Calpe > Mallorca

Our First Offshore Crossing

Our journey from the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands was a unique experience. If you think that this is because it was our first offshore passage, you're mistaken (even though we've never been that far away from land before). Who would have thought that we would be underway for twice as long as planned and cover a total of 136 nautical miles instead of around 60?


A week after Raphael flew back to Austria, the time had finally come. After a few months, we left the Spanish mainland behind and set out for the Balearic Islands. We spent our last night on land in a marina to rest up and refill our tanks.



July 23rd 23

05:30 AM. Rise and shine. We prepared ourselves and the boat for the crossing. We didn't get our deposit back for the power adapter we rented for 20 € the previous day. So, we finally owned our own adapter, and the marina was 20 € richer. That didn't bother us. The only thing that mattered in that moment was getting underway.

06:10 AM. Departure. It was still dark as we left the marina in Calpe. Absolute silence prevailed, making the departure maneuver even more relaxed. We were filled with a mix of joy and nervousness. At sunrise, we finally hoisted the sails and turned off the engine – what a relief.


07:30 AM. Clack, clack. We heard strange noises. Uh-oh, what's happening? After a brief moment of panic, we found the source of the noise: Our flexible solar panels were detaching from the sprayhood, our sunshade, and were about to go on their own adventure. I carefully leaned over the boat to hold them in place while Lukas searched for something to secure them with. We didn't want to remove or unplug them since they were meant to provide us with power. One thing that most sailboats have enough of on board is ropes. So, we quickly secured the solar panels with ropes around the sunshade to keep them in place. To our surprise, this quick fix held well.


08:45 AM. Since the start of our journey in early July in the Atlantic, we had been constantly accompanied by cargo ships. We were used to mostly giving way even though we, under sail, had the right of way. Besides, it wasn't always clear whether someone else would give way, so for safety's sake, we often adjusted our course ourselves. We were particularly pleased with an especially friendly captain who communicated over the radio: "Sailing Vessel Lunara, I see you, I change my course."


The rest of the journey passed quickly. From 2 PM, we had to use the engine more often for support as the wind unexpectedly subsided, and otherwise, we would have been too slow to arrive in daylight.

9:30 PM. Land in sight. Just before sunset, we had made it to our planned anchorage, "Platja de Cala D’Hort" on Ibiza. What a feeling. Our friends from Sailing Pumba were already waiting for us on their boat. Upon arrival, twilight was already setting in. The anchorage was full. There wouldn't have been space either too close to the rocks or other boats, in water too shallow or too deep, or amidst the seagrass. Even though we tried, our anchor winch was giving us problems too. This was the final confirmation that we shouldn't keep trying in this bay. We opted to give up and continued. Restlessness and sadness set in. We could already see the end in sight and pictured ourselves raising a toast with a beer. Nevertheless, we pressed on. What awaited us in the next bays unsettled us even more: The anchorages weren't just crowded, which wasn't apparent on AIS, but most boats were also unlit. That could have been dangerous... Not to mention that in this darkness, we couldn't determine whether we would be anchoring in the protected poseidonia (seagrass) or sand – it was a gamble, especially since seagrass wouldn't provide a secure hold. Under these conditions, we definitely didn't want to try again. So, we continued along the west coast towards the north.


11:00 PM. We faced two options: to cruise along the coast (up and down) and anchor the next morning in a suitable bay, or skip the island and head straight towards Mallorca. How should we decide? Basically, we would have visited Ibiza anyway, as it was on our route, so we didn't care much about the island. Moreover, our initial impressions weren't particularly inviting for more exploration. On the other hand, we were tired, exhausted and had to work again in a few hours (Happy Monday). Would we have enough internet reception? Would our engine, which had already caused us so many problems, hold up? The wind, which had picked up to 20 knots and was quite gusty, didn't exactly bring more tranquility to the situation.

One thing was clear: Both options meant a strenuous night, despite working in shifts. We decided to postpone the decision a few hours, as in either case, we first had to head north.

July 24th, 03:00 AM. Off to Mallorca. We chose to leave Ibiza behind and sail directly to the next island. Our new destination: Andratx. For the next three hours, the wind died down again, so we turned the engine back on, which luckily held up without problems. Shortly before nautical dawn, we could finally hoist the sails again and sail into the day. What a feeling.

07:00 AM. The workday began but Starlink had a different plan. During the crossing, we had turned off our Starlink. In the morning, we wanted to activate it again and upgraded to the nautical plan, which costs a lot but was necessary for work. After numerous attempts, it finally worked, and we were relieved to soon be in Mallorca.


In the morning, we immediately got in touch with the marina in Andratx and were fortunate enough to reserve the last mooring buoy there. After ultimately covering twice the planned distance, we were relieved not to have to worry about anchoring in the overcrowded bays of the balearic islands.


01:00 PM. Finally arrived. After 31 hours & 136.1 NM, the time had finally come: We had reached our new destination.

Overjoyed and exhausted, we moored at the buoy in Andratx and started into a peaceful afternoon.