Category Archives: Spain

Summary of s/y Gyatso’s 2008 Cruising Season from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean: Portugal to Italy

Photo: Map of Gyatso's voyage from Portugal to Spain and Italy in 2008. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Map of s/y Gyatso’s 2008 voyage from Portugal to Atlantic Spain and Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean to the Balearic Islands and Sardinia and ending in Gaeta, Italy. Credit: Lisa Borre.

We reached the Italian mainland from Sardinia on Tuesday, 7 October, and a few weeks later, we managed to secure a berth for the winter at the marina “Base Nautica Flavio Gioia” in Gaeta, which is between Rome and Naples and also the site of a US naval base. We have a contract until next March, by which time we hope that the weather will be good enough to begin the 2009 cruising season.

Continue reading Summary of s/y Gyatso’s 2008 Cruising Season from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean: Portugal to Italy

Mahon, Menorca

Photo: A cruise ship passes behind us while moored in Mahon, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. Credit: Lisa Borre.
A cruise ship passes behind us while moored in Mahon, the city that gave mayonnaise its name. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/20/08 – 9/22/08
Distance: 37 nm
Sailed from: Ciutadella, Menorca
Lat: 39°53.5’N
Long: 04°17’E

We had a nice breeze and a wonderful sail to Mahon and were almost tempted to just keep going, but we were not confident about the weather forecast. We waited for two days in this beautiful, natural harbor. Mahon is another place where we could easily have spent a week or two, but we were feeling anxious to put the long, overnight crossing to Sardinia behind us. We waited for only two days for what looked like a good weather window.  In retrospect, perhaps we should have waited another day or two. On Monday, 09/22 we departed at dawn for a rougher-than-expected passage to Sardinia.

Ciutadella, Menorca

Photo: Busy square in Ciutadella, Menorca. Credit: Lisa Borre.
A busy square in Ciutadella, Menorca. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/16/08 – 9/20/08
Distance: 22 nm
Sailed from: Porto Cala de Ratjada, Mallorca
Lat: 39°59.9’N
Long: 03°50’E

Although there was still a large swell, we had a relatively smooth crossing to Menorca in light winds (motoring and motor-sailing again). We arrived in Ciutadella during the early afternoon when everything is closed for siesta, so we tied to the fuel dock until a berth was assigned on the other side of the harbor in a small cala. Yachts are not allowed to tie-up to what used to be a visitors dock because this is now the main channel for the huge car ferries with service to the other islands.

Continue reading Ciutadella, Menorca

Porto Cala de Ratjada, Mallorca

Photo: Puerto de Cala Ratjada, Mallorca. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Rafted up in Puerto de Cala Ratjada (s/y Gyatso is second from right). Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/15/08 – 9/16/08
Distance: 18 nm
Sailed from: Porto de Colom, Mallorca
Lat: 39°43’N
Long: 03°28’E

Just as we were about to continue and make the crossing to Menorca, the wind switched, so we decided to put in at Cala de Ratjada for a night. What an experience! We rafted off a 48′ charter boat with eight Austrians onboard, and by the end of the day, we had four boats rafted off us. And we were only one of about five rafts, all five and six boats deep. It felt like a mini-Horta marina experience, the Azores being another place where rafting up to a seawall is the only option. Almost every other boat was a charter boat, and most of the people aboard were German.

Continue reading Porto Cala de Ratjada, Mallorca

Porto de Colom, Mallorca

Photo: Lighthouse, Puerto Colom, Mallorca. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Lighthouse at the entrance of Puerto Colom, Mallorca. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/14/08 – 9/15/08
Distance: 44 nm
Sailed from: Palma de Mallorca
Lat: 39°25’N
Long: 03°16’E

After an exhilarating sail to Porto de Colom, we could have spent at least a week in this attractive, well-protected harbor, which is why it was hard to tear ourselves away after only one night. But the weather was beautiful, and with the season getting on and only three weeks left before Lisa’s family arrived for a visit to Italy, we wanted to keep making progress in that direction. We weighed anchor, adding this to places we could always visit again on the way back.

Palma de Mallorca

Photo: tourist train to Soller, Mallorca. Credit: Lisa Borre.
We took the tourist train to Soller, Mallorca. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/08/08 – 9/14/08
Distance: 13 nm
Sailed from: Andraitx
Lat: 39°34’N
Long: 02°38’E

We stayed at the Real (Royal) Club Nautica de Palma where we found plenty of space at the nearly empty visitor’s dock. Although the high season is technically over, the prices have not gone down to reflect this fact, but it was our best option for staying in Palma.

Continue reading Palma de Mallorca

Andraitx, Mallorca

Photo: Puerto de Andraitx, Mallorca, Spain. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Puerto de Andraitx, Mallorca, Spain. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/06/08 – 9/08/08
Distance: 52 nm
Sailed from: Puerto de San Miguel, Ibiza
Lat: 39°33’N
Long: 02°23’E

The day started with great wind for sailing and ended with us motoring through confused seas in light winds — the swell seemed to be coming from several directions at once making it very uncomfortable near the end of our crossing to Mallorca.

Continue reading Andraitx, Mallorca

Puerto de San Miguel, Ibiza

Photo: Tayana 37 Gyatso in Puerto de San Miguel on Ibiza. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Gyatso at anchor in Puerto de San Miguel on Ibiza. This was the last time we used the sun awning this season, as the weather was noticeably cooler by the time we reached Menorca. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/03/08 – 9/06/08
Distance: 13 nm
Sailed from: Puerto San Antoni, Ibiza
Lat: 39°05’N
Long: 01°26’E

We enjoyed several lazy days at anchor in this cala, reading books and guarding our anchor from getting fouled by careless charter boats and day-trippers. 

Continue reading Puerto de San Miguel, Ibiza

Puerto San Antoni, Ibiza

Photo: Islas Vedra and Vedraneli, Ibeza, Spain. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Islas Vedra and Vedraneli on the southwest coast of Ibiza, Spain. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 08/31/08 – 9/03/08
Distance: 57 nm
Sailed from: Moraira
Lat: 38°59’N
Long: 01°18’E

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.”

Continue reading Puerto San Antoni, Ibiza

Moraira (El Rinconet), Spain

Photo: Sunrise at Cabo Moraira, Spain. Credit: Lisa Borre.
The sunrise reflecting on Cabo Moraira as we depart mainland Spain for the crossing to the Balearics. Photo: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 08/30/08 – 08/31/08
 25 nm
Sailed from: Altea
Lat: 38°41’N
Long: 00°08’E

Today we crossed the Greenwich meridian during a short, but nice sail to Moraira. Lisa saw three dolphins feeding nearby shortly after departure from Altea. We joined a few dozen other boats in the El Rinconet anchorage outside the harbor but had a sinking feeling when they all returned to the marina just before sunset.

Continue reading Moraira (El Rinconet), Spain