IV - The Balearic's, Menorca, Mallorca & Ibiza.
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III - Sardinia.
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V - The Costa Blanca, Spain.
Log Entry Sunday 17th July - A brief look ashore.
We last night was a quiet one, we expected a lot more noise from the holiday maker, the only noise really was a group in one of the apartment blocks on the front not having realised they had left the Karaoke? We decided to head ashore early, normal stuff, fruit and salad, but also to dispose of our accumulated garbage. Having spent most of my working life in the packaging industry, living on a sailboat really highlights the issue of accumulation of waste, stiff enough of that move on! We headed over to the local slip where we had seen dinghies being left, we put real effort into leaving the slip clear as it is used extensively. We lifted our dinghy up onto the adjacent wall to leave the ramp clear. The accessible shoreline is very rocky, difficult to climb up on let alone drag a dinghy up on.
We sat in the "Golden Budda Cafe" on the front, had coffee and caught up with the world. We are glad we had been careful with our dinghy, in an hour or so we watched probably about ten jet skies and a couple of ribs launched from the slip.
We knew where the supermarkets were, Goggle Maps, love them! We took the promenade for a short time, then cut into the town to find the supermarkets. We stumbled across a Chineese Store, not sure if you appreciate what they are, but they sell all sorts at discount prices - great gadgets at times?
The best find was this, "Fatso's British Cafe", where we sat down for lunch. It was difficult to get a table, the other cafe across the corner remained almost empty. We were handed a menu, I was politely grinned at when I enquired if the sausages we "low fat!" Still I ordered typical Spanish cuisine, a full English, Ann said I had to clearly state she had scrambled eggs on toast! We did however remain more British/traditional, we had had soft drinks as apposed to the rest, drinking beer and wine.
The supermarkets are good, back to Sailaway, we leave tomorrow for Benidorm!
Log Entry Friday 15th July - We leave Mallorca for Ibiza.
We left the anchorage around 1100 hours, it was a tight squeeze getting our anchor up amongst all the craft, getting used to anchoring at times with a boat length between vessels is something we cannot get used too? Still, that is the way it is here, so many vessels, so we will just have to get used to it! The forecast was good for the town of Ibiza on the east coast of Ibiza itself, 5-15 knots of north east wind on our tail all the way? Well, we that is what we had as we raised our anchor, within an hour the wind had dropped off and moved to the southwest, but came lighter. We were now faced with a couple of options, one of them, to motor for 15 - 17 hours was not going to be one of them? We are limited with a head wind, after less than 2 hours of motoring, we changed our destination to "some where on the north of the island of Ibiza" it looked more favourable at the moment. We changed course, raised the appropriate canvas and off when the engine, we were sailing! Not particularly in the correct direction but slightly north of Ibiza, through the channel between Mallorca and Ibiza, we had other options as we got closer to the island.
As darkness fell we continued sailing, the wind slowly turned more from a southerly and easterly direction as we approached Ibiza, in the early hours we were able, with the same sails turn south down the east coast - San Antonio was our latest destination by 0400 hours, Saturday morning. One interesting note was that at dusk, we saw our first sword fish of the year leap high into the air in front of us - no chance of a photo.
At around 0530 we were "becalmed" the wind went completely not to return, back on went the engine. We could hardly complain we had covered 71 miles in the previous 17 hours of sailing, on went the engine for the last couple of hours until we anchored in "Bahia de San Antonio".
Entering the bay from the north was quite interesting, we and others felt dwarfed by the huge cliffs to the north of its entrance.
To the south of the entrance to the bay, sitting off "Pta Xinxó" sat "Isola de Conejera & Isola de Bosque", beyond those Benidorm our next stop about 70 miles off.
We had originally been heading for the main port area of San Antonio, through the binoculars you could make out what must have been well over 50 to 100 boats? It just looked too busy for us, and the anchorage areas were all on the other side of the harbour, quite a distance from town.
As we passed one area to the west of the harbour entrance we notice three or four boats leaving the small anchorage " Cala de Ganguil", its position was out on the western boarders of the town. We decided to drop our anchor there and settle for a day or so to catch up on sleep. We did need a trip to the shops for fruit and salad, and of coarse a trip ashore to have a scout around the area.
Log Entry Thursday 14th July - The winds passing, at last we get ashore.
Last night the winds settled off after two days, we even had a lovely sunset!
This morning early we went ashore, not many people around when we first arrived but after 0900 hours the people soon began to arrive. It was amazing to see this guys work for tips, real effort put into the details, I congratulated him in my best Spanish, the "thumbs up" helped him understand I am sure?
When we first arrived few of the cafes were even open, we picked a hotel coffee shop on the front, the guests having breakfast as we sat and watched the world go by. The seagull was one of the best spectacles we saw, I tried to have Ann have her photograph taken as she was so taken by him/her, the gull was up for it but Ann as you know is shy?
We saw, as we usually do the "tourist train" always worth a trip it helps you gain a full prospective of not only the immediate area but also the town itself. They usually double as a local form of transport for the tourists. Following on are photographs taken on the trip, some warrant words, most not.
The train took us out of the town into a small section of farmed land, livestock, olives and grape vines.
We then passed a small salt recovery area, salt dried from sea water. This area is very low lying land as apposed to the more mountainous to the west and north. Nearby "Pta Salinas" (Salt Point) is lined with beaches of salt waiting to be processed, we had tried anchoring in one of the small bays out of curiosity but were unable as they were "buoyed off". This was a small recovery plant compared to those in that area, one wonders if this was one of the main industries in the area before tourism?
We were taken into a region, just of hotels, here people transferred to and fro to the town and beaches using the train, I guess?
Log Entry Sunday 11th July - We leave Menorca for the south coast of Mallorca, about 80 miles off!
Well, we are eventually ready to leave, all is packed away, the boat is re-stocked with fresh fruit and salad. I guess more importantly, we had received a report that the rear port quarter had been struck by another Sailboat? We had examined in detail our rear structure, solar panels, wind generator and our dinghy no damage found. Apparently during our absence as the owner returned the boat next to us his son dropped the boat keys in the water. He had to pay for a diver to recover them, he then roared out of the berth shouting in anger at the world and hitting us, mainly catching his rigging in our dinghy by the look of it?
The positive thing was that if we had been damaged we had a witness, a local boat owner and the marina to assist us with the claim we have been hit before twice and abandoned with nothing!
As we left the marina, of coarse it is Sunday, lots of local traffic, boats every where, but plenty to look at as they scream around us.
Ann takes the photographs as I manage the other vessels, one of the few times steering by hand is essential, we usually always use the autopilot.
Ann took this shot of the estuary exit at one stage ahead of us.
There are some really interesting properties on the water front, some new, many dated but well kept, worth a pound or two I bet?
Once out of the estuary after about 30 minutes or so every thing calmed down, we followed the east coast south to take the narrow, shallow channel between the mainland and Isla del Aire saving us a significant amount of time.
As we passed through the channel the water was perfectly clear, only around 5m deep, you could clearly make out the sea bed, sand and weed.
As we exited the channel the wind appeared, out went the canvas and off went the engine, it was now around 1300 hours, 2 hours by motor from the marina. We would not hear our engine again for another 13 hours - brilliant! We settled down for the night and continued on, the wind was never really any more than 3-5 knots but that would give us 3 knots through the water, good enough for us. We continued sailing until the wind was no more, then we started the engine and motored from the early hours of the morning.
As dawn came we were close to Pta Salinas on the south east point of Mallorca, only a small amount of traffic now mainly small fishing craft and the odd sailboat. The heavier, commercial traffic passing 8 - 10 miles parallel to the south of us.
As we approached the point we were over taken by what could only be described as some sort of jet boat, clearly built for racing. As he turned around the headland there was so much water thrown into the air I first thought he had over turned, but no, he reappeared out of the spray and disappeared into the distance.
To the far south of us was a small island, passed that to the southwest, Ibiza, our next destination.
We dropped anchor 77 miles later in Playa des Carbó, a pleasant beach area, broken up by a few surrounding islets, shallow, clean with good holding. We will probably sit out the forecast strong winds here on Wednesday, who knows?
Log Entry Friday 1st July - Our last supper in Mahon, today we return to the UK for a week!
Yesterday evening we dined out in one of the small waterfront restaurants, we are all set to leave today to attend Jane and Warren's Graduations. This and a combination of other events will keep us in the UK for a week, returning next Friday, then off to Mallorca, and Benidorm!
With regards to the food we stayed local and traditional with seafood, the food was excellent, the service would have been too if Spain had not been playing football? We left relatively early as it was difficult to get drinks refilled, well until half time anyway! We stopped off at our "usual cafe" and finished the evening off there.
Returning to Sailaway, Baylis is still bubbling with excitement, he loves aeroplanes. Baylis always travels with us, we have not driven a single mile for many years in the UK or else where without his assistance and company. He still talks about his trip across Europe to Turkey and back!
There is nothing wrong with me, everyone knows that?
Log Entry Wednesday 29th June - More of a view of the town.
The consulates home, very nice as expected!
The Museum of Menorca.
Around the town, clean friendly attractive.
Log Entry Saturday 25th June - Out and about town for the first time.
With Sailaway sitting in her berth we now have to find a mobile phone shop, we need a Spanish data card to give us internet access for email, weather etc. as we move across Spain.
We walk down the town quay as we would call it, a pleasant stroll with the old town looking down at us from above.
There is still a sizable fishing quay, both on this side and the other.
It is interesting to see how the remains of older building are utilised today, properties, domestic and commercial built into the hillside.
A set of stairs and winding road take you up to the old town, there also are most of the shops, banks etc.
Next to the large church an old building has been preserved over time and now holds a fruit market, as well as a supermarket, everything appears to be close at hand.
Log Entry Friday 24th June - We arrive in Mahon, on the island of Menorca.
Sitting here in Cala Marmorata, we look directly north to Corsica, a place we have never been as yet? No rush this morning, we prepare, lift our anchor and move out of the bay, turning west and making our way along the coast towards the Bonifacio Straights for a second time. We can see the small fishing boats in the distance, the swell has clearly fallen off some what, a much easier trip today hopefully?
The forecast this morning showed the winds dropping off almost completely on Thursday, by then we will be approximately 100 miles from Menorca? The expected blow coming has also moved out to Sunday/Monday so we would like to be into Menorca before that hits. With all that in mind we decide to take on extra fuel at S. Teresa di Gallura, a further 100 litres will see us cover every eventually. The collection of the fuel was interesting, as we entered the narrow estuary in which the port sits, a ferry is taking on vehicles at the head just before the entrance to the actual harbour. We see it drop it's lines and begin to move towards us. We had to pass along side the on coming ferry with about 25 meters of space to spare, a gent from the harbour in a large rib by now was behind us, pushing us on, clearly a not unusual event from the smile on his face? The gent on the ferry fore deck waving at us telling us to move further over towards the quay wall, we could not we were less than one meter from the quay? Still, even with all of the activity both vessels passed each other without event, I am sure in time they have had closer encounters?
Once fuelled up we were back out into the straights, we turned west, up went the canvas and off went the engine at 1000 hours. The Sardinian coastline began to disappear into the distance as we followed it west.
At around 1800 hours and 35 miles later, still on the same tack we passed Pta Della Scorno on the Isola Asinara on the very north west tip of Sardinia, we said our goodbyes.
As sunset fell upon us we continued sailing, the wind fell off to 5-6 knots of wind but we were still able to continue sailing through the night at 2-3 knots of speed, great stuff!
Our second day at sea went without issue, the wind peaked at around 10 knots during the afternoon and stayed with us until about 2300 hours that evening, it then disappeared rapidly. we had no alternative other than to start our engine and motor on through the night and indeed the following day as the wind failed to return, the most we saw was 2-3 knots, that giving less than 1 knot of speed, steering was difficult.
During the morning we changed our courtesy flag, replacing the Italian with the Spanish, very nostalgic!
At about twenty miles from Menorca, the island began to appear out of the mist , initially the more mountainous region to the north appeared as an island to the north. Then, as we got closer the lower land came into view before us, a little misleading visually as I knew there was no island to the north? We were also lucky enough to catch view of a single large dolphin, not too interested in us, from the activity, feeding on whatever was there in the distance.
We entered the estuary to Mahon, the islands capital, it's fortifications still maintained as I guess they had been over the centuries, now more for tourists rather than defence obviously.
Once inside the area is steeped in military history, this was going to be an interesting place, I classified it as "similar to Gibraltar, without the horrific development!"
Our spirits were lifted with interest, then came the negative aspect - all of the anchorages in our aging information have been closed down, there is no anchoring allowed at all in the estuary! In three of what were the larger anchorages they have installed floating pontoons, all with electric and water, all ran by Menorca Marina. All of the smaller anchorages have large "No Anchoring" buoys installed. It was now almost 1900 hours we had been travelling for three days and we were ready for rest. Our reservation for next week when we return to the UK was actually with Menorca Marina, I called them up on the VHF and they called us up to the marina and we were given a berth.
It was great to switch off our old diesel engine, she had just done an 18 hour shift, she must be as tired as us? We were quite pleased with the trip, we covered 246 miles in 60 hours, we had used the engine for 26 of those hours, the latter period being 18 of them. Not many trips like that in the Mediterranean.