Parrot Seeks Permanent Home

The Balaton group, one of the SAMM boat share groups, who operate four 6 metre keel boats on the Mar Menor have a pet parrot. Unfortunately it keeps getting moved from home to home as it is awarded, from time to time, to a Balaton member who somehow messes up.

left to right, Paddy, Keith, the parrot, Julian and Dennis

Up until recently it had a comfortable home with Dennis, but then was claimed by Julian who caught the group’s tender on the jetty while towing it, damaging the transom. He only had it for a week before it was forced to move again, first to Keith for hitting the reef during the first race on a SAMM race day. Then an hour later on to Paddy, who hit the same reef in the second race the same day. Luckily, because of the very light wind, no damage was caused to the boat.

These incidents are few and far between, so if you are interested in enjoying sailing and racing on the Mar Menor without having to home a parrot, contact Julian via

Paddy is now complaining that the parrot is driving him mad by asking, every time he walks past it’s perch, “Who’s a silly boy then?”

Balaton Bottoms All Clean

Working on vision (white boat)

With the start of the SAMM race season looming, members of the Balaton boat share group worked hard to get their three 6 metre Sailfish 18 boats race-ready. The project was led by group chairman Julian, helped by various members; Bob, Jurgen, Paddy, David, Jez, Willie and Rona, over the course of a week.

Vision Work (Blue Boat)

Starting with Sirocco, they sailed her to Los Urrutias Marina to be worked on. First task was to lift her from the water and remove the weed and barnacle growth from the bottom of the hull. This is excessive in the Mar Menor, probably due to the higher water temperature and it greatly reduces the hulls efficiency and boat speed. The easiest way to remove it is by a hot water jet wash as soon as the boat is lifted, before the encrustations dry out, then, after being allowed to dry, a quick rub down and a fresh coat of anti-foul paint can be applied. The upper hull and deck were then lightly sanded and repainted with epoxy marine paint and new decals applied. Finally a check was made of all the rigging and ropes before she was returned to the water.

She was followed by similar work on both Visions before the first race day and Ginetta soon afterwards. They should now all sail well and give the smaller dinghies a run for their money.

Interested in the Balaton Group? Find details and contact information at