CBYA Charter Cruise Day – 22nd January 2019

The briefing over coffee in Bastas was clear: “We’ll aim to go outside Portitxoll Island and make for Cala Barraca for lunch. Of course, we may not make it given the wind forecast, but let’s try”. This was my first encounter with the CBYA, and I was nervous and excited in equal measure. The welcome from Peter, Hugh, Jim, Keith, Jack, Marion and Paul was warm, friendly and very reassuring. I knew then that I had made the right decision to take advantage of the CBYA cruising day. It seemed an excellent opportunity to get back on the water, after a five-year gap, and re-acquaint myself with boats, ropes, sails, wind and water – all in good company.

We left the café to find our charter boat, a 45-foot Jeanneau Sun Oddysey 449. This was the biggest yacht I had ever been on, and it had bow thrusters! I thought only ferries had these fitted. Kiko showed us over his big charter yacht, and impressed us with the quality fittings, 4 double cabins and spacious saloon. Up on deck the NW wind was gentle, but strengthening, as we left the berth and motored out of the harbour. Skipper Peter decided not to roll out the full main sail until we had the measure of the boat, a good decision as it turned out. We gybed, headed south towards Cape Sant Antoni and it started to get exciting.  The wind was strengthening fast and shifting between WNW and NW and the sea was chaotic and turbulent.  Now it was my turn to take the helm. The boat loved these conditions and so did I. On a beam reach we were making 7 knots, 8 knots, 8.5 knots. Hugh said we might even have touched 9 knots during a brief surfing moment. I don’t know, I was too busy to look……

 

Others took the helm to enjoy the fun and we made it to Cala Barraca, in under 2 hours, for an early lunch at 12.30.  But we didn’t linger there. The wind was becoming more northerly and much colder. We beat back against (at times) 23 knots of wind and made cold, but creditable, progress – some of us more than others. I heard a jubilant 6 knots boat speed called out from time to time.

We arrived near the harbour entrance at the same time as the Ibiza ferry, and so Peter decided to tack about a bit. Another good decision because it gave us the very best experience of all – la cerise sur le gateau! As we zoomed about wasting time, we were joined by a pod of 6 dolphins, leaping and frolicking behind us! One group of 3 came close; maybe about 15/20 metres away. The other 3 were following a bit further behind. It couldn’t get any better could it? Well yes it could, we could get warm. We hastened, freezing and shivering off the boat and into Bastas for coffees and carrejillos – the end of a perfect day’s sailing as far as I was concerned.

When’s the next one please?

Vivien Freakley