to the west, forcing us further away from our target.

It was a wet ride with the occasional wave breaking on the side getting a good shower into the cockpit, and almost constant big waves braking forward.

 

This steady wind shifting is typical of the circulating winds around the low-pressure centers that were moving east at the time.

The heavy weather predictions were coming true.

 

In the mean time we had spotted a medium size boat and called them on the radio. The Spanish Navy patrol vessel, appropriately named “Mar Caribe” (Caribbean Sea), responded and their crew was kind enough to give us an updated weather report, which confirmed the 25-knot southwesterly once again.

 

Facing heavy weather to the west we decided then to tack again and go southeast, once again towards the coast of Africa. It was the early hours of October 24.

 

MILOCURA was happy with the change for a while, she was going fast against the wind 10, 11 knots at first with one reef on the main and full Genoa then 13 and 14 knots, even after having reduced the main with one more reef and furling up the Genoa to half….it was a very fast ride on heavy two meter seas that lasted the next thirty hours….the seas were breaking everywhere.

When we tried to furl the Genoa the furling system got jammed, taking me to the bow of the boat to undo the jam…there were two or three occasions like this one, when the “life lines” on the decks and safety harness are vital for survival…it was wet and bumpy but we managed well.

The crew was doing three-hour shifts and sleeping in the saloon, waiting for the person in charge to call if help was needed….it was not cold but we were wet and could not help it.

 

Once again we used the VHF radio to call for weather information. This time it was an open call to any ship that would pick up our signal (Any ship that did would be in the vicinity, as VHF signals do not go too far).

Shortly after we got response from the cargo vessel “Nariva” some 13 miles south of us and on their way to Gran Canaria…”Nariva” was extremely kind with us, providing weather forecast, current weather where they were and even a high frequency radio channel for us to call them in case we had further needs when the VHF would not work any more….

The news were not good, they were recording 45 knots winds that very moment, with seas of over two meters and the prediction was to continue for the next 24 hours.

 

So, we were in the middle of it…..the wind got very strong, so strong that we were in a sea of foam, white everywhere and MILOCURA riding on top of it like a bat out of hell with heavily trimmed wings.

The odd wave broke and sprayed water…we were so wet…no one could sleep….cooking, which had been spectacular earlier in the trip was no longer an option…sandwiches and some hot tea only and thanks to Lindsey’s dedication and strength.

 

As the 24th wore out we got in and out of heavy seas but the wind did not abate.

With the small sail area, even when we were going fast, we were very safe from having a major accident. Due to this we kept fine-tuning the sails to get the most out of them….

 

The night of the 24th it got even worse, we had thunder storms all around us, one came as the other one left, salt water from below and fresh water in buckets from above…it was dark, except for the lightning…far away at first then it got nearer and nearer….like a flash, the lightning illuminated the surroundings, a white ocean full of menacing waves waiting to give MILOCURA the next bump.

 

Then it hit us very close…we all saw the two big balls of fire in quick succession, blinding us with the light and deafening us with the noise, all at the same time…then it was gone and the thunder was far again.

Do not ask me why were we not directly hit but we were not. A direct hit would have burnt all electronic equipment and more on board, as catamarans can not be grounded as other vessels can.

Damage control found that the radar was not working and that Octavio’s breathing equipment (for his sleeping apnea) had been damaged…we got away with little damage in the end!

We managed through the night, tired, stressed and wet…

 

It was early morning on the 25th , the ocean was not particularly better or worse, or the wind stronger or lighter, the size of the waves the same.

But this wave caught us from and odd angle lifting the starboard transom close to a meter out of the water and, as MILOCURA came crashing down on the wave, we heard a big “crack”…I immediately knew we had broken the starboard rudder!!

The rudder blade floated away on the confused waters….we could all see the black blade get lost amidst the foam.

 

Almost immediately too we lowered the main sail and stayed on the Genoa only…at the time the rudder broke we were doing 13, 14 knots over the water, with the Genoa only we were still doing 10 knots and, on one rudder the autopilot was holding well!

 

Having advanced some 300 miles towards our target in nearly three days, with the port  engine stalled and the starboard rudder gone we weighted our options…return to Cadiz, go to Casablanca in Morocco or keep going to Lancerote, approximately 300 miles away.

 

Even before the rudder broke, we had been on the radio for a few hours trying to get new weather information, and we finally got hold of Casablanca…they were not interested in giving us weather information but gave us something better, another option and one only some 50 miles away. This was the commercial port of Safi, in Morocco.

 

Once we had checked the charts and the available information on our navigation systems, we decided to go to Safi.

 

By now the seas had gotten better and with the new direction and lower speeds, we were able to change filters on the port engine and get it going again…..this was good as we wanted the two engines to go into port.

We had the two engines going plus the Genoa and were advancing well towards Safi when the starboard engine stalled…what is going on!!

 

Soon after I realized that, by my own mistake, a line had been left on the deck, finding its way to the propeller, fouling it….the seas were better but too rough to attempt clearing it in the open ocean…so, there we were again, back to one engine.

 

When we left Cadiz we had coordinated with Zoa a High Frequency radio contact channel, that she should use in case we had not arrived on the 25th…it was the afternoon of the 25th so they must be looking for us by now…and so they were.

 

Zoa and Marianne had difficulty finding anyone with the right gear to call us so, when the marina office was approached with the request, they called the Gran Canaria Rescue Center that in turn started a radio search…as agreed, we had the radio on at the  frequency so we picked the call the first time it was placed.

 

It was the tanker “Algeciras Spirit” who’s extremely professional crew collect all needed information to report back to the Center and Zoa and Marianne…location, description of damage sustained, condition of the crew, expected arrival in the Canaries….it gave us peace of mind to know that the wives knew now we were well and soon on our way.

 

When the ship called we were just one hour away from shore and shortly after 15:00 on October 25 we were moored at the commercial port of Safi, in Morocco.

 

 

END OF PART ONE

 

 

This is too long to continue now…but do not miss the next installment…read how we repaired and turned MILOCURA around in less than 24 hours, working almost through the night…read about the famous Moroccan tangerines and other stories.

 

We are well but very sad, as we lost Zoa’s father last November 21st. The rest of our trip will not be the same.

 

Our crew arrives in Gran Canaria in a couple of days and the weather is starting to look good for departure on December 1st.

Sad but ready, we will most probably depart on that date.

 

There are literally hundreds of sailing vessels departing from this port on the ARC rally starting November 26, and many others departing after that date, so we will have lots of company on the big Ocean.

 

Your positive energy and good wishes have helped us get here, please keep sending them!!

 

Love to all,

 

Orestes, Zoa and MILOCURA

 

Desde Canarias

November 13th, 2006

Hola amigos, yo estoy solo de nuevo en la isla de Gran
Canaria, preparandome para la salida para cruzar el
Atlantico el dia 1 de Diciembre.

Zoa lamentablemente tuvo que irse de nuevo a Puerto
Rico ya que su papa esta muy malito, y esta entre la
clinica y la casa.

El movil de Zoa es 1787 309 3774 y parece que Don
Ruben estara en la clinica hasta hoy Lunes o tal vez
unos dias mas. Yo le hablo todos los dias y le dire
que escribieron. Sera lo que el destino tenga cifrado.

Abrazos y ojala nos veamos en el Caribe muy pronto.

Orestes

“MILOCURA” at the Mediterranean gate to the Atlantic Ocean

October 9th, 2006

“MILOCURA” at the Mediterranean gate to the Atlantic Ocean

October 1, 2006

MILOCURA and the crew, at anchor in the bay of Algeciras, with the rock of Gibraltar in the background. October 1, 2006

Dear family and friends,

We are at anchor in the Bay of Algeciras, at the foot of the rock of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean gate to the Atlantic.

Milocura and its crew are eager to cut the waters of our second Ocean!!

Our last update of July 20, 2006 only reported that MILOCURA had entered the western hemisphere, after crossing the Greenwich meridian.

The report before that indicated our arrival in Barcelona from the Balearic Islands.

This update will cover what we have been up to, since when we left Barcelona, in July 8, 2006.

Barcelona is an extremely interesting city and, having the opportunity of spending one month very close to the city center (our marina in Badalona was only 15 minutes away by train or metro) was just perfect.

The time of the year was good too. In June there are not as many tourists as there are in July and August, so we had the place to ourselves, kind of!

We were lucky also that we had good friends there, that guided us and helped us blend into the city as a local would.

Our thanks go to Cesar Enrique for all his help and company, which he continues to provide from far away, and to Joaquim Santalo, a Barcelonian that helped us too with inside information about the city and other matters.

Architecture, art, museums, concerts, monuments, restaurants, bars, markets and the list goes on. Slowly walking the narrow streets of the old city, very clean and well maintained, transported us to the times when Columbus was getting ready to come to America to “discover” it…..some of you know how we feel about the outcome of this event!

We injected ourselves with the Barcelona environment and are now happy we spent the time to see the city the way we did.

Taking a train north from Barcelona, towards the border with France, was a nice experience too. The train goes along the small and no so small cities along the coast, allowing you a chance to see beautiful sites from the vantage of the tops of the cliffs along the way, as well as visiting small villages not often frequented by many tourists….it was clear warm day of late June, the sea was calm and the air clean…we had fun on that trip.

On July 8 we departed Badalona and sailed, with the company of Cesar Enrique, along the coast of “Costa Brava” once again towards the border with France, but this time from the sea.

We could easily identify the places we saw from the train, but this time were able to see the small villages and large number of villas and apartment blocks literally hanging from the cliffs….we spent a few days in this beautiful part of Spain, sailed into France for a while but returned to anchor in Spain.

We anchored in a few nice places, which at this time of the year were still fairly empty of boats and in general relaxed without going ashore….although we enjoyed the natural beauty of the place and some of the developments, we were shocked by how crowded the place continues to get, with new construction on top the already busy landscape.

We now realize that this theme is repeated along most of the Spanish coast, where an unbelievable “development” continues to take place.

On July 14 we were back to Badalona for one night, continuing the next day along the coast towards Valencia.

Once again Cesar joined us for the trip, which took us to multiple nice anchorages after days of nice and not so nice sailing…calm seas in general, sunny but foggy days most of the time.

We will not bother you with the details of the many places along the coast but we arrived in Valencia on July 16 and moored at the Real Club Nautico de Valencia until July 23.

Our arrival in the area was greeted by the presence of several of the large yachts competing in the 23rd Americas cup, which will be celebrated in Valencia in June 2007.

We stopped our boat in the middle of the practice course and watched them maneuver for a while.

The Club Nautico is a large marina with excellent services and located relatively close to the city.

We had some small improvements made on MILOCURA, taking advantage of the services, and visited the city several times.

We liked Valencia a lot. Much smaller than Barcelona but with a special character and charm…we would have liked to spend a bit more time there.

Between July 23, when we departed Valencia, and July 28, when we arrived in Almerimar, near Almeria in Andalucia, we anchored in well known Benidorm, visited the city of Alicante and anchored at the gates of the “inland” sea (37 degrees 44.4 minutes north and 00 degrees 43.8 minutes west).

On July 28 we arrived in Almerimar, with plans to stay there until September 21, when we had friends joining us for the next leg to Gibraltar.

Almerimar was recommended by several cruisers along the way as a friendly place, especially for catamarans.

A section of the marina is reserved for catamarans and when moored there we found more than one friendly cruiser that greeted and helped us during our whole stay.

The plans were also to tour the north of Spain while MILOCURA was safe in a good marina….it would not happen quite like that.

An unexpected message and fast footwork put Zoa on a plane to Puerto Rico on July 31, so she could visit her ill father.

Zoa only returned to Madrid on September 5, after her father recovered well from his short illness.

I joined her then for a shorter and less extensive trip to north Spain.

We had an excellent trip north, visiting Valladolid, the city where Columbus lived and died, Santander, in the far north of Spain, Santiago de Compostela and Pontevedra.

Experienced the hotel train from Pontevedra to Madrid and were relaxed the next morning to continue to Toledo, where we had a great visit of the city.

While in Pontevedra we stayed with Zoa’s relatives there and were once again lucky to see the city from the perspective of locals…a very nice part of Spain, with much less development taking place but a much more natural and local flavor in all respects.

Back in Almerimar on September 17 we got MILOCURA ready for our visitors and spent time with our nice neighbors.

On September 20 Eva, Col, Bob and Del from Townsville, Australia, who came to visit Spain and join us for the leg to Gibraltar, joined us in Almerimar.

On September 21 we all left Almerimar to slowly sail along the coast, see some of the coastal sites as well as to travel inland to see others.

From September 22 to 25 we were moored at Marina Benalmadena, from where we visited the cities of Granada and Santa Fe.

Granada is famous for the Alhambra complex, a spectacular example of architecture and engineering dating back to the nearly 800 years Arab occupation of Spain.

The visit to the Alhambra is one of the highlights of our trip to Spain and was very much worth the effort to see it.

Granada was packed full the day we arrived and, as we did not have hotel reservations, we had to get a hotel in nearby Santa Fe….and how lucky were we!

Santa Fe happened to be, in 1492, the garrison from where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella directed the last attack on Granada, to take it back from the Moors.

It was also the place where Christopher Columbus finally caught up with them to sign the “capitulaciones” kind of contract details for his trip to Asia going west.

A central plaza with a church, walled and with four beautiful towers in each one of the entrances, Santa Fe was cozy and friendly and an excellent example of real Spain…we were glad we could not find hotels in Granada!

Our final leg with our Australian friends took us first to Marbella and then to Marina de la Duquesa, in Manilva, Malaga, a small marina at a short distance to Gibraltar and Ronda, both places we wanted to see.

Like Granada and Santa Fe, Ronda was worth the visit, even when during the day is crowded with day visitors that come by bus.

The small city is split by a beautiful gorge and the river Tajo runs through it. Ronda sits at some 800 meters the road leading to it goes up to 1200 and is special in itself, lots of small white washed towns, scattered in the mountains as well as large and small plantations of the local nuts are very nice.

The almost constant view of the sea, the far away African mountains as well as the rock of Gibraltar is a constant reminder of where you really are.

We left our Australian friends in Ronda, completing once again a memorable visit that we are sure will happen again, in another part of the world.

The crew returned to MILOCURA, got ready and departed Marina de la Duquesa early today, October 1, 2006, and are now where you see us in the picture….a nearly perfect day, very flat seas, a cool breeze not enough for sailing…

Tomorrow we will enter the Atlantic Ocean and we are both extremely exited about it!!

We should arrive in Cadiz tomorrow afternoon and start to follow our exploration plan of the area, cities like Sevilla, Huelva and Ayamonte will be visited before our crew arrives to help us take MILOCURA to Madeira and the Canaries.

MILOCURA is in top shape, showing only few signs of some wear in the paintwork on the decks (some claim it is because the skipper washes her too much!).

Now with a new inflatable dinghy and more powerful engine she is ready to tackle more people and cargo when going ashore….badly needed as John Carsley always told me.

She is ready for a bottom paint, which we will do when we get to Puerto Rico…in the mean time scrubbing the bottom will have to do.

The crew is also in top shape, happy and ready for the next chapters of our adventure.

October 22, 2006 we cross to the Canaries from Cadiz, December 1 we start the crossing of the Atlantic and Christmas should see the crew and MILOCURA in Puerto Rico

Keep your positive thoughts energizing our journey and love to all!!

Orestes and Zoa

On board of MILOCURA, at anchor in the Bay of Algeciras, Spain

MILOCURA crosses the W 00 degree meridian

July 20th, 2006

MILOCURA and the crew at marina Badalona, Barcelona

MILOCURA and the crew at marina Badalona, Barcelona

Dear family and friends,

After some great time in Barcelona and the “costa
brava” we have now sailed south and are now at the
Royal Yacht Club of Valencia, current base for the
Luis Vitton fleet of racing yachts.

All is well and plans continue in place to cross the
Atlantic next December.

Love to all,

Orestes and Zoa
MILOCURA, Valencia

Queridos amigos y familiares,
Despues de disfrutar Barcelona y sus alrededores,
subimos por la costa brava para luego bajar hasta
Valencia, donde ahora estamos anclados en Real Club
Nautico de Valencia, que es la base de los botes de
carrera de Luis Vitton.

Todo continua segun planeado para cruzar el Atlantico
en Diciembre,

Amor para todos,

Orestes y Zoa
MILOCURA, Valencia

LOG:

July 16, 2006, at 11:37 hours MILOCURA crossed the Greenwich meridian on its way to the city of Valencia.

For the first time in her life MILOCURA sails the waters of the western hemisphere.

0000_______________0000______________________0000___________________0000

MILOCURA atraviesa el meridiano 00 grados oeste.

BITACORA:

Julio 16, 2006, a las 11:37 MILOCURA atraveso el meridiano de Greenwich en camino a la ciudad de Valencia.

Esta es la primera ves que MILOCURA navega las aguas del hemisferio oeste en su vida.

Orestes, Zoa y Cesar Enrique Castro, invitado especial para la ocacion (special guest)

Desde un punto al sur de la ciudad de Castellon de la Plana (South of Castellon de la Plana) Espanya (Spain)

MILOCURA desde Barcelona

June 7th, 2006

Queridos todos,

Esta madrugada del dia 7 de Junio del 2006 llegamos a
Bracelona desde la ciudad de Andratx en Mallorca.

Tuvimos un viaje precioso, con mar muy tranquila y
viento suave y favorable que nos permitio navegar a
vela todo el viaje de 120 millas nauticas.

Durante el viaje fuimos acompaniados por cielo
despejado y una luna 3/4 y el amanecer nos atrapo a
orillas de Barcelona, lo que nos dio una vista unica y
espectacular que jamas olvidaremos!!

Estaremos por estas tierras unas semanas para explorar
la ciudad y el area con calma y dejar pasar un poco el
ajetreo del verano en esta parte del mundo, donde
todos los lugares cerca del mar estan todos llenos.

Abrazos a todos,

Orestes y Zoa
MILOCURA
Marina Badalona, Barcelona, Espania

Sardinia to the Balearic Islands

May 26th, 2006

MILOCURA update

Sardinia to the Balearic Islands

Minorca and Mallorca

May 12 to 25, 2006

Dear family and friends,

Just a short update with no pictures this time, as our new Spanish internet connection is not working as well or as fast as our Italian one….or is it that we can not understand Spanish instructions any more?

Any way, on May 12/13 we sailed the ~ 220 nautical miles between Sardinia and the island of Minorca, the easternmost of the Balearic archipelago that belongs to Spain.

We mostly motored, with a few hours of good sailing and motor sailing.

It was a relaxed trip, with calm seas and a soft following swell, leftovers from the rough weather the days before our departure.

With a full moon raising at sunset and clear skies, the periods of only sailing are now stored   under “very nice” in the memory bank.

Leaving Sardinia was more than that; we were leaving Italy, at least for now. We called most of our relatives and friends and were sad to say good by, but we had to move.

Upon arrival in the afternoon of May 13, we anchored on the east end of Minorca, close to the city of Mahon (Mao) with and accent on the “o”, at coordinates 39 degrees 52.7 minutes North and 04 degrees 18.4 minutes east.

The secluded inlet where we anchored is surrounded by an island and a small peninsula (look it up in Google earth to get a better idea) which are in turn pretty well covered with the remnants of all sorts of fortifications and buildings, left behind by a long list of adventurers, who were attracted by the location of the island and the long and well protected natural port of Mahon.

Romans, Arabs, Turks, English, French, Spanish and an assortment of nationalities in the pirates that roamed and attacked the island every once in a while….the last recorded attack in May 2006 by the well known and ONLY pirates couple…the Trifilios!

In all we enjoyed Minorca for some eleven days, made some new friends from the British catamaran “Skot”, hired a car and explored the island for a couple of days, visiting some spectacular examples of stone age dwellings, some claimed to be the best preserved in Europe, and in general relaxed in the still un crowded streets and alleys.

We of course found our way to the “tavernas” where we tasted a great variety of “tapas” and red wine as well as excellent “sobreasada”, all in the spirit of investigation for our book “ MILOCURA’s guide to Mediterranean food and wine”, soon at a library near you !

After stocking up on fuel, water, consumables and a few bits and pieces for MILOCURA, we waited for the right weather window and departed early on May 25 for Mallorca, the largest of the Balearics.

The short trip of some 65 miles, was all motor sailing, with the wind close to the nose and a short and steep wave pattern that produced what resembled the rocking motion used for getting babies to sleep…..we dozed off in turns!

We are now at anchor at a beautiful spot inside the Bahia de Alcudia, hidden behind the small lighthouse island, isla de Aucanada, at 39 degrees 50.1 minutes north and 03 degrees 09.8 minutes east, on the north east coast of Mallorca.

The weather forecast indicates light winds for the next couple of days so, we plan to go ashore and explore a bit the nearby town and get some laundry done…in the mean time we celebrate our safe arrival !

Love to all,

Orestes and Zoa

Mallorca, Baleares, Spain

Con MILOCURA en Serdegna

April 24th, 2006
Bello atardecer y mejor el mar

Queridos todos,

Despues de 51 horas de navegacion a vela y aistidos
por los motores, llegamos hace unas 24 horas a la isla
de Serdegna, uno de los hitos importantes de nuestro
viaje.

En el camino, con un mar tranquilo y casi de aceite,
nos acompaniaron juguetones delfines parte del tiempo,
una preciosa tortola que cansada se poso sobre una de
nuestras lineas, y nos dejo la fotografiaramos, le
pasamos por encima a una red de pesca y casi nos
enreda la helice y, poco despues, a la media noche del
mismo dia, se nos enredo la helice con un pedazo de
plastico.

Luego de cirugia con las herramientas a bordo,
quitamos el plastico y seguimos…suerte al buen
tiempo!

El cielo estaba claro, lleno de estrellas y podiamos
ver los satelites cruzarlo.

Tuvimos un encuentro con un UFO tambien!! Claro,
tienen que usar su imaginacion…una bola de fuego,
amarillo y rojo, se desplomo lentamente del cielo para
desaparecer a los pocos segundos…solo podia ser un
UFO!

Entonces llego la luna, saliendo en ese mismo cielo a
eso de las 03:30 de la fria madrugada…cada
madrugada.
Las fotos de la luna sobre la isla de Ustica, la mas
al Oeste del grupo de las Aeolicas, esta de enmarcar!

En fin, tuvimos un viaje placentero, calmado y estamos
contentos de poder compartirlo con todos ustedes,
despues de celebrar con un par de copas de champagne
(vino espumante mas bien) por supuesto.

Abrazos a todos y disfruten de la foto del
atardecer…imaginense tener que estar sujeto a esta
tortura visual cada tarde, todas las tardes!!

Orestes y Zoa
MILOCURA
Marina Di Capitana, cerca de Cagliari
Serdegna, Italia