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Old 11-24-2005, 05:00 AM   #1
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Default Anchorage in the Med?

Hello.

This will be my introductory note.

Some years back I crewed on a 10 meter woden sloop named Rasamah from Reggio De Calabre in Italy to a town just east of Gibralter, some 1000 miles. This is one of the best memories that I have and I think of it often. I loved the trip.

We sailed into an interesting harbor just before sunrise. The entrance to it was a long scab of a mountain/ridge jutting into the sea and we had to sail along it, withen a few feet in order to see the harbor lights for an entrance. Once inside we just went to bed.

When we woke up I was amazed to see we were anchored in what appeared to be a volcanic crater because the island was all around us, almost 360 degrees; with the exception of the small entrance.

Situated on the crater rim was a castle and the town was just below it. This is one of the most wonderful sights I had ever seen and I was just amazed.

This island was a Spanish island because I remember the Guadia Civil putting his hand on his gun when I asked if I could tour the castle and he emphatically told me "NO" The island is on the chain of islands that contain Palma De Mallorca and Sardinia.

So, do any of you have any idea where I was? This was many years ago and I simply can't recall.

Steven
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Old 11-24-2005, 01:19 PM   #2
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Hi Steven, Perhaps you were anchored in one of two lagoons on the island of Formentera (South of the resort Ibiza). For a good look at it, download 'GoogleEarth' and go to 38degrees 43'28.28N. 1degree26'10.91E. If you zoom in on the island on Google earth, you see quite a good amount of detail. Cheers. David
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Old 11-25-2005, 12:46 AM   #3
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Hi Steven,

Can you recall how long you sailed from Calabria before you arrived at this spot for that would help limit the suggestions I could make. We've cruised the area so may be able to help.

Mallorca (and capital Palma) is a good 260 miles due West from Sardinia, maybe 1.5 or 2 days west - frequented by lots of Italian yachts in summer months - but not really on a direct route to Gibraltar.

I also know my own memory can be suspect - but if you can recall more detail it may help us with further suggestions.

It may even be one of the islands off the west coast on Sardinia?

There is no high land around the bays on the north side of Formentera so sadly I think you can scrub that previous suggested location off the list.

However, there are quite a few small and larger islets off Mallorca and Ibiza - and some have very enclosed anchorages which might appear to be vocanic when one is rubbing ones eyes in the early morn.

Indeed, even the port of Soller on the NW coast of Mallorca is situated in an almost perfectly round bay - and it does have an abandoned Spanish Naval Base / almost castle at it's entrance - but more info might disqualify it.

EG Can you recall approximately how high the surrounding countryside reached? Was it vegetated? If not - what colours were the soil or rocks? Where did you move onto next - and how long did it take to get there?

I guessing that a 30 foot wooden yacht might average 5.5 knots - meaning you'd cover 120 - 140 miles in any 24 hour period. If you can recall averaged speeds - that also could begin to steer us in the right direction

Looking forward to hearing if you can recall more.

Cheers

JOHN
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:31 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply

I will try to give more information, although Ibiza sounds familiar.

I remember the jagged rock wall as we entered the port, it was about 200 feet high, at least in the stormy dark of night it looked like it, and it jutted out into the ocean about 100 yards or more. Remember this was many years ago and adreniline may have changed my memories.

Inside the harbor on the water line was a small spanish town with just one bar that I can remember and when you got off at the pier you would have had to walk back to your left in order to arrive at the entrance to the street that would take you to the large road that led up to the main entrance which I believe had two huge square fortress like pillars that I believe would have held a gate in times past. The Fortress went up to the rim and had a walkway/guardpost along some of the rim. Maybe 1/4 or less around the rim. (memory is faulty here). The fortress was along the bottom and up the sides below the rim also and the town was nestled in beside the fortress taking up almost all of the available flat land.

This was the last port we hit before we arrived in Palma De Menorca and we sailed about 36 hours before we hit Palma.

You are right about the speed of his boat as he told me we normally got about 6 knots but the night we sailed to this mysterious port we were sailing before a gale and seas were heavy with strong winds and we made just over 7 knots an hour.

I forgot to reply to the height of the rim. I believe it was probably between 300 to 500 feet because I really had to crane my neck to look up at it, but I am really not sure. The bay where we anchored was 60 feet deap and clear all the way down to the bottom. The dirt and rocks were deep brown with dark red and the fortress was a medium brown to tan.

Steven
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Old 12-06-2005, 04:11 PM   #5
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Hi Stephen,

I'd guess from the info on your route, the anchorage is either in one of the Islands west of Sicily (Italian) or it is around Menorca (Spanish).

From the time you've reported for the leg from Calabria - and the same sort of time from the anchorage onto Palma - it could be either location. A choice could be dependent on which leg was sailed the slowest.

If it's Menorca - sadly thats the one Balearic island that I've spent least time on. So despite your detailed description, I can't give any guidance until I've glanced at the pilot books - and they are on our boat and will not be visited until next February.

But I will be visiting the isles off Sicily next summer - and if I find your spot then - I'll track you down and update you.

Cheers

JOHN
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:45 PM   #6
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I have been out lately so I am now getting back to you.

Thanks for the posts, and I am sure my memory is off a little. One thing I know for sure is the island was Spanish as La Guardia Civil was wearing his unique hat and they spoke spanish.

Thanks again.

Steven
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Old 12-20-2005, 05:09 PM   #7
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could it be Cabrera? I have never been there, but what I have read about it seems to fit. However, I guess it is only a four hour sail to Palma de Mallorca.
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Old 12-21-2005, 10:30 PM   #8
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I'd second liberats' suggestion - well done.

Cabrera does fit the Spanish / no landing / smaller island guidelINES, but i'd dismissed it before as it is only 20+ miles from Palma town.

For those not aware this small island is maybe 4/5 miles off the south east of Mallorca - and is a dedicated marine / nature reserve. Unless one has a permit pre-issued on the mainland, one can't normally even anchor, let alone go ashore.

So I'd agree - if it's only Stevens memory bank at fault on the distance from the location to Palma - this island is a very likely match.

Steve - does the name ring any bells?

Cheers

JOHN
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:29 PM   #9
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Hi steven

I think I know where you mean we stayed 2 nights there as it was superb. It is a bay called Cala Taulera just off the entrance to Mahon Menorca. i have 5 pictures of this bay and I willemail them if you want

Graham
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