Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 13, 2012 Leaving Mallorca, slowly


sailing around the north shore of Mallorca 

Hiking at Soller with Len and Lesley, friends from Pollenca 

Soller harbor 

After spending three weeks relaxing in Puerto Pollenca, meeting up with friends from Barcelona, it’s time to move on.  Forecast was calling for NE wind, which was promising for 3Rivers to head west around the north shore of Mallorca, to get closer to Ibiza. Since Puerto Pollenca is a huge bay, it takes almost 2 hours motoring in strong headwinds, just to get out.  But as soon as we turned the corner, we were ready to sail. And true to any weather forecast, the wind is always 5 to 10 knots either more or less than expected and we got more.  We were told that Cala de la Calobra, behind the Torrente de Pareis, a large and spectacular bay with a slit in the high rocky cliffs, could be an excellent spot to anchor.  However, the bay was too exposed on this day and we saw three fair sized yachts rolling not-so-happily as swells were making their way into the bay.  So we decided to head to Soller, one of our favorite towns and the only harbour of refuge on the whole 50 mile stretch of the rugged, inhospitable northwest coast of Mallorca.  The last time we were here, it was in May and the place looked so different after two months.  Both the marina and the bay were packed with boats.  More tourists on land, and that led to more shops and restaurants open for business.  Another boat from Puerto Pollenca was also there, and we spent time hiking and dining with Len and Lesley until two days later when we each going the opposite way.  We did another five hours run to Sant Elm, but this time, we were sailing with great wind behind us, instead of motoring.  Unfortunately, not so much for Len as he must be bashing into head wind all the way back to Pollenca.

 Sant Elm bay


Things you can do with a dog...

Hiking trail, overlooking the Isla Dragonera 

Road signs for the trails: the large one made of stones points another way.

The second time in Sant Elm was a charm.  It’s a pleasant bay with sandy beaches.  Although small, it’s a growing tourist resort with a nice ice cream shop, and a very nice restaurant called Es Moli.  Ben had made a reservation for a mooring ball (free!) for the first day and were we glad that we did.  The bay looked very chaotic, with boats of all sorts, and water activities going on everywhere.  As soon as we turned into the bay, the port authority staff, the boat traffic controller, zoomed right up to us from his zodiac.  At the time of our arrival, every mooring ball was already taken.  One ‘unauthorized’ boat was told to go to make room for us.  We felt so important. 

The next day, after some boats had left, we’d decided to move closer to shore and anchored just beyond the buoyed off area for swimmers.  The water here was simply crystal clear.

We almost didn’t want to leave Sant Elm as this little place had almost everything we needed.  But strong wind was blowing into the bay, so up the anchor and off to Santa Ponsa we went.  Same as last time we were here, we did not spend too much time checking out the area although it was considered as one of the most picturesque harbours in Mallorca.  Again, boats of all sizes can be seen here, but one in particular, Candido, with a look of a spaceship, was anchoring right in the middle of the cala. 

The next day, it’s time for us to cross the water and to the party land of Ibiza.

Eating our way through the Balearics: our waiter serving John Dory, a delicious local fish 

This has got to be the most extraordinary mega yacht we've seen!

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