Fornells Bay (bottom right hand corner of map above) the home waters of Minorca Sailing, must be one of the best locations for dinghy sailing on the planet. Two and a half miles long and about three quarters of a mile wide at its widest point, it is big enough for serious fun without being so big that you are ever out of sight of Minorca Sailing's rescue boats. And when the wind blows from the north - I think they call it the tramontana in those parts - and you can surf the waves zigzagging down the full length of the bay - well it's just dinghy sailing heaven.
But it is a bay. And sometimes even we dinghy sailors crave to sail on the open ocean - or the Mediterranean Sea in this case. Thankfully, Minorca Sailing recognize this and usually organize a group "sea sail" out of the bay once a week. I remember on one of our first visits to Minorca Sailing 30 years ago going out of the bay in 470s and encountering swells that made the other members of our fleet disappear from view in the troughs. What's the height of a 470 mast? As a newcomer to sailing I was blown away by the experience, not realizing I would never sail in such waves again for many years. And on our visit last year, we sailed out of the bay and over towards Cala Tirant and the wild headland to the northwest.
Of course, Minorca Sailing only allow their clients to go on the sea sail when conditions are suitable. Not on a day like this, for example...
I don't think I would want to sail a Laser through the narrow entrance to the bay in those waves!
On the Wednesday of the first week of our vacation in Menorca a sea sail was scheduled. Tom, our instructor, gave our Laser class a lesson on all those tricky back and forth shoulder movements that Laser sailors do in waves, but it was all to no avail. The winds were very light. There were no waves. We did enjoy a long sail in patchy light winds to just outside the bay entrance. But as soon as we poked our noses out of the bay it was time to sail back for lunch.
The winds were light for the afternoon racing too. I won the first race because of my superior wind sense and tactical ability not to mention my amazing light wind boat-handling skills... and lost the second race to some kid who was 55 pounds lighter than me which made him about 5% faster on every offwind leg. Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. It could have been luck in both races, I guess.
On balance it was the least interesting and least blogworthy day of the whole vacation, but back home a day like this would have ranked as one of the most enjoyable sailing days of the year.
After lying down for an hour or two to demonstrate my amazing willpower not to do too much, Tillerwoman and I walked to Fornells where we enjoyed a langosta paella washed down with some local wine I would guess. Mmmm.
And so to bed...