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Sailing Vessel Beruta Ship's Log

La Linea - Ibiza

10 August 2014

As Russian readers already know, I finished my third (second solo) Atlantic crossing yesterday, making around 1000 nautical miles from Santa Maria, Azores Islands to La Linea, Spain in Gibraltar in 8 days. I stopped overnight in the marina Alcaidesa that was at the north-east corner of Algeciras Bay, just passed the Gibraltor airport. It was considered the high season and the big marina, which could accommodate about 600 yachts was half full. They charged moderate fee for a vessel of my size of 16.5 euro including taxes. The diesel was more expensive than in in Azores - 1.45 per liter compared to 1.27 in Horta.

Next day was busy. I had to buy food, fill the tanks with water and diesel, check-out and leave the bay preferably by 13:00 UTC or 15:00 local time because of the tide and the current.

In the office I found that supermarkets in La Linea were closed on Sunday but open in Gibraltar. To make things faster, I jumped on my bike and hit a good shop just across the border. The prices were in pounds but they took euros as well. The more difficult task was to find the banking machine. In Azores, for example, they were everywhere but not in Spain.

I left the marina at 15:35 local time, just about the high water time. The head wind was strong, 25-30 knots gusting even higher. I was able to sail close hauled with the jib and the reefed main helping a bit with the engine.

After rounding Europa point that you may see on the photo I was sailing downwind under half main with apparent wind in 20s area. The true one was close to 30. In the forecast it was 15. The current helped a lot. I was making almost 8 kts over ground.

11 August 2014

The chess match between me and Fritz continued. Few days ago I increased the Fritz Elo rating to 1800. Today I won him playing black. Here is the game in pgn format.

Sorry, this page is about chess, not sailing. In the Med there is no sailing, just motoring or at best, motorsailing. The sails are just decorations like flags on a New Year tree. To dramatize the situation, the diesel price is much higher than in the Caribbean, for example. I have sworn to not go to the Med again 3 years ago but here I am, damn it. Well, the upside is that it is safer than the Caribbean. No one will put you in jail for money, I suppose. At least, for the amount that an average systems analyst like me may possess.

12 August 2014

Today's game with Fritz was the loss. I raised his Elo rating again to 1900. He played the Dutch Stonewall defence, and although I played more or less correctly the opening not remembering it by heart (perhaps, I should have played the more solid variation g3 on move 3), I lost the middle game making a serious mistake on move 26. I also could have played better on moves 21 and 23. See the postgame's analysis in the PGN format.

Around 18:00 local time (UTC+2) I passed Cartagena. The distance to Ibiza was about 120 miles. Hopefully, I would be able to get to San Antonio anchorage before the dark. In the forecast there was 20 kt head wind tomorrow. If I wouldn't make it, then I could stay for a night at one of the other small bays on the southwest past of the island. Here is my position at this time.

The culinary theme is another topic besides chess. Today was stewed vegetables with the beef and San Miguel beer.

On the reading side, I finished Lui Bussinar teenager's book "Captain Breakneck" about brave young Frechman fighting with Southafricans for their independence against British invasion in the end of 19th century. Haven''t read it when I was the age of the hero.

13 August 2014

Last night I was motorsailing downwind. The 20 kt head wind prognosis got postponed for about 4 hours. It was supposed to begin blowing at 10 but started in fact at 14 local time. It was good because the distance against the wind became shorter. Still, the apparent wind was 30 kts gusting to 34! Almost a gale! As people say about the Med: either no wind or too much wind. I sailed under the jib and half main helping with the engine to go as much closed haul as possible. When the gusts went over 30, I took the jib down. It was couple of miles of Ibiza and initially I thought to hide under the lee shore in Cala Jondal but when I got very close to the rocky shore, the wind subsided because of high mountains. I decided to continue along the shore to the north (I thought that anchorage in Cala Jondal was forbidden) but soon realized that down the road the strong head wind would reappear. When I was passing Cala d'Hort I was able to pick the WiFi signal and got the fresh weather report. The wind would die by the night and tomorrow it would only be 10 kts abeam. I dropped the anchor in front of the beach among other boats. Of course, the WiFi was only available at sea. The steep mountain walls screened off the signal.

The morning chess game against Fritz ended up with a mate on move 38. Fritz played Old Indian Defence and lost.

14 August 2014

I got up at 8:30, had breakfast and continued sailing to San Antonio anchorage, which was on the north side of Ibiza. It was short distance, just 11 miles from Cala d'Hort. Two and a half hours later I dropped the anchor in this night life paradise.

17 August 2014 - Ibiza Bike Trip

During my previous visit Ibiza three years ago I only saw San Antonio and travelled to Eivissa by bus. Therefore, this time I decided to explore the island a bit more. I started around 10AM biking from San Antonio towards San Josep. The island was not as high as most islands in the Azores. The maximum elevation that I reached was less than 250 meters but it did not mean that the trip was not challenging. The sun and heat offset the lack of steep mountains in Ibiza. Still compared to Curacao, it was easy - there was not much wind, just enough to cool down.

Given the moderate conditions I was able to cover the distance of 60 km in 6 hours, stopping here and there. I ended up in Talamanca beach where my Polish friend Maciek picked me up in his car and we went for a dinner to his place and then he drove me back home because it was getting dark.

What did I see? Not much but the salt pile in Las Salinas was interesting as well as rattling cedars. I was curious about the nature of this sound, which was similar to a cricket singing. If you read a book by Vladimir Megre "Ringing Cedars of Russia", then you may know what I am talking about.

I should mention one other place - the ruins of an ancient necropolis dated V B.C. - VII A.D.

And grapes - I was able to pick them fresh on a back road of the airport. I was so hungry and the berries were so delicious that forgot to make a picture.

August 23 - 29, 2014 - Sailing to Africa on Hippie Hip (Beneteau 50)

My Russian friends Leonid and Anya with a mixed crew from Russia, Spain and Slovakia had been sailing from Barcelona to Melilla (Spain), Port Saidia (Morocco) and then back, made a stop in San Antoni to put on their international crew-list a Canadian passport.

There was almost no wind, so we motored most of the time but the company was amazing and the captain''s hour (a happy hour on boats) started at noon and lasted, give or take, till... the next noon. People instinctively touched their livers and murmured something about starting a new life but could not resist the majority and therefore, continued to enjoy the voyage.

You may see the pictures of the crew and Melilla in this album and the pictures of Morocco in this.

14 September 2014 - Ibiza Bike Trip 2

It was time to recover from the drinking voyage and train other organs by spinning the pedals up hill. This time I went to the north-east part of Ibiza, cycling towards Portinatx. The road was similar to the previous biking trip. The maximum elevation was 260 meters and the total distance - 70 km. It took me 3 hours one way. At the end of the route, I found a cozy bay, called Cala des Xuclar, where spent couple of hours in a shadow on the beach drinking beer and watching topless breasts. On the way back, I picked some grapes and figs along the road.

I need to correct my previous post about ringing cedars. As I found from Italian people that I hosted on Beruta couple of days before, these are not the cedars but pines and the ringing sound is produced by cicadas!

All pictures from Ibiza are on Google+.