Dates: 08/31/08 – 9/03/08
Distance: 57 nm
Sailed from: Moraira
With a slight haze, Ibiza did not clearly come into view until we were about ten miles out. Approaching Puerto San Antoni, we admired the small, rocky group of islands, Islas Bledas, and then the larger Isla Conejera which according to our cruising guide is where Hannibal’s stone slingers came from. Given its small size, we figured that this was more of a myth than fact since Hannibal’s army included 1,000 slingers from these islands. The name “Balearic” is from the Phoenician word meaning “man who throws stones.” Behind these rocky islands, the pine covered hills for which the southern islands in this group are known come into view. In fact, the name Ibiza comes from a Phoenician word ‘ybsm’ or the “Isle of the balsam tree.”
We found a berth on the nearly empty pontoons in the “under construction” section at the Club Nautico. In today’s world, Ibiza is known as party-central in Europe with its all-night clubs. This is a place which advertises that you can party 24 hours a day six days a week (some clubs are not open on Monday mornings or it would be 24/7). However, our first full day in Ibiza was supposedly the beginning of the end of these 24-hour parties. On September 1st, a new law went into effect shutting down the early morning club hours after 6:00. The effect this really seemed to have was to move the party from the confines of a club onto the street. While out shopping for fresh bread one morning, Lisa found several groups of dazed and lost-looking souls wandering the streets “all dressed-up, but nowhere to go.”
We had barely finished tying our docklines before our first encounter with party-goers on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Two charter boats with drunken skippers and crew pulled in a few slips down from us while David was ashore registering. Lisa watched with amazement at their recklessness, a behavior we have noted increases noticeably on Sunday afternoons in Spain.
Unlike most people here, we were not at all interested in the night clubs on Ibiza. Instead, we rented a car for a day to see more of the island and to visit some of the archeological sites and museums. We had a wonderful self-guided tour which included a lunch of paella in a beachfront restaurant and an afternoon tasting of Ibiza’s special drink “Hierbas Ibicencos” an herbal anise-flavored concoction. We saw the remains of a Phoenician settlement from the 8th-6th Century BC in Sa Caleta and the Phoenician necropolis and museum in Ibiza. Once again, we found another important archeological museum “closed for renovation” — the one in Ibiza itself — with a large collection of Phoenician objects. Luckily, we caught a glimpse of these artifacts in the necropolis museum.