Monday started with a weather phenomenon I had rarely seen before I moved to Mallorca. Sirocco winds from Sahara brought in sand and particles and gave the sky a yellowish colour. As the rain came down all brown and muddy it made me think about my first summer in Majorca. We had a white car at the time and newly washed white bedsheets hanging outside when the first shower of Sirocco rain hit us.
I had no idea what was going on, but I remember as my things got more and more brown, I cried, because it felt like the end of the world was about to come. That year I had a very superstitious neighbour Manolo, he explained to me that this type of weather is common in Mallorca. “When the Sirocco blows strange things happened – people do crazy things, and you can even get away with murder” he said.
Well that was probably just a tall tale however Sirocco does effect people in a bad way. Asthmatics and people with lung problems should be extra careful. The only one that benefits from this weather would be if you own a car wash. Boat owners suffer when the Sirocco rain comes down especially the big yacht owners or better said the staff that have to clean them. I still hope for some more rain to clear the air out and clean my garden.
Boat life is an important industry in Mallorca and there are a few Scandinavians with boat related businesses, Agapi Boat club for example. The Swedish couple Stefan and Henrietta Roslund run this company from Cala Nova port in Sant Agusti (Palma area) with a second base in the north of the island in Puerto Pollensa, where they offer boat sharing with all the fun of taking the boat out without any hassle. I think it sounds like an excellent idea, no need to worry about the maintenance or services, just go out and have fun.
Plenty of Scandinavians have tried their luck working in the Yachting business and more come every year. I spoke to Lars Molin – a Dane with Swedish roots, that has dedicated most of his life working on boats and is now helping newcomers that want to create a career in boating. Lars travelled around the world before he arrived in Palma by pure coincidence. The owner of the boat he was working on decided to come here and he just tagged along. It did not take him long to realise what a magical place Mallorca is.
Today he is stoked to be able to call it home! First year here he started a “meet & greet” page for people that work on the boats and so Palma Yacht Crew page was born. It has grown to immense dimensions and now involves and engages over 68.000 people. Apart from being the largest platform on the 7 seas, these days, yachties use the group to find work, to find crew, to find flat mates and to promote yachting charities and help people in need. Lars has a humble and straight forward way, always trying to encourage the newbies come to Majorca for their first season, especial with little money in their pocket and 0 experience.
I asked Lars what his best experience in 2020. “During the lockdown, we organised for the yachts in the port to sound the horn at 8pm every evening along with everyone else applauding the essential workers. Some yachties really seemed to enjoy tooting the horn, if you know what I mean… Giving the local yachting community an opportunity to join the locals in showing their appreciation for the fantastic and unselfish effort that all the frontline workers put in, whether it was in hospitals, on the streets of Palma or by the cash register in the supermarket was really quite meaningful to me.
Palma Yacht Crew was the perfect platform to organize this maritime way of showing our appreciation.”
Lars is very much looking forward to taking off his mask again, being able to go out and have a beer with friends without worrying about getting sick, and of course putting on his backpack and going out and travelling again.
He says the ongoing pandemic has made owners use their boats less this past year but even if there will be a slow start of the season there is hope for a good year for the business.
Dogs in Mallorca
I spoke to a Swedish lady that came to Mallorca in the 1950’s. She said that the first years she lived here there where wild dogs running on the streets of Palma, now they are gone and the only time you see a dog without owner it is because it has run away. Years back, the reason for having a pet changed from a dog being there to protect the familys property and instead people took in animals as a new family member.
In 2019 Palma had 75.000 dogs chipped on addresses in the city and that makes it the European city with more dogs per capita. Last years numbers are not official yet, but many with me adopted a dog during the lock down.
I have had dogs for over 20 years. My 10-year-old Mini schnauzer got sick with pancreas cancer and died very suddenly in May. For a second, I thought I needed some time to get over that awful experience, but what I really needed was distraction. Destiny presented me Luna, a 5-year-old Spanish waterdog. I found her thru contacts on social media and it took less than 24h from the first meeting till she moved in.
Most Scandinavians that live in Mallorca have pets and they are generally very open to travel with their animals or to adopt here in the island. I have a feeling that plenty of people that never had animals before decided to adopt last year and as far as I can see it’s a trend that’s here to stay.
In the Palma dog pound, there are no more small dogs available at the moment. Very important when you bring your dog to Mallorca is to make sure that your dog have your telephonenumber updated on the chip and while you wait for the update is a very cheap lifeinsurance for your pet to buy a tag with your mobile number on so, if lost the finder easily can find you and return the dog.