Sunday 5th July
We have finally arrived in the Ibiza.
And immeadatly we feel that this is much more like it, much more the Mediterranean we had imagined. Although, I have to admit to writing this at near midnight sitting on deck on anchor watch. We are anchored in an idyllic small cove surrounded by steep rocky cliffs, however, this evening, from nowhere a strong wind has got up. Luckily we are here alone as not many boats have enough anchor chain to anchor in the 25m of depth we have at this spot. So at least it is only our anchor and the cliffs I need worry about. So far things seem to be holding fast.
I am constantly surprised by how changeable the weather conditions are and how badly the weather forecasts predict things. We left Saturday morning having waved Rachael off on the Alicante Airport shuttle bus from Torrovieja the night before. The conditions and forecast was for F4 winds with a 1m swell the wind direction was not great but it was time to get away from the mainland and we prepared ourselves mentally for a slow slog. Within a couple of hours the wind was up to 30kts with a large swell breaking over the bows. We were managing to sail quite fast with reefed main, the staysail and a bit of engine to keep us as high to the wind as possible but were sailing more North than was ideal. By late afternoon we were all feeling quite tired and I was stealing myself to go below and heat through the Rissoto I had prepared for supper. We are still taking seasickness pills for long or rough passages but I think we have pretty much found our sea legs. A huge relief for me having been sea sick all my life and with my less than auspicious start across Biscay. So it wasn’t the problem of queasiness bothering me as much as managing to move about below and keep hot pans safe.
One benifit of our northerly direction was that we had pretty much followed the coastline and looking at the chart we saw that we could dive behind Punta de la Escaleta that would hopefully give us a bit of protection from the wind and swell and drop the anchor. This would give us time to rest and allow us to eat without deviating from our course too far. The long beach here is Playa de Benidorm and as we came in closer it revealed itself, through the haze, in all its “splendor”. Dozen upon dozen of tall sky scrapers built amongst the rocky headlands with the high hills behind, it looked rather like a set of a Scifi movie.
The stop was a good move, an hour or so later the four of us felt revived and ready for the rough night ahead. As we motored around the headland Rick noticed that the white horses out to sea looked a lot less and sure enough the wind had reduced, by the time I finished my watch at midnight we were motor sailing in a gentle breeze in almost flat seas. With only the odd tanker to contend with, as we passed through the outfall of the traffic separation system off Cabo de Nao, I enjoyed my watch. Although it did take a few minutes of worry to work out that the light to starboard was not a giant tanker but in fact the moon rising.
With Matt to help with watches, the night passed quickly and we all got some sleep, when I came on deck to relieve him at 6am the lights and islands of Ibiza were clearly visible.
We took a look at the marina at San Antonio but decided that we could do without another day surrounded by boats and apartment blocks and went just a few miles up the island to Cala Salada, where I sit now.
We have spent the day swimming and resting, watching the goings on of the other boats including the super yacht anchored next to us. Our nephew Jason who is holidaying in one of the resorts nearby came with a couple of friends to the bay and Matt picked them up in our dingy for a look around Raya. For supper we went back into the bay to eat at the small restaurant.
At one point the afternoon swimming came to an abrupt halt, when Matt took this selfie. My son is mad, we have just identified it as a mature Pelagia Noctiluca, a glow in the dark jelly fish that can give a very painful sting which leaves a mark on the skin. Luckily this one seems to have been asleep!