Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cala Trebaluger to Calas Coves

Wednesday 20 June 2007

I got up at 0530 and checked the fishing lines. Ana had caught a large sargo. I put it in a tide pool and re baited her hook. Angel’s line and mine too were hung up in the rocks, so I couldn’t retrieve them. Angel was up at 0600 and retrieved Boris’ line, but it was a rat’s nest. I made 3 more lines and redeployed them. Last night I found a stone building near where we were fishing. I explored it this morning. There is no door. It is a single room with a fireplace, mattress, and a shelf with canned food. It appears that someone camps here regularly.

We finished a breakfast of café, cookies and gazpacho and began packing the boats. Angel and I considered recovering our lines by diving, but didn’t take the time to do it. Angel spent some time identifying plants this morning and found hinojo marino the Spanish name for the plant the Mayorquin pickle and eat with Pamboli. I took down my tarp. I slept under it last night and everything was dry this morning. Many of our fishing lines were caught in the rocks. Boris recovered as much as he could. I recovered one more line before paddling up the torrent to Horts de Trebalúger while the others played in the surf and returned to es Pont de n’Aleix to show the caves to Boris and Caryn.

Horts de Trebalúger is a very different habitat from any other I have seen here in Illes Baleares. It is an albufera, a wetland. The higher parts of it are hayfields. The hills on either side of the albufera are covered in oak and pine trees. I can hear and even see small birds flitting here and there through the trees. The sounds of insects are everywhere. This is the richest environment I have seen in the Illes Baleares. As I returned to the beach I saw Angel paddling toward me to tell me that the others had returned from es Pont d’en Aleix and paddled on to the east out of our sight.

We paddled harder and faster than usual to catch up. We passed two pretty calas, Fustam and Escorxada, without exploring them. We caught up with our paddling companions before we got to Platja de Binigaus where we visited with another paddler headed the other way. Boris and I paddled over the tombolo between Illot de Binicodrell and the beach. There are big hotels on the beach at Punta Negra and an offshore reef, Escall d’en Salat, that looks like it might be an interesting place to snorkel or dive.

We landed just west of Son Bou. Angel, Boris, Caryn, and I walked into town carrying garbage to dispose of. My camera battery died on the way into town. We bought groceries, ate ice cream, and took a shower on our way back to the kayaks, piraguas, for lunch. Angel and I slept a siesta and I wrote some notes while looking at the coastline aeroguide. David and Ana went into town for a shower and returned at 1630. It is really hot here on the beach. I am really thankful for the meager shade provided by Angel’s half shelter. There is really no place for me to rig my tarp.

We left the beach a bit before 1700, paddled past Son Bou, Cala Llucalari, Cova de sa Calç, Cala de Sant Llorenç and sa SarolaThe cliffs here are quite white in places. We saw some deep caves with stalactites. The openings of these caves were well above sea level. The geology appears very confused with neatly layered tan to brown blocks standing on edge right next to a solid white block or a cave. There is a small swell out of the SE and refraction waves off the cliffs.

At s’Estalo a young gull climbed aboard Boris’ kayak to seek refuge from two older gulls that were attacking it. He asked me for some of the Sepia I was carrying in my forward hatch so he could see if the gull would eat some of it. I landed in a tide pool behind a large boulder to get the Sepia out and to replace the battery in my camera. I changed my camera battery at Son Bou, but it was dead after only a few photos. I must have mixed up my good and dead batteries. The tide pool appeared to be a fairly calm place to open up the hatch to get the Sepia and a fresh battery.

Just as I had my camera open, a dead battery in one hand, and a fresh one in the other, a wave washed through the tide pool. I didn’t drop the camera nor the batteries, and managed to keep them fairly dry, but my paddle washed off the rocks and into the adjacent surge channel. Fortunately Boris and Angel were still nearby, and Boris noticed my predicament. He recovered my paddle and threw it to me. I quickly put my camera back together and closed the hatch, securing the Sepia on deck. I had difficulty getting out of the now high and dry tide pool. By the time I resumed paddling, Boris and Angel were several hundred meters ahead of me. Boris had secured the sea gull under his spray skirt and was no longer looking for something to feed it.

We passed Cala en Porter before arriving at Cales Coves at 1900. Cales Coves is a very interesting place. Lots of caves have been cut into the cliffs. They were used as burial chambers during the Iron Age, about 3000 years ago. Most are now closed to entry by metal grates. Several boats are anchored in the cala, and some people are swimming and diving among the boats. A dozen or two young people are sitting on the rocks sunning themselves. Two are playing didgeridoos quite well. The sound goes well with beauty of the cala in the late afternoon light. The cala has two arms. A road leads to the eastern one. Two cars are parked on the beach there, so we decide to land at the western one that drains the land behind Urbania Cala En Porter, only a kilometer to the west. There is a fishing camp on the north bank of this arm of the cala, with a very picturesque llaut, moored in front of the camp.

We made camp on the fine sand beach at the head of this cala. Boris took the gull out of his boat and held it while I cut up Sepia and placed it in the gull’s mouth. The gull seemed happy to swallow it. It stayed around camp for a while, but wandered off into the bushes and disappeared while we were setting up camp and preparing supper. Angel snorkeled a bit and came back to camp reporting a lot of large fish under one of the boats anchored in the cala. He suggested we rig a hook on a pole to catch one of them. I used to fasten a hook to a small bungee cord threaded through the eyes of a short fishing rod. I was then able to snag fish under the mandible, and put them into a mesh bag while I measured and tagged it. I was later able to recapture the same fish for age and growth studies. However, I am sure that this is not a legal method of capture here in Menorca.

Boris began cooking. He made a bean salad. Angel made risotto with shrimp in it. Ana, David, and Caryn cut up some bread, sausage, cheese, and opened a bottle of red wine. I took food, water and gear out of my boat and vegetated. I have not made much of a contribution to the cooking this trip. That role is so well filled by the others, that I haven’t seen much that I can do to help. So I often write while others cook. I didn’t even feel like writing this evening. Two other kayakers joined us on the beach later. And some of the people that had been sitting on the rocks when we arrived hiked or swam to the beach where we had made camp. Some of them hiked up the torrent, possibly to Cala en Porter. We finished supper shortly after 2100 and visited until 0000, however, I slept through much of the conversation.

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