Sunday 4 August 2019

Ibiza - West to East to West

Monday 8th July to Friday 12th July 2019

Punta de Moscarter
We pulled up anchor in Cala Xarraca and headed north east towards Punta de Moscarter under engine and as we had a strong southerly swell behind us, we put the foresail up to try and steady us a bit.

Our plan was to head to Cala San Vicente to see what it was like and if it would provide adequate shelter from the predicted northerlies. If we didn’t like the look of that one, the next option was Cala Boix.

As we were experiencing strong southerly gusts from behind, we had the foresail raised but with the engine on. We also had a 0.5-1 metre southerly swell which was coming in short periods so made it a bit lumpy.

Once past Isla Punta Grassa we headed in to Cala San Vicente.  It's a small cala and quite pretty, but the east side is full of mooring bouys so there isn't a lot of space for anchoring. I didn’t have a good feel about anchoring there, given there was a small Dutch yacht moored to a mooring buoy looking totally neglected and with its mainsheet come loose and boom flying back and forth with the swell.  It didn’t instil me with much confidence. 

We then headed to Cala de Leo which is opposite Cala San Vicente to take a bit of shelter from the southerly swell and have a spot of lunch.  It was pretty enough, but was mostly posidonia, with a large amount of rock in the sand patches and numerous rocks awash on the north side.  Not really one you’d want to stay in over night with strong winds forecast. 

After lunch we left for Cala Boix which was a further 2 hours away. For the first time in weeks we experienced grey skies, a spattering of rain and high humidity. Quite uncomfortable. 

Dark skies over Cala Boix

After the rain!
We arrived in Cala Boix mid afternoon and dropped anchor.  Whilst it’s a fairly large cala, a lot of it is covered in posidonia so finding a sand patch wasn’t that easy.  One of the jobs I wanted to do today was swill the decks down and then clean down the cockpit.  It took me over an hour to do, but I was pleased with the results. Then the rain came. Not just rain  but rain from the south, which brings Sahara sand with it.  This was the end result! 

Hippy camp at Cala de Gat
After an uncomfortable rolly night, we left Cala Boix and motored towards Santa Eulalia.  We ended up anchoring in Cala de Gat, which is a pretty little cala with a nice beach and a hippy colony on the cliff top.

As the cala is on the route of the day trip ferries, we experienced some rolling in the afternoon. Would I ever sleep properly again! Mark to the rescue. He too was finding the rolling tedious so set a stern line to pin us in place.

Cala de Gat
We spent the rest of the day swimming in the sea and pottering around.  At sunset we were treated to drumming from the hippy camp which was nice, but not as hypnotic as Cala Benirras. 

After another rolly night (stern anchor didn't work) we planned to move again.  We had bit of a shock when we picked up the stern anchor, it was in 2.5 metres of water just in front of a great big rock shelf.  Offbeat has a draft of 1.8 metres. This means we could have gone to ground or worse still, hit rock.  Mr P was not amused!  

We went across the bay and dropped anchor in Santa Eulalia des Riu which is a pretty little cala with a beautiful beach set in a big wide bay and is just a mile or so from the main town.  

Filling up with water
We were finishing off sorting out Offbeat when I heard the sound of an aeroplane very close by.  Looking to the sky I saw a yellow plane getting lower and lower, oh my goodness it's going to land in the sea and yep, it did, picked up water and headed off to the mountains where we could see smoke rising above the tree tops. The second time it came back I managed to capture it on video and photo. Four times in total it scooped up water, with the last time being the most spectacular.  As it approached the sea from the mountains it changed course slightly and scooped down behind us and between Offbeat and another yacht.  As the plane went past us on the sea, I could clearly see the pilot and felt that if I’d have put my hand out I would have touched the plane. Wow, what a sight and what an experience. 

Excitement over, reality kicked in and we rowed ashore and headed for the supermarket. On the way back we stopped for drinks at a beach bar and watched the setting sun.

Up the creek!

Next day we rowed Upbeat ashore again, but this time took her to a beautiful little creek in the corner of the cala where we pulled her out of the water and tied her to a tree stump. Going over a little wooden footbridge,  we headed to the restaurant on the other side of the creek for coffee and croissants before heading into town to do washing and a bit more shopping.  The owners very kindly let us leave our oars with them so we didn't have to carry them around all day.

Washing and shopping done, we headed back to the restaurant. By now it was mid afternoon so we decided to have some lunch there.  It was a beautiful setting, we had a table in the shade overlooking the creek and the sea and with a golden sand beach to the side.

So engrossed were we in conversation and people watching, it wasn’t until we finished lunch that we noticed the sea breeze had kicked in and the sea was getting quite lively. Bearing  in mind we had to row back to Offbeat, we quickly paid our bill, said our thank you and left.

Rowing back was a bit tough.  Mark was rowing with all his strength and I was holding on to the sides for dear life.  It didn't help that there were a couple of lads on jet skis zooming around, that is until they came near us for the second time. In my loudest and most stern voice I told them in Spanish to wait.  They were so shocked they didn’t move until we had rowed past them.

Later we checked the weather.  The waves weren't going to get any calmer so at 19:00 Mr P announced that we're moving.  We were on our way by 19:15!

Sailing at nightfall

Approaching Isla de Tagamago we put the foresail and mainsail up but had to motor until we passed the island.  Once past it was beautiful sailing weather, so much so we were very tempted to just keep on sailing to Mallorca.  However,  caution and tiredness stopped us and although the wind was 15 knots and we were averaging 6 knots, the forecast was it would die through the night.

Just enjoying the moment

Clot D'Es Llamp
So instead of sailing through the night, after rounding Punta Grosa, we dropped anchor in Clot D’Es Llamp which was a very sandy anchorage with spectacularly grand cliffs.  There were only two other boats in the Anchorage so plenty of space for all of us.

The next day when we went on deck, we were the only boat in the anchorage. We couldn’t believe that we had this beautiful place all to ourselves. We also knew it wouldn't last long either, as usually by 11:00 boats come flooding in to anchorages.

So, by mid morning we pulled up anchor and headed out towards Portinatx.  We had a good south easterly wind with us so with sails up and we headed north.  Once past Punta des Moscarter we gybe-tacked downwind to avoid a dead run.

We arrived at Portinatx around lunchtime and dropped anchor about 300 metres from the beach.

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