Captains Blog 39 – Whoa, we’re going to Ibiza!

It had been the best sail of the year. We’d been heeled over and hand steering most of the way, right on the limits of our point of sail. We headed straight towards our destination with the odd deviation to keep sailing, pulling back on track as we closed in on land. We arrived at Cala de Sant Vicent on Ibiza well ahead of schedule, into a perfect still bay with plenty of room for us to anchor. A perfect end to a perfect day!

We stayed a few days in this ideal landing point. Although there was some development around the bay, it was a lovely peaceful and convenient place to stay. Just away from the bay things were more rugged and you’d easily forget you were on Ibiza, with its club culture. As we strolled inland, we were hit by the familiar aroma of Parma violets coming from what we assumed to be a wild violet growing next to us. It got me wondering whether a pack of these sweets could be considered one of your 5 a day vegetable portions!

As is often the case when at anchor, it was weather and swell direction that moved us on. We’d not planned to head down to Sant Antoni, but the anchorages we’d hoped to stop at were full and we knew we’d have good protection just off Sant Antoni beach. Not only were sea conditions perfect, there wasn’t a peep from the clubs and bars that this area is so famous for and we had one of the best night’s sleep we’d had for ages.

We took the dinghy across to the beach the following morning and walked into Sant Antoni. We stopped at the iconic Café Mambo for breakfast and were amazed at how quiet everything was and how few people were about. We carried on past Café Del Mar and mooched around the town before picking up supplies.

The next day we continued round to Cala Codola a small cala with good protection from the north. There were a few small motor boats but no other sail boats at anchor, so we tucked in as far as we could and dropped hook. It was an ideal spot in a small cove and time to explore.

Exploring somewhere new is always great as you never know what you’ll discover. I can’t resist seeing what’s the other side of a stoney outcrop or around the next corner. So, I climbed up to the top of the rock pillar just above where we’d tied the dinghy and scanned the scene, from this ideal vantage point. You could see everything from here. Absolutely everything! Just below me, on the other side of the pillar were a couple, in a state of undress. I thought that possibly the male had injured himself in an intimate spot as the female was taking a very close look and nodding.

The first mate was just behind me so I alerted her to the situation. She’d been totally oblivious, but stopped momentarily to assess the scene. “Sarah, Sarah, c’mon” I said. As she moved toward me, she simply raised her eyebrows and said “oh.” We opted for a different return route and when back onboard Gianti saw a couple emerge from behind the rock pillar on jet skis. It was a relief, for all of us, to know that any injury sustained couldn’t have been serious. We did rename the bay after the event, but thought better of referring to it here.

We made our way South, then East, so we’d be in a good location to cross to the island of Formentera in a few days. Our last stop on Ibiza was Port de Porriog. We’d wanted to explore Ibiza more but a covid lock down in Ibiza town and Sant Antoni scuppered any chance! 

Porriog is a small bay with numerous private moorings, which means there’s only limited anchoring. Arriving just after midday, we had a couple of spots available and opted for one adjacent to a solid old heavy wooden hulled vessel attached to a mooring. In hindsight this was a mistake! At 2 in the morning, I was woken by a painful screeching squeaking sound. I went outside to find the mighty Hannibal being mauled between the stern of both vessels. While Gianti had turned with the tide through 180°, the other vessel hadn’t budged. I took in some anchor chain to increase clearance and prevent the mighty Hannibal becoming nothing more than a giant boat fender.

An inspection the next morning didn’t reveal any damage, even to Hannibal, other than my pride. We weighed anchor and set sail for the south east of Formentera at approximately 15 nautical miles away. Sailing was good until we rounded tip of the island when the wind died, only to build again about halfway to Es Calo, where we planned to anchor.

It was quiet and although a little rolly, was well protected from the South Westerly swell, so another great spot to relax and explore the surroundings. Now then, there’s a strange anomaly associated with anchoring when there’s acres of space. Here’s what happens:

You carefully select a spot to anchor that’s not too deep, not too shallow and not too close to shore. A sandy seabed is the ideal choice and, in this circumstance, well away from any other boats. But rest assured, your little bit of private paradise won’t be yours for long. Oh no, you’ll have just settled down with a cuppa, to admire your surroundings when, 2 miles off, you’ll spy a sail boat heading in your general direction. You won’t have to spare any unnecessary brain power trying to anticipate where he’s going to anchor, you’ll know immediately! Within 30 metres of you. Not 100 metres or 200 metres! “There must be a good reason they’ve chosen to anchor there, so let’s go next to um. Oh look, and they’re flying an ensign, safety in numbers, eh?”. Dagnabbit!

The real joy of cruising is the people you meet along the way, so despite my observations, we have met some great friends while at anchor.

We had a thoroughly fabulous few days here and really didn’t want to go. We knew that once we set off, we’d be heading to mainland Spain, which would effectively be the start of the end of our slightly bizarre cruising year. Problem was, we were running very low on water after spending over 15 nights at anchor and, we didn’t have the option to return to Sant Antoni or Ibiza Town to replenish. We’d either need to find a water source and fill containers, which we’d dinghy back to the boat or, head to the mainland.

We very reluctantly lifted anchor on Tuesday 22nd September and set off around the bottom of the island before heading west towards either Calpe or Mar Menor, depending on how favourable conditions were to us. We milked every last drop of power from the wind, inching slowly to a more South Westerly direction on a tight close haul. It lasted for several hours before veering, forcing us back towards Calpe. We motor sailed through the night, attempting to steer further south until late the following morning when the wind backed and gifted us with the perfect conditions to head straight towards Mar Menor and the anchorage just North of the entrance.

It hadn’t been an easy sail by any means, but we knew that if we stopped here and got a reasonable night’s sleep, we’d make Cartagena the next day, where we’d be able to moor in a marina, replenish food and most importantly water supplies and kick back for a few days.

And maybe that’s the best place to end, as the next blog really will bring us to our final stop before pulling the shutters and hibernating for winter.

Your faithful servant et confidant,

Captain Laurence Horatio BlackGreybeard Mac

The video to accompany this video is here:

3 Replies to “Captains Blog 39 – Whoa, we’re going to Ibiza!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Sailing Éalú

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

Skipper Jenn

POOP DECK: Because we give a SHIT

S/Y Maggie

Living the dream onboard our Beneteau 473 with our sailor dog

%d bloggers like this: