Tag Archives: Bavaria Lagoon 430

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.

Out and About by car on the Cote d’Azur. August 2020

These huge trees display a phenomenon whereby their crowns do not actually touch!
A huge tree in the botanical gardens in Juan Les Pins.
Bug hotel.

After Keira and Sam’s departure we headed out to anchor near the Islands off Cannes but it was so ridiculously busy we circled back to the anchorage at Golfe Juan les Pins where we spent a few more days.

We had a few days of windy weather due and so we took the opportunity to have a couple of stress free nights with Linea in the marina at Golfe Juan (Vielle Port).  Amazingly in August the charge for staying here was only 40euros per night. The marina also supplies free fizzy or still mineral water on tap!!!

 

 

We hired a car and I planned a route to allow us to venture inland to see some of the most beautiful villages in France.  We went to Gourdon, Biot, St Paul De Vence, Eze, Saint Agnes, Cannes. 

Josh and Erin got to fly the drone and took some incredible footage. (See The Travel Tapes  on You Tube for videos of our exploits inland.)

 

It was a restful time with some good walking, eating and taking in the views. It gave our ears the chance to regain their equilibrium, to halt the wibbly-wobbly feeling that accompanies you after several days at sea.

I was very struck with the area and its beauty.  I asked the marina if they could fit us in for the winter but unfortunately they had no space.  It would have been a wonderful spot to spend the winter.

We visited Cannes, Gourdon, Biot, St Paul de Vence, Vence and all sorts of places in between.  Lots of windy roads, hairpins bends and precipitous drops which are all the more impressive when you mostly live life at sea level!

Cannes was impressive.  We loved the market. 

This was the first place we had come across where people were being fined if they didn’t wear a face mask!

Cote D’Azur, Darling! August 2020

The Travel Tapes, Erin’s You Tube Channel has a great video about our crossing and our time in Monaco.

We set off for an overnight sail to make landfall at Cap Ferat.  We arrived early in the morning and as soon as we were anchored we grabbed some rest and recovered from the straightforward crossing.  In the afternoon we caught a bus and train to go into Monaco.  We wandered round and walked to the casino and around the Formula 1 track and sea front.  It was quite stunning.

After a trip to the supermarket on the way home we made our way back to Linea.

The next morning we were up early to do the coastal walk around the headland of the ‘Cap’.  What a picturesque spot with bejewelled villas and lush gardens descending the hillsides of the cape.  Ian and I then walked to Villa Rothschild Effrussi.  Wow!  We now have ambitious ideas for our garden back home!

The next few days we spent at an anchorage just west of Antibes.  By the weekend we headed into the marina of Golfe Juan Vielle Port and awaited Keira and Sam’s arrival from Serre Chevalier.

We had a fantastic weekend with them on board.  We shoehorned them into the bunk cabin having managed to clear out all the detritus that accumulates is the equivalent of a garden shed for us!)

Having only a few days with them we decided not to sail too far.  We visited Ile Honorat and had a lovely walk around the whole island, stopped overnight in Agay bay, and then anchored off Antibes before heading ashore to explore the old town and enjoy a wander round the old market place.  The final sail was back to Golfe Juan where we had a delicious lunch of all our market produce and then Keira and Sam had to set off back up the mountains to their temporary residence.

We had a marvellous time all of us together.

Next, we have a few days land based to explore the villages inland by car.

On course, en Corse, of course! July 2020

Well, we managed to walk but in rather a roundabout, hot and sweaty way.  We arrived dripping and desperate for liquid refreshment without the energy to walk all the way round the bay to Porto Cervo proper!  On the way back we tried again and discovered a route back that only  took 15mins! Although Erin did have to swim across a narrow bay to retrieve the dinghy.  All was well and we arrived back to Linea just as the last light was disappearing from the sky and all had a refreshing dip to cool off.

We were excited to be visiting the National Marine Park of the Maddelena Archipelago for the first time.  We paid our fees for two nights online with no hassle (40% discount for sail boats) and then we were good to go. We enjoyed an almost deserted anchorage in Cala Stagnali on Isola Caprera which we had to enter using transit markers as there are rocks and hazards in the very narrow entrance.  Once in, we went ashore and were lucky enough to enjoy an informative talk from Luca of the Dolphin Research Centre

finding out all about the Whales and dolphins in the marine park. 

Next stop was Isola Santa Maria, which was a beautiful bay with crystal clear waters.  However, there were so many boats anchored there that it rather spoilt the ideal we had in mind and in the morning the trip boats arrived, disgorging hundreds of people on to the strip of beach.

Our first night on Corsica was in Rondinara bay          which had over 50 boats anchored in it.  It was quite a blowy night and other ‘No Foreign Land’ friends had an incident in the night when the anchor of a neighbouring boat caught their chain as it dragged in the wind.  All was well for us.

We continued to hop north and en route met up with Nic and Sandra on Seulle.  They have exactly the same model of yacht as us.  We spent a happy time comparing notes and boats! 

Erin with sail assisted motor Yacht A in the background.

On the way to Bastia we saw Yacht A again.

A view of the coast of Corsica where Erin and Josh worked in a hotel a couple of years ago.
Bastia from just outside the harbour.
Bastia harbour is an intriguing jumble of old and new, boats and cars, shops and restaurants.
Statue in a Bastia square.
Old billboards painted on to buildings.

We had an uncomfortable beat into the wind and waves. Although the anchorage was very swelly, it was free of charge, handy for town, spacious and had good holding.  

We enjoyed Bastia very much.  We did the laundry and collected more water.  It was very quiet in town and the temperature was perfect.  The mistral wind was blowing hard out to the northwest and cooling everything nicely so we were able to explore in relative comfort.  We liked Bastia very much.

Leaving Bastia, we stopped en route for coffee and croissants in Erbalunga and then again for a swim and lunch in Pietracorbara.  The final few miles took us to a beautiful, wild anchorage in the north of Cap Corse.  Iles Finnochiarola.  The string of islands offered good protection from the swell and we had our first decent nights’ sleep for days! 

There are some lovely coastal walks here and it is very peaceful and unspoilt.

From here we headed west, visiting St Florant, Iles Rouses and Calvi.

Looking out to the anchorage from Calvi.
Interesting doorway in Calvi.

All beautiful places tucked in under the imposing backdrop of the Monte Grosso Mountains which loom above.

Already we are loving the French supermarkets, the organisation of the anchorages and moorings, and the friendliness and helpfulness of the marineros. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful France.  On course, en Corse, of course!

Next stop, mainland France where we meet up with Keira and Sam!!!!