June to August 2014 (Trip miles 593, Total miles 6894)
Down to two people aboard we began day-sailing up the coast, the weather was relatively mild and what little wind there was, was mostly either north or east or somewhere in between meaning we were heading straight into it. We averaged around 35 nautical miles a day making stops in Soto Grande, Fuengirola, and Almerimar where we spent a week fitting strainers to the engines and a parasol to the stern to make thing easier when mooring Med-style.
From Almerimar we headed to our first anchorage in the Mediterranean at Cabo de Gata, incoming weather arrived later than expected so we had a quiet night and were treated to 45kn winds in the morning, we elected to spend an additional day to let the worst of it pass us by. The next stop was Cala San Pedro which turned out to be a secluded cove with a hippie / backpacker nudist colony, complete with stone totems.
Up past Cartagena we anchored in Portman and Isla Grossa before heading into Mar Menor which is a large inland lagoon/sea. We left the vessel there for near a month while flying out on business.
On returning I managed to convince my brother to join us for a couple of days and we made our way up to Isla Tabarca, where we spent the night before moving on to Alicante and dropping him off for an onward flight.
In Alicante the starboard saildrive needed new seals ( which again dipped into the Guinness account, on the upside the winch that went down turned out to be simply a loose connection and was repaired in a couple of minutes.
We were joined by Mr and Mrs Wilson in Alicante, we positioned ourselves a little further up the coast at Cabo de Nao to take advantage of a forcast 10kn northerly which did not disappoint and we sailed the +-50nm in just under 10hrs arriving at Cala des Cubales in southern Ibiza at 18:00 and went on Anchor.
Being high season, every suitable anchorage fills to capacity before sundown with everything from speed boats, upto 4 story hight superyachts and even a couple of tri-mast tall ships.
We continued along the south coast passing between Ibiza and Formentera island and headed up to anchor just off Ibiza town, the weather came up and we spent a somewhat exposed night in the bay, not trusting the anchor enough to go ashore. With the Wilsons running low on time we decided to sail along the east coast to the norther part of the island for better shelter, ending up at Xarraca.
The next day we made for San Antonio Bay where we put out 2 anchors so as to spend some quality time on shore at the Café del Mar. Our guests left us the next day where after 3 days were spent on anchor while waiting for a berth.
With my last crew member on her way home I eventually got a berth at the marina, though I spent 2 hours hoisting and detangling the double anchor we put out, providing the surrounding boats with a fair amount of entertainment no doubt.
Once safely berthed the offending anchor (25kg Bruce) was unceremoniously given bolt cutter treatment and replaced with a lighter 20kg Delta, which is performing excellently in both sand and the Poseidonia beds which are prevalent in the Balearics.
A new crew member arrived in San Antonio, we back tracked to Xaracca for the night and set off for Mallorca the next morning after rigging the bow-spirit and genaker, which made light work of the 8-10knots of S-Easterly and had us in the Marina at Andraitx again just shy of 10hrs.
While berthing the port engine lost thrust at a critical stage and I had quite a time getting where I wanted to go, we did manage eventually to get tied up with no mishaps. We spent the evening in the marina looking for the fault, with the engine starting and running normally in both forward and astern and at intervals producing thrust we decided to go on a mooring boy the next day and dive under the boat to get a good look.
There was an amazing amount of hard coral growth on the propellers and even in the propeller’s folding gear mechanisms. I spent the day under the boat removing corals and replacing the anodes, with limited prospects for getting work done locally and the forward gear being semi functional we headed up the west coast of Mallorca and spent a night on anchor at Cala Tuent which turned out to be full of jellyfish and won the crew a couple nasty stings.
The next day we did the 60nm to Menorca in plenty of time to anchor in daylight, the propulsion issue was becoming more erratic and dangerous due to the high number of vessels. Finding a safe spot to spend the night had us cruising to Cala Goldana and dropping the hook a fair way out in 12m of water. The new anchor performed very well and we managed a good night’s sleep.
I found a suitable marina in Mahon (Mao) and we spent the day making towards it at a leisurely pace as the wind had come up to around 30knots making the prospect of berthing with only one reliable drive, not at all appealing, thankfully by the time we reached the marina the wind had let up and we hobbled onto our berth with only a minor scratch on the starboard sugar scoop.
My crew member left to continue his travels after we spent a couple of days exploring Mahon, which as it turns out has a rich history and was apparently founded by Hannibal’s grandson in around 206 BC.
Now with work underway and waiting on spares for the clutch mechanism in the saildrive, Mahon will be home for next couple of weeks, before getting new crew and planning the next destination.
Hippie Nudists - Cala San Pedro
Sunset - Cafe Del Mar, San Antonio Ibiza
David Geffen's "Rising Sun" - Slumming it in Ibiza
Xaracca - Ibiza
Andriatx - Mallorca
Cala Tuent - Mallorca
Mahon (Mao) - Menorca