Whimbrel Sailing Adventure travel blog

Forest fire above Palma Nova

Seaplane scooping up water in Santa Ponsa harbour

Santa Ponsa is a popular anchorage

Huge, futuristic, solar-powered boat

Santa Ponsa at sunset

Santa Ponsa at sunset - again!

You can only stay one night in Cabrera in July and August, so we sailed north-west back to Mallorca, crossing outside the Bay of Palma. We then passed through a narrow passage between Islote el Toro and Punta de Ses Barbines where the depth got down to a couple of metres below the keel which was quite exciting – we followed another boat on the basis that if they got through, we should be OK!

We saw a forest fire above Palma Nova with a huge cloud of smoke above it and as we approached Santa Ponsa, where we anchored, there were two seaplanes skimming along the surface in the bay, scooping up water and then flying off to dump it on the fire. They were doing a circuit about every five minutes and finally managed to get the fire under control towards sunset. They must be very skilled pilots and it was interesting to watch but fairly noisy as they were only 100 metres or so from the anchorage (35 nautical miles in 7 hours 50 minutes.)

If you ignore the apartment blocks on the north side of the bay, the setting is lovely at Santa Ponsa and there’s room for probably 60 or 70 yachts to anchor. When we arrived there was a very futuristic boat at the edge of the anchorage which looked like a space craft (see photo) but in fact was solar powered with the whole of the flat upper deck covered with solar panels – very ‘green’, but also very ugly….

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