Medi weather eh?
13 June 2019
So, with the ridiculous cost of a berth in a marina we needed to go in search of anchorages.
One of the good things about Menorca is its size – just 34 miles long and 11 miles wide – so in theory as the wind shifts round the compass you can always move on and find a sheltered bay. Hm, theory eh? So, what happens when the forecast wind shift from north to south occurs at 0200? AND is taking place every couple of days. Not meant for relaxed and easy-going cruising.
The next option is to find somewhere with all-round shelter - and we did.
Going clockwise around the island on Tuesday, 4th June, we had a great sail – beam reach in 12kts Northerly … for two miles … then the forecast northerly turned to an easterly and as we progressed it simply paralleled the coast.
We thought of going into Cala de Puerto de Fornells but the cruising guide is iffy about the holding and despite the narrowish entrance it is quite a wide expanse of water with considerable fetch from north through east to south.
Ultimately, we settled on Cala de Addaia (Addaya) – superb.
At first we anchored between the boats on moorings and the small marina but moved as soon as we could as new arrivals had hemmed us in, but our choice meant that when the wind shifted from north to south we were a bit too close to the channel and marina – a marinero came out and asked very politely if we could move please. So we did, further into the cala, beyond the moored boats going into OVNI mode and anchoring on a sand bar in less than 3m water. A lovely location as the photos in the Gallery show.
Ashore at the marina is a friendly cantina and up the hill in the village is a supermarket and a couple of bars/restaurants. There is a bus to Mahon and Fornells – we took the latter on Friday and had a seafood paella sitting by the bay. There is a walk to the headland and a defensive tower – and restaurants. A pleasant place.
We enjoyed being in Addaia as it is very peaceful – no hotels, and you guessed, no clubs. An old path runs all the way around the island, with excellent signage, the Cami de Cavall – it was to enable the local militia to move quickly on horseback to any points where pirates or invaders might be looking to land – so we had a very nice walk to the old salt pans at the end of the cala.
We needed to provision and do laundry before leaving for Corsica. Having watched the forecast closely it was looking as if leaving around 14th June would do the trick, therefore we headed for Mahon for the added charm of some tourismo.
A berth with Club Martimo de Mahon put us very close to the old town and easy walking to a supermarket and laundry … the arrival of the large ferries and small cruise ships between 0600 and 0700 is a bit alarming at first given the noise and then the slap of the wake hitting our stern (we are bows-to the quay).
The town is very pleasant with some fine old buildings and charming squares. The old markets are now heavily geared for tourists so we avoided buying the Menorcan cheese there.
The whole harbour has to be one of the most superb and extensive in the world – safe all round shelter once past the entrance and the guarding island. There are major fortifications dating back to the British possession in the 18th century – there is no doubt about it, the British did very good fortifications … all over the world … Hm …
The forecast is OK for leaving on Friday 14th June for Corsica – 235nm rhumb line for Ajaccio, but we will decide our arrival point nearer the time. We should have a good sail for the first part of the trip but then the wind looks as if it will ease considerably so either a slow passage or burn some diesel – we are not in a hurry.
So, off to part of France then – it will certainly be easier for us to communicate, but we have very much enjoyed our short cruise through the Balearics … even though we never made it to any clubs.