foot was 100% better, so it was an early start for both Sula Mac and Nimue as we
both set sail for Menorca. Although, the closest point from Majorca
to Menorca is approximately 20 miles, we wanted to spend some time in Mahon (the capital) on the
East coast, which was some 60 miles away.
Apart from a 3 hour sail, we motor sailed
for a further 7, arriving early evening into a lovely anchorage just inside the
entrance of Puerto de Mahon (Mao) harbour, called Cala Taulera. Our anchorage in Cala Taulera was
perfect, being very well protected and surrounded by the fort of Isabel 11 at La
Mola – more about that
Leaving Porto Pollensa
Evening sunset in Cala Taulera (Mahon,
Nimue at anchor in Cala Taulera
Menorca – in brief!
is only 26 miles long and 11 miles wide and is the oldest of the Balearic islands.
It lies in the path of the NW tramontana/mistral gales and is sometimes
known as the ‘Windy Isle’. When the
wind is blowing the North coast is dangerous and sailors should give it a wide
berth. Menorca has noticeably fewer
tourist developments than the other Balearic
islands and where such facilities exist they generally cater more
for the ‘quality’ rather than the ‘quantity’ market. Viewed from offshore, many parts of
Menorca appear barren, due to the rocky
cliffs. However these cliffs are
broken by innumerable calas, which
offer many attractive anchorages.
Mahon is steeped in history, some of it from
the British occupation. Menorca
boasts the largest natural harbour (5.5km long, 1.2km wide and 20m deep) and due
to this and it’s position in the centre of the Meditteranean, Mahon has been a prize that
many nations have coveted and traces of the long British occupation during the
18th century are unmistakable.
Many of the older streets and houses have sash windows and have a very
English appearance. During the last
period of British occupation Lord Nelson, who was in temporary command of the
Mediterranean Fleet, spent a few days on Golden Farm on the North side of the
harbour (see picture below). Local
tradition declares that Lady Hamilton was a guest in the house at the same
to learn more about the history of Mahon, we
spent a well worth hour on a Glass Bottom Boat tour of Mahon harbour, which also
happen to pass through our anchorage in Cala Taulera.
downside to the anchorage, was that it was nearly a 2 mile dinghy ride into
itself. This presented no real
problems, as the sea was always fairly calm, although we would not have
attempted it in a blow!
Once ashore we had a good look round the city and also enquired to
the cost of a ‘stern to’ berth alongside the harbour wall, but it was now July
and costs have more than doubled.
We were quoted €120 + electricity + water for 1 night – forget it!!
View of Mahon
Naval Base founded in the 18th century by the
Mahon harbour moorings
following set of pictures were taken from the Glass Bottom Boat
Bathing house used by ladies in the 19th
Golden Farm the best example of 18th century British colonial
Little Venice a very special house "Sir Richard
first American base in the Med. from 1820-1845
has stayed here.
Canal Sant Jordi built by the Spanish Army in the 19th
Century en route into Cala Taulera. The same cala looking toward
the canal entrance.
La Mola seen in the distance. A gigantic defence fortress built
by the Spanish during the same period & also used as a
on his RIB dinghy came round each day to all the boats in the anchorage offering
a grocery delivery service. His
produce was good, but after a couple of deliveries, we distinctly got the
impression that although Alberto was an extremely pleasant ‘chap’, he was
‘milking’ his customers!
Alberto handing over the
BBQ on Lazareto island used from 1819 - 1919 as a
hospital for contagious diseases, e.g. cholera, yellow
so that's why we are the only folk on the
Alan of Sula
Mac contemplating whether to have the chicken or the