Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Western Mallorca May 20, 2012

We are slowly sailing counter-clockwise around the north-western shore of Mallorca, having departed Porto Soller and motored through the north side in light winds. Once the corner is turned around Isla Dragona, the shoreline is very different and is full of anchorages and harbors, all within a few miles from one another. We typically stop at an anchorage for a few days, and then sail for a few hours to the next one. That’s enough hard work for us! We stopped at Port Andraitx, a large harbor with a still active fishing fleet. Fresh catch are available for sale at a fish market every afternoon right from the fishing boats, but prices are steep. One afternoon we returned to our boat after a visit to town, and found that our boat was tied to our neighbor boat. Our anchor had dragged! Thankfully our neighbor was kind enough to had taken a line and secured our boat to his. The Andraitx harbor is full of debris on the bottom and is notorious for fouling anchors, but the opposite had happened to mine. I had the anchor properly set when we arrived two days ago, but the wind had shifted to the opposite direction, and the anchor was pulled out and did not reset properly. Well, time to think about getting a better anchor.
 Andraitx Harbor

 We had planned to sail to the next island, Ibiza, and spend a couple of weeks there, but the forecast of strong winds altered our plan. This is our first gale warning this season! Even though the Balearics is not as frequently windy as Sardinia, but yes they do get gales here too. So we are staying put at a small bay called Cala Portals. It’s an attractive bay sheltered on three sides by steep cliffs, with three small cloves that each have a sandy beach, beautiful water. The only down side is that it’s only 8 miles from the tourist center of Palma, and is very popular with all kinds of day-trippers. We settled into the anchorage when it was nice and quiet in the morning, but by mid-afternoon the bay was jam packed with all kinds of sailboat, powerboats, huge sight-seeing catamarans, and a few large yachts. Plus of course the chartered sailboats, usually packed with 6-8 people, coming in and simply dropping their anchors with minimal anchor rode, and immediately starting to drag.

Cala Portals, with some some ancient rock caves/tombs

Some big boats packing into the bay 

Michel and Martinique, sailed all the way from Montreal

The next day, a Canadian yacht dropped anchor in the bay. It’s a rare occasion to meet another Canadian sailboat. They stopped by in their dinghy to say hello, and we invited them onto our boat for coffee. Michel and Martinique are from Montreal. They built their own 32 feet fiber glass sailboat from scratch. It took them 10 years, and La Foret Deav seems to be a well-built, strong boat. They sailed it across the Atlantic, spent a year at the Azores, and are now slowly working their way through the Med. As true Northerners they enjoy swimming in the 18C water every morning!

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