When the summer heat becomes too much to take and the beaches are full, there is only one place to go to get some fresh air and hang out with friends, and that place is at sea!
I often find myself sitting on a remote beach in Mallorca and glaring venomously at the two or three other people who have done the trek, walked across this particular mountain and scrambled down the side, to reach this one hidden cove.
Then a boat arrives in our little paradise and I glare at them too.
I don't want to share it with anyone and more often than not it ruins the experience.
But not on a boat.
On a boat the sentiment is entirely the opposite. You feel no animosity, just sheer loving goodwill.
It is quite strange, but I am certain of this, as I discovered it a few days ago when a group of friends rented a small speed boat from the Multimar stand in Port de Pollensa and took it out for the day.
We were 5 of us in total, and it was comfortable and roomy. 7 would fit at a push, though sunbathing across the front would be sticky, sardine packed and rather unappealing. As it was we fitted perfectly, taking turns to steer.
We rented the smallest and most inexpensive boat they had, a smallish rubber Selva 470 with a shaded cockpit which you can drive without a license.
It doesn't look like much but it really was all we needed. Fun and easy to drive, fast, safe and perfectly suitable to get us out of the Port de Pollensa heat wave blasting the sand on land, and out on the water,, where the sea breeze cools and everything takes on a different hue and an altogether better perspective.
Because when you motor into that same tiny bay or cove on your little boat, cut the engine and drop the anchor, the world is perfect. You don't care who is sitting on the distant beach and you don't mind the other boats. There is room for everyone.
We took the boat out at around 10 am, the pavement was melting my flip flops and there was a steamy feel to the air. No wind.
I filled out a small form and paid a 400 euros deposit which was returned later when we gave them the boat back, undamaged. He offered me the choice of paying upfront for a full tank or taking it full and refuelling on the way back. I chose the former, opting for more time rather than the possibility of saving money. Either way, we are talking about what, 40/50 euros in petrol for the whole day!
The guy who runs the Multimar shop took us to the jetty and helped us on board. Driving instructions were simple, imparted in seconds and off we went.
The Bay of Pollensa is big and flanked by the lighthouse and fort on one side and Mal Pas on the other. In fact the northern side of the Bay has the Port de Pollensa lighthouse first, but then the coastline carries on as far as the Cape of Formentor, Mallorca's northernmost point, the end of the island.
It is a great route for a day of cruising, with small inlets and coves to stop off at along the way, the fort and the fabulous and Caribbean like Formentor beach, great for gawking; mansions with private jetties mirrored into the sea, luxury properties to die for, built on land which would never be permitted nowadays, steps etched into the sheer rock face leading up to some of the most exclusive real estate on the island, perched above the sea.
We stopped briefly below the Fortaleza, stone terraces and hanging gardens of bougainvillea leading up to the property above. The sea is crystal clear and shockingly cold for such a hot day and we all take turns jumping off the boat. My daughter's teacher motors over with a gaggle of friends. They are braver, skinny dipping.
Beyond the lighthouse there is a small cove, popularly known as the place the Moors came in to land to attack Pollensa, on the night of the 30th of May 1550, now celebrated and re-enacted with relish, canons and copious amounts of booze, every year in Pollensa Old Town on the 2nd of August.
Today it is calm, one sunbather with a backpack and a small boat bobbing a little way away. Perfect snorkelling ground, full of fish, the water crystalline and deep. Deeper still is the ragged coast towards Formentor, where the mountains just carry on underwater, down, way down. Swimming here takes nerve, you look down and there is no bottom, there is nothing...just deep sea. And along this same coast there are small openings and caves that will take your breath away. Huge vaults filled with filtered light, the air black as soot while the sea is fluorescent, your skin silver. It is magical and hard to compute, and most definitely worth exploring.
A full day on the boat allows plenty of time for exploring the coast, anchoring in the tiny coves, stopping off for lunch at Cala Murta or even going round the Cape. There is time to have a siesta on deck, though we did find the anchor didn't hold all that well in the sand and drifted, so it is worth having someone who stays awake or on board at all times.
And there is lots of time for drinks as the day finally cools and back to port for 6 pm, when all the boat hire stands close up and go home.
A word on anchoring if I may.
Mallorca's amazing clean blue sea is thanks entirely to a certain algae that grows underwater, called POSIDONIA. Boat anchors and pollution are being terribly successfully at decimating the Posidonia fields which populate huge swathes of coast and it is becoming a serious problem.
So in the spirit of conservationism and in order to preserve this beautiful place, I ask you to be very careful where you drop anchor, try to do so only in sand and rock, and if you absolutely have no other option, do it knowing that the more Posidonia we rip out of the sea, the uglier and dirtier it will become.