We were planning on being in Majorca later in June, there is yacht racing, so decided to head off to Menorca for a while. We set off from Soller at a much more acceptable time of 9.00am on a beautiful sunny day again motoring. Anchored just outside the bay at Soller was this yacht “Fountainhead” or perhaps we should call it a ship it was that big. I guess we will have to get used to seeing large yachts in the Balearics. It was just the last couple of hours when the wind started to pick up that we got to sail. We also saw a sea plane come in and pick up water and then fly off again. Ten and a half hours later we anchored in Cala Fontanelles, which is a small cala on the north coast of Menorca.
We stayed just the one night and made our way to Cala Arenal d’en Castel, which is a horseshoe shape cala. We bumped into friends from Cartagena, Cath and Ray who had visitors. So we had a few sun downers with them onboard Cuffysark. The following morning we moved onto an anchorage at Illa d’en Colom where more friends from Cartagena were Destination Anywhere, or at least Malcolm was, Nikki had to go off and do some work. We left in a thunderstorm, we do have bad weather too. That’s two thunderstorms in one week. On arrival was another super yacht anchored up, a beautiful classic yacht called Nahlin which is owned by James Dyson, how did we manage without Google. The history of the boat is really interesting.
You will notice the red Ensign flying on the stern, nothing unusual about that for British registered boats. The tender to the yacht left to go ashore also flying a red Ensign. A short while later and back it came but this time with a white Ensign flying and we then noticed the yacht itself was flying the white Ensign which means only one thing the owner is on board. Members of the Royal Yacht Squadron may display the white Ensign when they are on board. Sure enough when Mr Dyson left a few days later the red Ensign was back.
Our tender is a Walker Bay, which Ian took months to find. The reason for this is that it also has sails, so for the second time, first time since we left last year, everything came out barring the gib and off he went for a sail around the bay. Definitely multi-purpose, with the wheels on the back. We spent five nights anchored in Illa d’en Collom. There was a small village just a short dinghy ride away, all very unspoilt.
Nikki and Malcolm had hired a car so we joined them for a trip around some of the Island. Menorca reminds me of the English countryside but warmer. We took a trip down to the old capital Ciutadella which ceased to be the capital when the British arrived in 1708 and moved it to Mahon.
Naveta des Tudons
The Naveta is a tomb that is only found on Menorca and was discovered in the 1960’s. Inside there were over a hundred skeletons scattered around, male and female, many of which dated back to the 9th century.
Personal items that had been buried with the corpses were still close by: bronze bracelets, bone buttons and some bronze weapons. Also found were small pots, pottery vases and a carved bone stopper, which was part of a container holding the human hair of some of the dead, a common burial ritual in this period.
The shape of the naveta is similar to an upturned boat (“nave” in Spanish), hence the name given to this type of monument. It was in the middle of a farmers’ field where the cows were alongside us which I found a bit worrying. Nikki and Malcolm thought this amusing as it was quite normal to walk through farmers’ fields in Scotland, us townies are not so familiar with nature.
Sheltering from the Mistral
The forecast was that there was a mistral coming through, it wasn’t the winds so much but the 3m swell so off we went to Port de Addaya. This was a long channel and so very sheltered. It was very busy when we arrived so we went further down the channel away from the majority of the boats. By early evening it was like a millpond and you could easily have thought you were sitting on an English river in the countryside. It was beautiful.
Addaya was a small town which was largely villas and apartments with just a few bars/restaurants and a supermarket. We had a walk around up to the entrance of the channel to see the swell.
After a few lovely nights here we moved onto Gala Galdena which is a nice bay and popular with the tourists. There was quite a swell here where we anchored even though there was no wind which didn’t make getting into the dinghy very easy. We arrived on the night Spain were playing Portugal in the World Cup so there were a few bars with lots of Spanish watching, so it was quite lively.
We had to start making tracks back to Majorca if we (or least Ian) wants to get down to Palma in time for the Super Yacht Racing. So Sunday 18th June and we head off.