Monday, 17 September 2012

Passage to Cala Portinatx - Ibiza

July 16-18 2012

As the sun rose over the cliffs of Cala Portals, Mallorca on Monday July 16 we pulled Alcheringa’s anchor off the sea bed and made our way out between the headlands, our destination - Ibiza. Once clear of the shoreline we wasted no time in getting the sails up and the engine off, the way all good yachts should travel.

Karen easing the headsail as we leave the mountains of Mallorca astern

 There was only a light 10 knot breeze blowing from the East but it provided us a very comfortable downwind run through the morning with the boat managing an average speed of over six knots. We were naturally delighted with her light airs performance on this point of sail and took great delight in seeing the high mountains of Mallorca disappear into the light sea haze behind us. With our view from the deck now being an unbroken, 360 degree horizon of nothing but the sea all around us, we truly felt that we were finally on our way and could really call ourselves cruisers.
Marc keeping an eye on one of the passing ferries on our way to Ibiza

We were passed by a few inter-island ferries and periodically by huge motorboats carving through the water at much better than twenty knots heading to or from Mallorca. However comparing our current fuel consumption (zero) to theirs (guzzle – gulp) it was very easy to feel good about our more relaxed pace. Unfortunately the wind eased in the mid afternoon. We furled away the genoa and hoisted our light cruising chute but we weren’t even able to keep it filled in the dying breeze so in the end we resigned ourselves to motoring the last couple of hours into port.

As we rounded the headland into the open bay of Cala Portinatx we found the smaller inlet we’d selected on the chart to anchor in absolutely full of small boats sitting on moorings. With no room for us there we headed towards the larger part of the bay to find a spot amongst the dozen or so yachts already anchored. At 1.6 metres, Alcheringa has a relatively shallow draft for a 43 foot (13m) yacht so we edged through the fleet and found we had plenty of depth under our keel to anchor much closer in shore. As a result of past problems mostly with speed boats and jetskis, most beaches around the Balearics now have buoyed lines to mark the swimming areas with no boats of any kind permitted within the zone. After a great day’s sail and 66.3 nautical miles added to our log book, it was very nice to be able to anchor with our stern hanging to within a couple of metres of the line and have a great view of the cala’s two beaches, the nearest only about sixty metres away.
Cala Portinatx - our first anchorage in Ibiza
It's great when you can anchor close in to the beaches

 Cala Portinatx has a number of smallish resorts lining the bay and great beaches of very fine white sand which are understandably very popular in summer. We found it hard to be believe but the water was even clearer than that we’d just left at Cala Portals in Mallorca. We could clearly see every detail on the sea bed and our anchor chain stretching away 12 metres or so into the distance. There were also hundreds and hundreds of smallish fish, and a few larger ones, that converged around the swim platform on the stern whenever there may be a morsel or two of left-overs available.
No it's not a resort pool. There's our anchor chain stretching away in the
 crystal clear sea water at Cala Portinatx - Ibiza
No shortage of fish around our stern

The bay is open to the west and after dinner that evening we were treated to the anchored fleet being silhouetted by a fantastic sunset enjoyed from the cockpit with a glass of wine in hand and the boat’s stereo emitting a few mellow tunes. Not heaven but just about as close as you’ll get to it here on earth.

 After a nice swim next morning we went exploring ashore. We walked over the hill to the bay’s third beach and beyond to where we could see the lighthouse guarding the low cliffs of the island’s northern coast.
A very relaxed atmosphere in Cala Portinatxo  despite no shortage of tourists
While there were plenty of tourists around, the whole area had a very quiet, relaxed atmosphere. When we suggested to Marc that it was all a far cry from the image of Ibiza as a drunken, sex and drug fuelled, techno music, party hangout we’d seen portrayed on TV he replied very quickly ‘Ah! You’re talking about San Antonio. It’s further down the coast.’
View from our lunch spot
We had a great, cheap ‘menu of the day’ lunch ashore at one of the cafes overlooking the small cove we’d originally planned on anchoring in and the spent a relaxing afternoon swimming and snorkelling in the fantastic clear water around the boat.
Alcheringa just beyond the swim line at our first anchorage in Ibiza
Sometime during the night the anchor light on the very top of the mast stopped working so it was out with the bosun’s chair again next morning and Rob winched Marc aloft. After having blown a steaming light bulb in Palma we’d made sure we’d bought a pack of spares before we headed to sea. Unfortunately after getting all the way to the top Marc discovered the anchor light actually has a totally different type of bulb to the steaming light and every other light on board. Of course, in full compliance with Murphy’s law, we didn’t have a spare one. Bugger! We then headed ashore and went on an exhaustive but totally unsuccessful hunt for a replacement before giving up and having a swim. That night we switched on the steaming light located half way up the mast and hung an L.E.D. lamp in the cockpit. Not quite regulation but it would do until we found a new bulb.
Not a bad spot for our morning coffee - Marc even got to read his
London paper on the I-Pad before he went up the mast

Another great day capped off with another excellent meal afloat and another stunning sunset. Life truly is good on Alcheringa.

For more about our travels check out and 'like' our Dreamtimesail facebook page at


We love to read your comments regarding our blog, what you enjoyed and what you might like to see more of. Please leave us your thoughts.