Overheard & Overboard
Welcome to the Bates and Stits monthly feature, which after some heated discussion has forsaken the opportunity to use the much more appropriate title of “Stits Masters Bates.” A perfectly suitable and highly original idea which sadly had to be abandoned after the old mariner threw his hat on the deck, stamped on it and proceeded to complain vociferously to the boss, saying that he had no intention of being “under that woman.” Obviously he does not know what he is missing! But anyway, not withstanding the office tantrums, and in deference to seniority , at least one of us will try to retain some decorum and get on with the “job in hand.” (No pun intended of course!) News reaches us that moorings have been laid in the bay of San Telmo (St Elm) just off the Cala Conills restaurant, with an anchoring restriction in place, which is being enforced by government employees who patrol the area in a RIB. It is reported that so far, the moorings are free, on a first come first served basis for up to 48 hours. Let´s hope that this will remain the case and that the number of moorings will be increased from the 11 or so that are presently in place.
The moorings are part of the “Life Posidonia” environmental protection project which is funded by the EU, and implemented in the Balearics by the government Ministry of Environment.
The importance of Posidonia Weed to the marine environment has been the subject of controversy regarding new projects such as the Port Adriano marina extension, and last year the concessionaires for similar “environmental protection” moorings in the bay of Formentor were denounced and fined for exploiting the whole bay rather than the area that they had been allocated.
Obviously any attempt at protecting the sea bed from anchor damage, can only succeed if yachts are encouraged to use the moorings, by making them free and plentiful, and surely this is what the EU funding should be used for!
The website for the project mentions 32 moorings for San Telmo bay so hopefully there are more to come. The site is well worth a look if you want to discover more about Posidonia Weed including how the “prairies” are established and create vital marine ecosystems.
Even Bates got interested when he heard that sexual reproduction is involved in the process - check it out :
alking of green issues, let´s wish good luck to New Zealander Pete Bethune and his team who will be setting off from Malaga next March in an attempt to break the 75 day, powerboating record for circumnavigating the world, in their 24m Wave Piercing Trimaran named “Earthrace.” Powered by a pair of Cummins 540HP engines, she can maintain 25 knots, whilst slicing through heavy seas partially submerged under up 5m of green water.(Not reccomended for the faint hearted, could spill the old G & T, what - eh!)
With the futuristic looking boat running purely on biodiesel, the aim is to promote environmentally friendly technologies such as low-emission engines, non-toxic antifouling and efficient hull design.
he recent spate of dangerous children´s toys being exported from China appears to have reached a new peak with the below example.
We understand that the Toys R Us stores in the USA have removed the item from their shelves, after fears that the bottom may drop out of their market!
As if we didn’t know it? Is it supposed to make it any easier to accept price increases in what ever sector, just because some official body has confirmed it? So the Shopkeepers Association which is affiliated to the CAEB (Balearic Confederation of Business Associations) have advised us muddled headed consumers that prices have increased by 15%. And surprise surprise, it’s the majority of basic products which have been hit such as milk products, bread, eggs, meat, chicken etc.
And doesn’t it make you feel even better, knowing that the prices are relatively stable and might even have fallen for those of us that want to buy a new suit, an ipod or the latest electronic gizzmo complete with a myriad of functions - 98% of which we will never use!
And, according to somebody somewhere, it seems that the average salary has risen in the Balearics, from 1,497 to 1,608 euros - SNORT! And the average monthly payment for mortgages has gone from 766 euros a month in 2006 to 886 euros during the first six months of this year - DOUBLE SNORT!!
For that kind of monthly outlay, would somebody please advise where to find something slightly larger than a shoe box with all amenities, that doesn’t need totaly rebuilding.
That´s bearing in mind that from our average salary (After tax)) we have to find 20% to put down, having just been told that basics are up by 15%.
During the last few weeks the international yachting press has carried a lot of news about the demise of the UK based BA Peters PLC, which has gone into Financial Administration .
The group which continues to trade whilst the administrators negotiate to sell off part or all of it, is one of Europe's largest luxury boat dealerships operating from six marinas in the UK and four in Spain. (Including Mallorca) It currently has license agreements with Azimut, Bavaria, Legend, Rodman and Island Packet, and turned over 82 Million pounds in the 16 months to Dec 2006.
The financial problems for Peters began when they lost the Fairline dealership in 2005, which probably says a lot about the strength of the Fairline brand.
Sadly it appears that some local marine companies in Mallorca are owed money for services rendered to Peters which does not appear to be forthcoming.
But according to a spokesperson for the Administrators KPMG in London, the Spanish SL company, whilst being considered for possible asset sales, is not presently insolvent.
So, if you are owed money (or a boat) by Peters Spain SL, it may be prudent to pursue your claim sooner rather than later - nuff said?
Now then Dear Readers, (of both sexes) in the interests of furthering equality, now that this column is most definitely a unisex affair, and ignoring the protests of Master “Machismo” Bates, who firmly believes that all women should be barefoot, pregnant and in the galley - here is some consumer research evidence which shows the more romantic side of the female character.
Apparently there is still a large opportunity for access to personal email via mobile phones, revealing a potential market of more than 16 million consumers in the UK. But researchers also found that women favoured the idea of receiving emails from their spouses, whilst more of the men just thought it would make their life easier. Sounds like a recipe for domestic strife, when both genders find there expectations shattered because she never gets “lovey dovey” e.mails from him, and his inbox is full of “get out of the pub” and “why don´t you love me?” messages from Er Indoors. Sometimes its better not to have progress!
Here´s one for the boys (researched by Norma.)
A new survey into blowjobs, and why men like them so much revealed that: 6% said they liked the feeling.
12% said they enjoyed the excitement and
82% just appreciated the silence!
In the past it has been known for the content of the Bates sermons herein to be critical of certain local politicians, some may say harshly, and others may say thoroughly deserved at times, by the individuals concerned.
But regardless of your political leanings it is hard to find justification for the debacle that reportedly unfolded in the arrivals hall of Palma Airport just recently, when Maria Antonio Munar who is President of the Council of Mallorca and the UM party, disembarked a flight with her husband.
On the day that an independent adjudicator had confirmed her culpability in selling a plot of public land in Palma at a price of €30 Mill, instead of the true value of €59 Mill, one would have thought that the couple may have expected some press attention upon their return from France. But when approached by a reporter from El Mundo, Mr Munar, who owns a transport company, apparently lashed out physically with a stream of invective worthy of one of his truck drivers, and made it aggressively clear that his wife (who stood by without comment) was not entering into any discussion on the subject.
No doubt more will be revealed in the fullness of time and the public will judge for themselves, whether they believe that taxpayers have been defrauded in this case. But based on this display of “public relations management” by the Munar´s, it would seem patently obvious that they couldn´t give a tuppeny fig what anybody thinks!
And as if to prove that dodgy dealings are not restricted to politicians of any particular party, the Conservative (PP) ex Mayor of Andratx, Eugenio Hidalgo was back in court recently on more corruption charges for developing his own property on protected land, this to add to his previous misdemeanours.
No wonder then, that a recent corruption survey by Transparency International, showed Spain slipping down the “honesty league table” during the last three years, citing underhand dealings in real estate by politicians abusing their positions, as a contributor to the decline!
Sacra Bleu, is nothing safe? Mallorca offers some of the most amazing traditions, displays and attractions throughout its calendar year, but man, San Sebastian in its current guise has got to be the most spectacular event, it isn’t just the fireworks, it’s the whole thing, it’s there for everyone, the atmosphere is incredible and to shorten any part of it would be sacrilege, so HANDS OFF - some things are best left alone!
Lastly, can you believe that Bates reckons he is in line for the Autonomous Community Gold Medal of the Balearic Islands.
This is an award intended to honour persons whose cultural, literary, entrepreneurial, humanist or scientific activities, and love of the community have contributed to the construction of a fairer society with greater solidarity. Oh pleeez!!
Maybe the old boy has a mirror like the one below?