On Wednesday both boats left Portinatx; Ganty for San Antonio; us on Lotti for Cala San Vincente. We had a great sail downwind jibing at up to 7 knots to Punta Grossa where the wind veered and increased, so we checked the forecast and decided to continue on the Cala Boix, a safer anchorage in the forecast conditions.
As we passed between the island of Tagomago and Ibiza the wind died so we continued to Santa Eulalia to anchor in the bay - 15.5 miles in 3.5 hours, half of yesterday's time for the same distance. Another great day's sail. Strong winds overnight forced a move at 2am to get clear of other moored boats which were coming very close as they swung.
Thursday we spent at anchor while we repaired the dinghy, the glue joints holding the transom to the tubes having failed during yesterday's journey. We heard that Baltic Moon was still in Marina Botifach with continuing battery problems and Ganty stayed in San Antonio. Gemini J and Berti had a sail to Porroig where they picked up a buoy to ride out the high overnight winds which did not materialise.
Friday Lotti re-fuelled in Santa Eulalia then had a gently sail to Cala Porjoles on Formentera. Moon sailed back to San Antonio and Gemini J and Berti to Cala Saona. We had not been able to raise Ganty all day, then at 5pm they telephoned to say they had crossed back early because of the forecast and were in Calpe.
Saturday Gemini J and Berti left for the mainland and encountered the very strong winds and up to 4 metre swell that Ganty had wanted to avoid. Deciding to motor, Gemini J tried to furl the Genoa to find it stuck. Investigation, crawling up to the bow on the heaving deck, found the furling line wrapped round the drum. It took half an hour to completely undo and re-thread while the sail banged and crashed in front of the boat, by which time they were way off course, but eventually reached Calpe with the cabin looking like a jumble sale and a shattered but relieved crew.
We later heard that Ganty had sailed from Calpe to Torrevieja in the same conditions, downwind surfing at up to 8 knots with just a storm jib set. Moon stayed in San Antonio while we on Lotti had a great sail in the 15-23 knot winds back to Porroig for the night, anchoring next to the large power cruiser that had been there a week ago. Late in the evening a charter yacht came and anchored between us, too close for comfort if we swung during the night, so every couple of hours, when nature called due to the beers consumed, we popped our head out of the hatch to check all was well.
At 7am two of us awoke to a beautiful Sunday morning. The sea was like a mirror in Porroig Bay and the charter boat was positioned about 6 inches from the stern of the power boat; a clear example of the need to be aware of a boat's swinging circle when anchoring. We expected lots of screaming and shouting half an hour later when we saw movement on the two boats, but the power cruiser had a professional crew and they politely spoke to the charter crew who were busy preparing their breakfast as though oblivious to the situation. The cruiser had to move as they had swung over the charter's anchor so we took the opportunity to go before we were compromised. Our other two crew were brutally awoken by the gentle (I wished) clanking of the anchor chain as it was raised.
After a gentle sail downwind under Genoa alone we anchored in Cala Saona planning an overnight stay and an early start back to the mainland. Unfortunately the forecast proved inaccurate and, during lunch, an onshore wind and big swell started to build, forcing the decision to leave at 3.15pm direct to our home port of San Pedro.
At 8pm Sunday night the wind died so we motor sailed. It was the night of the full 'strawberry' moon of the Summer Solstice which rose about one hour before sunset, so we had the full moon to the east and a red sunset sky to the west; absolutely beautiful.
We arrived in San Pedro after 122 miles and 23 hours to see Berti entering the marina as we approached. They and Gemini J had sailed from Calpe to Santa Pola on Sunday and then from there to San Pedro on Monday. Berti's crew left for home immediately, but those on Gemini J and Lotti stayed on to clean their boats, finally meeting up for a well-earned beer at 6pm. We heard that Moon was in Morayra and staying for a rest after a heavy crossing during Sunday.
Everybody came back safe and sound after a fabulous two weeks. Roll on 2017!
Find more information about SAMM and the Cruising Group by going to www.sailingmarmenor.com/groups/cruising/