Sant Carles de la Rapita
16 June 2019
We are now in our final marina at Sant Carles de la Rapita, having completed the last sail of this spring's cruise.
Sant Carles is a nice marina and is one of the few in the med that have proper finger berths. It's also run by MDL, a UK marina operator. The marina seems to have a pleasant atmosphere with a small restaurant and an infinity swimming pool - which we particularly like!
The town at Sant Carles is a medium sized town that has some good shops and several restaurants. Some look to be serving good fish which needs further exploration. It is very much an authentic Spanish town, rather than a holiday location.
We have had an amazing cruise this spring. Starting at La Linea near Gibraltar and cruising the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. Following this we went out to the Balearics and saw most of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca. Each island was surprisingly different. We loved the anchorages in Menorca and the towns of Palma, Port de Soller and Andraitx in Mallorca. There were also some great anchorages in Ibiza and the water was so clear. Following this, we returned to mainland Spain on the Costa del Azahar, where we are now.
This year we have travelled over 1,000 miles and while at sea we saw a whale, dolphins and one large fish that we thought was a marlin.
By the time we leave the boat, we will have had 85 nights on board, of which 28 have been at anchor or on a buoy. We will have been away from home for over 15 weeks, so we really do need to get home now!
Within the week we will leave the boat and commence our trip back, driving through Spain and France to cross back to the UK.
Until the Autumn, we are signing off for now. Goodbye!
Time: 8:30 hours Miles: 57nm Total Time: 176:30 hours Total Miles: 1023nm
14 June 2019
After two nights in Denia, we moved closer to Sant Carles, which is to be our final port for this spring. We chose Burriana which is large port containing a couple of marinas and was about halfway.
The marina turned out to be the cheapest this year at €13 per night. We have paid as much as €40 for a mooring buoy in Ibiza and over €70 for a marina berth in Mallorca.
We now have only one final trip this spring to plan. There is a lot of planning involved in these cruises. You are constantly watching the weather and deciding when and where to move to next. The factors involved are wind speed, wind direction, swell, marina availability, depth, course etc. We say it is like booking a 2-week holiday but doing it every 3 days.
The pontoon at Burriana was large, so we used it to clean and pack away the dinghy, outboard engine and BBQ. It seems very strange packing things away when it is still spring! However, it is starting to get hot and busy so time to start thinking of heading home.
Cursing in the Balearics from late April to mid-June was very pleasant. We had good weather, and only a small number of boats moving about.
Time: 10:00 hours Miles: 63nm Total Time: 168:00 hours Total Miles: 966nm
12 June 2019
It was our last night in Ibiza and the last in the Balearics. We were heading to Denia on the mainland coast. Once out of the harbour, there was a steady F4 blowing. This gave us a great broad reach and powered the boat through the sea that was still running from last night. We put the autohelm on and settled down for the 9-hour trip. This was up there with one of the best sails of the season. Clear sky, blue sea and perfect wind.
We went into Marina de Denia which was very new and well run. We had been moving on for 3 days running so decided to stay here for two nights to recover.
The following day we walked into the town. Simon bought the ingredients for making paella which turned out well. See photo above.
Time: 9:30 hours Miles: 58nm Total Time: 158:00 hours Total Miles: 903nm
Ibiza – Sant Antoni
11 June 2019
Today we were moving around to Sant Antoni on the north west cost of Ibiza. This would position us for the return trip to the mainland. There were still large waves rolling into the anchorage at Cala Sant Vincent from the winds overnight. Getting Bella ashore was quite a challenge as the waves were breaking on the steep beach. After getting soaked last night, Simon went in his swimming trunks this time!
The wind was going to be very strong overnight and we wanted to be on a mooring buoy rather than at anchor. We tried to book with Club Nautico, but they said we were to phone in the morning and get on a waiting list. We did this, but they said we would still not know until the afternoon. We decided to leave anyway and would anchor if necessary.
We set sail at around 9am. There was a good wind for most of the trip but it started to build considerably as we came into Sant Antoni bay. The north coast of Ibiza is beautiful with very little development and high tree lined cliffs.
We called Club Nautico at 1pm and again at 2pm. Luckily, we were allocated a buoy. As we entered the port, a marino was waiting to assist tying up the boat.
Even though we were safe on a mooring, it was still a rough night with waves and swell rolling into the harbour. One of the advantages of a paid mooring is that we had 24-hour free water taxi service to the port, which was great for taking Bella ashore.
Compared with the last time we were at Sant Antoni in April, it was considerably busier and definitely in full party mode.
Time: 4:30 hours Miles: 24nm Total Time: 148:30 hours Total Miles: 845nm
Ibiza – Cala Sant Vincent
10 June 2019
Today, we left Mallorca to return to Ibiza. During our two stays in Mallorca we visited 8 ports over 22 nights. This included staying on anchor or buoy for 10 nights which are always some of the best.
We left just before first light and it was a beautiful still night as we motored out of Palma. We saw ferries and cargo ships turning to go into the port. The trip was about 10 hours and we motored for the first half and sailed the second half as the wind filled.
We arrived at Cala Sant Vincent in the afternoon and anchored. There were already 5 other boats in the bay with English, French, Belgium, US and Spanish boats around us. Cala Sant Vincent is a small bay with a very nice beach, hotels and a café. It had a very nice feel about it.
The other English boat was Dark Tarn who we met earlier in the cruise on mainland Spain, so we had a quick chat with them to catch up.
Later that night, the wind changed direction and blew into the cala with a bit more strength than we were expecting. It created quite a chop which made for an uncomfortable and sleepless night.
Time: 10:00 hours Miles: 59nm Total Time: 144:00 hours Total Miles: 821nm
Mallorca – Palma
07 June 2019
We made a reservation for the Real Club Nautico Palma for a few days. We had tried to come here on our first trip to Mallorca in May, but there was a big regatta and all marinas in Palma were fully booked.
Palma is set in a huge bay and is one of the largest yachting centres in the Mediterranean. There is berthing for several thousand yachts in 9 marinas. This includes everything right up to superyachts.
Entering the harbour was a great experience as there were ships, superyachts and plenty of normal yachts coming and going. Real Club Nautico Palma is a very nice marina and club house. You know it’s a large marina when there is a supermarket on the marina itself!
On Saturday, we took a taxi out to Santa Ponsa to meet our friends from Symphony. We met them in Northern Spain in 2017 and again last year in Gibraltar. It was great to catch up and hear what they have been doing so far this year.
During our 3 days in Palma, we visited the old town and walked up to the Castell de Bellver. On our last night we had a very nice meal in the Real Club Nautico restaurant. We also met our friends from Seasalter, a yacht that was beside us over winter last year and ended up talking with them on board their boat, until late.
All in all, Palma was a great place to stop for a few days and would be our last port of call in Mallorca. Tomorrow we are returning to Ibiza for the onwards journey back to the mainland.
Time: 4:30 hours Miles: 25nm Total Time: 134:00 hours Total Miles: 762nm
Mallorca – Colonia de Sant Jordi
06 June 2019
Today, we came around the south west corner of Mallorca in search of a good anchorage that was out of the swell for the night. We looked at several, but many would not have been a comfortable anchorage. The one we chose was off Colonia de Sant Jordi. The anchorage was protected by a quay and some rocks, which meant it was only exposed to the north west.
Anchoring was not straight forward as the seabed was a large slab of rock. The water was clear so you could see the bottom. After searching for a while, we found a good patch of sand right up against the buoys protecting the swimming area.
When you anchor in the Balearics, it is important to protect the weed on the seabed. You mush therefore check this before stopping and anchor only on sand. Later in the afternoon, a lady in a government rib came around, handed us a leaflet and then inspected our anchor and the entire length of chain to check that we were not anchored on weed. We were given the thumbs up and off she went!
We went ashore for a walk and had a very calm night.
Time: 4:00 hours Miles: 23nm Total Time: 129:30 hours Total Miles: 737nm
Mallorca – Porto Colom
04 June 2019
On Tuesday morning we went ashore to the small café in a very small bay off Cala de s’Aguila for a leisurely breakfast. Once back on the boat we prepared for the trip today which was along the south coast of Mallorca.
As it was going to be windy the following day, we went into Porto Colom and onto a mooring buoy.
Porto Colom is a small town. We had a good walk around the harbour and restocked with provisions.
Time: 4:30 hours Miles: 23nm Total Time: 125:30 hours Total Miles: 714nm
Mallorca – Cala de s’Aguila
03 June 2019
Today we were left Menorca to return to Mallorca and start to work our way back to mainland Spain via Ibiza. On our outward journey we had covered the north coast of Mallorca and Ibiza and we were now keen to see the south coast of each island.
Menorca has been a delightful island. It is low lying and not particularly busy in late May and early June. We have still found empty anchorages such as the stunning Cala Macarella and Cala Son Saura and also enjoyed the two towns of Ciudadela and Mahon. We have visited 7 ports and anchorages in total on the island.
We left Fornells and motor sailed around the top of Menorca. This was through a marine reserve and was a completely natural seascape. We set a course for the remaining 6 hours to Mallorca. The wind built to a steady F3 and we had one of the best sails of the year, with no swell and the sun was shining. We sailed right up to the anchorage at Cala de s’Aguila.
Cala de s’Aguila was a busy tourist beach during the day, but in the evening it soon cleared. There was a very large area of sand to anchor on with crystal clear water.
Time: 8:00 hours Miles: 42nm Total Time: 121:00 hours Total Miles: 691nm
Menorca – Badia de Fornells
31 May 2019
Friday morning, we were up early to move on to Fornells. Before leaving, we had breakfast at the delightful 'La Cantina' in the port.
It was a very short trip around the peninsular and into the Badia de Fornells. This is a wide bay extending back around 2 miles inland. We chose an anchorage just off Ses Salines yacht club. The light wind fell away completely in the evening and we had a BBQ off the back of the boat.
We woke on Saturday morning to a completely calm outlook. There was absolutely no wind or waves in the bay. One thing we have noticed about Menorca is the bird song which carried well in the still conditions.
Simon had a swim and after breakfast we went in the dinghy ashore to Fornells. This is a small harbour town with a few shops and restaurants lining the quay. We also walked up to the 'Torre de Fornells' a small tower at the top of the hill, with spectacular views of the estuary. It was a relaxing afternoon of swimming and reading before another evening BBQ with chicken marinated in lemon and garlic.
The single solar panel that we have mounted on the bimini seems to be working well. We still need to run the generator, but with the strong sun that we are getting, the solar panel is providing about half the power we need. We may increase the solar panels next year.
Time: 1:30 hours Miles: 9nm Total Time: 113:00 hours Total Miles: 649nm