Spain impressions , part 1

By Rene – Last year , 2017, sailing from Lisbon to Almerimar I noticed the definite lack of anchorages and quint little fishing villages to moor Blue Pearl. Everywhere we went on our way to Almerimar was touristy , new , and devoid of authenticity . The south coast of Spain somewhere took a turn to cater to cheap mass tourism and then took it to the next degree where now the Marbellas , Torreviejas and Benidorms dominate the coastline . 

On the south / south east coast there are few sheltered anchorages if you have winds with the south-west , south or south-east so if you are looking for a quiet night you are sometimes convicted to spend a night in one of the Marina’s which without exception are surrounded by the numerous apartment highrises catering to , again, cheap mass tourism and everything they bring with them.

The coast from Almerimar to Denia doesnt fare much better in my book , with one notable exception , 


This city really did surprise me with its marble walkways , the ancient history literally buried under the city and sometimes rearing its beautiful head above ground. What a fantastic place to waste time !

Crossing from Denia to Ibiza is only a short hop, 55 miles , between 8 and 10 hours of sailing . Arriving on Ibiza was for me personally quite a pleasant surprise , anchorages everywhere , not too many other boats spending nights in the Cala’s we visited and if you look around you will find a new cala or anchorage every 30 minutes .  And then when you take the dinghy to the Island , step on the beach and wander around a bit it hit me again.. cheap mass tourism , but this time aimed at the younger audience who’s parents spend their holidays  in the Marbellas , Torreviejas and Benidorms of the mainland , the younger crowd spends their vacation on this , again devoid of authenticity Spanish hedonistic, island called Ibiza. When we started out on this journey I did some research on Ibiza and one place caught my eye “Cala Binirras” , a small anchorage where hippies drum the sun down. When we arrived it was stunningly beautiful , high cliffs surrounding a small anchorage with local slapped together dwellings from rocks and reed mats further in and at its end a small beach where indeed a few hours before sun down some people started beating their drums in a very casual and relaxed way , calling us to the beach. When we arrived the atmosphere was fantastic and we left the beach to go back to Blue Pearl feeling great . Authenticity .

Leaving Ibiza and arriving in Andratx was almost a culture shock , there’s actually people living on this Island all year round and they have been doing so for hundreds maybe thousands of years , and it shows . Port Andratx and the Andratx village behind it have ‘normal’ houses , less highrise apartment buildings but again , this place oozes the ‘we cater to mass tourism’ feeling . Hoping to find a nicer place we set out to Palma de Mallorca and on its way there , rounding the corner into the bay of Palma we were literally bombarded by high speed motor yachts of the ‘Gin Palace’ variety . Now I used to boat around in a motorboat and going 25kts an hour you don’t always take distance to seriously and passing other boats with a 500 meter distance between yourself and the other is not something that you think about twice. But these Gin Palaces passing within touching distance are of an entirely different and infuriating variety . And not just 1 or 2 , but dozens all around you and constantly . Kindly waving at me while I can see the brand on the bottle of rose you are drinking …… F&%# Off !!

Arriving in Palma , well in all honesty , don’t . Don’t go there if you can help it , its a city like many others and I was irritated just because I was there and nothing authentic could be seen , surely I could have looked better but by this point I was fed up with Mallorca and I needed to move. 

Moving a few hours and randomly picking an anchorage on front of Roquetas beach was a welcome change in scenery. A beach , no buildings to be seen , a few yachts and quite tranquil. If you can ignore the jet ski’s during the day and Spanish military doing mock runs and helicopter landings / assaults on the deserted island in front of the beach at night the place is worth visiting .

Time to move so we hopped to the Cabrera Islands , this Archipel is , in my book and after having been there , an absolute haven of tranquility , nature and a place that should be on your shortlist . Try to book a mooring if you can so you can spend the night or even 2 nights . You wont be disappointed 

Back to Mallorca with winds still mainly from the south east / south there’s very little shelter so we picked up a mooring ball in Porto Petro , a nice little village without too many high rise apartments but with a definite German feel to it , Germans everywhere .. why ? The rolly anchorage chased us out and we headed north , by accident turned into Cala Figuera . We didn’t stay there , but we should have . Beautiful narrow entrance , high cliffs when entering but it took us so much by surprise there we weren’t ready to take a line and moor on the quay . Such a shame , we’ll reserve one of the 6 visitor places next time we’re around and stay for a few days .

With winds still blowing from the wrong direction we ended up in Port Colom , dropped our anchor on a patch of sand in a field of posidonia grass , we were checked a few times by the Posidonia police and got a thumbs up from their diver , we’re all good. 3am the anchor alarm goes off and when I go outside I hear the concerts from 2 or 3 disco’s in the village about a mile away . Its free anchoring but I don’t believe this is my choice of town either 

Next on our list is Porto Cristo , we have a place reserved to spend a few days on a quay , supposedly there’s a festival on the water tomorrow and we need to fill with food, fuel and water .

to be continued …

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