Cruising Ibiza

Dick and Irene Craig
Fri 4 Sep 2009 13:53

After meeting Richard from the ferry, at the port in Ibiza, we moved to a nearby bay where we anchored overnight.

It was not a very comfortable anchorage and the swell continued to come into the bay all night. Not an ideal introduction to a seafaring way of life, for Richard. We did not delay moving from there, after we had breakfasted next morning.

We moved a distance of just nine nautical miles, to Cala Yondal, a beautiful bay with blue, crystal clear water, on sand. The downside was the abundance of jelly fish. More than we have seen in one place for a long time, certainly this year.

In order to keep the batteries on the boat charged adequately, to sustain the high level of electricity used, we need to run the generator for a total of about three hours each day. This can be done in one stint, or at different times during the day and evening.

While we were running the generator during the afternoon, it suddenly stopped. Dick then checked the impellor, despite having only changed it less than 150 hours earlier. It didn’t look as if it needed to be changed but he changed it anyway. He checked another part of the feed pipe, to ensure free-flow of water then switched on the generator. Ten minutes later it stopped again.

As a last resort, Dick donned his fins and his mask and snorkel and entered the water. This was not a simple task, as scores of jelly fish were being wafted about the area next to the bathing ladder and between the hulls. He made his way round to the front of the boat and down between the two hulls, to the water inlet for the generator. He took this route as it seemed to be less populated by the jellyfish.

On reaching the water inlet, he could see immediately that a jelly fish had adhered to the guard, covering the inlet. Although water could still get into the pipe, insufficient quantities were able to bypass the jelly fish to enable the generator to continue to function.

A supermarket polythene shopping bag was passed down to Dick who then made his way back to the offending creature and removed it, using the bag. Having freed the jellyfish, the plastic bag had to be folded carefully, to avoid any possibility of getting stung by a dislodged tentacle. The bag was then returned to the boat and tucked into a bag of refuse, waiting to be deposited in a handy rubbish bin.

Next morning, when the generator suddenly stopped, our immediate thoughts were that another jelly fish had caused the problem. Dick duly donned the gear and entered the water. Today there appeared to be far fewer jelly fish around our boat, compared with the masses yesterday.

On reaching the water inlet, not only did Dick discover a jelly fish obstructing the inlet but there were two of them. There was nothing else for it but to raise the anchor and move on to another bay.

We looked into the next bay along the coast. There were quite a lot of jellyfish further out though none as yet, near to where we would anchor.

 As we were scouting out the area, a sports motor boat, still on the plane, cut right in front of us. I was at the bow, looking forward and almost fell overboard in the wake and swell









that was caused. Dick sounded the horn but the ignorant driver of the other boat was not interested, he was looking for a space to anchor.

We left that anchorage and made our way towards the tiny Isla Conejera, just three or four miles off San Antonio.

Just before we reached Isla Bosque, to our port side is Pta. Embarcado where there is some construction taking place. One of the houses, which appeared to be still under construction, had been built right above a cave. There could not have been half a metre of substance below the house and the ceiling of the cave. I cannot imagine how the house had been built without any footings being dug. Had any foundations existed, the workmen would have gone right through the top of the cave.

 To reach Estancia des Dins where we were to anchor, we had to cross a reef between the tiny island of Isla Bosque and Isla Conejero. I always find entering shallow water to be an unnerving experience.

The water was just over two metres below our hull and we could see the white, stark rocks below. The chart said that it was not navigable but the pilot book said that it was fine. I would have preferred to reach our anchorage by taking the longer route, as there seemed to be two different opinions but Dick decided to cross the reef and this we did.

The anchorage was perfect, quiet and peaceful and not a jelly fish in sight.

Next morning, we watched as two wardens arrived in a rib, blue light flashing. The occupants of some of the other boats had gone ashore and this was obviously not permissible, though not a widely advertised fact. There were no signs advising “no landing” nor was there any mention in the pilot book that one may not land here. The pamphlets issued to us when we arrived in Mallorca, regarding recommendations and regulated anchoring in the Balearic, did not cover this either.

We moved on to San Antonio bay, dropped an anchor and went ashore where we had lunch and a few beers and watched the sunbathers on the beach just below us.

While we were absent, the boat had turner 180º and there was a slight swell into the bay, imperceptible once we were on the boat but large enough to splash us, as we returned in the rib, replete after a surprisingly good meal.

We spent two nights in San Antonio bay and although it has the reputation as a hot spot for young people, there was no intrusion of noise during the night, unlike Cala Yondal, where we stayed several days ago.

Moving on, we anchored in the bay of Puerto de San Miguel, where we stayed for two nights. We had tried, unsuccessfully, to anchor in Cala Binirras, where Islote Bernat lies in the middle of the entrance. The rock, from some angles, resembles the elderly Queen Victoria. There were already quite a number of boats at anchor and we felt that there was insufficient room for our boat to swing on the chain.











We continued to bay hop for several days until on Wednesday, we moved on to Espalmador, Formentera, where we picked up a mooring buoy and here we stayed for two days. There were a lot of boats on the mooring buoys the first day we were there but many left next day leaving at least half of the buoys vacant.

We left before it was light on Friday morning. I couldn’t believe that in the space of just a month, the sun was rising  an hour later than when we crossed from Sardinia to Menorca. Three monohulls left the bay just before us, two of them destroying our night vision with their spotlights. It was those two boats that appeared to become disoriented, as they were attempting to depart. Both made a sharp right-angle turn to avoid the land, as they made their way out of the bay.

I stood at the bow and piloted Dick around the unlit, unoccupied mooring buoys.

The passage from Formentera to Javea was smooth and perfect for spotting marine life.

During the morning, Richard and I saw dolphin fins, some 500metres off the port bow. However, the dolphins were just flirting with us and came no closer, nor did they frolic and play. This was the first glimpse of dolphins that Richard had experienced, other than those in the aquariums in Valencia.

Just after lunch, we were entertained by dolphins which were frolicking, some 500 metres off the port bow, then from behind us and finally off the starboard bow but they came no closer than 500metres off.

Half an hour after watching the dolphins, a huge Search and Rescue boat passed just 200metres away. At one stage it looked as if it was going to hit us so I went  below and switched on our extra powerful radar reflector.

We arrived at Javea port at 5pm, threw a line from the bow over a bollard, came alongside briefly and Richard stepped off the boat. Within seconds of lassoing the bollard, the line was free and we were on our way to Moraira where we planned to spend a few days.


Below:- Queen Victoria rock,,,,, Salvage boat looking for something to rescue?