Monday, June 18, 2007

Kayaking from Cala Algairens to Cala Blanca

Monday 18 June 2007

It rained lightly most of the night. When I was awake I could hear raindrops hitting my tarp, but only occasionally did one hit my face. Ana got up at about 0330 to tell me that Boris and Caryn had room for me in their tent. I declined her offer saying I would just cover my bag with part of the tarp. There was some lightning that lit up the clouds beautifully. Some kind of animal, bird I suspect, called all night and lots of birds were calling when I woke up at 0600. My sleeping bag is actually dryer than usual this morning. The clouds kept the heat in so there was no dew, and my body heat evaporated most of the rain that fell on my bag, but I and my bag are covered in wet sand. I went for a swim to get some of the sand out of my hair, my ears, and off my body.

A fisherman came to the beach from the village at 0630. He looked for bait on the rocks and in the dead sea grass in the shallow water of the beach. I greeted him with the Mallorquin, Bon dia, but he seemed preoccupied with his search for bait.

At 0700 I saw Ana crawl out of her tent, and Angel carrying his pad down the beach from the direction of the cabin at the north end of the beach. I suspect he slept on the porch of the cabin after it began to rain last night. We went back to the deck of the cabin to prepare breakfast
of cappuccino and cookies.

I spoke with the fisherman again, and he was quite friendly now that he had his bait collecting long line set. He explained to me what he was doing. He had mops on a long line with a piece of yam tied into the center of each mop. Each mop was full of isopods. He placed a wet towel in a basket and poured the isopods into the towel. He had about 2 liters of isopods that he will use for bait while fishing off the rocks.

I hiked through the dunes and photographed some of the plants. There is a vine with twice pinnate leaves that is covered with white blooms, each with 4 petals, infinite stamens, a pistil with 5 divisions and no sepals, a very spiny umbel, daffodils, a beach radish, dune grass, and several prostrate plants with no flowers.

When we were ready to launch the kayaks, I couldn't find a paddle. David got the spare out for me, Angel looked along the shoreline to the south. After we left at 0930, Ana and David searched the southwestern shoreline of the cala and found our missing paddle, but I was well ahead of them by then so Ana carried it on her deck until she caught up with me. Ana developed some pain in her right shoulder this morning and that slowed her progress. She was no longer ahead of me.

We passed Cala Morell. The rocks on either side of the cala are quite different. Those on the east side of the cala are much older, Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras. Those on the west are of the tertiary period. Fifteen caves dug into the rock walls of the cala were used for human burial during the iron age, 800 BC. There are lots of large, new, single family homes and multistory apartment buildings on top of the rock walls of the cala. Conical stone structures, ses barraques, dot the landscape between Cala Morell and Ciutadella. Some were built in the neolithic Era, but others are modern and used to house livestock. No mortar is used in the construction of these buildings.

At Punta d'es Single there is a very large cave that we explored. I took advantage of the quiet water in the deepest recess of the cave to get out of my kayak, and change the battery in my camera. We passed Faro de Punta Nati, a lighthouse and explored another very deep narrow cave and a natural bridge between Punta Galera and sa Falconera.

We stopped for lunch at Cala en Blanes near Ciutadella. This a very urbanized cala. Homes line either side of the cala, and there is a large hotel near the narrow, crowded, fine, white sand beach at the head of the cala. We took our kayaks out of the water and placed them on what appeared to be a private quay. A life guard greeted us and we visited with her for nearly an hour. She is a ski instructor in the winter. We walked to the beach, bought ice cream and granizados. I bought a mint granizado that turned my tongue green. We slept, took a fresh water shower, and went shopping for groceries before returning to the boats.

We probably left Cala en Blanes about 1730 and paddled directly to Cala Blanca. Cala Blanca is another very urban beach with lounge chairs, umbrellas, and paddle boats for rent. We arrived there at 1900 and waited for people to leave the crowded beach before spreading out our gear. Boris served pomadas, and we snacked on bread frutas secas, dried fruit and nuts, and canned mussels in escabeche sauce until the sun went down behind the trees, casting what I found to be a welcome shadow on the beach. Now that the sun was gone, the crowd began to leave the beach.

I occupied one of the abandoned lounge chairs. The vendor woke from his nap, and began taking down the umbrellas, and stacking the chairs. I got up to get out of his way, but he told me to relax and enjoy the use of his chair. He very graciously left several chairs unstacked for our use when he left the beach. I wrote a while, but fell asleep shortly after 2000.

When I woke at 2100 Boris was putting up his tent. He had made a salad, and Ana, Angel, and David had gone fishing using the cuttlefish Ana found yesterday for bait. Actually she snagged it on the hook she was trolling behind her kayak. It was headless ,but the skin still had good color, and it smelled good. We had decided to not eat it, but to save it for bait.

When Ana, David, and Angel returned from their fishing trip without any fish, David and Angel made Favada with canned beans and morcilla. It was quite good. We ate it with a lot of bread and of course, the salad. Boris contributed a bottle of red wine, which we thoroughly enjoyed. I photographed the conjunction of Venus and the waxing crescent moon with the nearby restaurants in the foreground. I went to sleep shortly after 2300 on one of the lounge chairs. It was too hot to get into my sleeping bag, so I put on long pants, a long sleeved shirt, my rain jacket, and tied my Buzz Off bandanna over my ears and under my chin to ward off the mosquitoes. The calves of my legs and fore arms still have itching welts 10 to 15 mm across from the bites I got shortly after we arrived at Cala Algaiarens. The mosquitoes seem to be biting at dusk and a few at dawn too. I wish I had brought some insect repellent.

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