Day 50 – 58 of Summer Trip 2014 – Ibiza and Majorca

No I didn’t build a teleporter before you ask 🙂 I spent the week with my friend Steph on her new boat.

Getting to Ibiza from Honfleur is a bit of pain. I took a bus from Honfleur to Le Harve, a train on to Paris, taxi to the airport and flew to Ibiza.

So I landed, and grabbed a taxi to Cala Vadella on the south west coast of Ibiza. Cala’s it turns out are natural harbours where these folk tend to anchor. The marinas in Ibiza are stupidly expensive (like seriously stupidly expensive!) and few and far between, so anchoring in calas are the way to go.

The taxi dropped me on the beach, it’s dark, I’m looking out over the bay waiting for some guys in a tender to come pick me up. It’s an unusual feeling to be standing on a strange beach looking out into the darkness with a bagful of booze as the taxi drives away.

Out of the darkness came Steph and her friend, paddling native Indian style. After a few glasses of bubbly on the beach we headed back to the boat.

The next morning we went to somewhere, I’ve tried to find the name of the place but it eludes me. We went to a Island just south of Ibiza and anchored there for the day. Later on we left and found another Cala which was reminiscent of a trip I did to the Caribbean. I’ll have to get the names of these places from Steph later.

We anchored as close as we could. Steph dived down with a snorkel and checked we’d anchored on sand and not whatever green shrubbery lives on the sea bed. Snorkeling down to the bottom is no mean feat! Throughout our time there I saw quite a few boats that could have taken a few lessons from Steph in the art of anchoring. Boats would come in, drop anchor, wait, then pick up and find another spot and try again (3 or 4 times. One troubled sailor eventually anchored right next to our friends boat, which is fine if there’s a consistent wind blowing, which keeps all the boats pointing into the wind, but as soon as the wind drops boats tend to point in all different directions, and this is when this particular boat clashed with his neighbor.

I’ve never anchored for long periods, but I discovered a few important things whilst I was there. A deck shower was a real treat, if only Excalibur’s water tanks were as large as Stephs (one of many things I came to appreciate on a larger boat, but don’t tell Excalibur). A bimini to take shade from the scorching sun was pretty essential if you’re like me. Solar panels would be really helpful to keep the fridge ticking over.

The Ibiza I know from my only holiday previously here, was the clubbing 18-30’s side of Ibiza. Sailing around Ibiza gives you a different perspective for sure. We were in a very hippy cala, and every Sunday a large group of guys and girls with bongo’s, tambourines, didgeridoos and even a metal clarinet (I don’t know the correct name for one of these), gather on the beach and play in a drumming circle until the sun goes down. As the sunsets the beat gets faster, and people dance like they’ve quite literally lost their minds! It was a very hypnotic experience, and the music did put me into a bit of a trance, or perhaps that was the wine…

Eventually it was time to head to Majorca where Steph kept the boat. We planned on sailing to Port de Soller to stock up on diesel and water, and have slap up meal. The journey was about 75 miles, and the wind was reliably non-existent. We slipped out at 6am and motored off just before sunrise.

The scenery along the coast was magnificent, the sun was out and hardly a cloud in the sky. With some reggae tunes we waved Ibiza behind. Crossing from Ibiza to Majorca was sublime. I love being away from land, and looking around and seeing nothing but the sea and the sky. From a distance we spotted a small pod of dolphins. After 10 minutes I spotted a big group of them in front. As we came closer, a few would peel off and come swim along side us, playing under our bow. The highlight though had to be when we saw a dolphin break away and with what turned out to be a mother and her baby. How Steph managed to spot this before they came over I’ll never know. The baby stuck right up close to it’s mother, they came up and swam along with us and then dived straight down into the deep dark blue until they were gone. Just incredible!

We arrived in Soller around 6pm, and went out for that slap up meal. The next day we departed from our mooring, only to be shouted back by a grumpy Spaniard who didn’t believe we had paid for our night, his mistake. Filling up with diesel was amusing, the guys obviously thought me being the man that I was the skipper and not Steph, we totally rocked their world.

Our trip to Port de Pollença was uneventful. Just as we rounded the top of the island the wind dropped, and our hopes of sailing on a beam reach were dashed. We did however have a bit of sail into Pollença before finally picking up a swinging mooring.

Before I knew it, Steph was heading back home and I was on Bills boat sailing around the bay. Bills boat is an entirely different experience from sailing on Stephs. Bills Hanse is a sporty number and with a breath of air we had a good heal on, darting around the place drinking extremely cheap but good quality Spanish beer.

In the evening Bill cooked up a meal and we watched a sea plane take off from nearby which was impressive. We were joined by a neighboring French sailor who gave clear instructions that his wine should be opened 2 hours before dinner was served. We swapped stories all night, drinking a combination of wine, beer and rum, and listened to his theory on storm tactics and his de-masting experience.

The next day I flew from Majorca to Paris, a train to Le Harve, and then a taxi to Honfleur. It was a fantastic week and a great experience, but there really is nothing like crashing out on your own boat.

Thanks Steph and Bill for a brilliant time. x

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