THE BALEARIC ISLANDS, MALLORCA & IBIZA, Spain


As we approached Mallorca I recall thinking that it was much more barren than I had anticipated. Treeless high cliffs rose straight out of the sea, dramatic in their form and colors

Cabo Formentor on the northern tip of Mallorca was a good stopover for the night. We picked up a free mooring ball in a protected bay. We did not go ashore but continued to sail south down the east coast of Mallorca.

We anchored at Soller the next night. A picturesque bay and an inviting shoreline but we moved on with the intention to visit Soller by land later.

Ponza and Palma

August 28/09

We had been on a mission to get to Ponza to meet up with Grace and celebrate the twins' birthday. We had a wonderful party onboard Grace along with other cruisers we had not seen in a while.

Soller anchorage

Ponza was a great town with a long sandy beach.

August 29/09

We took a bus to the main town of Palma with chandleries, shops and an interesting Old Town.

Once through the old city walls we were in the maze of streets which made up a lively and attractive Spanish city. Horse drawn carriages added to the medieval feeling of the magnificent architecture.

The glory of Palma -
the magnificent Gothic cathedral
whose sandstone walls
 and flying buttresses
seem to rise
out of
the sea



& Shane.


Construction of The Seo begun in 1230, but the cathedral wasn't finished until 1601.

Inside light pours in through the rose window, one of the world's largest consisting of 1,236 pieces of stained glass


August 31

We took the old fashioned narrow gauge train, operating since 1912 to Soller. The vintage brass and mahogany carriage  carried us through the mountain pass on a scenic route from Palma.

The train ran right through the center of Soller stopping at the main downtown square with its restaurants and tapas bars under umbrellas and the shade of
orange  trees.

The little town of Soller made its mark trading wine and oranges for French goods in the 19th century. the architecture is somewhat Gallic with decorative churches and unusual cornerstones on the buildings.

We walked the cobblestone streets and had lunch in the square before taking the return train back to Palma.


Sept 3   Time to move on. We were ready for a sandy beach and quiet. Ibiza seemed to be the place to be.

Isla Espalmador, near Ibiza is a small island without the onslaught of tourist resorts and without any facilities for that matter. Just miles of beaches. Perfect!!!

Port Roig

We set sail for Port Roig which looked like it would provide the most shelter from the wind. We ducked into San Antonio along the way to check out the anchorage but were told it would not be comfortable in the easterly winds expected. Djarkka was already anchored there so they joined us as we motored through a sea crowded with football size brown jellyfish, bumping in clusters against the boat.

The small bay at Port Roig seemed protected enough but crowded with boats and mooring balls (and jellyfish and garbage). We opted to anchor along the sandy shoreline outside the harbor. Mistake! We experienced the rolliest night since the Mallorca Cala, gunwale to gunwale all night, no sleep.

The anchorage was surrounded by high barren brown cliffs on one side, and hillside homes on the other. Several of the homes were in ruin, having slid down the hillside. So much for geosurveys! The following morning, tired, exhausted and somewhat seasick, we stuck our noses out into the swell and decided to turn back and settle in Port Roig Harbor. Some of the boats had cleared out and the jellyfish had all been blown away. We enjoyed a calm and quiet anchorage (except for one noisy party boat that continued until the wee hours).

Isla Espalmador

Isla Espalmador is a Marine Park and has the nicest beach anywhere in the Med. We picked up a free moorings, lucky to find one available in the crowded anchorage.

Finally I got my walk along the beautiful white sandy beach but we had to step over bodies sprawled along the beach, some scantily clad in thongs, or topless, or the full Monty! Along the beach were kite surfers, sunbathers and people swimming in the clear water.

Mud Baths

We ventured along the trail that led to the mud bath. Coming the other way were a parade of nude bodies covered in thick grey caked sludge. They reminded me of the human statues that stand motionless in the Parks wearing a grey suit that covered them head to toe, a money collection hat at their feet. The mud hole was not very large and we were completely uninspired to give it a try.

But the following day Sara and GB, being the good sports that they are, went for it with the promise that the mud treatment takes 10 years off. I think it worked!
We had a fun get together one evening on Djarkka with Tiger, Clementine and Grace. The discussion (as always) focused on weather and routes for our next hop to Gibraltar.

pictured left: Ascension at sail Balearics

We could have stayed at Isla Espalmador forever but it was time to move on to Gibraltar as the deadline for getting through the Straight was closing in.