Passage to Formentera/Ibiza

Steve & Carol
Sun 17 Apr 2022 20:32
The weather window wasn’t great we knew we were going to have to motor to begin with and then we should be able to sail and as long as we made good progress hopefully reach Formentera the next morning before the wind died! So we left under engine and motored along the coast past Cartagena, on the way we noticed a few boats on AIS we know, a couple of Dutch boats were heading into Mar Menor, while a couple of others were heading across to Formentera 🙂 it's always good to know we aren’t the only ones heading the same way! We got sailing a bit later in the day than we hoped, first with cruising chute and mizzen and genoa and mizzen. 
On route we passed vast areas of sea where the surface was covered with little sailing jelly fish - at the time I thought they were tiny Portuguese Man o’ War but they didn’t have the purple fin like bit on the top, they were actually By-the-wind-sailors or Velella  Like Portuguese men-o-war they drift in vast numbers  They are also similar in that they are made up of a colony of tiny individual animals and are not true jellyfish. Its sail gives the animal its name, 'by-the-wind-sailor'. The sail allows the organism to catch the wind and travel on ocean currents, using its stinging tentacles to prey on young fish and other small animals while it travels - unlike the Portuguese man-o-war its sting is harmless to humans.  They are at the mercy of the winds and so are usually found washed up in their hundreds, or sometimes even thousands, after stormy winter weather!
During the night there was a full moon which was perfect - it stayed up all night which made changing sails easy. By 6 in the morning the wind had died and we motorsailer / motored the last few miles to Formentera and anchored in the crystal clear water.