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Balearics: Changes in Menorca over the last 10 years

By Sue Richards last modified May 30, 2011 08:10 PM

Published: 2011-05-30 20:10:57
Countries: Spain

We are currently cruising in the Balearic Islands, having left the UK last August, and have been surprised by the changes we have seen since we were last here 10 years ago.

We were in Cala Binibeca a few days ago. It has the usual swimming area marked with yellow buoys and a small boat channel to the beach. We motored to the beach to take rubbish ashore, look for a supermarket and check out the beach bar. We were approached by the lifeguard and told that we could not land and the boat channel was only for entry and exit. Not quite sure entry and exit for what, but it was clear that it wasn't for us. According to the lifeguard this is a rule set by Ayuntamiento Sant Luis.

When anchored with lines ashore in Cala Covas the Guardia Civil arrived in a car and photographed all 4 boats anchored and close ups were taken of our lines ashore. We had a short length of chain attached to springs and then to rope which we usually use in marinas. When they looked directly at us we waved but were ignored, as were the French crew on the boat next to us. It gave us the impression that we were not welcome, or am I being a bit paranoid?

Most of the anchorages on the South Coast have large areas blocked off, some blocked off completely. What were well sheltered anchorages are now for swimmers only.

When ashore we have received a friendly welcome by the local population, but the prices for everything is high and the island is very quiet.

We have been here for about 5 weeks and have mostly had anchorages to ourselves and at the most there have been 5 boats in an anchorage.

When we spoke to a local travel agent they told us that only around one third of the available accommodation is occupied.

The crew of a 35ft yacht were charged 42 euros for one night in the marina in Mahon. That was the price in April. The same night in La Linea would have cost around 8 euros. I dread to think what they would charge for our 12m catamaran. We are moving on in the next few days to Mallorca.

Jackie Smith