The Balearics at last, Espalmador.
Moxie - Beck Family Adventure
Mike, Denise, Asia and Aranya Beck
Tue 26 Jul 2011 21:28
Where? OK we made it to the Balearic Islands!! The southern most of the 3 primary Balearic Islands is Ibiza, below that there's an island that you have never heard of called Formentera and subsidiary to that is the island Espalmador, that we we are at.
Espalmador, Ibiza above and Formentera below (unseen).
Now that we are here we can escape marinas at last as there are hundreds of anchorages, and with the generator we have no power issues and can desalinate copious amounts of water. But guess what - Mr Fischer Panda is not starting again!
The bay we are in is picture perfect, which I guess is why it fronts the cover of the pilot book. Espalmador is a private island with very little construction, we are not allowed inland but there are no landing restrictions for the beach. The anchorage is a well sheltered bay with a spotless beach with nice soft sand, beautiful turquoise and very warm (but a bit murky) water. It is a very popular spot though, I thought we were crowded with 30 yachts here the other day but now we have 60 something. We have been snorkeling every day, the girls are rapidly getting very good at it, we have been practicing swimming right under the keel to the opposite side of Moxie. Indeed yesterday they swam to the bottom beneath the boat, we are in 6 metres of water! On the bottom there is a lot of weed and it is crisscrossed with plough marks from dragged boat anchors.
As the days ticked over so did the number of yachts in the anchorage, counting just those above 30 or so feet (most are 40 - 60) I counted 80+. Later we were told that this was not busy at all, I don't know how they all squeezed in but Chanti counted 180 boats the day they bailed from here! The wind seemed to change 180 degrees twice per day so there is a lot of swinging around and things get a bit close at times. We have seen many boats throw the anchor over shortly followed by fenders. We woke one morning at 7:30 in a force7 lee shore, I saw a 44 foot Bavaria that had dragged and the owners were desperately fending off another Bavaria. A catamaran owner later came and took photos of them so I'm guessing they had hit them too.
It's a marine reserve here and there are loads of fish about, the kids have been feeding them from the swim platform, the swarm (or school I guess) in from nowhere within a few seconds of bread being put into the water it seems to boil, if this was the Amazon I'd not be getting in. Now this is what we have been looking for!
Asia the fish
The water is warm but for some reason the girls wanted to wear wetsuits, due to jelly fish I think.
Paradise, but not one to ourselves.
Yesterday we were provided with entertainment from a stink boat/GP with all the toys. Aboard they has a jet ski, a couple of towing ride thingies, 2 kayaks, an inflatable sailing catamaran, a floating couch lounger thing and goodness knows what else. Anyway there had a terrible time with a dragging anchor and had to reset it 8 or so times through the day. The procedure was lift the weed smothered anchor, motor forward, lower it down and hope - again. Finally when they packed up and left for the day they decided to clear the unsightly weed from the anchor.
Leaving for the day and the first time they looked at the anchor that hadn't set in about 8 attempts.
Packedup after 3 or 4 days and headed for San Antonio to get a doctor to see to FP.