Ibiza to Valencia -last sail of the year

Ibiza to Valencia -last sail of the year

I finally got around to reading my trip notes and posting this blog of the last sail of the season - which was several weeks ago having been engaged in a variety of end of season boat jobs.

On that day, the weather looked as if it would be as per forecast sovI pulled the hook at 09:30 and sailed off the anchorage (always nice to do that !) to start the 115 nm trip to Valencia. Headed North East between Cap Roig on Ibiza Island and Punta de sa Rajola on Illa de Tagomago (what a loverly name !) until I could tack to clear Punta des Moscarter. However the NW wind and swell kept pushing us towards the land so made several short 2 to 3 nm tacks to gain sea room. Wind was gernally 25 to 35 kn and the sea state was ‘rough’. A left-over swell of 2.6 m with waves on top adding another 2 to 2.5 nm. At times we were had >40 kn of win and seas of 5 m but took it all in our stride. As son as I could make Valencia without the need for further tacking I settled onto the starboard tack. Originally with full jib and 3/4 main we made way averaging around 5kn. As forecast the wind slowly dropped around 16:00 to 15kn. The waves also reduced to around 1 m in height. The swell however hung around for several more hours. Ran out the full genoa and wound in the jib and jogged along at 4.5 to 7.8 kn. SOG was very variable due to swell knocking the wind out the genoa every now and again. The wind continued to drop and by 19:00 was down to 8 kn. Our boat speed dropped to 2 kn at one point. The forecast had predicted the drop in wind and also it would back around to the North and increase to 20 to 30 - this was excellent because by then Valencia would be due West of our position and with the NW wind we would gradually drop down to the South of it. Nice red sunset bode well for the night. The moon came out and the man in the moon lit the way ahead. If you look in on the photo you can see his face. Interesting that us Brits talk about the man in the moon but the French and Italians refer to the moon as female (La Lune and La Luna). But then the French refer to a boat as male and we always say she is female. Funny world we live in - full of contradictions. I did not see a single boat on the water until 18:20 after 46 nm of sailing It was Beks Hail (registered in the Marshall Islands) a 190 m cargo ship steaming along at 8.4 kn on a heading of 036 Deg with a CPA of 3.4 nm passing across my bow. Bound for FOS (Marseille) - AIS is so informative ! We carried on at 2 kn - did not want to start the engine as I wanted to try and sail the whole distance without (which did not happen in the end!). The swell died down and it became very soporific. Set my alarm for every 20 minutes in case I nodded off to sleep (which I did a couple of times). Twenty minutes is the ideal period to cat nap. The correct amount of time to gain proper rest. Sleep longer and you go deeper and when you wake up you feel tired. More than 20 minutes also means you risk running into something. AIS and Radar protection ring alarms are also there for added comfort and safety.

More large cargo ships were seen in the main shipping route mid way between Ibiza and the mainland. One a 274 m oil tanker that passed in front of us 1.2 nm away - it was enormously long !

Total distance covered on this trip was 118 nm and brought my season’s sailing to a close with a total distance covered this year being 4,200 nm. I was surprised how many miles we covered just ‘messing around in the Med” !

Will continue with boat jobs and winterise the boat and then get on with plans for next season. The first trip will be in April 2020 - see my Blog on this if interested in joining