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Balearic Islands

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  • Day341

    Naked and afraid: MENORCA

    June 17 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Written by Ruby ;]

    They are naked. We are afraid. The boat is surrounded on all sides. They are creeping closer. I lie awake at night and shiver, praying for an end to it all. Welcome. To. Menorca.

    [24 hours earlier]
    It is truly a beautiful day for sailing, so that’s exactly what we do, crossing over from Mallorca to Menorca. The boat happily sails along, and spirits are high. As the evening draws in, we pull into a bay on the northern coast, called Cala de Algaiarens. There are two sandy beaches and pine trees surround the bay. Many boats are at anchor here but there is enough space that the Cala still feels quiet.

    It is only the next day that the problem rears its head. Nudism. An onslaught of nudists; they are on the beach and swimming, they are sailing their boats and hosting their equally naked guests. I don’t know where to look.
    We spend four days here but never feel inspired to join in -we are prudes through and through.

    There’s great snorkelling around the rocks, so we spend lots of time there gazing at all the fish. We go to the beach on some of the evenings, when the heat of the day has subsided and the nudists are mainly dressed . On one of these occasions we meet our friends from Aphrodite, a boat we met way back in Ibiza.
    For most of our stay here, it’s windy, so we haven’t launched the paddle boards. We are beginning to understand why Menorca is called ‘The Windy Isle’. On our forth morning, the wind changes direction and everyone has clearly had the same idea. There is a mass exodus and we sail off in their midst.
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  • Day337

    Cool Calobra

    June 13 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    A Colm and Co. Production

    We arrive in Calobra bay in the warm evening and are greeted with a spectacular view of two huge cliffs, separated by a tiny beach. There are lots of boats here anchored close to the beach but the water is deep . We drop ours in 16 metres which is 4 times deeper then our last anchorage.
    We have a nice dinner then hit the hay.

    In the morning we dinghy to the small beach which is actually the mouth of a river . The fresh water only flows out to sea after heavy rain. We put on our sandals and start our adventure into the ravine. First we walk through the cliffs in tunnels that are cooly lit. After that we walk along the riverbed between the cliffs, looking at fish and frogs in the remaining river water. Dad spots a goat in the bushes , he is big and brown. He sees more on the cliff but I can’t see them.
    Mom, Ruby and I climb over rocks to continue following the river up through the narrowing ravine while dad guards our precious bottle of water. We return to Régal just as the beach is filling up with people from tour buses.
    Mom and I go on a sup (stand up paddleboard) around the cliffs. We see some wrasse and lots of sea urchins. When we get back to the boat we go for a cool-down swim in the deep blue water.
    We up our Rocna anchor and skedaddle.
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  • Day336

    Up and around the corner

    June 12 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    The weather conditions are perfect to explore the north west coast of Mallorca and we continue to be blown away by its beauty. There are so many places to see so today we stop for lunch at Cala Figuera before moving on to Cala Sant Vicenc for the night.
    The current light wind we are experiencing makes it less daunting to sail close to the looming headlands and to anchor under the enormous hills and cliffs of Cala Figuera. It is a deep anchorage with the occasional rocky outcrop emerging from its depths. Looking up at the surrounding hills, we see numerous hair pin bends on the road down to the beach here - steely nerves required.
    I explore this spectacular bay on the paddle board while the other 3 dive in for a snorkel. At lunchtime they are brimming with enthusiasm for what lies beneath. I feel I have missed out so Colm kindly volunteers to be my tour guide and we hop in. Swimming over to a pinnacle shaped rock that comes up 10 metres for the seabed we see lots of different plant life and fish.
    There appears to be a jellyfish infestation around this coast today. They are small with brownish spots and are called ‘Mauve Stingers’. They aren’t an issue for us because we can see them clearly through our masks and just avoid them.
    Later this evening I am swimming ‘sans snorkel’ in Cala Sant Vincenc when I get a very stinging sting on my arm. We treat it with seawater and bread soda and after a while the stinging subsides and I am left with a 3 stranded welt.
    Incredibly the next morning all the jellyfish have disappeared. We make the most of the clear water and swim over to the rocky promontory that comes out from the holiday town. There are steps up from the water here that people jump and dive from. We climb up and pick a step that suits our individual level of bravery and jump into the turquoise water below. We interpret the goats’ bleating from across the water as wild applause.
    We are moving on again today as there is much more to see. The final task to undertake before leaving is to recover our stern anchor. In these mild conditions we take the lazy man’s approach. Ruby dives down to free the anchor from the sand and Ronan pulls the line from Regal’s stern. Half an hour later, after several tweaks and repeated attempts it is finally recovered. During our cool down swim we all agree that the lazy man’s way is never to be repeated.
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    Pat Fleming

    Magic boy, magic! Looks absolutely magic as I sit here listening to the rain and wind outside. Still waiting for summer and some good weather to catch up with a certain person who

    Pat Fleming

    ….don’t press send until you’re finished!😳 a certain person who is probably tied up in Cleire.

     
  • Day334

    Cala Pi

    June 10 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We have a wonderful few days at this idyllic anchorage near Pollenca. We spend lots of time in the turquoise water- swimming, snorkelling and supping. The surrounding hills are green and lush with the odd mansion peaking out from behind the trees. There are two beautiful white beaches ashore divided by a pristine dock for the big tourist boats that land here. Ronan occasionally go ashore on the pretext of bringing the rubbish to the bins but always stops in for a little something at the pier cafe.
    The highlight of our stay here is a visit from Ronan’s cousin Rose and her friend Eoin. By coincidence they are out here for a work event and have a few hours free to spend with us. It’s lovely to spend time with them and show them beautiful Cala Pi. After a swim we weigh anchor, put up the headsail and have a slow sail and a late lunch to the nearby Port de Pollenca. Here Rose and Eoin leave us and we do our shopping and laundry.
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  • Day338

    30 / 30 / 30

    June 14 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    The air and water temperatures are 30 degrees plus, and a peaceful night at anchor suddenly gets very lively when a 30 knot land breeze kicks in.

    It's 30 degrees plus in the shade, and a lot hotter in the sun as Spain swelters in another heatwave (not looking for any sympathy, honest!). It's been like this for the last week and looks set to continue.
    One positive is that the water has become very warm and pleasant, so we're jumping in several times a day in an effort to cool down.
    We anchored in the lovely Cala Tuent, on Mallorcas mountainous northern coast. It's a quiet undeveloped spot, with high hills either side and within sight of Puig Major, Mallorcas highest peak at 1436m.
    Snorkeling is great in the clear water, and ashore we take a short walk around the fertile valley, up to a pretty restaurant with an amazing view out to sea.
    There are about 8 or 9 other yachts at anchor here tonight, all bobbing about in the calm conditions. Including Kit and Mariella on Tiger Lily, whom we met in Porto Cristo. Around 3am we are awoken by the sound of a building breeze. Soon it's gotten very noisy and the entire crew are awake. I go up on deck to check the anchor and see lights and activity on several other boats too. Everyone is awake and on alert. The wind keeps building and we are yawing from side to side in the gusts, getting a little too close to other boats for comfort.
    Suddenly there's a blast of hot air, like a giant furnace has been opened in front of us.
    Togs, towels and anything else not tied down are flying about the place and the SUPs are lifting off the deck, straining on their restraints. The dinghy is tied on astern but lifting a little and skitting across the water. I'm glad we don't have the outboard engine on it tonight, in case the dinghy is blown upside down.
    A nearby yacht nearby drags anchor, and drops again in a clearer spot. These manoeuvres become more fraught in the dark, when there is the added risk of driving over a mooring buoy and wrapping it around your propellor.
    The wind is now over 30 knots and very hot, especially considering its 3am.
    We're glad to be one of the outer boats in the anchorage, with the scope to put out more chain if necessary. Thankfully our 25kg Rocna is holding well, combined with the 10mm nylon snubber.
    After 30 minutes or so it starts to abate and we try to get back to sleep.
    The next day we discover that the same conditions hit nearby Port Soller.
    There seems to be some debate as to whether it was a katabatic wind, falling down from the nearby mountains, or else was a land breeze, caused by warm air cooling and rolling down the valley to the sea....these details aren't too important at the time!
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  • Day330

    Catching up with Kennet

    June 6 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    On Saturday we move into Puerto de Alcudia which is a nice tourist town at the top of a beautiful long beach that stretches around the head of the bay. This anchorage has come highly recommended from our Danish friend Kennet who has been here for the last two weeks. We made a connection with Kennet over the winter in Cartagena when we discovered that we had the same boat. They are carbon copies except that Kennet’s has a red cockpit cover and and a TV and we have a blue cockpit cover and photos hanging in place of the telly.
    It is great to catch up with him and hear about his recent adventures as a skipper to paid guests. So far so good for his new business venture. He had been a baker for 20 years in Denmark and gave it up to go sailing.
    While we are catching up over coffee we are interrupted by a commotion on a neighbouring yacht. A bottle nose dolphin is swimming around their boat and diving underneath proceeds to pull at their anchor chain. It’s harmless curiosity and everyone is very excited about this close encounter. The skipper on board is the most excited and when the dolphin surfaces near his stern he jumps in, nearly landing right down on top of him. The dolphin must have got a fright because the next time we see him, he far away and he doesn’t return.
    A baby cormorant is our next close encounter. He takes up residence on our dinghy for a day. We swim nearby and he doesn’t budge, we pull the dinghy into the stern and he looks up at us. It is only when Ronan steps into the dinghy to go ashore that he jumps finally jumps off into water.

    Staying at anchor here for several days, we visit the old town which is a few kilometres further inland. This is common in many parts of Mallorca - where the town, often fortified like Alcudia was built away from the port as a defence against surprise pirates attacks. We walk along the top of the 14th century walls and admire the mountain views. We descend out of the sun and walk alongside the beautiful walls, delighted to be in their shade. Temperatures are well above average, hitting over 30 degrees by afternoon.

    We are all happy to return waterside and cool down. With lots of water based activities on offer in the port we decide to sign up for one the following day. It’s electric surfing and foiling and it is far more challenging than we had expected. The propulsion is controlled by a device in your hand. When you achieve a steady speed by squeezing the trigger you are then suppose to move from a lying or kneeling position to standing. In all the excitement and attempted movement it is hard to maintain a steady press on the trigger. I either let the trigger go or press it tight with the same result - splash into the water.
    After our short session we were bruised, exhausted and exhilarated. It was such fun.
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  • Day327

    Coming into Alcudia Bay

    June 3 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    The landscape becomes very dramatic as we sail from east to west cross the bay of Alcudia. Ahead of us are high mountains and cliffs soaring from the sea. They are awesome and beautiful. We sail to an anchorage surrounded by cliffs. It is totally wild with no sign of civilisation ashore. The thought of dropping anchor and staying here overnight is exciting and daunting because of the looming cliffs. As we hover in the bay we feel the swell rolling in, it will be an uncomfortable night here. A good night’s sleep trumps a good view so we take in our surroundings for a little while longer and then sail into Alcudia bay leaving wilderness behind. We find a rather more civilised little anchorage next to Alcanada golf course. We have a combined shopping and picnic expedition ashore and come home for a good night’s sleep in this sheltered spot.
    The next day is overcast and windy but Régal is comfortable as she is protected from the swell by the little island to the north. Ronan goes for a snorkel to see how things are under the waterline. We are in 5 meters of water but when he swims around the boat he discovers that there are plateaus of higher rock nearby. If the wind changes direction the boat will too and our keel may end up over one of these rocky outcrops or worse, on one. To ensure we are okay no matter which way the wind blows Ruby and he get in the dingy with a lead line to measure the depths a various high points on the rocky shelves. Shortly afterwards I help too and jump in the water with mask and snorkel to find the high patches. The shallowest patch we find is 2.7 meters which means we can rest easy as our 1.8 meter deep keel will never touch it.
    The wind picks up more and we watch the day trippers on tourists boats try to enjoy Paddle boarding but it’s no fun in these conditions.
    Nearby a dinghy breaks its mooring and is blown into the hard shoreline. We watch as it continuously bangs against the rocky shore and nobody comes to its rescue. Then Ronan, all heroic like, puts on his superman togs and swims in to the dinghy. He grabs its painter rope and ties it across his enormous manly chest. With his arms powering through the water, he tows the dinghy back out to the mooring bouy and ties it off securely.
    He leaps back on board Régal and from his crew he receives some limp and short- lived praise. If only there had been other on-lookers. They would have been very impressed but the crew of Régal have become accustomed to living with such a hero.
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  • Day325

    Cala Moltó

    June 1 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Colm delights us with a poke bowl for dinner on our first night at anchor in the quiet bay of Cala Molto. Inspired by his meal out in Porto Cristo, he bought sushi rice before we left town this morning.
    There are two other boats at anchor here and nothing ashore except a small beach at the foot of a pine forest. It feels remote but just over the rocky promontory there is another beach and 15 minute’s walk along it brings you to the resort town of Cala Ratjada.
    We like the isolated buzz so we stay on this side and enjoy all the natural pleasures that surround us.
    The snorkelling here is fabulous with lots of interesting rock formations to explore in crystal clear water. We swim to a cave on the shore below the pine forrest. Swallows dart in and out of the cave above us and then swimming below us are wrass, sea bream and the very cute chromis chromis.
    The rocky promontory on the other side of the bay has fantastic under water features with boulders to swim between, a large plateau on which fish are feeding and a drop off where we can clearly see the seabed 20 meters below us. Ruby and Colm have become such confident snorkellers, it is a joy to watch them duck dive down to look at starfish or sea cucumber. Its like watching them float through a beautiful garden. Colm begins a ‘fish journal’ in which he draws and labels the fish he has seen. In it already there are pictures of Mediterranean Barracuda, flying Gurnard and Ray.
    On our third evening here we pack a picnic and Ruby and I set off to row ashore. On the way, we call to say ‘hi’ to the crew of yacht ‘Kaos’. Meanwhile Colm and Ronan snorkel to the beach and when we land, Colm joins me for a walk. We wander up through the pine covered headland and have great fun practicing our Irish by making up scéalta. Ruby chooses to walk a different path for some much needed peace and quiet - it’s perfect until on the path ahead a red headed animal emerges from a bush. Ruby turns on her heel and promptly returns to the beach. There are big discussions as to what it could have been, a boar, a fox, a wolf? We come to the more pedestrian conclusion that it was probably a wild goat.
    As we eat our picnic, we watch others pack up and leave as the sun goes off the beach. It cooler and quieter now, the perfect time to enjoy this beautiful place.
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  • Day321

    A weekend with May and Shamie

    May 28 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Note: This chapter was written by Ruby :^)

    My cousin May and her boyfriend Shamie are on holidays in Mallorca for Shamies 19 birthday!We are looking forward to meeting them for a few days of their visit.
    We motor out of Porto Colom, bright and early, on Saturday morning. Puttering along the coast, we stick our heads into a few little harbours before going to anchor in one. This particular place is our rendezvous point to meet May and Shamie, and is aptly named Cala Romántica.
    Dad and Colm go in to the beach to pick up our guests on the dinghy, whilst Mom and I eagerly await their arrival. After they arrive we all go swimming together off the back off the boat and then we settle down with some delicious sandwiches. After lunch, May, Shamie, Colm and I get on to the SUPs, and paddle around each other in the clear turquoise water.
    We dry off, lift our anchor and head to Porto Cristo. Docking was a bit stressful but soon forgotten once the merits of this lovely port come into focus. There is a majestic black catamaran motor cruiser just across from us, and we soon find out that it belongs to none other then Rafael Nadal, the No.1 tennis player in the world!
    Everyone goes for a quick shower or a dip at the nearby beach and we get ready to hit the town. Ronan stays at the boat to listen a rugby match while the rest of us go into a bar for an aperitif. We meet dad at a seaside restaurant and have a gorgeous meal together before May and Shamie head home.

    Sunday morning is spent chatting with our neighbours. The crew of Kaos, a yacht who also spent winter in Cartagena , visit for coffee. Then we chat to Kit on Tiger Lilly, the boat-next-door. May and Shamie come soon afterwards and we get ready to go on the water and explore the harbour.
    On the two SUPs and in the dinghy, the six of us paddled out of the marina. We go to a little cove and then snorkel, SUP and dinghy along the cliffs and back into towards the beach. Colm and Shamie stop off and go jumping off the rocks with some locals.
    When we get back to the boat, Mom whips out a tray of pastries and serenades Shamie - it is his birthday after all.
    It’s time to say goodbye as they are going for a romantic dinner and we need to get ready for a day’s sailing tomorrow. It was truly wonderful to spend time with them
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  • Day12

    Alcudia als letztes Ziel der Wanderung

    May 16 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Im Hotel Illa d‘Or haben wir bestens übernachtet und werden wieder mit herrlichem Sonnenschein geweckt. Ein Frühstück direkt am Wasser, welches keine Wünsche offen lässt, schließt sich an.
    Wir bleiben noch bis zum Mittag am Hotel-eigenen Strand. Dann wandern wir die verbliebenen 10 Km am Strand entlang nach Alcudia, wo uns ein sehr geschmackvoll eingerichtetes Petit-Hotel erwartet. Abends gibt es ein Abschiedsessen mit Paella.
    Hier endet nun unsere Wanderung über das Tramuntana-Gebirge von Mallorca.
    Im Ergebnis war die 145km lange Strecke mit 5700Höhenmetern körperlich streckenweise recht anstrengend. Dies insbesondere aufgrund des Untergrundes, den wir permanent im Auge haben mussten, um nicht zu Stolpern. Die Ausblicke waren im mittleren und unteren Höhenlagen sehr spärlich. Unsere Unterkünfte waren spitze - einen ganz großen Dank an Doris, die dies alles herausgesucht und organisiert hat.
    Das Wetter hat uns 11 Tage mit Sonne verwöhnt - teilweise wurde es für das Wandern schon zu warm (Polenza 29C). Und am Wichtigsten: Wir haben uns bestens miteinander verstanden, viel gelacht und keiner hat sich verletzt!
    So macht Wanderurlaub Spaß 😊
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    Christine Warnke

    Vielen Dank für die schönen Fotos von der Wanderung in schönster Landschaft! Super hingekriegt! Nach so einer fröhlichen Tour kann der bevorstehende Sommer ganz tiefenentspannt angegangen werden (mit Blick auf die nächste Wanderschaft😉). Bleibt fit. Christine W.

    5/17/22Reply

    Habe eure Tour mit großem Interesse verfolgt, insbesondere weil ich Mallorca (ja ich weiß, das ist kaum zu glauben) fast gar nicht kenne. War nur mal abl. eines Business Meeting in Formentor und das war sehr schön. Ich hoffe für euch dass ihr noch ein paar Tage zum erholen dranhängt. Falls nicht wünsche ich euch eine angenehme Heimreise. LG aus Scilla an der Meerenge von Messina. Fritz [Fritz]

    5/17/22Reply

    Großartig! Tolle Leistung! Und wunderbare Bilder! Herzliche Grüße und kommt gut nach Hause. [Heidrun]

    5/17/22Reply
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Comunitat Autònoma de les Illes Balears, Comunitat Autonoma de les Illes Balears, Balearische Inseln, Balearic Islands, Balears, Islles Baleares, Illes Balears, Balearinsuloj, Islas Baleares, Balear Uharteak, Baléares, Illas Baleares, Isole Baleari, バレアレス, 발레아레스 제도, Balearane, Balearene, Ilhas Baleares, Балеарские Острова, Balearerna

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