We spent another 10 days around Ibiza after Kirsty and Chris left. We sailed further up the NW coast to a beautiful anchorage in Cala Binirras. There is a strangely shaped rock at the entrance to the Cala that looks remarkably like Queen Victoria, complete with Bustle and Crinoline!
“Queen Victoria” at Cala Binirras (note the guys about to leap off)
The water in the Cala was crystal clear and the sunset was helped by 3 drummers ashore. A lot of people had stayed on the beach as it was a full moon and to hear the drummers. Bizarrely everyone clapped when the sun set! What was that about??
One day was so calm that we managed to sail very close to the small island called Isla Verdanell , not far from San Antonio. We had not been able to get close to it before because of the swell. Boy was it impressive, with a tiny inlet of very deep water, surrounded by huge cliffs!
Isla Vedranell, Ibiza
We also went back to Port Roig, as the wind was getting very strong and we knew we could pick up a mooring buoy there. In between we spent more time in San Antonio than we would have liked, but we needed to get washing done and shopping for the trip to Majorca. Unfortunately the weather became very stormy as well and we had some very fraught nights at anchor with our anchor dragging and lots of other boats doing the same in the middle of the night.
We were extremely glad to leave the dirty, noisy atmosphere of San Antonio behind as we set off for Majorca on the 25 July. Firstly we stopped overnight in the lovely Cala Blanca on the north tip of Ibiza, complete with privately owned houses on the shore, an idyllic spot to live. Unfortunately the wind did not play along the next day and was NE and as we were going NE, we had to motor sail the 53 miles which took 12 hours. About half way across we saw a motor boat with mooring buoy attached in 200m of water! It had obviously broken free and sailed off by itself! We saw a few other yachts and a couple of ferries as well but apart from that it was a very uneventful trip.
Our landfall in Majorca was Santa Ponsa, round a headland west of Palma bay. We were keen to avoid Palma as it is really busy. Santa Ponsa was a lovely anchorage and although there were hotels on the north side, it was not too noisy and the water was lovely and clear. On land Santa Ponsa was not quite so inviting as it is very much a “British” resort.
We set off to sail up to the north coast of Majorca on the 27 July, sailing round Isla Dragonera (Dragon) Island which was very impressive with 1000 foot cliffs on the west side. A huge Wharram Catamaran was anchored in one of the bays of the island. Somehow, although there were a lot of boats around, it did not feel as busy as Ibiza.
Wharram Cat at Dragonera Island
We arrived in Puerto Andratx in the afternoon. We had managed to book a place on the town quay and it all worked out nicely. We were glad we had arrived early as places filled up very quickly. The town quay has water and electricity and more importantly showers ashore, so we had the first shore based shower for 1 month- bliss! Loads of hot water, loads of space and no need to clean the shower out afterwards ( for some reason this is always Andy’s job?)! Puerto Andratx is beautiful, with proper fishing boats and low key tourism, presumably due to the lack of a sandy beach. We only stayed one night but will go back I am sure before we leave Majorca.
So here we are in Puerto Soller, half way along the north coast of Marjorca. We have been here for 3 nights now, hunkered down to avoid a storm. It is a beautiful bay with a beach and lots of hotels and restaurants, so it is much busier than Andratx but still lovely. The sail here was lively as we sailed along the huge cliffs of the north coast of Majorca and the down drafts were spectacular! The wind swung wildly through 360 Degrees and went from 5-17 knots in an instant. Then back to nothing. The seas quickly kicked up and we were extremely glad to tie up at the town quay. The marineros could not help us so we had to shout on some neighbouring boats to take our lines. All a bit fraught!
We took a day trip into Plama yesterday on the famous Soller-Palma mountain railway. The views were spectacular, even though some of the hills were shrouded in cloud. We passed lemon and orange groves and very old olive groves on the higher terraces. Palma itself was crazily busy and noisy. When you are used to going at 4 mph, everything else seems frenetic! Luckily it was not too hot as it was a bit overcast and we even had a couple of spots of rain! The queue for the cathedral was huge, so we gave that a miss, but went into the lovely calm old Arabic Baths. We treated ourselves to lunch in a wee restaurant set under arches. The plaque on the wall outside said that Chopin and George Sand used to walk down this street during their stay in Majorca (allegedly). We have the same in Scotland: Mary Queen of Scots slept here, Bonny Prince Charlie stayed here….
The station Cafe, Soller
The return trip on the railway was lovely in the evening sun and with the tops clear of cloud. The highest mountain is 1400m high. It was lovely to return to the relative calm of Puerto Soller and to watch the sunset and the lights come on.
Evening sun on the mountains of Majorca
The last few days have been cooler, due to the storm, but the weather is getting hotter again and the wind is dropping, so tomorrow we are setting off for Puerto Pollensa on the NW corner of Majorca.