Friday, 1 September 2017

Menorca Notes

We made landfall in Menorca at Cala Degollador, squeezing into the very crowded cala in the late afternoon. The narrow part of the cala is now completely roped off for swimming.  The cala clears out during the day but by nightfall you wonder how another boat could possibly squeeze in.  We first anchored off the south side of Galera which has some good sand patches but limited swing room. The next visit here, we anchored off the north side of Galera, which has very patchy holding. One time the anchor dug in right away and the next time we tried 3 times before giving up. On the northeast side of the cala is an old metal sewage (?) pipe that extends from the shore down into the water. It looks to be about 2 meters below the surface but it would be nasty to get your anchor or chain anywhere near this. On another occassion, we ended up having to anchor near the outside edge in over 10 meters of water but the holding seemed better. The outside of the cala is also marked with lit buoys to keep boats from anchoring too far out where the large ferries need to turn. On the north side there is a good little cove to leave dinghies and it is only a 15 minute walk into Ciudadella.

Ciudadella is a beautiful old town, probably the most interesting thing to visit in Menorca. The entrance to the port is narrow but beautiful and the municiple port now has 3 pontoons with REAL FINGERBERTHS ! These are the first fingerberths we’ve seen since leaving the Spanish coast. We had scoped the port out before arriving but many boats pulled up expecting to have a lazy line and their fenders were too high and they didn’t have lines ready on bow and stern. If you can manage it, get a spot on the 2nd pontoon since the outside of the 1st pontoon is shared with tourist boats that embarque hundreds of passengers each day. At one point the water depth was 1.9 meters in between the two pontoons.

Ports IB moorings on upper right side.
Algayerens has been one of our favorite anchorages on the north coast, with lots of sand for good anchoring. We aren’t the only ones who appreciate the area and it is always crowded. We tucked into Cala Fontanellas just west of Algayerens, which was gorgeous but small, with room for only 2 or 3 boats. You can’t penetrate very far into the cala because of uneven depths and patches of posidonia weed that are protected (?) by submerged floating buoys just waiting to wrap themselves around your keel. Of course we didn’t realize that until we dove down to look around. We were luckily out of the way but had no way of knowing that when we put down the anchor. Better to stay in the larger sand patches just outside the cala.

Fornells has become a second home for us here in Menorca because we have sat out 2 3-day tramontana events here, alternating between anchorages, mooring buoys, and the port. The municiple port only has space for 5 or 6 visitors and you must tie up bow to quay because of rock outcrops extending from the quay. The lazy lines are placed very close together and we got one of our rudders snagged around our neighbors as we came in. He loosened it enough for us to push it around the outside of the rudder but space was very tight. When it came time to leave we had lots of help to keep the boat’s nose straight as we carefully backed out around the lazy lines. The mooring buoys are great and there are lots of places to leave the dinghy to go into town.

Tramontana storm building to the north of Fornells

For the first time in 4 months, we had rain, torrential downpours that lasted about 2 hours.  Patrick decided to take a bracing rain bath.  

As soon as the winds and waves die down we plan to make our way down to Mahon to drop off friends at the airport. After this, we will be studying the weather closely to look for a good weather window for the 40-hour crossing to Sardinia.  


ENG-Châlons-59 said...

Je garde un excellent souvenir de Minorque et de Ciutadella en particulier. Le port était moins bien aménagé en Juillet 1997, mais il y avait moins de monde. Avec mon catamaran je m'étais arrimé avant-AR dans une anfractuosité de l'avant port.Je vois que vous vous régalez bien aussi, même si vous avez dû patienter un peu pour que passe la tramontane. Cela a permis à Patrick de se doucher !!!
Qu'est-ce qu'un "fingerberth"? Sans doute ces pontons courts et étroits qu'on voit sur une photo du port ? Et un "lazy line", un orin ?
Je vous souhaite une bonne traversée vers la Sardaigne et un bonne nav' avec les Cabis qui sont bien agréables .
Toujours beaucoup de plaisir à lire votre blog. Amitié. Momo

Sailing Mareda said...

Hola Momo ! La tramontane has passed and we are waiting for the swell to diminish tomorrow for a short 12 M passage to Es Grau. Finger berth = catway (the first real catways since leaving Spain) and lazy line = tailed mooring lines, ou bien, pendille. The prices in ports have decreased since 1 September so we will spend at least 2 nights in Mahon in port (38 E/nuit) to send off Jacques and Claudie and take on water, gas, food, etc for the crossing. We hope to take advantage of the full moon coming up ! Fingers crossed !

ENG-Châlons-59 said...

Merci pour ces précisions de vocabulaire.
Si les prix des ports ont diminué, ils restent encore bien élevés à 38€ par nuit !
Bonne continuation dans votre périple maritime. Profitez bien du soleil quand il sera revenu, car ici on part pour une bonne période de mauvais temps .

ENG-Châlons-59 said...

J'ai vu votre réponse sur le blog. Merci.
En attendant vos autres aventures !

Sailing Mareda said...

Oui, 38 Euros est cher mais comme on est souvent au mouillage, le bilan pour le mois est de 19 Euros/nuit. Pas si mal...