So – changes in weather allowed us to continue our way to the west, avoiding Cartagena (hoorrrray!).
After sailing along the beauriful spanish coast we arrived to a small town San Jose – the last stop before desirable Almeria, that is already Andalusia!
We didn’t have time to discover the town because the first and the second concerns we had were interntet and supermarket. The third and the last one – to get out of there before the sunset, or the night promised to be bumpy and sleepless.
The bay, where we stopped, was surrounded by hills, dry and thorny. The sea was blue, and there was a beach with some naked and dressed sunbathers.
We arranged a walk to the top of the hill, where we found a strange cube-cylindre construstion. All we could do was just to climb it make a photo : )
There’re was a road, leading in unknown direction. And that raised curiousity. So we went up, following the path, without aim, without any certain idea.
From the hill road we could see secret corners of Spanish coast : ) Not deserted, unfortunately.
Not far from San Jose there’re caves but already occupied by commercial firms. But we were satisfied with coastal grottas.
Now we’re in Almeria, right now going to see ancient Alcozaba. Tomorrow leaving to Nerja or Velez-Malaga. Pretty long way, 65 miles, about 14 hours of sailing… See you there : )
What I was expecting from Spain? Andaluse horses, dancing on narrow streets of old idyllic towns. Romantic hidalgos, playing Spanish guitar at warmness of southern night. Passionate flamenco dancers, firing hearts with love and suffering.
Well, for this moment I haven’t found them even on pictures of ad prospects. My first impression was Cartagena – a port, the industrial center of Eastern Spain. Cranes, fishing boats, blocs of houses.
Still I preserve my hope to find horses and guitars on the south-west from here. And thanks to Cristiano, he kindly tries to make a plan that will meet my dreams, if the weather and prices on marina allows us.
On parallel 37°59.9430N we crossed the Greenwich meridian, and our way now lays to the west.
Yesterday we were “attacked” by a small fleet of racing yachts. We were “lucky” to get on their way (it was a film shooting) and just in time run away before our ass was kicked (sorry for my French!).
We’re anchoring in a quite bumpy place, and “Vagabond” was sighing sadly for the whole night, because of waves, pushing him. Anyway, the landscape is beautiful here. Moreover, yesterday we discovered something that, probably, will make me to go back to this small bay, lost between mountain edges…
On the other side of the rock, where we anchor, there is another beach, where we headed in search of internet. That beach appeared to be …a nude beach, and it was full.
From a lovely bay, created by amazing rocks, we entered the nude town El Portus!!!
Actually, this place – Natursta El Portus (region of Murcia) – is a camping, where people rent a tent, or a house on wheels, or a small simple house or come with their own staff. Most of people here do not wear clothes. They are relaxed and friendly. Near the houses there’re beautiful flowerbeds with toys and statues, trees are decorated with colorful threads and even fenders (from where do they get so many of them? Catch from Mediterranean those that are lost by yachts?).
We walked through clean streets, watched houses, shadowed by trees, fences, covered by flowers. Mountains protect this idyllic piece of the world with their mighty slopes.
I heard French speaking, and there’re many books in Dutch and German in a small library of the town. There I’ve found a new book to read, and Cristiano left some of Vagabond’s tonight. The evening we spent in a bar, where people come clothed and naked, even with dogs. But all of them – with good mood. In front of the bar there was a cinema session under the open sky.
Kayaking, beach volleyball, dances – this is how “natural” people spend their days.
Vibes of this place are very positive, and I would love to spend more time here. So – hurry up to write down coordinates : )
After Ibiza I want to ask myself: what’s rich life? Money and fame?
Night gifts me millions diamonds of stars. Dolphins guard the tranquility of our small yacht at night and day. Any silks can’t be compared with kind embrace of Mediterranean sea. And what can be more gorgeous than golden sunrise?
Looks like I’m happy now. Happy when my inner world and outer world fit each other. Happy, when harmony is created by nature and my heart hand by hand.
Had a wish to write some philosophy but feel it waste of time and words. I try to make my memory a blank list and not to sink in my past and past of people, who surround me. Always searching for support in previous experiences, I’ve been acting the same scenario. Time to write a new play.
We’re again in the middle of Mediterranean night, and it’s time to tell the fairy tale about Ibiza.
This Spanish island is amazingly beautiful. If to forget for a moment about entertainment industry and imagine the picturesque fantasy island – that definitely could be Ibiza.
Cala Binirras (beach Binirras)
In the first bay, where we stop, all was awaiting the Full moon party.
The small beach that doesn’t look like party place during the day at night is occupied by drummers. Sound of djembe is heard from far away and makes heart bit in rhythm. At the first evening we shared barbeque on “La Palapa”, but I couldn’t stay apart of African call and rushed to the beach. There I recalled my beloved Paris and my friends from Western Africa – I miss them dearly and will be back with my djembe one day to play on steps of Sacre Coeur again.
Cala Basa (beach Basa)
The second bay gifted me amazing snorkeling!
This was the most charming underwater garden I’ve ever seen! Like flowers and lianas, white and green sea plants cover the rocks that are dotted with numerous grottos. Fish of all sizes and colors feel themselves free and safe there, and even small jelly fishes were playing, chasing each other. I was lucky not to step on the nest of sea hedgehogs, while exploring the cave under the rocky coast.
Actually, this underwater zoo is not a wonder but usual picture for Mediterranean coast : )
In the third bay, where we stopped, Luis at the same moment noticed “features” of upcoming party.
Cala Yondal (beach Yondal)
And he was right! The evening we spent on the beach, drinking wine on shezlongs that were more familiar to sofas. “Soft” interior and pictures on walls, green trees with sofas-bed under them created the atmosphere. But most of all we loved the toilet with warm wet towels a la Japanese restaurant!
This bar, probably, not the best place for active party people but definitely pleasant place to spent evening with friends (if ready to spend some amount of euros). And completely in style of relaxed Ibiza!
About night in “Pasha” club in Ibiza town I wrote in the previous post. The next day (after proper sleep till midday and saying goodbye to Luis and Kate) we left “The Party island” and headed to the south of Islas Baleares – the island Formentera. It welcomed us with gorgeous rocky cliffs and a shelter bay… that also served a shelter for other 56 boats! We dreamt about deserted place, but to find it on Baleares in the middle of summer is almost impossible. So – we became 57th…
Puerto El Esplamador
I don’t remember when the last time I spent my days so lovely way. We made a walk across the park to the ancient tower on the cape of the island. “The park” on Formentera is a dry land, covered with scarce bush and grass, bordered with stone fences or natural cliffs, going down to the sea. At the entrance there’s a kind demand not to disturb local lizards.
On the way to the tower we found two charming bays. I couldn’t but make a swim a one of them. And again was lucky to avoid sea hedgehogs))
Near the beach – dry lake with some “healthy” mud on the edge – popular touristic spot. I wonder: if this mud is really healing or people have just found another entertainment for themselves?
Next days visited the town nearby (as internet-addicted people can’t stay apart of the net for a long time) and roasted on a beach for a while – another lovely leisure I haven’t done for ages.
Entrance fee to the club is 50 euros. But if you order a diner in its restaurant with a bill at least 70 euros per person, access to the party is free. This is what we decided to do. We – Cris, me, Crisa’s brother Luis, Katty, Roger and Karly from our “fellow yacht” “La Palapa”.
And here we are! Yes, menu impresses but it was worth it. Definitely, the food was perfect, that confessed even my friends, more experienced in this quiestion. I recommend foie gras, sashimi and rolls. And I loved that coctail with strawberry and sake!
We spent in a restaurant… 4 hours. That was efficient time to spend “necessary” sum of 70 euros (we “made” 100 but that wasn’t prohibited : ) and discuss several lively and philosophic issues, discover photos on restaurant walls and several times visit common bathroom with sofa and people hanging out in it.
Our party has started at 2.30am. I’m not a fan of this kind of leisure. But I love new experience – and I’m on Ibiza! I loved our small company and were dancing in a crowd for two hours. The club is huge, atmospheric but – for my taste – a bit overcrowded (closer to 4am). There’re balconies, where there’s more space, and several other halls. But we had a desired to be in the centre of the party.
We left at 4.30 and slept like babies till 12.30))
What was before… ciao, Italy! 3 days of sailing without wind and – Buenos noches, Espana! Party on “La Palapa”, drum party on a beach, party on lounge in a bay… party, party – that’s really what Ibiza is about. In every shop, cafe, taxi dancing music sounds. And there’s no need to pay 50 euros per party: there’re many of them, held on beaches all around the island, for free. Will give you a couple of links in the next post : )
I wrote much about beauty of Italian islands and my feelings about the cruise but haven’t written yet any words about a person, regarding to whom this trip has become a reality.
I’ve found my captain Cristiano on the site www.findacrew.com. It’s a resource for captains and those, who are searching for sailing job or opportunity. Still there’re many amateur crew members and boat-hikers.
I was searching for a boat to Middle East or Egypt and without money contribution – hitch-hiking budget trip through Africa was my first plan. So I subscribed to newsletter. This is how I got a profile of Cristiano, who’s going completely different direction – to Brazil. It was just a curiosity to send a wave to him and see what the response will be. And I got it very soon!
We got along well through e-mails, and, despite the dream about Africa, despite necessity to contribute with money, I decided to go to Brazil.
Cris have been sailing around the world for four years. Caribbean, Galapagos islands, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Maldives, Red sea and Middle East, Mediterranean… I feel I can hear many jealous signs. Or that is just mine?
Now his way lays to Brazil, his home country. When his boat “Vagabond” will enter port of Salvador, round-the-world journey will be complete.
We met in Taormina, Sicily. My first thought, when I saw Cristiano, was: “He’s so young!” And his sunny character is another reason for me to think like that now. I’ve never felt so comfortable with a person that I met just several minutes ago.
And I keep this warm feeling already for a month that we sail in Mediterranean.
His boat “Vagabond” is a small world that preserves touch of so many lands that he has been to: you can find on board Australian boomerangs, Arabic jam, Portugese books and a map of Cook island.
And now I feel that I would be ready to follow Cris to any place of the world.
Here I stop my writing, because any portrait would lack the unique personality that can’t be described.
I’m happy that my way brought me on board of “Vagabond”. One more month lays in front of us.
Yesterday at night the wind reached 35 knots. It made such a loud and horrible noise that I felt myself as if being in the middle of military airport at the beginning of war. The wind sang hellish songs and sent damns to all who hid in shelter in time. So did we. We had returned to St.Pietro, and the bay, where we stayed the previous time, should had safe us from fierce north-west wind. There were 10 other yachts, who found the shelter for that night there.
The “address” of the hospitable bay: 39°06.0270N, 008°18.2403E. This place is interesting not only because of the good anchorage, another reason to stop there – further in this post.
The map of St.Pietro that we have on board is ornated with pictures of pink birds – flamingos. In the middle of the town there’s a lagoon, where these birds are often seen. When we stayed in the town, I watched for them for two days – and saw no one. “Probably, they are seasonal”, – was my suggestion.
Isabel was leaving “Vagabong” on 9th of August. When she went to the town to discover the way to Sardinian airport, she found a couple of attractions, very close to our bay: ruins of an old church and a lake with… flamingos! On Tuesday I got a mission to see them.
I was lucky to find an English-Italian speaking guy, who helped me in communication with locals. With some difficulties we defined the spot. 1 km down the road – and it’s in front of me: half lake, half swamp. I recognised my “dream” birds from a distance: their light-coloured feather reflected the light of the sun, setting down, and were shining. There were many of them – probably, a hundred, maybe, more.
Birds look graceful, when they feed, bowing their long necks to the water, or walk in shallow water. But when they reach a deeper place, they start to look very clumsy and funny, lifting high their thin legs.
Their voice is quite grumpy, and they sound like a crowd of old angry ladies.
They heard me and hurried to escape to another part of the lake. I took my shoes off to be more quiet, but it didn’t help. They know well that humans are not those creatures that deserve trust.
When they rose from the water to fly away, I saw bright pink back of their wings. Almost as bright as a sunset…
Sometimes we don’t need reasons to feel happy. We just don’t need reasons to feel unhappy.
Today is 7th of August. Or my goodness, almost autumn! In most of 24 years of my life the start of august brought a panic to my mind: after the last month of summer I’m close to winter, frosts and 4-months-long sleep. I always felt myself like a peasant, who survive – not live! – winter time.
Well, this august I spend in Mediterranean with perspective to avoid winter at all. Because the next destination is… Brazilian summer!!! That’s a high point – to move from summer to summer and never be back to winter time. Maybe, just for a couple of weeks for snowboarding…
But why do I still feel the same? Slight panic, a touch of despair… It lives somewhere deep inside me.
But back to Mediterranean sea. We’re on the south-west coast of Sardinia. Tonight wind blows from the east so we’ve found the shelter in a cosy bay with endless sandy beach and a bar. Lovely evening, walking along the coast and colourful and charming sunset. I was sitting on a deserted beach and watched, how pink feathers disappeared above Sardinian hills, quickly covered by dark blanket of night.
We came to the beach by dinghy, but back to the yacht I swam – water of the sea was incredibly warm and overwhelmed all my body gently and calm. I turned to my back and soon a falling star gave me a chance to make a wish. But what do I need? I have everything, as always, as at every moment of my life.
The last two days we spent on the closest to Spain Italian island – St. Pietro. Main town of the island – Carloforte- reminded me toy cities from cartoons. Clean narrow streets, a fancy marina and a bay, a long coast with palms and souvenir shops. Everything is so neat and nice. I would definitely like to spend here more time.
Despite its small size, town has many amazing places to spent evening. Searching for internet, we ended up in a bar that I would easily give 5 stars from 5. The bar “L’Incudine” on Via Roma, 78 – I would become a constant guest of this kind of place even in Saint-Petersburg or Paris. Small but cosy, with books and paintings on walls, with English-speaking and friendly stuff and free WiFi (that doesn’t need registration as in many places in Italy). As we would say in Russia – with personality.
We stayed in marina of Carloforte – and that was the fanciest marina I’ve ever been: with restaurant and life music, nice showers and green carpet that covered all a quay (!!!), where children from moored boats had fun and rest. At the same time, that was a cheapest marina among European – 45 euros.
We were lucky to catch the finish of some regatta or rally. Most of yachts were French. Probably, they went from Cote-d’Azur to Sardinia. And French know how to have fun. Being back on board after 24pm, I slept with closed hatch and still heard well songs and jokes that they performed.
Cris decided to stop not on Sardinia itself but on the island nearby – the closest one to Ibiza. We felt that wind and waves do not allow us to be fast enough to get to the planned point on time. That’s why after 1,5 days and night crossing we anchored in a lovely bay of Sardinia. Picturesque rocks, blue sea with jungles of seaplants on the bottom, sailors, here it is: P. To di Piscinni 38°54.6217 N 08°46.7670 E.
I went to investigate the shore with amazing sandy beach and daffodils, growing on a dune.
When we arrived, there was quite crowded: several yachts and boats in a bay, the beach is covered with sunbathing bodies. We left the board for some beers, that I’ve found in a kiosk on wheels near the road (by the way, local beer is not bad)). When we came home, there was no one: deserted beach and empty bay… Can not say that made us sad.
Early departure and a day crossing to the island St.Pietro followed. The forecast that we downloaded on Favignana didn’t really match the weather, moreover – wind was from the opposite side. Nature is caprisious and changes her mind fast. We tucked and spent a little bit more time on way. But if to say about me – I really enjoyed yesterday. Despite from time to time bumpy sailing and wind, changing strength from zero to almost 20 knots, that was a pleasure for me. Can’t wait for another crossing.
A couple of words about Sardinia. It’s beautiful! Rocky and very green at the same time. Views are stunning here. The island is huge, and we saw only its southern coast, but it impresses. Probably, even more than Sicily.
Finally, we reached St.Pietro, filling sails with strong wind and enjoying view of windsurfers, flying like butterflies across the bay. There was no anchorage in the city. 45 euros for marina in Carloforte (eastern coast of St.Pietro island) – the cheapest among those places we’ve been in Europe. So tomorrow we head there: we run out of diesel, food, need laundry and internet. Enough reason to pay 45 euros.
Life seems great, does it? Actually, it is great, but still I feel myself like on a rollercoaster: up and down, every day my mood and desires change. I have everything I dream about. If to read my notes six months old, it’s hard to believe, how much life and world gift to me now. This “yacht being” is worth leaving behind much more than I could expect before. Little is left – to learn to live only present day. Easy to declare as a life principle, hard to follow on practice. Future doesn’t exist at this point of time, but bothers me more than my past. I stake nothing, because the only moment that exist is present moment, and it has already gone…
This note is from the Mediterranean night. It’s 01:45 and my shift. We’re driven mostly by engine, because there’s almost no wind, and empty sails are flopping slightly from time to time.
Light from the computer is very bright and blind me a little bit. But we’re in the middle of the sea, and no one is around. Big cargo ship has just passed us from the right- but she was the first and only one for two hours.
My watch is from 12 to 4 – “dogwatch”, how sailors call it. This night is calm, very calm, more than we could desire, that’s why we need to use engine. Cris doesn’t want to spend another night sailing, so we try to keep speed.
At this moment I have the most beautiful ceiling in the world. There’s no chance to overwhelm this starry sky! Millions, billions sparkling dots. Or maybe these are holes in a dark canopy, and through them the light from some heavenly world flows gently and makes me dream…
And dreams… all dreams could be fulfilled here just for an hour! Stars are falling, huge meteors are crossing half of the sky. I watch this natural and the most amazing show – and don’t have anything to wish. Am I happy?
…I don’t know. This question is too short and too deep for me to answer. In my life I have already had many moments, when, like Goethe’s Faust, I could say: “Stop, the moment, you’re wonderful”. But I would never do that, because there are so many more and more beautiful of them in front of me. Yes, I’m young and hungry for life.
I imagine what would happen, if one of Big bear’s stars falls. Probably, the world will collapse. Our bear is more beautiful than Southern cross of the Southern hemisphere. Not much time will pass, and I will say “good bye” to you, bear. For long? Who could know. And this unpredictable way is the miracle of our being.