Tag Archives: anchoring in a bay

Ibiza and mainland Spain again four an a half years on! Late September 2020

We had a great crossing to Ibiza.   We miss having our own personal crew  already.  Not to mention The Travel Tapes  videographer.    You will have to make do with just my photographs now. 

We were delighted by the incredible anchorage on the North West coast. Cala Grosa was spectacular.  The sedimentary rocks had been twisted and folded into extraordinary sculpted patterns.  My geological advisor Glen Ward tells me that this occurs when the rock is wet and therefore more ‘plastic’ and pliable.  The tectonic plate that Ibiza sits on was subject to massive forces as it collided with neighbouring plates. The solid rock is corrugated into wrinkles, runkles, crinkles, crimps and pleats to astonishing effect.

The stars were amazing and the sun rise well worth the early start but, oh, it was a rolly night.

We made good progress the next day and called into San Antoni de Portmany for a fuel stop.  Thence to a beautiful bay a short distance away.  We anchored in pristine clear water.  At 14m deep we could clearly see the bottom. We had a calm night in strong wind, the low headland providing perfect protection.  We set off for the mainland at first light with a few other boats in sight. 

The marina and harbour in Denia is huge but pleasant.  We had a lovely dinner out and gorgeous showers in our own individual bathroom!

We had arranged to meet Gwendoline and Glen (Friends from Marina de Ragusa) for lunch in Javea so we attempted to find the bus station.  We had left a little bit late and were struggling to reach the bus station in time to catch the 1200h bus.  We thought that it might be possible to pick the bus up on its route out of town.  We stopped a passing lady and I asked her in my Spanish/Italian mix where the bus stop was.  She replied in faultless English that she didn’t think there was a bus to Javea but that she was going there in 20mins and would be happy to give us a lift!

Well, we happily accepted and were given a scenic ride over the Montgo mountain to Javea.  So thank you to Jet, Funeral services director, from www.adiosconamor.es.

We had a great catch up lunch with the two Gees – such fun and a fantastic meal at La Siesta.

The next day, we set off to Altea.  The wind had really picked up and the seas were lumpy.  Initially, we were on a run with the head sail only.  We were tonking along at 7.5kts…which is very fast for us as we normally cover the ground at about 5kts on average.

The wind shifted a bit so we decided to put the main sail up on the third reefing line as the wind was consistently 25kts and gusting to 30kts.  We reduced the size of the head sail too and still we were washing all the windows and bombing along.  I don’t really like the tipping up so I was doing my usual clinging to the winches in the cockpit.  Anyway, we made record time and arrived at Altea with plenty of time for a shower, pre-prandial complementary cava and a stroll before dinner.  Nice to be on terra firma.

The trip to Alicante by complete contrast was just “Mary Poppins – practically perfect in every way.”

We had 10kts just b’aft of the beam and all the sails up.  We were fairly level the whole way and still made excellent speeds of between 6 and 6.5kts all the way.  Lovely.

We booked into the Real Club de Regatas in Alicante for two nights so we could go and see the Volvo Ocean Race Exhinbition and have a good explore round town.

The exhibition was very interesting.  The town was a surprise with its wavy esplanade, palm trees, statues, bourgainvilla, gorgeous seafront buildings, le Barrio or old quarter, the Santa Barbara Castle and the Bull Ring, theatre and cathedral.

 

 

The next leg was a biggy from Alicante to Cartagena – about 65nm.  We arose at 0530h and dodged through cargo and fishing vessels on our departure from the port without incident.  Using our fancy new radar together with the AIS, we could ‘see’ all the vessels and obstacles around us in the darkest predawn dark of the night.

Then the sun finally made an appearance and we could relax a little. 

The last two hops passed without incident.

We have now arrived at our winter berth in Almerimar, on the costa del Sol where we are trying to sell the boat.

I have volunteered at a Oxfam type shop here and will start Spanish lessons soon.

 

 

We hope that more liveaboards will arrive over the coming days and that we are able to meet the community soon.

There are as always, lots of boat jobs to keep us busy until the boat sells.  We need to lose weight and try to get fit too.  As per….!  We are hiring a car to explore the area around us and will try to keep you all up to speed n ow that I have a working blog again!

Thanks for reading!

 

Magical Mallorca, Mid September 2020

 

We left to head off to Mallorca and had a rolly night at anchor just along the north coast, followed by a fantastic sail across to Porto Pollensa anchorage.  We anchored up in familiar territory again.  Five seasons ago we set off from here to go to Sardinia for the first time.

Josh was particularly happy as he used to spend his summer holidays here as a child and teenager and so he was keen to see some old haunts and meet up with people he knew.

We went ashore and wandered along the front, reminiscing.  We had a fine meal at one of the restaurants and then Josh took us to meet his old tennis coach who runs a bar nearby.  Rafa was a delight and invited us to come and play tennis the next day.  We duly met him and I had my first lesson and knock up for about 20 years!

It was great fun.  I loved how Rafa would say, ‘Good shop’ whenever you hit the ball sweetly.

The following day we headed by bus up into the town as there was a market on.  There was a bit more hustle and bustle up in Pollenca but it was still much quieter than normal for this time of year.  We had some incredible empanadas from the bakery stall.  I have to say that they truly did rival Weatherhead’s pork pies!  Totally delicious.

Ian found a bar along the sea front in which to watch the Tour De France so he was happy and Josh and Erin topped up their tans on the beach.  We ordered Pimientos de Padron to keep the hunger pangs at bay.

We decided to hike over to a bay on the north coast. It was impressive scenery. Towering rock faces and boulders, wild rosemary and juniper growing all around and paths unevenly forged by torrential downpours in winter.

Unfortunately, when we arrived and were preparing for a welcome dip we noticed that the centre of the bay was a veritable soup of plastic debris. Of course, we had no bags to put anything into but the sea provided four perfect bags and we spent the next hour scooping partially decomposed plastic bags, lolly sticks, tampon applicators, fishing nets, fishing lines, ropes and plastic cups and containers out of the water and off the beach. Others around us joined in and we lugged our plastic hoard back over the hills to town to dispose of it in a bin. Gone are the days of beach combing for shells.

After a few fab days in Pollenca we filled up with fuel and water and sailed round the headland to the north to go back to our beloved Soller.

We anchored in a good spot opposite the Esplendido Hotel and soon met up with friends Nikki and Mark on Freda who live here during the summer.  It was extremely quiet ashore.  N and M invited us round for drinks with some fellow yachties from Cartagena and we had a fantastic evening finally rolling into the tender after midnight!

Soller.

We took the bus into Palma the following day and had a lovely time aimlessly wandering around the streets.  It, too, was practically deserted.  A good number of shops, cafes and restaurants were closed up and graffiti was visible everywhere.  We marvelled at the stunning cathedral without crowds of tourists around – such a beautiful city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we met up with the yachtie friends in Soller town.  We walked to Fornalutx and back to Soller taking a few scenic beers en route. 

We had a fantastic meal (good value) at Bar Molino and then we went to the cooperative to stock up on wine supplies. 

 

We bought four litres of their best rose at 2 Euros a litre!  They sell vegetables, fruit, olive oil and other produce made and grown by locals in Soller and district.  Such a great idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday afternoon Erin and I went up to Soller to attend a workshop to teach us how to make lavender oil.  We met Joaquim and Rose of Jabon de Mallorca, (www.jabondemallorca.es) and fellow tutee Barbara from Argentina, and had an interesting hour and a half learning all about the process.

We came away with our own ‘home made’ oil, lavender perfume and lavender floral water as well as some wonderful almond oil, shampoo bar and an ingenious soap holder.  It was a interesting experience courtesy of Erin for my Christmas present.

Checking the weather we realised that we had a good opportunity to cross to Ibiza soon.  Erin and Josh decided they wanted to fly home to the UK and so we planned to drop them in Andratx on Monday morning and they could easily fly home from Palma airport.

We motored from Soller, sadly saying farewell to N and M, and made good, if very lumpy progress.  We all felt particularly bilious.  Clearly the fuel had been getting a good mix up too, being sloshed about in the tank from side to side and up and down, because, just as we came into the harbour of Andratx, the engine stalled.  By now, there was a little wind behind us.  Ian put the headsail out and we sailed in.  Luckily, we were able to call the marina and request assistance on to the mooring buoy that we had booked.

Ian changed the fuel filters, and pumped out some gunk from the fuel pipes, using a handy bicycle tyre pump, and managed to get the engine going again.  So, that was a huge relief!  We are so practiced at this now my heart rate hardly went up at all!  I think that is the 6th time we have had to moor under sail! No problem!

Early on Monday morning we bid a sad farewell to Erin and Josh.  We shall miss them dearly.  We needed to set off for Ibiza.  But not until we had sorted out the ropes and pulleys on the dinghy davits which had decided to play silly buggers.  Half an hour and a good bit of swearing later we were on our way waving madly at Josh and Erin’s drone as it hovered overhead.  (See The Travel Tapes video on Erin’s You tube channel for some amazing drone footage of Linea leaving Andratx port.)

Next, we bounce to the Spanish mainland via Ibiza.

Marvellous Minorca. September 2020

After our lovely few days shore side in France we headed west down the coast and had some good sailing.  We reached the long spit of land of Hyeres which is a huge sandy anchorage with superb protection.  Just as well really as the wind was forecast to blow at 30kts of so for a good few days bringing with it some thunderstorms. 

Tucked in behind the flat-ish headland of Hyeres Plage we were well sheltered.  We just had to sit it out.  We had to re-anchor a few times because initially we were on weed, then too close to other boats, then too near to a sunken vessel!  (of which we subsequently found three others!  See Erin’s You Tube Channel; The Travel Tapes for dramatic footage of our time here.  

We spent a few lazy days here, stocked up on a few veggies and bread in the cute village of Hyeres Plage ashore and prepared for our crossing to Minorca.

We had a fast but lumpy and uncomfortable 18 hours sail for the crossing from France.   Then the wind died and we motored over flat seas. Despite it being perfect dolphin spotting weather, we saw nada!

We arrived early in the morning, slightly ahead of schedule to the mouth of Fornells Bay so we hove to until first light and then made our way into the anchorage.

After a rest we wandered (complete with compulsory face masks) into the charming village ashore and treated ourselves to a fabulous lunch.

We had some stormy and windy weather to sit out in this incredibly well protected bay and they duly came and went with some impressive light shows all around us but nothing too close.  Once the weather settled we planned to hire a car and explore the rest of Minorca.  We managed to see Mahon, Binabeca Nou, The south coast, El Toro mountain and Cuitadella.  We loved it. (See Erin’s video on The Travel Tapes on You Tube for some amazing footage of our day.)

We were particularly impressed to see the Minorca Cricket Club grounds.  (MCC) A beautiful patch of well-kept grass and pretty club house.

 

After a massive re-stock shop at the Eroski Supermarket we headed back to Linea just before dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milos to the Mainland.

Ian’s chocolaty birthday cake.

Having waved off Alice and Ian we awaited a suitable slightly less windy day to shoot across to the mainland.  Meanwhile, I revisited the very interesting Milos Mining Museum to find out more about the rocks and geology of the island.

The geology of Milos.

The mainland is a fair distance from Milos at 80nm; but the winds were favourable and we just hoped that the sea wouldn’t be too lumpy after the last ten days of strong winds.

We set off in the dark on Sunday morning (14th October 2018) and discovered that the boat next to us had laid his anchor chain over ours.  We managed to resolve the problem quickly and, luckily, they were awake so we could tell them.

Ak Maleas – looks benign enough!

Off we set and had a fantastic sail across making such consistently good speeds that we arrived at our anchorage in the last remnants of day light.   Not before being suprised by 40knot gusts off the forbidding Ak Maleas!

Half an hour later and very gusty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next morning, we set off round to Limeni bay where we anchored and had a peaceful night.

Great sailing day.

The next hop was to be round to Methoni on the western most ‘finger’ of the Peleponnese but in the morning when we started the engine we noticed that the alternator didn’t seem to be charging the batteries.

Luckily, we were fairly close to Kalamata where most boat repairs can be undertaken so we started sailing north.  We had a fantastic sail for about an hour and then the wind died down and since it was a beautiful sunny day we enjoyed pottering along.

Deciding it was time to crack on we tried to start the engine.

No joy!

After I had come round from a COMPLETE melt down, we lowered the dinghy and attached it to the starboard side of the boat, put the engine on and pushed ourselves along at a 3 knots using the outboard motor.

Only 12nm to go… we made it… just as dusk approached.

It was relatively straightforward to steer into the marina, although we decided to go in bow first.  On the way there, we had phoned repair people and tee-ed up appointments for first thing in the morning.

Vincent, Ian, me, Find and Dianna

Vincent next door supplied a much needed glass of wine and we were beginning to relax.  The next day, we celebrated Ian’s birthday with some new friends.

 

Soon, repairs were underway.  Ioannis replaced the dead engine battery.  Kostos took away the alternator and fettled it with new diodes.  Ian had climbed the mast three more times to fix on a new tri-colour and anchor light and by Monday evening (22nd October 2018) we were all set.

 

We bade farewell to new friends on Fai da Te, Owl and the Pussy Cat, Lyra and Vincent, and sailed round in the cloud, mist and rain to Pylos and the brighter weather further west.

The lovely Kostos who we hope to meet in Sicily next week.

On arriving, we were dismayed to see that the alternator was still not performing as it should.  A quick call to Kostos and he agreed to come the following day to see what the problem was.  He soon had it sussed and we are now prepped and ready to make the big jump across to Sicily.

On Friday 26th at 0154h there was an earthquake measuring 6.4 – magnitude, 30 miles south of Zakinthos.  I actually felt the tremors on the boat at 0158h four minutes later!  It was a weird feeling being bounced up and down without the force of waves. Luckily no one was hurt and only minor damage occured.

Pylos marina from the castle

Pylos bay looking west towards the gap.

 

 

Kim will arrive on Sunday 28th Oct to give us a hand and put her newly acquired Day Skipper Skills into good practice.  Yeah!

 

 

 

We are really looking forward to getting back to our winter berth even though we will only have a couple of weeks to put the boat to bed before we set off to the UK.

 

 

 

 

Time in Turkey

From Symi , Greece to Turkey is only 10 miles.  We had to go to Datca first to check in and complete all the formalities.

We spent a glorious two weeks sailing with Erin and Josh along the Datca peninsula east towards Marmaris.  The anchorages are wonderful, the waters crystal clear and the coastal areas wooded and attractive.  Turkish people have been kind and welcoming.

We feel that we must return to Turkey to properly see it in all its splendour.

Messing about with Ian’s swing mechanism.

In goes Erin.

The island in Keci Buku.

The sand bar at the head of the bay , covered with paddling people.

Eclipse of the moon.

Swanning about!

Bozburun.

Erin driving the boat.