Mallorca to Alicante
On July 31st Mike and Kathy joined me at the Club Nautico El Arenal on the island of Mallorca.  They were onboard for 8 days during which we sailed Sarah to the mainland port of Alicante.
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Mallorca to Alicante

The chart above shows our cruise from Mallorca to Alicante.  Our route is shown by the thin black line on the chart, which can best be seen by double-clicking on the chart to download the full resolution image. 
The screen capture on the right is an SOB image of Sarah's position at El Arenal before we departed.  El Arenal is a very modern and clean marina with excellent facilities, including a very nice swimming pool.  We took advantage of the pool often during the two days we were in the marina as the temperature must have been in the low 90s.

We also used the large Mercadona hypermarket to re-stock Sarah for the next week or so.

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El Arenal, Malloca
El Arenal is very convenient for picking up and dropping off crew/guests as it is very close to the airport, but (thankfully) not under the flight paths.  The town of El Arenal unfortunately is pretty tacky.  It appears to be one of the down scale resort areas on Mallorca with lots of tatoo parlors and souvenir stores.  Much of the housing appears to be in the tenement class.  This may be where a lot of people who work in the tourist industry on Mallorca live.
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Restaurant in Arenal
Photo by the waiter on Mike's camera.
We did have one nice dinner at a close by restaurant and a somewhat less nice dinner the following night at another restaurant.
Back to Cala Blanca, August 2 - 3, 2006
Initially we had planned to spend a couple of days at anchor on Mallorca (possibly back in Puerto Andraitx), but on the morning of our departure I finally got an updated weather forecast from the DWD.  That forecast predicted strong NE winds (force 5 - 7) in two days.  The forecast also indicated the further north in the Balearic chain, the stronger the winds.
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Track to Cala Blanco on Ibiza
Therefore we decided late in the morning of our departure to sail to Ibiza and seek protection from the strong winds.  The closest anchorages on Ibiza were over 60 nm from El Arenal.  Since we were departing around 11:00AM, that meant we would be arriving at the anchorage shortly after dark.
Upon departure we had a light (10 - 12 kt) breeze out of the SSE.  That provide a comfortable close reach all of the way to Ibiza.  Unfortunately to arrive off Ibiza during dusk we had to average over 6 kts, which was not possible in these light winds.  So we kept the engine running the entire trip and arrived off Cala Blanco just after sunset.

I elected to anchor in Cala Blanco because I was very familiar with the anchorage and believed I could safely anchor Sarah in this cala even after dark.

We found a good spot in about 9M of water and dropped the hook around 10:00PM.  We cooked and ate dinner then went to sleep.

There was a slight swell coming into the cala as the seas tend to follow the coast line then swing or reflect into the calas.  We were lying to the SE breeze which put the swell on the beam and made for a very rolly night.

Puerto de San Antonio, August 3 - 7, 2006

The next morning we enjoyed the excellent swimming in this cala, then departed for Puerto San Antonio shortly after noon.  We arrived in the harbor at San Antonio a few hours later and dropped the anchor in the south end of the harbor.  I had called earlier in the day to see if we could get a berth at the marina in San Antonio, but they were full.

The weather forecast called for a frontal passage through Ibiza around midnight that night with strong NE winds.  The cruising guide describes the holding ground in the harbor as patchy.  We set the anchor as well as we could and put out a lot of rode in anticipation of the strong winds.

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Track to Puerto San Antonio, Ibiza
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Puerto San Antoinio Haror
Puerto de San Antonio is the larger of the two harbors on Ibiza.  The port of Ibiza is the other.  Although the city is clean and pleasant it is not very interesting as all of the buildings are new and mostly just high-rise tourist hotels.  The port is served by a daily ferry from Barcelona, shown in the picture on the left.
This is the anchorage at Puerto San Antonio.  It is generally crowded, but can usually accommodate more yachts in settled weather.  We had unsettled weather coming. Click on picture to view at full resolution
Puerto San Antonio Anchorage
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Launching the Dinghy
After anchoring, Mike and Kathy launched the dinghy from Sarah's deck and we went into town for lunch and a walk.
That evening after dinner we sat in the cockpit and watched almost continuous lightning to north.  This was clearly the cold front approaching the island.  I turned on the radar and at that time the front appeared to be about 20 miles off, but not moving very fast.  We secured things as best we could and went to bed expecting to wake with the frontal passage in a few hours.

Around 1:00 AM the front came through and I got up to close the remaining open hatches.  Then as I looked out through the cockpit companionway I could clearly see that Sarah was dragging anchor.  I called for Mike, started the engine and moved Sarah forward to avoid colliding with a large schooner anchored behind us.  Then Mike took over the helm and I went forward and started to haul in the anchor rode.

By this time I estimate the wind was blowing a steady 20kts with gusts over 30.  Suddenly all of the boats in our area of the anchorage were dragging.  I watched as one 70' steel sailboat dragged behind us, picked up another anchored sailboat and kept on dragging.  Boats were moving all around us.  Some were dragging out of control, others were trying to get their anchors up and a few were underway getting out of the anchorage.

With Mike at the helm I managed to get the anchor rode in such I could almost put the chain in the windlass gypsy, but suddenly we were dragging down on an unoccupied boat to starboard, with another boat was dragging down toward us from port.  If we did nothing Sarah would become a sailboat sandwich.  Without our communicating I let out the anchor rode and Mike simultaneously put Sarah into reverse.  That allowed Sarah to fall off behind the boat to starboard and the boat to port dragged in front of us.  We avoided a collision, but now Sarah's anchor rode was caught under the two boats ahead of us.  The wind continued to blow and other boats were dragging on all sides.  I decided we had to get out of here fast.  I grabbed a nearly empty bottle of distilled water and a razor knife.  I cut the anchor rode, attached the bottle as a float and cast the severed anchor line over the side.

Now we were free to maneuver out of the harbor.  We still had to dodge a lot of other boats dragging or steaming out of the harbor.  Soon we were clear of the breakwater and in the Bahia de San Antonio.  For the next hour or so we just motored out then back toward the harbor waiting for the wind to die down and the remaining boats in the harbor to become secure.  Finally the wind dropped to 15 kts and things appeared much more quiet in the harbor (although there was at least one MAYDAY broadcast on the VHF). 

We re-entered the harbor  and on the second attempt got my backup anchor to grab and hold.  We had anchored just outside of the anchorage area in the main harbor channel, but so had a number of other boats.  I figured we were safe for the rest of the night and could get some sleep.

Around 9:00AM the next morning the police came around in a small boat telling each boat anchored in the channel they had to move as the ferry from Barcelona would be entering the harbor within an hour.  We pulled up the anchor and decided to look for Sarah's discarded anchor.  We found the float next to two other boats that had been rafted together during the night.  It was quickly apparent the anchors on those two boats (one was the 70'er mentioned above) were entangled and they were trying to clear them.  We waited until the 70'er was free and moved off, then we approached the boat that was still anchored.  The skipper of that boat told us they had more tangled anchors below and he would help us get ours back as soon as they got the other mess straightened out.  We then re-anchored Sarah close by. 

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First Attempt to Retrieve the Anchor
Photo by Mike Repass
Kathy and I used the dinghy to investigate Sarah's anchor to see if it could be pulled into the dinghy.  When we pulled in on the rode it was clear Sarah's chain and anchor were part of the mess below.  The Brit skipper of the anchored boat told us he was going to dive on the anchors as soon as the wind and seas died down as the chain was still moving.  We returned to Sarah and waited.
Late that afternoon, the wind had died sufficiently to start diving.  The Brit did all of the diving and was able to free his anchor from the tangle.  Click on picture to view at full resolution
Second Attempt to Retrieve the Anchor
Photo by Mike Repass
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Retrieved the Anchor and Chain for this German Yacht
Next he started work on the anchor and chain from the boat in the picture on the left.  This German couple had released their anchor rode as we had done, but their rode was 80M of 5/16" chain, which they released in total to get free.  Their chain landed on top of Sarah's anchor.  It took quite a while to get that much chain and the anchor up into my dinghy, then haul it back to their boat. 
Finally we hauled Sarah's chain and anchor up into the dinghy and put it back on deck. Click on picture to view at full resolution
Retrieving Sarah's Anchor
Photo by Mike Repass
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 Crown Splice
Photo by Mike Repass
I cut away the severed anchor rope and spliced the remaining rode (> 350') onto the chain.  Now Sarah's primary anchor was operational.  Although we dragged the backup anchor and had to re-set while the anchor retrieval process was underway, I elected to remain on the backup anchor for the night and only re-set the primary anchor if we dragged again.

After all of the adventure I was lucky to have only lost a few feet off the rope anchor rode and most of that was reclaimed as an additional dock line.

At this point I was very uncomfortable keeping Sarah on an anchor in the harbor at San Antonio, but there were no close-by calas that would provide an improved anchorage.  So we stayed put in Puerto de San Antonio for another day.  
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Photo by Mike Repass and Kathy Reilly.

 During the day Mike and Kathy took the bus from San Antonio to the city and port of Ibiza, where the pictures on the right and below were taken.  I remained onboard Sarah maintaining the anchor watch.  As it turned out a necessary anchor watch, as the backup anchor started to drag slowly in the afternoon.  I re-anchored with the primary tackle and we remained secure until our departure the next day.


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Photo by Kathy Reilly.

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Photo by Mike Repass.
Ibiza to Alicante, August 7 - 8, 2006
After the two more nights in Puerto San Antonio we departed Ibiza for the mainland of Spain and the city of Alicante. Click on picture to view at full resolution
Departing Ibiza
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Balearic Ferry
Enroute we had a close encounter with one of the high speed (>30 kts) ferries operating between Denia and Ibiza.
We also had a semi-near encounter with a whale.  It was cruising on the surface about 75M to port and heading in the opposite direction.  I tried to take a number of photos, but this is the best I got.  The whale is barely visible when you double-click on the thumbnail and download the full-resolution image. 

The whale pretty much ignored us as we passed.  It was difficult to determine the size, but I guess it was over 10M.  Shortly after it passed astern of Sarah, the tail fin went up into the air and the whale sounded.

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Whale Sighting
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Alicante Marina
We had a very pleasant sail during the day with a light SE wind pushing us at 5.5 knots to within sight of the Spanish mainland.  We had to slow down so that we didn't arrive too early the next day off Alecante so we put a reef in the mainsail before dark.
That night the winds died, but we kept sailing even when our boat speed dropped below 4 knots.  With light winds and a swell from the south we had a very rolly night and no one got much sleep.  Finally the winds dropped to almost nothing and we turned on the engine for the last few miles.

Still we arrived off Alicante just after sunrise.  Knowing the marina would not open for several hours we just loitered off the harbor until around 8:30 and headed in.  After topping off the fuel tank and registering with the marina we moved Sarah to a berth at the Marina Alecante, shown in the SOB screen capture above.

Sarah, in the Marina Alicante with the Castilla de Santa Barbara in the background. Click on picture to view at full resolution
Sarah in the Marina Alicante
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Photo once again by the waiter, this one a little better with the camera than the one in El Arenal.  Taken with Mike's camera.

That night Kathy treated Mike and I to a final dinner together at a restaurant in Alicante.
And the next day they departed for Valencia, Rome and then back to the states.


I'm back to single-handing Sarah once again.

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Mike and Kathy Departing for Valencia
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