Knowing we had a little over a week left until it was time to head back to mainland Spain to prepare for our upcoming Atlantic Crossing, we decided to head around to western and northern sides of Ibiza. Based on incoming weather and wind patterns coupled with the research on beautiful and fun places to anchor, we figured this would be the perfect way to end our trip.

Cala Roja, Ibiza, 32.1 NM / 6 Hrs 34 min

Sailing! Our first full day where we used mostly sails only motoring on and off the anchorages. In about an average of 13kts true wind, it made for a nice day moving us along at just over 6 kts. We had the spinnaker out and ready to go, but the winds were a little higher than expected so we remained cautious. Since we had a longer day than usual moving back to Ibiza, we refilled our water tanks by making water for about 4 hours and with used the regeneration capability of our OceanVolts to make about 10% of power back for free while sailing!

We Originally sailed into the very popular Cala Bassa anchorage where there is considerably more “life” a short dinghy ride away. But we found it overly crowded and very deep for the amount of chain we had. So we abandoned that cove and opted for the neighboring, very quiet and secluded Cala Roja, which had a very large patch of sand in about 8m of water where we could safely drop and avoid the large patches of posidenia and, with only 2 other boats anchored, lots of room was to be had!  

We spent the afternoon paddling around the enormous rock cliff faces and people watching as we had one large small-boat flotilla of about 6 day trippers and the usual rotation of the large party boats…for which I wanted to invent “Boom Boom Boat Bingo”…they come in loud and bumpin’ and there are always the potential for a few boxes to check off like: person getting sick over the side, someone being rescued out of the water, a couple making out, an older gentlemen attempting re-live his rave days dancing up a storm, amongst others. 

The fallowing day we woke up to a very quiet morning of just us and one other catamaran, which ended up leaving around mid-day leaving us on our own for about 24 hours in our own little paradise. We paddled, swam, snorkeled, and enjoyed the views. We also started getting back to work a bit planning the next adventure, making haul out to do lists, provisioning plans, and other must buy items for a safe multi-week passage. 

That evening we took the dinghy about 2 miles around to Cala Bassa to meet up with some friends and their visiting family at the Cala Bassa Beach Club for some drinks and to catch up. It was a gorgeous tree-lined restaurant built in and around the local landscape which was lit up beautifully once it got dark giving it a magical vibe. The table-side freshly made sangria was good and the company even better. 

We dropped our friends off at their boat and headed back over to our cove. The trip was dark. So DARK. We had a small light we were shining in front of us but it was useless. It just got absorbed immediately by the night. Thankfully, it was a fairly straight shot along the coast over to our cove, so we just took it wide and waited until we could see our anchor light to make the turn in. The stars were incredible in the moonless sky, but the anchorage was unexpectedly VERY rolly!  The next day, as the day-tripper crowds started rolling in, we decided to move…to somewhere quiet?!  Oh no, …to the party capital of Ibiza!!

Sant Antoni de Portmany, Ibiza, 5.3 NM / 1 hr 50 min

With Strong winds being forecast for the better part of the next two days, we found our best bet was to finally check out San Antoni De Portmany, Ibiza. So, we did a short motor essentially around the corner to a very crowded scene. San Antonio is known as the party capital of the Island, an island that is already renown for it’s go big or go home around the clock party atmosphere. It was tough to find a spot due to a preponderance of mooring balls covering the area. At $240 a night, we opted to search for a posidenia-free spot to drop anchor. We ended initially anchored in a popular spot just off of sunset boulevard, home to some of the world’s biggest super-clubs, so you can only imagine the crowds during the holiday month. 

After a drink at the Kasbar (not to be confused with rocking THAT casbar), we returned the boat. The wind had picked up and shifted a bit and we found our boat within inches of another boat.  Not very comfortable for us or them! Since we were the last to arrive, we upped anchor and moved around closer to the port area, then decided to head back in for dinner at a lovely and delicious mediterranean “farm to fork” type of place, Es Nàutic Restaurant.

We sat and watched sunset from the famous sunset strip (it did not disappoint!) and then walked the streets taking in the sights. Rather than the boom-boom clubs, we opted for catching a late Futbol game at Shenanigans Irish Pub (we love finding local Irish bars wherever we go…way more our jam!). Heading back to the boat around 9pm, we past the party goers heading out to pre-game for the real Ibiza experience of the late night Super Clubs…while we opted for bed.

While not the most relaxing part of our journey as the lights and sounds went all night, we were able to sit back and listen to the sounds of some world-famous DJs, take in an incredible enormous and long fireworks display at midnight (randomly on a Wednesday!), and listen to the party going into the wee hours before watching the glorious sunrise the following morning.

Up early, we were planning to up anchor after a nice breakfast and head somewhere new.  The weather had other ideas. As we were getting ready, the anchor alarm went off and sure enough 25kt+ winds came out of no where and we were dragging, and not lightly! Multiple boats were unexpectedly on the move, slowly drifting. It became a bit of chaos as we fired up the motors and worked to get the anchor up so we didn’t hit the boat behind us. While we were successful in moving on, we did watch mega-yacht frantically trying to get the attention of a catamaran heading steadily in their direction at increasing speeds. Absolute craziness. We managed to get out of a bad situation, raise the sails to get around to the west side of the island only for the wind to go from 20+ kts to 2 kts. Motors on. An hour or two later, we had the sails back up. The weather in the Med is so weird.

Cala Tarida, Ibiza, 7 NM / 4 Hrs 31 min

We found ourselves in a sheltered bay surrounded by a long white sandy beach, pine-covered hills and beautiful clear azure waters. Arrived and re-anchored at least once! Once anchored, after 2 attempts didn’t quite put us where we were comfortable in relation to the mega-yachts and their double anchors, meaning we would potentially spin differently in the winds and currents and get a little too close. We spent the afternoon snorkeling and watching the sun go down with a nice bottle Rioja, a wonderful $5 white wine. 

The next day, I (Erin) headed out for a paddle and chose my direction poorly. The winds started picking up about 20 min in and it made for a touch paddle back as I watched storm clouds approaching from the distance and a charter “Boom Boom” boat calling their in water clients back. I got back on board, exhausted, just in time to watch the storm roll by in the distance. Once it was passed, I jumped in for a long snorkel.  Not much by way of undersea life here.  A few groups of sunbreams which love to chase you around and some large starfish. Back on board, we now sat and waited to see if the crazy forecasts for winds and storms for the evening would come to fruition. 

Storm Incoming
Storm Overhead

And it sure did!  We took a look at the weather radar as we climbed into bed and could see the storms tracking from mainland Spain and moving our way.  We hoped they would pass a bit farther south. Just as we drifted off to sleep, the Garmin anchor alarm sounded.  We ran up to the helm and while it didn’t seem like we were drifting, the winds and swell were picking up quickly. The lightning strikes were getting closer and closer. We ran around closing hatches, starting the engines just in case and grabbed our rain jackets just in time. It got exciting real fast! The wind went from 5kts to 35+ and the rain came down hard in windy sheets. The boat was bucking in the heavy swell, very rodeo-esq…yep, the storm was right over us! And chaos ensued! You could see flashlights and others running all around their boats throughout the anchorage. We started getting tossed around pretty good in the incoming swell. Some boats held steady, a few upped anchor and left and at least two were battling decent anchor drag, thankfully not toward us, but it was nerve wracking to watch as they approached shallow, rocky areas closer to shore. It was a wild ride for about an hour. With one minor casualty…

As the storm moved on, I noticed a strange white object in the distance during the lightning flashes.  I pointed it out to Kevin and he thought it was someone in a dinghy.  I mentioned it looked kind of like one of our fenders.  Sure enough, we had a 3 fenders off the sides and one very sad black line hanging…one of our fenders had escaped and headed on it’s own lonesome adventure out into the wild blue yonder during the worst of the storm. 

We quickly lowered the dinghy in fairly rough water, Kevin grabbed the radio and a flash light and went off on a crazy rescue attempt in a dark, angry sea. Over the radio, I tried to talk him onto where I last saw it, but it was very dark and the seas were a bit rough. Not the best search conditions, not to mention it had probably been a good 10-15 min since we last saw it before he even got out there.  Poseidon had officially claimed our wayward fender.

The following day, we had to reset our anchor as the chain was wrapped around a large rock…we DEFINITELY didn’t go anywhere during last nights storm after seeing that. 

In the afternoon, we went for a hike along the Cala Llentia coastline to a large structure we had seen on the cliff’s edge as we sailed in. The hike was very rocky and had a very lava-esq feel, hot and dry. Coming up to the edge you come in sight of a very unique set up that encompasses 2 random ancient wooden doors covered in special inscriptions and motifs followed by 13 10-15 meter tall basalt columns in a semi-circle along with a number of rock designs on the ground around them. Feels like something out of a Star Trek scene. The structures turned out to be special artistic pieces, “Las Puertas Can Soleil” (The Doors of the Sun) and “Time And Space” or as locals and visitors call it: “Ibiza’s Stonehenge” due to it’s striking resemblance to the British landmark, or “the sun clock”, and my favorite, “the ufo parking sign”. It was created by an Australian artist Andrew Rogers and commissioned by Cirque de Soleil founder, Guy Laliberté. 

Cala Llentia
Las Puertas can Soleil
Time & Space

From what I could find searching the internet, “Time and Space”, built in 2014 was patterned to represent our solar system. The columns (whose basalt was extracted and carved in Turkey) are arranged around the circumference of an ellipse meant to allude to the the planets moving around the sun and demonstrate the interconnectedness of humanity. I’m still going with UFO parking sign.

The two decorated doors of Las Puertas Can Soleil form the symbolic entrance and exit of a room without walls with a beautiful mosaic floor. If you stand at the right angle looking though the doors you can see the majestic Es Vedra framed in the distance.  Es Vedra is not only beautiful but the legends and mysteries of the small rocky island are worth a google if you have time!

The two decorated doors of Las Puertas Can Soleil form the symbolic entrance and exit of a room without walls with a beautiful mosaic floor. If you stand at the right angle looking though the doors you can see the majestic Es Vedra framed in the distance.  Es Vedra is not only beautiful but the legends and mysteries of the small rocky island are worth a google if you have time!

Es Vedra

Cala Xarraca, Ibiza, 43.7 NM, / 10 hours

We started seeing a good weather window to head back to “home” in Valencia so decided to move up north a little farther to set ourselves up for a good jumping off point. We headed out after breakfast into 10-12 kts of wind.  We sailed along nicely for about 3-4 hours then the trials began. The sea state and winds picked up and shifted to a not ideal direction. We reefed the main (not easy with our wing sail system especially in a minimal but annoying sea state), the wind instrument failed to give good indications, we snapped the starboard mast rotation line (barely missed my face), and the engines got an over voltage error then randomly the BMS (Battery Management System) disconnected the batteries, shutting off the engines while I was using them!  

Cala Xarraca
Starboard mast rotation line snapped

We got everything working again and finally arrived at the anchorage after a very long day of sailing. We had to tack our way back and forth to get there in not ideal wind angles. Then, it took us three attempts to anchor; The first was VERY close to rocks that we noticed after the anchor was set, the second was too close to a neighboring sailboat once we let the chain out and the third was a bit tight on a different boat, but proved okay.  Finally had dinner at around 10pm and crashed (into bed, not into another boat..)

Lot of rocks under the boat!

We spent the morning squeezing the most out of enjoying our last day in Ibiza, paddling around taking in the majestic rock formations along the cliff walls and snorkeling in the crystal clear blue water. There isn’t a lot of sea life around the islands so it usually just feels like you are on a weird barren desert planet under water with a few sunbeams to chase you around on occasion hoping you lead them somewhere interesting, but at one moment I was surrounded by about 1000 small black fish. It was like swimming in a giant warm water snow globe. 

Back to Valencia Mar, Marina, Valencia (1st Overnight!), 94.1 NM / 16 hours 19 min

As the afternoon approached, it was time to head west into the sunset and head home. We struggled to get the sails up, again. The system just isn’t quick or smooth. We started out with a good 13-15 knots of winds from behind and following seas. We watched the sun go down off the bow. It was our first night passage and, we didn’t get much sleep. We ended up losing our autopilot not long into the crossing so it made for a long night of active watch and steering at the helm. It was a beautiful clear quiet night  with a sea of stars above us. The type of night that begs to remind you how amazing (and terrifyingly enormous) the universe we live in truly is!  The sun rising behind us on the stern was a welcomed sight. 94 miles later, we had completed our longest sail to date!  

Sunset on the bow
Sunrise on the stern

Once docked, which was a bit difficult on little sleep and a high offsetting wind and no one to catch our lines. We managed it, but it wasn’t our smoothest effort.  Without much sleep we slept late into the morning to recover. And start planning our next big maneuver…heading down to Gandia, Spain to get hauled out in preparation for our Atlantic crossing. 

Back “home” in Valencia

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