Ibiza – Barcelona: 300 nautical miles on a LEEN 56

The proposal was made early last summer by LEEN Trimarans: why not come aboard for part of the trip just before the fall boat shows, as they would be delivering the LEEN 56 #2 from La Rochelle to Cannes? Multihulls World naturally agreed.

August 27th - Day 1 - Ibiza


The weather in the Balearics is so miserable that air traffic is completely out of kilter: my flight is delayed by a good two hours and the journey over Mallorca is punctuated by severe turbulence. On land, the wind blew at more than 70 knots and there were downpours in the south of the island... Further south, in Ibiza, the conditions were a little better. At anchor just a stone’s throw from Talamanca beach, Brieuc was celebrating his birthday - and instead of blowing out his candles, he was leaning on the engine against the gusts. With no room in the harbor and a ban on disembarking, we ended up at the Eivissa Marine fuel dock before anchoring further east at the Platja de ses Figueretes. There was total protection from the north, but it was now the tramontana wind that had replaced the storms... Apart from the fact that Alfred and Marc, the two journalists who were due to join us on board, were also delayed, the weather forecast seemed to be conspiring against our objective of heading north. In the meantime, I was getting my bearings aboard the LEEN 56. The water was 84°F (29°C), which was ideal for a swim. A very calm evening allowed us to (finally) celebrate Brieuc’s birthday ashore.

The anchorage at Platja de ses Figueretes, despite its proximity to the old town of Ibiza, is surprisingly uncrowded.
The anchorage at Platja de ses Figueretes, despite its proximity to the old town of Ibiza, is surprisingly uncrowded.
The shelter is excellent with the south-westerly to north-easterly winds passing to the North.
The shelter is excellent with the south-westerly to north-easterly winds passing to the North.

August 28th - Day 2 - Ibiza / Ricarlos


The previous day’s forecast was proved right: to the north of the Balearics, there were 50 knot gusts and 16-foot (5-meter) waves. Nobody wanted to go there - not even Brieuc, who had seen it all before. So we decided to sail around the area in question, taking the long way round to the west and reaching the Spanish mainland as quickly as possible. It looked as though we’d be dropping anchor near Barcelona rather than Port-Leucate as originally planned. After a hearty snack prepared in the galley, we set sail for the two spectacular islands of Vedranell and Vedra, to the south-west of Ibiza. Piloting from the flybridge is a real pleasure. The engine was brought up to 2,000 rpm, and frankly, you can’t hear it that much, even in the saloon. I joined Brieuc in the engine room, where it is noisy and hot! The sea is already choppy, and the 55-mile crossing doesn’t look like being easy. At the start, a heavy head-on chop didn’t bother us too much: the LEEN 56’s slender hulls coped perfectly with these testing waters. Then the wind shifted to the south-west and so did the waves, and it became downright uncomfortable because the rolling was rather pronounced. This is not unique to the LEEN 56 - it’s just that the sea, with its 8-foot (2.5 m) waves, was now really quite rough. Venturing onto the flybridge became complicated, so this is where the interior helm station really comes into its own. Around midnight, we arrived in Moraira. There was only one boat at anchor, its ...

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