Mallorca – Part 1

After a dingy ride into shore to look around, we left San Vincente
and pointed La Mischief at the SW corner of Mallorca, 50 nm away. After motoring for a while, the wind picked up and we had just enough angle to sail most of the way. We were doing 6-7knots but this wasnt fast enough to shake off a new beneteau sense 55 that gradually caught and past us, close enough to shout across to one another.

We picked out a bay called Palma Nova, which was reasonably close to Palma as we needed to pick up Jamie and Lucy and their son, Nick the next morning.

Anchoring was tricky as we got there after 6 and the sun was too low to pick out a sandy patch in about 5 metres. As it turned out there were no sandy patches, but the 25kg Rocna held firm in the weed. Finding it to be an excellent anchor, when combined with the 100m of 10mm chain.

We parked up next to some more Australians and once again had them over for drinks and nibbles and never made it into town.

Not that town was anything to write home about. It was another Little Britain (but without a hint of the authenticity of Gibraltar) – the only spanish word we could spot was Paella and the restaurants ranged from Burger King to very average English Pub fare. And the beach was very average.

Having successfully picked up the Rankin clan (sans Georgia who was busily preparing to win a world championship gold medal in Slovakia), we headed off to Santa Ponsa on the west coast, said to be one of the most picturesque harbours on the island.

Along the way we past the massive super yacht marina, Port Adriano, where we found out later the Maltese Falcon was berthed. Would have been worth calling in the see.

Then we spied a water bomber doing some training by landing on the sea and scooping up massive amounts of seawater then taking off and randomly dumping it somewhere. The seabirds loved it. At one stage it did a scoop and go run right between us and another yacht.

Santa Ponsa is a beautiful but narrow anchorage, and there must have been 40 boats anchored up. It took us a couple of goes to find a spot. After a swim and a beer, we dropped “A Little Bit of Mischief” in the water and went off for an explore. The town was quite touristy, with big hotels over the other side of the bay, and a row of restaurants out the front. Lucy was fascinated by the live fish foot massage but didn’t partake.

We found a nice restaurant on a hill overlooking the anchorage
And celebrated catching up with Jamie, Lucy and Nick.

Next morning, after a swim, and a visit to the free wi-fi, we headed off past Palma and towards Playa del Trench on the south coast. This beach is the longest and quite possibly the finest in Mallorca. Miles and miles of clear sand.

After a day of trying to sail, with intermittent small successes, we arrived about 4pm and found a nice anchorage in 3m of water, adjacent one of the two beach bars. After seeing all the development, it was nice to anchor off somewhere with no development, excepting the somewhat obligatory beach bars.

This beach is fantastic, calm water and lovely clear blue water over sand that looks close enough you could stand on it.

Whilst nick took off on the stand up board Jamie and I swam to shore to check out the two bars. Unusually for spain, one closed at 8pm (when the beach started to thin out), the other not too bad at 10pm.

Reporting back at the boat, we decided on a round of cocktails at the first and dinner at the latter closing one. Another nice meal with the Rankins.

Next morning it was up early (ish) and off to the marina 2nm back towards Palma at La Rapida. Cas and her girlfriends were having a 25 year reunion/birthday celebration at Pescara and we were travelling Ryan Airlines via Girona to join the celebrations.

It took us a million phonecalls and emails to find a reasonably priced marina to leave La Mischief for the 5 days we would be away, and La Rapida quoted us €119 a night, whereas most others were €155 a night and upwards. The Balearics are expensive in high season. In the end they only charged us €89 a night so we really ended up with a bargain.

And we ended up berthing alongside, rather than Med Mooring so we were more than happy. We said our goodbyes to Jamie, Lucy and Nick (who were staying on board for a few more days) and headed to the airport, on our way to Italy.

For our photos of Mallorca see

IBIZA – This could be interesting!!!

With La Mischief ready and waiting, it was time for Cas and I to go sailing together. Having successfully extradited ourselves from our Med Mooring, it was time to backtrack 50nm south to Capo de Nao, the nearest point on the mainland to ibiza.

The wind was on the nose and steadily built to 30kts so it was a pretty unpleasant motor sail. But we made it for cocktail hour and successfully managed to hail over dom pepito (see previous blog) for a cocktail or 4.

Next day, we pointed our nose out to sea and headed for ibiza, not knowing what to expect. We had visions of music blaring out of every bay with lots of drunken teenage english pursuing a hedonistic holiday experience.

After yesterday, we thought we would geta good wind angle, but once again it was on the nose, albeit very light. We made it to Cala Badella at about 3pm only to find it pretty well full of moorings and boats of all sizes.

So we headed a short way north to cala tarida, which is described in the RCC Pilot Guide as a long bay with sandy beaches – perfect. And perfect it was!!!

We weren’t there long when we got asked to move as we were a little close to a submarine cable, but once settled we stayed for a few days. Far from the hedonistic partying teenagers, we found a bay full of families, with a huge kids club at the resort in the bay. We found a few nice cocktail bars and a nice restaurant to celebrate our arrival in the balearics.

After a thoroughly relaxing few days, we dragged ourselves away from the clear blue water over a perfectly sandy bottom and headed over to formentia to find another anchorage with clear blue water over a perfectly sandy bottom.

Our original plan was to anchor up off Isla Espalmador, which is the picture on the cruising guide. Unfortunately looks can be deceiving and it was full of moorings with very little nice anchoring. So we quickly left and anchored off the top of formentia. We dropped the dingy and went exploring and went in search of the perfect skin by finding the mud baths that we had been told about.

Boy – the things I do to maintain my Adonis – the mud was really stinky and a bit rough. By we managed to cover ourselves in mud and had the obligatory photo taken, so I could be ridiculed by my friends suggesting I looked like a grey smurf. Some young people asked us to take their photo also – a young naked guy from Madrid and his six female friends, all in various stages of undress – you’ve got to fancy his chances.

Back on the boat, we decided we needed to move down the island a bit where it was more sheltered. We ended off in the perfect spot right opposite a narrow spit of beach that stretched across both sides of the island. It was evidently a famous nudist beach in days gone past but now it’s reverted to largely a topless beach, which is pretty well normal for around here.

The bay was full of very big boats as evidently there’s an iconic restaurant on the beach where you can pretty well be assured of spotting someone famous. Cas had a badly bruised toe from a boat injury so we never did make it onto the beach to do any people spotting. However we did lots and lots of swimming in the beautiful clear water, marred occasionally by jellyfish who came in on the breeze and then disappeared as the breeze switched.

We did however make it into the one and only town on the island where all the many ferries go and visited a supermarket. That was a pretty cool spot.

With formentia done it was time to hit some night life and head for old ibiza town.

It was a pleasant short sail across to Cala Tabernera, which is adjacent to the port of ibiza town. The cala gets quite shallow in towards shore and there are a few moorings around but we managed to find a good spot, where we dropped the anchor on a sandy patch amongst the weedy bottom. Not quite as nice swimming as Formentera but not bad none the less. And much cheaper than staying in the marina – it cost a 62 foot Lagoon 620 cat €1500 a night according to its skipper.

We hopped in the dingy and went exploring the shoreline, quickly finding the dingy dock in the north-west corner. From here we headed 5 minutes over to Marina Botafoch, here we caught a ferry across to old ibiza town, otherwise known as Eivissa. Perfect.

Ibiza town is fascinating in so many ways. With its narrow streets and citadel on the hill behind, it is quite pretty.then there is the people – Cas and I loved sitting at an outside bar just watching the people walk by – a combination of incredibly well dressed people interspersed with a whole heap of bizarrely dressed folk.

And the shops. Full of beautiful expensive stuff – Cas would have had so much fun with a spare €1000. As the night progressed, we made our way up a narrow winding street past interesting shops and restaurants, past a whole gay section, with its own mix of shops and bars, and then back to the waterfront, where we stopped again for some expensive cocktails and more people watching. It was getting towards midnight and the people watching was becoming a lot more interesting as people were coming out before they hit the nightclubs that don’t open until midnight, with their €70 entry fees.

Suddenly there was a whole lot of glamorous girls dressed straight out of a Robert Palmer video clip, marching down the street, with banners promoting Space, the trendiest nightclub at the moment judging by all the billboard adverts

People watching over, we headed back to the ferry which was full of interesting people, groups of twenty somethings from all over the world, heading out to a night club near one of the ferry stops. Kids just having fun, not fall down drunk, not obnoxious – nothing like we had imagined.

Next day however we took a bus ride to San Antonio and saw pretty much what we had imagined. Or at least the after effects of the night before. Glad we picked ibiza town to go to rather than San Antonio.

After another interesting bus trip back to ibiza town, we found another cool bar with a 2-4-1 coctail happy hour that went from 6.30 to 10.30pm. We did some more people watching, which quickly restored our faith in ibiza and erased all those san antonio images, whilst we sipped on 1…2….3 cocktails each. As we went to leave, the waiter informed us we still had a free cocktail to go. Ahhh – not that sort of 2-4-1 offer.

So four cocktails later we crawled back to the ferry, with thoughts of continuing on to some salsa dancing. Unfortunately we met these poms from the boat next to us and one drink back on La Mischief before going out dancing didn’t sound like too bad an idea. And besides, Australia was playing the Lions tomorrow, and I thought a night of baiting a couple of Poms would be fun (boy have a learnt my lesson now – going to keep a very low profile when it comes to australian sport – especially when it involves the English).

Well we never did make it dancing and the one drink turned into a lot more. The next day was a write off, but I did well to drag myself to a beach bar with 4 poms to watch the rugby. Mmm. Enough said.

After being thoroughly demoralized and lampooned, it was back to the boat and off up the coast to Cala de san Vincente, which would be our hopping off point to Mallorca.

This Cala proved to be both picturesque and sheltered. The whole bar was one big resort, but a quiet reasonably sedate one, as all the noise at night seemed to come from another bay miles away. Glad we didn’t anchor there.

As we spent our last night on Ibiza, we reflected on what a beautiful and interesting place Ibiza is. Ibiza is certainly not at all what we imagined. A great place to go cruising. We wished we had a bit more time there but we needed to move onto Mallorca.

The water was crystal clear and warm – 28 degrees. And not a shark in sight. Actually it was pretty devoid of any sort of fish life at all. If you could criticise Ibiza for one thing,it was probably that it wasn’t very spanish. Lots of germans and french and english and cetera. But then again its hard to criticize paradise.

For our photos of Ibiza see