Portals Vells

shot001Leaving the anchorage at Porrassa on Saturday afternoon we sailed south along the coast to a small cala at Portal Vells.  It is only about 3 miles from Porrassa as the crow flies, but we aren’t a crow and we don’t fly.   With wind from the south we had to tack out and back a few times to make our way up wind. We planned to arrive as everyone else was leaving and so set off at about 3.30 arriving at about 6 pm.

Having anchored initially we moved position slightly when the day boats began to leave to settle down for the night; but with the wind gusting up to 10 knots and continually changing direction I didn’t get a lot of sleep, waking every so often to check we were not swinging too close to other boats also staying over night.

In the morning we were swinging very close to a big powerboat and so we moved a third time and spent the rest of the day chilling in our new spot waiting for the wind to drop so we could venture ashore.  Unfortunately the wind had kicked up a considerable swell which rolled into the cala while the wind had changed direction and kept us beam-on to the swell – the waves were coming from one side and rocking us quite hard at times which didn’t make for too comfortable a night.

The Phonecian's view across Portals Vells
The Phonecian’s view across Portals Vells

The attraction of Portal Vells was a sheltered anchorage and some Phonecian caves.  The shelter in the anchorage and it being so picturesque with four small beaches it was a magnet for tourist boats and day trippers and the bay became manically crowded.   The ‘chav element’ arrived later in the afternoon on big charter yachts which decided to have a full blast disco on board for a couple of hours – nice.   First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening Portals Vells is idyllic, but the bit in the middle became progressively less so .

The caves

We decided to stay until Monday afternnon, visiting the caves in the morning before it got too hot.   The caves were apparently excavated by the Phoenicians and they are perhaps 80 or more meters deep.  No idea what they were used for and large parts have collapsed but they are impressive none the less.   There is a carved alter close to one entrance, but how original that is I am not sure.


We had lunch then shoe horned ourselves out of the cala at 4 pm bound for El Arenals, 10 miles across Palma Bay; here we have recently arranged to meet some friends who have decided to visit us on the spur of the moment and sail with us round to Porto Pollenca.



Living on a boat in a shipyard is little fun, but it was only 2 nights. Apart from the discomfort and dirt the boat didn’t move, no rocking, no halyards clacking, no creaks and water lapping. Just not right.

But all that was rectified on Friday morning when we were dropped back into the water. We refuelled and sailed out of Palma,  proper sailed, no engines!   We sailed out into the Bay of Palma doing a cracking 4 to 5 knots into a 12 knot breeze, like driving without the hand brake on!

We planned to return to Las Islets but when we got the the anchorage was full and offered no shelter to the wind so we moved onto an anchorage on north side of Punta de sa Porassa, the head land just north of Magaluf.  This was a farbetter choice as the headland sheltered us dfrom the strengthening southerly wind.

We briefly considered going ashore but the three premises at the jetty head were JJ’s Sports Bar, The Scotsman and the Welsh Mosquito; delightful establishments I am sure but we decided to stay on board and have a BBQ instead.




A day out in Mallorca.

On Thursday we hired a car from the airport to see some of the island and do some shopping.  We drove up to Port Pollenca and I took the opportunity to reconoitre the place for our visit at the end of the month. We then drove around the bay to Alcudia; the old town within the walls was very quaint and peaceful and well worth the visit.   After lunch we drove to Soller, a town in the mountains of the west coast and again it  is a very nice place with a huge church overlooking the main square and a tram which runs through the centre of town.   Again just some photos.

St Jaume, Alcudia
St Jaume, Alcudia
Alcudia strret









Tram in Soller
Tram in Soller
Church overlooking town square, Soller
Church overlooking town square, Soller








Villamossa Church tower
Villamossa Church tower
Interesting staircase in Valdemossa
Interesting staircase in Valdemossa


So with the boat out of the water in the shipyard and going no where we went for a walk around Palma.   It is a much nicer city than I’d thought it would be, relatively quiet and un crowded.  We just wandered around the streets with no particular plan, other than to find a supermarket and a restaurant for dinner.   The Palau de l’Amudaina and the Cathedral are spectacular and dominate the city but the narrow streets of the ‘old town’ are very pleasant to wander in.

Cathedral door
Cathedral main entrance door
Street scenes











Costa de la Seu and the Palace wall
Costa de la Seu and the Palace wall


Gardens at Turkish Baths
Gardens at Turkish Baths
Fountain outside the Palau de l'Amudaina
Fountain outside the Palau de l’Amudaina
Palau de l'Amudaina
Palau de l’Amudaina


High and Dry in Palma

We arranged to have the hull cleaned in Palma by a company called STP.  We set off from Las Isletas at 7 and were waiting for the shipyard to open at 8 for our allotted lift out time.   Once out of the water she was set down in the shipyard to be scraped and jet washed. The cleaning only took the morning but we couldn’t be put back in the water because the lift wad booked solid until Friday morning; so we had a day and a half in Palma.

As you can see the boat needed cleaning. She had been given anti fouling when built and I can only think that long stays in Faro and Valence defeated it! Hopefully for the next few months we’ll be moving and the marine growth won’t get too much of a grip; we’ll get clean and the anti fouling done for next year.

What a dirty bottom ....
What a dirty bottom ….

Las Isletas anchorage

Illa de sa Torre

A quiet stop over on our arrival in Mallorca, anchored in a sheltered bay to the west of Illa de sa Torre.   It rained for most of the day, but in the afternoon I took the tender ashore to have a walk along the island and take a few photos.

I called Valeria on the radio and asked her to wave and if you look really, really carefully …..And if you look really carefully .....

Portinax, Ibiza to Palma, Mallorca

We set off as planned and sailed, then motor sailed through the night to arrive off the south western tip of Mallorca Bay as the sun rose; reminiscent of a scene from Lord of the Rings and the Fires of Mordor.

We are on our way to Palma to have the boat lifted out of the water, cleaned and new anti fouling applied and so we anchored close by in one of the anchorages around Las Illetas just south of Palma.

Tomorrow we have an early start as we need to be at the hoist by 8 am. We should be out of the water for 2 days, back in on Friday.



We left Sant Miquel at lunch time on Sunday, and even after a detour to make water and charge the batteries we arrived in Portinax 3 hours later.    I tried out the new sail again on its own and it was giving us 4 knots in a 10 knot breeze, quite respectable.

Portinax is a larger Cala than Sant Miquel and has three beaches and hotels on each. The anchorage got busy during the day, not least with swarms of pedalos and paddle boards.   We went for a snorkel and had another BBQ dinner – loving the Cobb BBQ.

Our plan is to stay here until about 5 pm on Monday before setting off for Palma. It is about 60 miles and will take 14 odd hours and we will sail over night to arrive in daylight again.


Three days in Port Sant Miquel


Beach in Port Sant Miquel
Beach in Port Sant Miquel

Port San Miquel is a Cala, or cove, rather than a port and I think only bears the name to distinguish it from the town of Sant Miquel which is 5 km inland.    The cala is only about 700 m long and 100 – 200 m wide and gets quite crowded with boats during the day although many of them disappear as evening draws in.


Iain and Tracy from Escape recommended Sant Miquel and we are glad we visited.   Our trip around from San Antonio on Thursday took us about 4 hours at our sedately 4 knots and just before we arrived Escape came roaring up behind us at maybe 10 knots, slowed down for a quick ‘see you later’ and then roared off again.   That evening we went ashore with them and their little dog Holly for a meal in one of the beach front restaurants for a rather good seafood paella.

On Fridayķ Valeria and I took a cab up the valley to Sant Miquel which is a village which has found itself on the only road down to a picturesque holiday destination and two large hotels. 

Port Sant Miquel from Sant Miquel
Port Sant Miquel from Sant Miquel

  It has a couple of bars and restaurants and hotels/guest houses but otherwise is just a quite local town.   Our trip was to buy some fresh fruit and veg; primarily limes to ward off scurvy, obviously, and coincidentally they are also a vital ingredient of the Caipirinha we planned as a welcome drink for Iain and Tracy when they came across for the inaugural use of our brand new Cobb BBQ.  

Iain, Tracy and Holly
Iain, Tracy and Holly


And what an ideal bit of kit the BBQ is.  It is constructed so there are no hot parts touching the outside of the BBQ which is ideal for a plastic boat.  Holly has been on board Windependent a few times recently and is getting more and more confident, or ‘at home’ as Valeria calls it and took herself off for a wander round the entire deck as we ate, to coos of “I want a dog!” from Valeria.


On Saturday morning ….. a funny thing happened on the way to the beach …. the outboard ran out of fuel!    Doh!   It was only about 20metres from the beach, and if I’d been a bit quicker on the up take I could have casually pulled the engine up to protect it from the rocks and rowed ashore, and no one would have known …….. until I had to row back out to ‘just because I needed some exercise’.    However, I did none of that and tried to restart the engine as Iain stood grinning on the beach.     To be fair it was only mentioned a few times during the rest of the day and Iain gave us a tow out to Windependent! 

DSC_0022Anyway, we were going ashore because the 5 of us had decided to hire a car and visit Ibiza itself.  The island isn’t that big and it probably took longer to hire the car than drive to Ibiza.  Iain has been before and took us to a car park at the top of the fort, which seemed like a really good idea until we had walked half way down through the old town!  








DSC_0035Old Ibiza is quite a picturesque town and it was nice to stroll through the narrow streets in search of lunch, a leisurely tapas obviously.   After lunch we walked out to see the massive superyachts moored on the quay and then had to scale the hill again to get back to the car.

Leaving Ibiza we took a drive along the coast to Cala Llonga where we stopped for an ice cream before returning to San Miquel.

This was to be our last evening in San Miquel and after another BBQ we ‘drove’ across to Escape and had a nightcap with Iain and Tracy and a couple of friends of theirs who had arrived in their boat that afternoon.  All in all it has been a very pleasant couple of days and we thank Iain and Tracey (and Holly) for recommending San Miquel and their company.




San Antonio

The trip round to San Antonio was only about 5 miles and we set off mid morning in pleasant weather which became less pleasant as the day wore on. We sailed most of the northerly leg but by the time we had reached the north end of Sa Conillera (an island at the entrance to San Antonio Bay) we had 15 knots of wind and rain, warm rain, but rain none the less. We were sailing as we rounded the north end of the island and I tried to tack but couldn’t do it, we couldn’t get enough speed up to actually turn through the wind. This I reckon is due to the fouling on the hull.
So we dropped the sails and motored into San Antonio and anchored on the south side of the bay opposite the town and marina. And still it rained. About 4 it stopped so we dropped the tender in the water and went ashore for a visit to the chandlery and to buy some fresh veg and fruit.
San Antonio doesn’t have a particularly good reputation and so I was not suprised that it is a pretty uninspiring place and dedicated to the clubbing, party going youngsters. Later our friends from Valencia described finding a collapsed drunk asleep on some grass as local council workers mowed the lawn around him. . . .
Our foray for fresh food met with limited success, but our decision to buy a bottle of Pimms, well you have to don’t you, met with far greater success! The off licence had a wider product range than the supermarket! That’s San Antonio for you.
On the way into San Antonio Valeria spotted Ian and Tracy on their way back from town in their tender and an exchange of texts arranged a rendezvous in Porto San Miquel for the following afternoon. And so to bed.

Sunset over San Antonio
Sunset over San Antonio

Sailing south ….

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