Soaring cliffs

Friday 17th July
The scenery along the northern coast of Mallorca is incredible, cliffs soar straight out of the water 300m into the air. The rock is a jumble of tilted layers, pocked cliff faces, huge dislodged slabs, holes and caves. They demonstrate every aspect of corrosion and would make a fabulous living geography lesson. The sea is crystal clear and an inky royal blue, pine trees line the deep valleys and grow on every possible ledge. We sail mouths open, completely agog at such splendor, cameras clicking.

We left Soller via the fuel dock. Penny and Stephen went into town for fresh bread and fruit, Rick and I slipped the lines at our berth and tied up for fuel. There was just a light breeze and no current but still, we congratulated ourselves on our slick docking. With so little wind over the last month, Raya has basically become a motor boat, we are using our fuel quickly but life especially at anchor is a bit cheaper than expected and we still seem to be on budget.

We were told the Cala De la Calobra, a few miles up the coast was not to be missed, so having topped up with fuel we motored north west. The bay was narrow, it’s sides towering cliffs, we searched for words to describe it, savagely beautiful, awe inspiring, dominating……… 

As we crept further in we were pleased to see that only three yachts were anchored but as we got closer we saw the beach was absolutely heaving with people.

Dramatic cliffs and crowded beach at Calobra

At the back of the cove there is a dramatic valley where a river winds its way down to the sea, there are caves to explore and a tunnel system that runs straight through the huge cliffs. It has become one of Mallorca’s must see tourist spots.

Please excuse my rant, but knowing the pebbly beach and its shallow area of shore is so small, the tour guides that bring the hordes by bus and pleasure boat are just taking advantage of them. We swam ashore there wasn’t an inch to move, the beach and swimming area were full of rubbish, it was not a pleasant place to be. Everyone was complaining, they obviously all felt well and truly exploited, the grandeur of the location just couldn’t be appreciated. Surely the tour operators should be limited on how many trips come each day and then be made to clear up the mess that is left behind!  

We moved on quickly and motored to Cala Foradada, an anchorage with no beach, no roads, no restaurant we anchored behind a jagged L-shaped cliff with a massive hole in its face, finally we had found a quiet spot. As the boats around us left in the normal evening exodus, for a moment we had the bay to ourselves. Unfortunately two other yachts arrived, but with just three boats around we had a peaceful night. 


Cala Foradada

Saturday morning we headed southwest towards Palma. As we rounding the top corner of Mallorca, slipping between the mainland and Isla Dragonera things began to get busier, we spent a night in Cala Llamp and called into Andraitx for supplies. As Penny and Stephen leave tomorrow we gave them the option of carrying on towards Palma or returning to the peace of the north. They voted to turn back so we are now re-anchored in Cala Foradada. 

We tried to do a bit of actual sailing yesterday, Penny and Stephen will be joining us for the Panama to Galapagos leg next year and they wanted to get some confidence with the sails, lines and furling systems on Raya, hopefully there won’t be much call for their new anchoring and motoring skills on our 900 nm passage. For a while the wind toyed with us at around 10kts. Being in no rush we let the wind dictate our journey. They did manage a bit of time each at the helm and a few tacks but the presence of the breeze was brief and soon we were wallowing with sails flapping and we were back motor sailing.  

It is Monday morning, all is quiet except for the bleating of a family of goats in the hills above us – they obviously haven’t read the early morning peacefulness guide. We had a steamy night and this morning the wind gauge actually reads zero, still it does mean we don’t need to find sheltered anchorages, life is hot but relaxed. 

5 thoughts on “Soaring cliffs

  1. I hope you realise how unsettling it is for us stuck in an office to read these posts and look at the lovely photos albeit of crowded beaches – I wonder if there is not some element of masochism in my continuing to read them! Still, can understand your rant about the tour operators. Will you go on to Menorca? Ricky looks well and tanned, not surprisingly


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ros and Rick,
    If you have the time it is worth motoring out to Isla Cabrera, a nature reserve and a natural harbour where Nelson I believe hid the British fleet before going on to Trafalgar. It is also where Napoleonic troops were kept prisoner for a time. Very peaceful and there is a little taverna on the beach. It may have been developed a bit more by now but still worth a visit. You used to have to get a permit to visit and you need to give a few days notice. A local marina should be able to help.

    Good to see you are enjoying life so much; we are very envious!! Next year hopefully we will emulate you.

    Stuart and Allison

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Stuart, we are having fun. We may try to get a permit next week when we are in Palma. Hope you and Alison are well and good luck with your plans for next year.


  3. certainly know what you mean by the lack of wind! — had to motor sail most of the way from Palma to Andratx today — maybe better tomorrow for our sail to Soller 🙂


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