Reaching the Mainland

Written by Pieter Jan on Nov 16, 2019 — 3 min read

From: Es Jondal bay, Ibiza, Spain
To: Calpe, Spain

8 AM. “Wake up! We wanted to leave early!” “Ugghhhhh,” I groaned. It’s true. We were going to do the 60 mile crossing from Ibiza to Calpe today. I forgot to set my alarm. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to another full day of heavy sea crossing, arriving who-knows-when at night. On top of that, one look outside confirmed it was a gray and rainy morning. Nope, not looking forward. But it needed to be done. Today was the only day in the next ten days with northern wind, perfect for going west.

We came out of the bay and saw a line of squalls and thunderstorms stretching across the whole horizon in the direction where we wanted to go. Lightning striking the sea in the distance. For a fair-weather sailor like me, it didn’t look inviting at all.

It's looking very dark behind that island
It's looking very dark behind that island

Around Cap Llentrisca, I decided to wait until the squalls had passed to start the crossing. We went north for a bit. We passed Es Vedra and Es Vedranell, two sentinel islands in front of Cap Blanc that reminded me of Treasure Island.

We saw the end of the squall line to the north and set sail in that direction.

Ah! A beam reach(when the wind is coming from the side of the boat, the best wind), finally! After all these weeks of close-hauled sailing(sailing with the wind coming from almost the front of the boat), beating into the wind, this course felt like a breath of fresh air. 7 beaufort is still a bit much for my taste, as were the 3 meter waves, but Vite & Rêves didn’t mind one bit. Speed was consistently over 10 knots — top speed 14 knots — and after a two hours, I got used to going this fast on this unfamiliar point of sail. I relaxed a little.

What’s more, we evaded the squalls, didn’t encounter one drop of rain, sailed right into the sun and made the 60 miles in 6 hours. Glorious! The imposing, 300 meter high Peñón de Ifach on the west coast of Spain welcomed us, bathed in golden sunset light. First time we’re not on an island since we were in the south of Italy, almost a month ago.

That's a big rock
That's a big rock

Our arrival at Calpe was less glorious though. Due to a miscalculation and a strong side wind, we cracked the slot containing the port front porthole. I hope the damage is only cosmetic. Will investigate tomorrow.