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Mallorca Yacht Rally: What is a Cala?

Maggie's avatar By Maggie | 16 Jun 2017
Cala de sa Colabra Yacht at anchor

The Spanish term ‘cala’ means cove in English, but the literal translation gives no hint of what to expect when entering a cala from the sea. They are more like Scandinavian Fjords.

Our first encounter on the east coast of Mallorca is Cala Magraner where the cliffs from either side meet at a pebbly beach. We swim, enjoy some lunch, relax and just absorb the absolutely amazing surrounds. The sky is clear and the air temperature is comfortably in the high-twenties. The water colour is a green that sits somewhere in the spectrum between turquoise and emerald. The water temperature is about 22˚C. A warm breeze blows gently from the sea and keeps our yacht head to a persistent swell generated by a distant north easterly Tramontane. At the head of the Cala is a narrow strip of sand with a few lounging lizards at the waters’ edge. 

The crew from ‘Agrasot’ find an underwater cave that they courageously dive into, they stay at the anchorage for the night, again marveling at the near full moon, which still throws enough light to turn night into day. They have an inveterate chef in their crew who rolls an amazing dinner out of the very adequate galley of their Dufour 460 and they eat in wonder under the stars.
The committee boat crew stay the night in Porto Colom where our floating pontoon requires that we walk a full 50 metres to an excellent restaurant where our host spoils us with a dinner to die for. The weather is calm and the night interrupted only by the occasional departure of a fishing boat in the early hours of the morning.

More meandering then on to Cala Mitjana, barely three boat lengths wide with rust, ochre and grey mixed in nature’s palate for the painting of the walls, which are topped by the ubiquitous Mediterranean Cypress trees adding a touch of light green to the mix. Mysteriously there are huge holes in the layered cliffs, blown it seems by a fiery giant when all of these calas were being crafted by the forces of nature.

Three German climbers practice the art of being spiders on an overhanging cliff face and their otherwise suicidal falls are thankfully into the sea.

All of these Calas are safe as overnight anchorages in the right conditions and when they prevail it is a must do. But even when there is a swell they make great day anchorages where it is possible to enjoy the best, as we did.

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At anchor in Cala Mitjana
A yacht from the Mallorca Yacht Rally fleet at anchor in Cala Mitjana