An Addled Paddle

I am not sure if there are any laws with regards to being drunk in charge of a SUP,

if there are, Guardia Civil, please look away now.  It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve combined the grape with the board (Cala Comtessa near Illetes has a very convenient beach bar from where you can keep vigil of your SUP while you sup) but the last week of September played host to a rather memorable addled paddle.

Once again setting off from Son Caliu’s ‘Suping Mallorca’ (although this time on a slightly less lazy 10ft 6in BIC Ace-Tec) the sun was shining and the skies were blue.  Instead of heading left to glamour of Puerto Portals, the three of us decided to head out to sea and go right directly across to the Torrenova end of Son Matias beach.  An uneventful near-two kilometres later the Chi Lounge chillout bar was firmly in sight and a sense of mischief surfaced.

Now, money isn’t something we generally take on a SUP (no one has yet invented the bikini with pockets) and this day was no different.  We were euroless, but thirsty and frolicsome, and confident that a string or two could be pulled. 

One of our trio is responsible for updating the Chi Lounge website (, another (me) has been pals with the owner for a few years, whilst the third shares a love of classic cars with the same.  We decided to present this compelling evidence for a bar tab to the duty manager, who was minding his own business getting the place ready for a one o’clock opening.  He caved.        

The initial request was for three glasses of cava, but he (rightly) said, “If you’re not going to pay me for three glasses of cava, you may as well not pay me for a bottle,” and promptly delivered a chilled Prosecco (a rose by any other name) to the beach.  Cork popped, we dived in.

This is where the problems started.  The rental period for a SUP from Son Caliu is one hour, at this stage we’re probably on minute 35 and still have a two kilometre return leg to complete – this necessitated speed drinking, Olympic standard.  The second issue was the weather; the photo below clearly shows a massive black cloud already presenting itself in the top right hand corner.  Torrential rain was moments away.  Time to drink up and hop on.

If you’ve ever drank a third of a bottle of Prosecco in ten minutes, before lunch, you’ll recognise the conversation that followed as we paddled back out to sea.  M: “Sarah, do you feel a bit drunk?”  Me: “Totally, this is going to take forever, oh my god it’s hammering down” (heavens had opened)  M:  “Do you think this is a bit dangerous, being in the middle of a roughening sea, a kilometre from shore, inebriated on a SUP?”  Me:  “Yes, let’s try and concentrate, how do you work this bloody thing?” etc etc. 

All’s well that ends well.  We made it back to shore alternating feelings of fear with hilarity, Suping Mallorca bought our “we sheltered from the rain for a bit” reason for late return of the boards and we even went straight back to Chi Lounge (on foot) to settle our debt.  Never a dull day in Mallorca eh?

Desperately Seeking Column Sponsor
The timing could be better, it’s rather like regaling your father with tales of drag racing and then asking to borrow his car keys, but I am looking for a sponsor for this column. 

As winter approaches (cue quivering bottom lip) many beach-based SUP centres will be packing up their wares and putting their feet up ‘til the start of season 2014.  I therefore need a nauti business to either give me or lend me (for a year) two inflatable 10’6”/10’8” SUPs.

In return I can promise:
• A mention in every single one of my full page columns each month as a sponsor, plus of course photos of the boards
• Advertising space within each issue of The Islander – 3,000 copies go to Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Costa del Sol, Barcelona area, Antibes and Malta.  The magazine is also available online at
• To wang on about the SUPs/your business on Facebook and in Tweets (social media is a forte)

If your business wants a year’s fame in return for two SUPs – drop me an email ASAP.

Sarah Drane


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