Circumnavigation (well, of Menorca)/Cala Son Saura/Cala Covas again
10 July 2016 | Menorca
We would have liked to visit a few more Calas on the north coast but the strong northerly swell made that impossible. We decided to get ourselves back on the south coast as we were expecting friends Neil and Suze on ‘Joshuas Wake’ to arrive from Mallorca at some point so chose to sail around the rest of the north coast in an anti-clockwise direction. Leaving Fornells at 10.30 hrs we were able to sail most of the northern part of the passage in force 3 - 4 north easterly winds. As we turned onto the west coast the wind went to the south and motoring was the order of the day until we rounded Cabo Dartuch at the south west corner and the NE wind reasserted itself for a nice sail in flat water along to Cala Son Saura.
We arrived late for us at 16.00 hrs, we normally like to get into our chosen anchorage by 14.00 hr or so as you then get a better choice of the space (means you have to leave early though and here in the Med you motor more as there is less wind in the morning). This proved to be the case as we were restricted to dropping our hook on the outer edges of the very busy Cala. A couple of boats did leave later but we couldn’t be bothered to relocate after a longish day. It’s a pleasant enough Cala and provides some protection but the numbers of boats and the moderate swell that worked in meant it didn’t rate highly on our ‘Cala –ometer’.
We left around mid-morning the next day and motored along the coast to return to Cala Covas. Cala Covas is clearly top of the ‘Cala-ometer’ for Menorca and we enjoyed our return. This time it was much quieter than our previous visit and we got a spot in the north east corner with our stern to the extension of the Cala which is closed off by ‘swim buoys’. This did have a disadvantage as with strong-ish north winds they whistled down this north facing extension to the cala and buffeted our stern, pushing the boat about. Overnight the first night with the stronger winds we put out a third stern line to the shore from the starboard stern (we had one from starboard-stern to a rock near the port-shore and port-stern to a buoy in the centre of the Cala) but this upset a couple of the locals as it sort of closed off the Cala as they had to duck under our lines and should probably not be repeated. Most people were quite happy and cheerful as we helped them past but there’s always a few grumps!
We didn’t do much, swam and snorkeled and relaxed for a couple of days in very hot weather.
We were also watching the weather forecasts as we had to decide when to cross to Sardinia. We have a booking to fly home for a month on 21st July and a marina booked from the 17th at Cagliari so the time window was closing. The forecasts had been showing a possible crossing window for the coming weekend but with very light winds of 10 knots or less. The following week however had high winds across the Sardinian Sea in the 30knots + region which we definately wanted to avoid – not nice. This left us with a dilemma in that going early would mean motoring most of the way but it would be a risk to leave it until after the storm as it takes a few days for the seas to calm down and our time would run out. In the end the calm weather wind moved forward to Thursday night /Friday so on Thursday morning we dropped all the lines and picked up our 60 meters of chain (you have to drop it on sand not the sea grass here and that the closest sandy point – mind you it means you’re unlikely to move with all that chain out) and motored around to Mahon to refuel.
Photo: A nightclub/Disco cut into the caves in the cliff near Cala Covas, Menorca (we didn’t go there!)