Captains Blog 21 Bare Arsed on the Beach

The sail from Ibiza to Mallorca was a lack lustre affair consisting of a smidge of sailing and a lot of engine. We headed to a large bay at Santa Ponsa, which, although packed still had some room, so muscled in between a German boat, French boat and Danish one.

Santa Ponsa is fairly typical of Spanish holiday locations catering to foreign tourists. It has a healthy blend of European representation including us pasty Brits and Irish. For those with a fashion conscious bent, rethink your holiday destination, but for those more comfortable with the fashion faux pas it’s the ideal spot. (My fashionable look has often been described as “Derelicte” by the first mate (Zoolander)). There were some wonderful items of apparel on display. My particular favourite looks were the Andy Cap look alike with enhanced beer gut modelling the slim fit muscle vest and the girl wearing nothing but a pair of high-rise shoes and a loosely crocheted dress. With more holes than actual crochet material. Very impressive.

We stayed for a couple of days before heading north a short distance to Marmaso, a very small anchorage in a lovely little cove. We met Australian couple David and Mary on a small catamaran called Adventurous anchored there. We only spoke for a short time, but would meet them again later in the journey. This little cove was very lovely but for the Jelly B#####ds that had followed us there. There was no escape. The day before had been completely clear. I’d seemingly brought jelly misery to this tiny bay and the locals weren’t happy. In truth, the Jelly B#####d problem is said to be due to mass fishing that has dramatically impacted the turtle population, who’s main food source is Jelly B#####ds. Aside from that, we had the bay pretty much to ourselves and short walk took us to Andraxt, a small pleasant town on the other side of the headland.

After pottering back to Santa Ponsa for a night we headed to Arenal Marina, not far from Palma, to get some water, provisions and essential cleaning done. Jobs sorted and after a workout on board, I was feeling generous, so set up the bikes for the 10-mile ride into the middle of Palma. It was 360 C and I know the first mate was thrilled to get out mid-morning and do some more exercise! She told me as much. Palma was lovely and a great place to explore and while away a few hours people watching.

We planned to head south the following day and left the marina around midday. True to form the wind started to build and before long we were slamming into hefty waves and 30 knot wind. We made poor progress until we turned through around 120o and started heading the other way. A fab sail took us to Playa de Palma Nova where we dropped the anchor across from one of the biggest Catamarans I’d seen. We had a swim and chilled out drinking Gi AN Ti at the front of the boat while saluting passers-by. It would have been ideal, but for the fact that when asleep, we woke up to the most horrendous smell of raw sewage, a truly foul stench. I have a sneaking suspicion that a boat, with more than one hull and not too far from us, had not been moved for some time, so rather than heading out to sea to empty the holding tank had opted to “drop the load” exactly where she was. We didn’t swim the following morning!

We had a fairly good northerly to take us towards the south eastern tip of Mallorca the next day so set off around 10am. We made good time and anchored in a bay next to San Jordi-Campos, right next to a German boat. We knew it was German, the couple on it were naked. All the time.

The anchorage was very popular in the day but lovely and quiet at night. You could swim to the beach and get onto a costal path that took you into the town. It was a really nice place and although busy was very relaxed and not over developed.

After a couple of days, we moved along the bay a short distance and met up with Karin and Erling who’d been enjoying a week on the boat with their grandson Nils. That night we decided to eat out so both tenders complete with their mighty 2.5 hp outboards were utilised to speed us round to San Jordi-Campos. We had a top night until it came to the return journey. We had a headtorch to help guide us back to the boat. Erling had opted for a tiny lantern, more akin to something you’d expect would be used to illuminate a room in a Dickens novel. A candle might have been a better option. Anyway, engines were started and off we set. One minute in and Erling’s outboard stopped. After several attempts to start it we had no option but to tow them back to Nike (pronounced NeeKay by our friends). Not to worry, Erling could hold up the mighty lantern and illuminate the way home. A bit like you’d imagine a wherry man lighting the way on a foggy Thames!

There was a lovely little bay just around the corner from us so we decided to relocate there the next day. We left Nike and moved 2 miles along the coast. As we approached, we heard “Hey Gianti”, “Hey Gianti”. We were just moving into a good anchor spot and heard “Augh, I was about to move in there, it’s good holding”. It was David, the Australian from Adventurous, we’d met a couple of days earlier. As we anchored, we had a chat and he asked me what we were doing for the day. I told him that we might have a swim across to the beach and go for a walk. He said “ Oarr, be careful mate, they’re all bare arsed over there”. I foolishly said in jest “well, when in Rome”. I didn’t see David wearing anything for the remainder of the day or the next day as Adventurous set off.

Later that day the first mate swung into action to help a charter boat out of a spot of bother. It was crewed by 3 fellas who were struggling to raise the anchor, which wasn’t budging. The first mate swam over, complete with mask and snorkel and managed to successfully direct manoeuvres, resulting in a raised anchor and 3 very satisfied German’s being able to sail away. They were immensely grateful and couldn’t thank the her enough. I was less impressed. She’d abandoned her lookout duties so was ordered onto half rations for 5 days. She made some gesture that I assumed meant, thank you.

This was a lovely spot and worthy of a longer stay, but it was time to move on. We sailed out, tacking a few times until we reached Porto Colom, where we tied onto a mooring buoy, ably assisted by some of the friendliest marinero’s we’ve met. We spotted SV Chelsea with Ryan and Fay anchored just inside the entrance (we met them in Lagos when I was fishing the bike out of the water), so took the opportunity to say hello and have a catch up. They have a lovely 42’ Hanse and have set up their own YouTube channel, Sailing Chelsea, which is well worth checking out. (

After a couple of days, we sailed out of port and flew the 25 nautical miles to Cala Des Agulla, where we dropped anchor not far from Nike. It was a nice bay at the North East tip of Mallorca and one of the closest points to sail across to Menorca.

We chilled for the remainder of the day, though I did spot a boat that we’d been anchored next to on several previous occasions. Was he following us??

Next time we head for Menorca and one of the most impressive storms we’ve been caught in yet.

Right, I’m off for a dip.

Captain Mac

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