Our Mission: To boldly go until we are no more!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mahon Menorca Mayhem

We anchored in Cala Taulera, Mahon, Menorca one of the Balearic Islands of Spain (20 ft, 39d52.7'N, 4d18.5'E). It was the only designated anchorage in Mahon about a mile from downtown and can get crowded. In Mahon, dinghies can be left at the dock near the bronze mermaid statue (we always lock ours). Checking in involved getting passports stamped at the police station up the hill (stairs) from the port authority building on the main wharf. They insisted that we see the port authority but the receptionist there said the yacht was already in the Shengen area (since Malta) and did not require any futher paperwork.

There were several yachts in the anchorage that we have been hearing on the SSB radio nets and it was nice to connect faces to voices. Moonshadow, another Deerfoot of the same vintage as Interlude, and Azure II sailed by a friend of Kurt's from Alameda and his family were also in the anchorage. A grocery service delivered all the food and booze you want for a flat rate of E2.50 at the same price as the supermarket in town. The surroundings were pleasant with only some old fortifications on the sparsely vegetated hills.

The island's final festival of the season in the main town of Mahon involved spectacular displays of horsemanship with dancing stallions amidst huge crowds and racing down city streets. Spectator, rider and/or horse injury during the night or day events was more than likely. The tour of Fort Isabel near our anchorage at Cala Taulera was well worth the 10 Euros including audio guide and a ride up to a guided tour of the big 15 inch gun that can shoot 20 miles. Construction of the fort began in 1848 to defend the strategic harbor of Mahon and by the time it was completed 25 years later advances in artillery technology made it obsolete. The big 15" Vickers battery was impressive though. We also hosted a cocktail party with live music by The Traveling Interludes.

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