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 couldn’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 we’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 we’re seriously thinking about another type of anchor, but would that be any better in weed? Perhaps we’ll just adopt the locals’ approach – drop anchor, don’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 couldn’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. It’s interesting seeing them going out ‘dressed’ 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 don’t start up again until the afternoon.
San Antonio harbour is large and provides some of the best shelter on the island as it’s protected from most wind directions. It’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 there’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 can’t book in advance. Another slight disadvantage is the cost. We think we’re overcharged in some of the south coast marinas in England but here it’s a different kettle of fish altogether. Our Dutch friends with a 40’ 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 62’ Oyster, were quoted over 700 Euros for one night in Ibiza. Thankfully, so far, we’ve managed to avoid marinas, moving anchorages to suit wind directions.
We feared the island’s anchorages would be so crowded during July and August that we wouldn’t be able to find space but that’s not been our experience, so far. Certainly it’s crowded but boats come and go and providing we’re in by early evening we can usually find a spot.
Partly due to the prevailing wind direction and partly because we didn’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.