Weather Conditions: Worst storms in 10 years, 30 knot winds
Duration: 10 days
High Points: Exploring caves, meeting Jaume, Cap De Formentor No tourists
Low Points: Damn cold, falling onto a rock
Team: Richard Harpham, Cody White
A MillionThanks: Riviera Paddles, Reed Chillcheater, USE Exposure Lights
Our original plan hatched over several months of internet chat with Cody who is based on Quay West, USA was to circumnavigate Mallorca with Naish One inflatable SUP’s. We would carry all of our kit for the 10 days (not a lot) in a dry bag on the front. Plan hatched. Green Light. As we arrived in Mallorca we were surprised to find it a chilly 5-6 degrees. We literally had one set of paddling kit and then clothes for the evening, a tarp, sleeping bag and food stuff. It was going to be tough.
We checked into a hotel for the start and discovered the weather forecast showing storms building over the following days with 2.2 metre waves and 28-30 knot winds. Not ideal on a stand up paddle board. We would be huge sails and only travelling in one direction, downwind. We paddled South towards the lighthouse and cape with a following wind. Since camping prohibited on the island we would officially be taking shelter. We slept the first night in a sandstone cave, then in a letter box cave, then on beaches in the rain. It was brutally cold but great to be exploring.
Rounding the Cape we endured the full force of the storms, Brought to our knees we paddled into the strong headwinds clawing our way North. We attracted a fair amount of comments from the locals who thought we were pretty tapped, one even tracked us from the shore and had considered calling the coastguard. Mostly everywhere was shut in the off season but our spirits were still high exploring arches, caves and features on the rocky coastline. Eventually after hours of paddling for 2 consecutive days we admitted defect and decided to change our plans to exploration and not battle the elements given our limited time.
We tossed a coin and went North to Cap De Formentor and explored the caves and stunning peninsula. A massive thanks to Jaume, our knight in shining armour who drove us North. The winds were less and we finally made progress although risked death by a thousand jelly fish stings with the waters infested with them. Luckily we didn’t fall in. The colours and scenery around Mallorca had been incredible, we had adapted our plans given the weather, explored incredible caves and tunnels and left with a real sense of achievement. We were really excited to get back and edit some of the stunning photos.