Isla de Cabrera 39:08.73N 02:56.02E

Red Skies
David Alexander
Sun 9 May 2010 07:11
All the advice we had received, and the pilot and almanac, emphasised the need to get a permit to navigate to and moor at the Isla de Cabrera. Some said that getting a marina to fax through an application was the easiest and some said visiting the office in Palma was the best for the added value of maps and advice from the staff there. We attempted both. When the marina did not get any response to their faxed form, or to telephoning direct, we consulted the web and found, not an entry from the relevant authority, but a site saying how difficult the office was to find. Apparently, it lay behind a door on the Plaza Espanol that indicated that it was a solicitors office. One had to press the buzzer for the first floor, which would then open the outside door and then climb up a flight of unlit stone steps to the first floor, whereupon one just knocked and entered an unmarked office.Armed with this information we duly set out for the Plaza Espanol and found the said door quite quickly. However, there was no reference to a solicitors office or indeed any other reference except the number of the building and there was no response to the ringing of the doorbell.
Puzzled we found a nearby Information Bureau and asked where the Office for Isla de Cabrera was located. We were told that it was where we had just come from and they were incredulous that we couldn't find it as it had been operating from there for many years. Nevertheless they were most helpful and made numerous telephone calls to track down where it now was. One of the staff even slipped out to visit the building and reported back that the office had moved and there was a notice to the side of the door that gave the new telephone number. We can only assume that our buzzing had prompted someone to put the notice up as it was not there when we stood in front of the door, and incidentally was not there the next day when we happened to pass by.
We were advised that the new location was a good distance away and that we would have to hire a taxi. We therefore reverted to Plan B and went back to the marina office armed with the new telephone and fax numbers, which for any readers intending to visit Cabrera are :- Tel: 971177645 and Fax: 971177647.
Over the next 2 days the marina office made several attempts to fax and speak to the Cabrera Offce, eventually gaining the response that they were in chaos after their move and that their computer system and fax were not operational. We were assured that we had been manually put on the list of their approved boats.
After that episode we hoped that Cabrera would justify the effort spent and indeed it did. It is a National Park with strict regulations on what you can do and where you can go. The result is an idyllic bay with safe, free moorings for a limited number of boats (50) but there were between 10 and 25 at the time of our visit. The water is crystal clear and apart from an information office, a bar and a few homesteads, it is undeveloped.There are the ruins of a castle overlooking the bay so, of course, we had to take the dinghy ashore and climb to the top. There are a number of walks but apart from those leading to the castle and the 2 beaches the others require a guide to be in attendence. We didnt find this to be a problem as they were anxious to be of assistance.
Red Skies moored in Playa S'Espalmador, Isla de Cabrera
Red Skies with the Castle behind
View of the moorings from the castle
The entrance into Puerto de Cabrera
Alison escaping from the castle