Wednesday, 28 June 2017

More cruising excitement in Ibiza

We've had an exciting, wonderful, and terrifying few days in Ibiza.

We had friends from Brittany with us for a few days and after picking them up in San Antonio, we sailed south to Cala Hort, where we had spent our first night in Ibiza after the passage from Denia. The holding is good, there was plenty of room, we were protected from the winds, and the water was limpid and turquoise. Patrick decided that the moment was right to attack a jellyfish with his shoulder.

Patrick meets jellyfish.
We had seen a few floating around but it seemed rather easy to avoid them. Patrick swam smack into one judging by his new jellyfish tatoo. Not to make light of it… it hurt like hell and Patrick was quite unwell for an hour or so. I gently wiped the area with a paper towel soaked in vinegar (opinions differ about the use of vineager… probably should have just used seawater), then applied a generous helping of biafine crème (for burns) followed later by another wash and an antihistamine crème with cortisone. Since Patrick had never been stung before and we didn’t know if he would have an allergic reaction, I gave him a big dose of antihistamine and some paracetamol for the pain. After a couple of hours he was feeling well enough to laugh about it.

The next day, with light winds, we decided to take the narrow passage between Vedra and Vedrella islands on our way to Formentera. The winds dictated that we anchor on the west coast and we managed to find a good spot behind the green channel markers not too far from Port Salvina. We weren’t alone but all the boats maintained a respectful distance and half of the boats in the area left by 6 pm. We took the dinghy to the small beach and the beginning of the stone jetty and took a bus tour of the island. The south part of the island is really beautiful but unfortunately we couldn’t take the boat there because of the winds. The best part of the island is the coastal areas and beaches, with really nothing worth visiting inland.

After a couple of days lolling around Formentera, we worked our way north again into the Ensenada of San Antonio and the Cala Bassa. This surely has got to be one of the most beautiful calas of Ibiza. It is crowded and the holding is poor in patches. To anchor with serenity, you have to find a sand patch and they are usually in 10 meters or more. Ashore is the swanky Cala Bassa Beach Club and there is a gorgeous hike around the point over to the west side with beautiful views towards Isle Conejera. The cala is flanked by several grottos large enough for a dinghy.

After a couple days in our new favorite cala, the wind direction made it clear to us that we wouldn’t be taking the boat to the old town of Ibiza on the other side of the island, so we decided to anchor near the San Antonio port and take a bus. Big mistake.

The area east and south of the green channel markers is now laid to buoys so extensively that there is little room to anchor and the holding is poor. After several attempts, we found a good spot and set the anchor well, then left for the day on bus to visit the old town of Ibiza on the other side of the island. I wanted to get back on board by 6 pm because the winds were supposed to get stronger.

We made it back to the boat around 7 pm and by 8 pm the huge 50 foot boat in front of us was dragging his anchor directly back on to us. It happened so fast that we couldn't pick up our anchor to get away since our chain was under his boat and hitting against his keel and rudder. Of course, the owners were not on board.

We let out more chain to try to get away from him and another person came over with a zodiac to try to push him off, but he was too heavy and the winds too strong. I called both ports for assistance and they both said they had no responsibility for people anchored in the bay. After about 20 minutes, the owners came back and pulled away from us then began pulling up their anchor. But they also pulled up OUR anchor in the process, and we slid back onto the boat behind.

Those owners came out with their zodiac to help push us apart, while the guy in the first zodiac went over to the first boat to try to get our 2 anchors unstuck. After more than one hour of battling, we finally got away from everyone and got our anchor back, with no damage and no injuries. One of the more philosophical of the sailors involved told us that it was a good experience.

The chart trace of the battle.
The guys on the boat behind us offered us a mooring buoy of a friend for the night so we had a relatively calm night. Lesson? Don't trust anyone around you? I don't know how you avoid other people's mistakes without becoming completely paranoid. As we discussed options, we decided that if the owners of the first boat had not returned, our best course of action would have been to cut our own anchor line (with several fenders tied to the end to be able to recuperate it later) which would have allowed us to get away from him. Our anchor line may still have been wrapped up around him, but at least we would be free. We would then have to pick up a mooring buoy (risking the wrath of the yacht club) or find a place in port until we could come back for our anchor. Anyway… that didn’t happen and I hope it never does.

Our friends left yesterday and we pulled into the port to fill up with water and food for the next week or so. A gale was foreseen for the next day and the port said it was full, but they would put us on a waiting list. We looked for other options in the bay to shelter from a gale from the west that would turn north during the night, and there were very few possibilities. We checked with the yacht club to see if we could have a mooring buoy and they said we’d have to be on a waiting list for that as well. This morning, gale day, the wind was blowing stronger than foreseen. The good news about that is that the boats that had reserved places were unable to get here, so a spot opened up for us for the night. Whew!! Feeling VERY relieved.


Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow, you guys need to start living a less adventurous life. You've had so much happen to you lately. Lately, we've been the only boat in the anchorages (it's off season here) which is so reassuring because no one can drag into youl

Sailing Mareda said...

As the saying goes, "From your lips to God's ear", Ellen ! We had to bug out from our anchorage at 3 pm when the weather forecast predicted 25 knots with torrential rain for the evening. We are now in a new cove protected from the wind and I have a hard time imagining it will rain. An added bonus: there is almost no one around us ! We could put out as much chain as we want, we're in sand (we think) and as of 8:30 pm our nearest neighbor is 600 feet away. And it's pretty to boot. Fingers crossed, of course...