We had good downwind sailing across from Ibiza in the company of an American catamaran, Sweety, with Tony and Shannon onboard whom we were in touch with on VHF. While we had thought we would make Camp de Mar our first stop, upon reading the guide book and reviews on Captain’s Mate (a great app managed by the Cruising Association), we decided to opt instead for Santa Ponsa, as did Sweety. It is a large U-shaped bay, protected from all but the West. We found the holding there excellent, in about 12 feet over sand. The town itself didn’t have much to offer, being mostly filled with tourists but we enjoyed the open air market on Saturday and a few walks, including one to the archaeological park that had ruins of a tower built in the Talayotic period (850-650 BC) on top of the hill and a great views all around, into Palma bay as well as over Santa Ponsa.
We also worked on our watermaker as it has been rejecting the water due to high salinity. We did an acid wash followed by an alkali wash, the latter of which we terminated early because the watermaker was behaving very differently. The idea was to clean the membrane. However, after running it again it still rejected the water made so we decided we needed professional help. We contacted Adrian who is the Spectra watermaker dealer here in Mallorca and arranged to meet him in Palma on Thursday.
So, we thought we would check out Camp de Mar for lunch as it was only around the corner from Santa Ponsa. The atmosphere in the former was most pleasing. We anchored off an island restaurant and proceeded ashore. Definitely more upmarket than SP, with only two large hotels and many villas on the cliffs overlooking the sea. After a pleasant lunch (€8.95 each, including a bottle of wine) we set sail for Calle de Portals Vells, a horse-shoe shaped inlet just inside Palma Bay. Unfortunately, we had a very bouncy night as the wind had changed direction and increased to around 20kts, pushing swell into the inlet, which then reflected off the cliffs behind us. The following morning we docked in Real Club Nautico De Palma marina. Palma is a boating mecca. We have never seen so many yachts and super yachts congregated in one place. RCNP has close to 1,000 berths, 95%+ occupied….. and there are at least half a dozen other smaller marinas, cruise ship, fising boat and a little commercial docks in the same harbour. It’s HUGE,!!!
Our water-maker guy tried to get the unit to run, but ended up removing it for closer review in his workshop. Hopefully, it will be returned functioning on Wednesday.
Palma is the biggest city in the Balearics, is very touristy, but also pleasant with a vast cathedral, an amazing 16th century traders hall near the waterfront, lots of narrow sides streets, multiple charter boat companies and chandleries, and restaurants. We had lunch with Ken and Eiloo at one yesterday. They overwintered in Cartagena, having sailed their boat from Singapore and spent a very pleasant time in Soller during the lively “Es Firo” festival celebrating the repulsion of the Moorish pirates by the Christians.
This afternoon, after having completed another load of washing (water available on the dock), we will be heading south for Isle de Cabrera, a nature reserve, where moorings need to be booked in advance.