Point number 7 is where our first stop was and we then continued
on to Calle de Sant Vicenc, point number 13.
How we hated to leave Mahon! It is such a nice friendly place with warm, friendly people and lots of interesting places to explore in town. Here is the thing: it may seem that because we have a 4 month or so cruising season, we should be able to spend a long time at each place we visit. The Med, however, is a very big place with hundreds of potential stops. Add to that our plans to spend at least a month in Barcelona and we start to get to the end of the season quickly!
Since we really were not in too much of a hurry, we decided to add a few stops to our cruise to Barcelona, which would both be day trips. We had not gotten much input from people regarding good stops, but between us and our friends on Airstream, we came up with a few good anchorages. We have cruised along with Bill and Janet for a few trips now and we have it down to a science. He cruises at about between 6-7 knots and we do between 8-8.5 kts. He usually leaves a bit earlier than us and arrives a little later. At some point on the trip, we give a wave as we pass them.
The first stop, Calle Galdano, was a small, semi enclosed harbor on the south side of Menorca with a tourist town attached to it. The anchorage itself was a bit tight as by the time we got there, other boats had already nestled in to the spots closest to shore. The only spot we could find with any protection was only about 100 feet from the rocky shore that jutted out from the base of the harbor.
Seabird in the background and Airstream in the foreground
We anchored in about 27 feet of water just off of Morro
de Llevant. You can see at the top of the map where the
river leads into town from the bay.
Normally, I feel safest if I put out chain at a 6:1 ratio to water depth. We have found that here in the Med, that is not always practical because of space constraints. Here, the best we could do was a 4:1 ratio and we were perfectly comfortable with that as long as the anchor was well set. Seabird is really oversized on the anchor front. Most boats our size would have a 100 lb anchor and be happy. Ours weighs in at a very hefty 300 lbs! It is quite big for the boat size but the peace of mind that it gives makes it worth it. The downside is that if the hydraulic winch breaks, getting it up by manual means is a big chore. Maxwell, the manufacturer of the windlass, supplies a skinny quarter inch thick aluminum popsicle stick tool for emergencies that would make it impossible to haul up the anchor manually. Years ago when I had a manufacturing business I had the shop make a special tool 5 times that size that makes raising it manually at least doable. I have never needed to use it, but my friends Braun and Tina on Grey Pearl lost their hydraulics while we were cruising in the Aleutians Islands with 200 feet of chain out and the same 300 lb anchor as us. Fortunately, I had made two of the tools and they had one of them.
To get to the town, we took the dinghy into a small river at the base of the harbor. Once you got past a narrow, shallow entrance, the town was directly ahead on the left with the local small fishing and tour boats tied up. We asked permission from one of the locals to dock there and he directed us to an empty space. We were not really interested in the tourist areas, but wanted to take a hike over the hill to one of the other bays, about a 1 hour walk on the trails.
At the end was a crowded tourist beach that we wanted nothing to do with, so we turned around and went back to the boat.
We planned on leaving at first light for our next destination. In the meantime, the rollers started coming in at about 4 pm. It was actually getting very choppy and many of the smaller boats had to leave as they were rafted to each other and starting to hit, and so they left the anchorage. Although we had a bit of movement, it was not all that uncomfortable and after a decent nights sleep we hauled anchor and headed to Calle de Sant Vicenc, on the north side of the main island in the Balearics, Mallorca.
We had yet another perfectly smooth trip and found the gorgeous bay with only one other boat in it, allowing us to drop anchor in 20 feet of water with nothing but deep sand to keep our anchor happy and set. We were able to put out 170 feet of chain, well beyond my normal amount. Carol and I dove the anchor at one point and found it completely buried in the sand.
Calle de Sant Vicenc is a shallow bay with a hotel and beach being the key feature on the landscape. We looked forward to taking the dinghy in and having a nice dinner. It wasn't going to happen. Normally, all of these harbors have some sort of dock where boats at anchor can bring their dinghies into. Not here. We looked everywhere and decided that we were going to have to be happy just anchoring in a gorgeous spot, swimming and eating on board. We took the opportunity to don our mask and fins to check out our underwater mechanicals and for marine growth. Everything down under looked fine. I cannot recall in any of our cruising seeing water as clear as this. The bottom is a bright, whitish sand that reflects the sunlight and makes 20 feet of water seem like 3 feet.
The hotel and beach were to the far left of the picture. I
included a few more at the end of the blog.
On the opposite side of the bay from us were high cliffs where the younger kids were doing jumps, flips and dives into the water. The cliffs were up to 25 or 30 feet high, but as you can see, it did not discourage them one bit. Maybe in our younger days....
Today was a big day. Since there was no wind and it was a calm anchorage, I decided to get wild and wooly and launch my drone for some aerial footage. The drone itself is a Phantom 2 plus which Carol reluctantly gave me for Christmas. It is a fairly sophisticated one considering it is mainly for consumer use. The drone has a digital 1080p movie camera on it with a gimbaled mount with anti vibration pads and can go 900 feet high and up to a quarter of a mile away. It takes amazing photos and movies with no indication of shaking in the movies. Up until now I have not been brave enough to launch it off of the boat for fear of losing it into the water. Supposedly, if I lose communication with it, the drone's internal GPS will remember where it took off from and return to automatically land at that spot. Problem is, being that I launched it off of a boat, even at anchor, the boat may not be in that spot when it decides to return and land, and it is not waterproof.......nor does it float.
Shortly after this was taken I begged Carol for her
assistance and a few bandages!
My first attempt at launching it by myself did not go well. When it took off, instead of going up, it went sideways toward the side of the boat. Evidently, the brain inside of the drone was trying to take off vertically from the spot where it started, but the boat was moving at anchor, therefore, so was the spot where it took off. I grabbed it and it banged into me, the spinning blades giving me a couple of nice slices in my chest. I then had Carol hold it for me as it spooled up. She let go and up it went. Unfortunately I had neglected to fully charge the battery so flight time was limited. Click on the link below and you will see my amateurish video. At least you can see how gorgeous the water is! I promise my next one will be more daring!
Click on this link below and when the window comes up, click on the arrow in the center of the screen to start the video.
Fortunately, it landed without incident. I will get the battery fully charged for the next trip and blog which will be our cruise from here to Barcelona, our home for the next month or so......
A few more pics.....
Another photo taken on our hike at Galdana
The beach and hotel in back of the boat at anchor in
Calle de Sant Vicenc
Sunset at Calle de Sant Vicenc
And last but not least...
I wonder what they will do when they wake up and find out that their room has