Thursday, 13 July 2017

Bye Bye Ibiza

If the weather forecast holds, we will be leaving Ibiza tomorrow for the 54 mile trek to Mallorca. Because the winds have been easterly all but 2 days in the last 20, we never made it over to the east coast of the island except by bus to visit the old town of Ibiza. Neither of us is too sad to leave, though. I’m sure there are other spectacular calas and coves to explore but we’ve seen enough of them to have a good idea of the place.

Here are some of our impressions and things we’ve learned this month in Ibiza:

There is, in fact, very little boom-boom techno noise around, even in the calas the most exposed to mass tourism. We worried about that. In the San Antonio bay, we heard music from the surrounding nightclubs but it ended at a reasonable hour and was never too loud.

Ibiza fort and ramparts

View of Punic Necropolis from Ibiza ramparts
Anchoring in calas: people arrive en masse at 2 pm to swim, lunch, and spend the day, and then they all depart at 7 pm, leaving the cala to a few foreign sailboats. This means that if you want to have a good spot, you have to arrive before 2 pm or after 7pm.

Once you are anchored in one of the prized sand patches in the mooring area, your job for the day is to defend your patch. Idiots will try to put their anchor on top of yours or will try to anchor too close. We have chased off numerous would-be neighbors, and if we hadn’t been on the boat, there would have been big problems. We always leave a full rail of fenders out.





There are only 3 marina areas in Ibiza and only 1 (San Antonio) with a municipal port and relatively cheap rates. This means that when bad weather comes, you either need to get to a good cala before the others or reserve your spot in port well in advance.

Holding is poor and space is limited in the San Antonio bay. Do yourself a favor and don’t even try. (See our earlier post about the guy who dragged into us…). The Club Nautico has buoys for rent (30 euros including water taxi and use of showers and facilities).

All of this adds up to stressful cruising, in fact. The calas are gorgeous, the waters warm and turquoise, the surrounding hillsides spectacular, but you spend most of your time fending off idiots or worrying over whether the next cala will have room. We have only left the boat at anchor on a few occasions to go ashore because you just never know.

The weather prediction with Windfinder has been amazingly accurate, only getting it wrong once in awhile and only by a few knots. We use a combination of Windfinder, windguru, and grib files.

The saying “in the Med, there are 9 days of calm followed by a gale” is fairly accurate, but you can still sail in the calm days if you don’t mind sliding along at 3 knots.

Isla Conejera

Isla Conejera with dinghy tied up next to sign saying "no debarquing".

We have had a couple of occasions to test our parahoule flopper stopper and so far we have not had much success. In fact, this morning after a very rolly night, Patrick discovered that the vanes of one of the flopper stoppers were missing. I dove around and got them back, but I’m none-too-keen to put them out again. We’ll keep trying with different configurations. The problem is that we keep swinging in circles, never pointing in the same direction, so the swell hits us from different sides every 15 minutes.

Tomorrow we will head to Mallorca. We decided even before we left for this year’s cruise that we would keep the boat in marinas or on buoys

Time to go survey the neighbors, who, I discovered while diving this morning, have only gingerly set their anchor in the sand with NO chain out. As we swing around our 35 meters for 6 meters of depth, we risk backing into them.

Anchorages in Ibiza and Formentera visited: Cala Hort, San Antonio Port, Cala Bassa, Cala Gracio, Cala Tarida, Cala Cubells, Isla Conejera, Cala San Miquel, Formentera just north of Port Salvina inside the channel markers.


Addendum: Owing to a bum computer battery, the above post was written over 10 days ago but was locked away in my computer until I could get shore power.  We made it to Mallorca a few days ago, half sailing, half motoring. We went to the Santa Ponca mooring area, described as a large well-protected bay with ample mooring space. Evidently everyone else read the same thing. It was unbelievably crowded. We anchored too-close-for-comfort to the shoals the night we arrived but managed to move up into the cala the next morning. And then we had to start the whole business of chasing people away all day long. The next day we moved 3 miles north near Cala Blanca. In between Blanca and Cala Camp de Mar is a large sand patch with almost no one around ! There is no beach and no restaurant, so that eliminates a lot of the crowd. We had a gorgeous setting and watched wild goats ramble along the cliffs as the sun set. Why did we go to Santa Ponca? We are now in Port Andraxt (enjoying the town and the Fete de Carmen) and will be here on a mooring buoy for a week to visit friends and the surrounding area. Our experience with overcrowded calas has confirmed our plan to stay on buoys or in ports for the next few weeks while all the charter boats enjoy their vacations. We will be in Soller and then Pollenca over the next 3 weeks with a few cala days in between each, hoping to find those rare unspoiled and not-too-crowded spots. They DO exist, but finding them where/when you want is tricky.

San Miquel

2 comments:

ENG-Châlons-59 said...

Hello vous 2 ! Vous allez pouvoir écrire un guide des Baléares, centré sur les relations avec les autres bateaux ! Je garde un excellent souvenir de Cala Py à Majorque, mais c'était il y a ....ans. Très apprécié aussi Puerto Soler où vous êtes déjà passé je crois. La Bretagne est toujours sous le soleil dans la chaleur, même si les orages commencent à rafraichir l'atmosphère. Bonne continuation dans votre périple. J'ai toujours beaucoup de plaisir à vous lire, ce qui fait grand bien à mon anglais. Amistad comme on dit là-bas. Maurice

Sailing Mareda said...

Merci Momo ! (toujours bizarre ton email adresse). Nous étions a Cala Py il y a 2 jours mais a terre avec des amis, et nous allons a Soller dans 3 jours. Ca semble assez calme pour les prochaines jours (touche bois).