Mallorca Part 3 – Menorca
Ah, the superlatives. They are used so often and carelessly. But in the case of Cabrera it is different. The small nature reserve in the southwest of Mallorca is a superlative. A perfect destination for sailors. The islands are only accessible by boat – which makes islands in general so wonderful. In Cabrera, the number of boats is limited by the number of buoys, and thus the number of people on the island, who are also allowed to visit the 20 living on the island. What a good idea. This is the link for a required mooring buoy reservation: Cabrera.
We spent two nights in this refuge. Clear water, silence, stars and shooting stars. No jet skis or rattling rental boats. Mostly Spaniards came over during the day to enjoy the day. There is a fort, two beaches, and lots of dusty trails to hike. There are no goats anymore. But there is a nice little bar, the Cantina. Simple tapas, simple wine, just a nice and relaxed life.
The rangers are proud that there are “many” fish. Klaro, there are more than in Mallorca, but that doesn’t mean anything. Compared to other parts of the world, there are not many and only few species. The main concerns of the rangers are the plastic waste and the water temperature. 30 degrees were measured in the water when we were there. At these temperatures the Posidonia grass does not bloom anymore. If it doesn’t bloom three years in a row, it dies. And that would be nothing less than a catastrophe – to stay with superlatives.
Cabrera Lifestyle, the old fort
Our Munich friends of the Sameera made us still the pleasure of a day visit in Cabrera and then our ways separated – probably again for longer. We lifted the lines early in the morning and sailed back to the Majorcan mainland. And immediately we were back in reality. Huge numbers of powerboats chased recklessly and seemingly senselessly with up to 30 kn the coast up and down and made huge waves. Under-exposed Jetski knuckleheads equal in tow. Back on land, these dullards then complain that there are no fish or turtles on the Balearic Islands. They visit a wonderful island and behave like cavemen. The main thing is to “blow off steam” and get the selfie right. If I were a turtle, I would also avoid this. As a human being however rather also.
Porto Colom on the east side of the island granted us shelter and so we moored Rivercafe at a mooring buoy. We enjoyed a delicious dinner ashore, overlooking the harbor. Colom is still quite normal and little touristy, as far as that is possible in Mallorca.
Time for Menorca
That’s it with us and Mallorca. Time for our last island change in Spain. Usually I am the earlybird with us. Normally I already have the second coffee in hand when the Rivercafe comes to life. This morning, my sweetheart was already twirling through the boat in the early dawn, impatient and ready to go. Teeth I could barely brush before the engines were already running. We left the well protected bay of Porto Colom towards a spectacular sunrise. 45 nm course Menorca. This island we had in the very best memory from previous visits years ago. Beautiful, clear water, few vessels and people. Allez-y.
We haven’t had such calm seas since the Gulf Stream. But also zero wind. After 45 nm we headed for our destination bay, Marcarelleta. A beautiful, lonely bay, that’s how we remembered it. When we looked into the bay, we were struck. Countless small motor boats were lying everywhere. No chance for a catamaran to anchor. Since we wanted to stay overnight, we needed a reasonable anchorage. Disappointed we moved on to the next bay. And to the next but one. Everywhere were tens of motorboats and blocked the anchorages. The next three bays the same picture. Finally we found a beach (Platja Binigaus) with enough sandy bottom and space to anchor.
Calm sea at the crossing, weired floating trees, our anchorage in Menorca
In Corona times, many locals acquired small powerboats. With them they drive during the day in the dream bays of Menorca and anchor. Very understandable. But then there is no more room for sailors. Well, it is the island of Menorquin and we are only guests. On our previous visits we were often quite lonely in wonderful places. That counts then probably from now on to the beautiful memories.
To our edification we found at our anchorage in Binigaus clearest water, 30 degrees C (86 F) warm. In the afternoon and evening we spent a lot of time in the water. Behind the beach, picturesque red sandstone cliffs rise up, decorated on top with pine trees. A fine coastal design and since we had no wind and little swell, we lay well at night even with little protection and enjoyed restful sleep.
Maó – Mahon
With the experience of the abundantly crowded anchorages, we booked ourselves a berth in Maó (Mahon), the capital of the island, in the very east. This was also to be our jumping-off point to Sardinia.
The bay of Maó is the largest natural harbor in Europe. We moored at a floating jetty at the Illa del Rey, 5 dinghy minutes to town. The place in the nothing cost steep 140 € incl. water per night. (No electricity), but is also a real curiosity and the people are very kind.
Floating dock in Illa del Rey
Two days we spent in Maó and saw an atmospheric place. Ka even found a well-stocked artists’ supply, which of course brings extra points to a city. The city towers high above the harbor bay and is simply beautiful. There are countless squares with cafes and restaurants, stores of all kinds and on a central market, the delicious cheese of Menorca is offered.
Impressionen of Maó
We had once again too little time for this lovely island but squeezed in an extra day. But then it was high time to leave. From the Gulf of Lion threatened again bad weather with black / red weather picture and predicted wind over 50 kn.
The two days and one night before us to Sardinia, were still moderately announced. But we wanted to lie firmly, before Italy gets one on the nose. Gracias Españia – ciao Italia / Holger Binz