September 17, 2011
After a wonderful sail with pretty much perfect winds most of the way, in company with a Beneteau First 36.7, we covered the 62 Nm from Moraira on mainland Spain to San Antonio on the island of Ibiza in less than nine hours. Just as well too as we couldnâ€™t spot the small sandy patches amongst all the sea grass, in which we need to drop our anchor for it to set, after dark. We know that now, after five(!) unsuccessful attempts to set our anchor in the weed. We gave up as the harbour was crowded and we thought weâ€™d given everyone enough entertainment for one day. Instead we went to nearby Port del Torrent where we set the anchor first time (as had been our usual experience until San Antonio). So now weâ€™re seriously thinking about another type of anchor, but would that be any better in weed? Perhaps weâ€™ll just adopt the localsâ€™ approach – drop anchor, donâ€™t appear to set it but instead don mask and snorkel and swim out to look for the anchor. Not sure how that works. We tried it after setting our anchor and couldnâ€™t see anything, just the chain disappearing into the sand, our CQR anchor being totally buried.
We soon found that San Antonio was also where the young gather for their nights out at Amnesia and other similar clubs. Itâ€™s interesting seeing them going out â€˜dressedâ€™ for partying. What would their mothers think? Partying is a serious business here, carrying on until 5 or 6 a.m. Consequently, the town is fairly quiet in the morning and the power boat towed rides donâ€™t start up again until the afternoon.
San Antonio harbour is large and provides some of the best shelter on the island as itâ€™s protected from most wind directions. Itâ€™s also a convenient and safe place to leave the boat at anchor to take a bus into Ibiza town or to meet crew at the airport if thereâ€™s a southerly wind blowing and anchoring near Ibiza would be uncomfortable. You could, of course, leave your boat in one of the marinas but there is a waiting list in July and August and you canâ€™t book in advance. Another slight disadvantage is the cost. We think weâ€™re overcharged in some of the south coast marinas in England but here itâ€™s a different kettle of fish altogether. Our Dutch friends with a 40â€™ Hallberg Rassy were charged 211 Euros (excluding electricity, water and showers, all of which are extra) for one night in Sabina on the island of Formentera and others, with a 62â€™ Oyster, were quoted over 700 Euros for one night in Ibiza. Thankfully, so far, weâ€™ve managed to avoid marinas, moving anchorages to suit wind directions.
We feared the islandâ€™s anchorages would be so crowded during July and August that we wouldnâ€™t be able to find space but thatâ€™s not been our experience, so far. Certainly itâ€™s crowded but boats come and go and providing weâ€™re in by early evening we can usually find a spot.
Partly due to the prevailing wind direction and partly because we didnâ€™t feel the need to do more, we explored mainly the west side of the island and a bit of Formentera. We were expecting my sister, Annie, and brother-in-law, Steve, to join us for a couple of weeks so wanted to suss out some good places to take them to. Unfortunately, due to a change in their plans, we were only able to spend two nights in Ibiza with them before setting off for Valencia where we had booked Muskrat in for a month while we all returned to England.