Thursday 11 July 2019

Formentera and Ibiza

Saturday 8th June to Tuesday 18th June 2019

We headed into the marina at La Savina on Sunday morning.  This time we were staying at the other marina and I made sure that I radioed the correct marina when entering the harbour. 

I had phoned the fish dock marina on Saturday to see if they had a space for Sunday. Yes the did have a space to accommodate Offbeat's size.  Great, could we please reserve it and by the way, how much is it? “145 euros” she said. “Ok” said I. This conversation had taken place in Spanish,  which I was pleased about as I’m getting to grips with the language but when I came off the phone and repeated the conversation to Mark I said “I think they want 145 euros". “No” said Mark, “you must have misheard,  it was only €44 last week.  Call them back and check". So, I called them back and this time spoke to someone with perfect English. “Can you confirm the cost of one night in your marina" I asked “yes she replied, 145 euros". Turns out that summer rate kicks in on 1st June so they treble the prices.  Hence staying in the other marina, but that was still €88!

To be honest, after two nights of rocking and rolling on Offbeat I might have paid €145 just for a good nights sleep.

The marina itself was really nice and modern and once we'd berthed safely, sorted out lines and stowed valuables away, we headed into town for lunch and do the shopping as tomorrow would be the laundry run. As the photo shows, Mr P was quite eager for a beer!

Later in the afternoon we caught the bus to Sant Francesc Xavier, which took us round the Salinas so we got to see them too. We never realised just how big the Salinas are and the extent of land they claim.

Arriving in Sant Francesc Xavier, we headed up the main street. And that was it. One main street, a church a few bars and restaurants and an Eroski supermarket.  Have to say I was rather disappointed as I thought there would be more to it. 
With a couple of bags of shopping from Eroski, we caught the bus back to La Savina. As it’s only a couple of miles away we had considered walking, but as it was dark and the road had no paths or lighting we felt we'd made the right decision.

We were up and about early the next day to get jobs done. Being organised really paid off and we were out of the marina by mid afternoon. 

Estany des Peix
We really wanted to head on up to Ibiza, but the weather wasn’t with us so we picked up a mooring bouy just outside La Savina in Cala de s'Oli.  It’s a really pretty little cala on the other side of Estany des Peix and with only a few boats moored up, it was very quiet and peaceful.

We also happened to moor up next to Nelson, Mark's new friend who provided the tuna.  He rowed over to say hello and had a chat with us and gave us some tips for Ibiza.  It's amazing how friendly and helpful the boating community are, they always seem to be ready to help and support fellow sailors. It's a bit like a very big fraternity club.

We had dinner on Offbeat and watched the sunset and wondered if this would be our last night in Formentera! 

Turns out it was, as the next day the weather forecast was in our favour so mid afternoon we slipped our lines on the mooring bouy and headed north to Port Porroig in Ibiza.

Although it was an overcast day and the sky threatened rain, the wind was also with us and we finally got to raise the sails, turn the engine off and sail. We had both the foresail  and mainsail raised and started with a nice leisurely 4.5 knots, but as the afternoon breeze kicked in, things got a bit lively and we were reaching 6.5 knots.  It was at this point Mr P decided to go for an afternoon nap, leaving me at the helm flying up to Ibiza.  However, by the time we reached Ibiza the wind had calmed down again and we were able to enter at a more sedate pace.

Reaching Port Porroig we found it to be very busy with not a lot of space, but we found enough to drop anchor and settle down for the evening.  Then the locals appeared. First a motor boat who picked up a mooring near us and anchored port and stern, which pins him into place.  Shit, if we swing we'll go into him so we had to drop a stern anchor too.  

Then a big motor yacht came in, which was privately crewed.  They too picked up a mooring bouy,  but not as successfully as the other boat.  Cut a long story short, there was a lot of shouting and gesticulating between an old guy and a young lad, which culminated in the old boy throwing his boat hook and bathescope down in anger. The boathook bounced and hit him in the face and the bathescope bounced and plopped into the water.  By this time we were in hysterics and thought it best if we went below before they saw us.

Whilst we had been in Formentera I had decided to go back to England for a few days.  I had been really homesick and just needed to see my family.  I had booked a flight for Thursday so on Wednesday we moved Offbeat to Sa Caleta so that I would be closer to the airport.  As the airport was only 2 miles away I planned to walk there the following day, so after lunch we rowed ashore to do a trial run of walking to the airport.

We left Upbeat on the beach near the lifeguards who were admiring her, so we knew they’d keep an eye on her, especially when I struck up a bit of a conversation with them.  At the top of the cliff overlooking the beach was a lovely restaurant so Mark booked a table for the evening.

We set off to walk to the airport, heading towards the main road.  What is it about Spain that they don’t like paths! With cars whizzing past, we decided to go cross country across the cliffs. Oh my God,  what an experience. Yes we did it and we managed to get within half a mile of the airport but when it came to walking on the main road again, I called it a day. “I'll get a taxi” I said in a voice that brokered no negotiating. 

Walking back to our Cala through the woods, I got the giggles and asked Mark if he could really see us walking along the cliff tops at 7.00am with holdall in hand? Best case scenario the holdall would have gone over the edge, worse case scenario,  Mark would have been attached to it! 

Back at the Cala, we had a lovely meal and bottle of wine at the restaurant. We also got the telephone number for the local taxi company which the restaurant use, which was a bonus.

We rowed back to Offbeat in the dusk light, reflecting on how it was a great way to end a wonderful day. 

Thursday morning and we were up before the sun to make sure I got to the airport on time.  We rowed ashore as the sun rose and provided us with a beautiful red glow. Taxi booked we headed to the airport.  Mark came with me, to wave me off and then he'd return to Offbeat for a week of blokey stuff!

As I sat in the departure lounge he sent me a photo of Offbeat in the Cala.  It looked so beautiful, completely different to what I faced when I got off the plane at Stansted.  I’d gone from 29 degrees sunshine to 11 degrees drizzly rain.  I certainly don't miss this part of being back in England.

Weather aside, I had a great week in England, catching up with family and friends.  It was great to see the family and to hold my little people in my arms and hug and kiss them and play games with them.  

I got to spend time with my girls which was lovely and on Monday, the day before leaving, I spent the day with all three daughters and all three grandchildren.  It was really special as usually when we try and arrange something like this, one of them has to work. We all had such a lovely time,  it'll keep me going for a few more months.

The week flew by and before I knew it, it was time to be heading back to Ibiza.  My flight arrived on time and I was through customs within 20 minutes.

Mark had sent me details of where he'd anchored Offbeat, so with a burst of excitement at seeing him, I jumped in a taxi ,gave directions in my best Spanish and hoped that Mark would be there to meet me.

I wasn't disappointed. 

There he was, at the spot he said he'd be at, waiting for me.  It's funny really, even though I get homesick for my family, once there, I'm restless to get back to our new life. 

As we rowed towards Offbeat I knew that this is where I belong and as the lights in the bay twinkled, I knew I was home.

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