After many years with my beloved Clovis, spending winters in large ports and sea metropolises such as Tarragona, Palermo, Nice, Trapani, Brindisi, Tunis and many others, my partner Mari and I decided on a different kind of winter: we decided to pass the winter with our sailboat in Formentera.
In past years, the huge amount of work and the meticulous re-building we did onboard totaling 1,400 days forced us to winter in places where it was easy to find very specific materials, spare parts and equipment, which allowed us to carry out our work independently without without the help of third parties.
This year, with my Clovis now in perfect condition, Marika, our dog Kita and I chose Formentera, given the beauty of the island, its sea and its wind protected bays. We found the harbor there particularly welcoming and well-equipped and very sheltered from storms: at the Marina of Formentera we received real sailor-like treatment; the kind that only those born on the sea and those like us who sail all year round know.
This kind of hospitality is more valuable than money: in fact, as soon as the islanders understood the nature of our visit and our stay, they gave us all the possibilities to put us at ease and safety from every point of view.
The island, which as everyone knows, during the summer is extremely chaotic and stormed by hundreds and hundreds of boats. But from mid-September onwards,the tourists vanish: October the bars or“chiringuitos”as they’re called in Spain begin to close and the island changes.
Apart from the hospitality and the wonderful people we met, the island and its magic did the rest. The quiet, the silence of the wonderful Mediterranean, bays with indescribable waters, the salt lakeson the island and the salt mines, long promontories that launch into the sea and a land that releases an energy and a unique atmosphere capable of reassuring the most restless of spirits and even stimulate the lazy ones.
Being part of the restless spirits, this year it was my desire to rest with my fiancée, but fortunatelyI was unable to stop the call of my greatest passions, which are in this order: working on Clovis and giving her the best of me to rediscover and bring out the best in her, fishing, and lastly, cooking.
I was able to dedicate my time, which is the most precious of our possessions, to what I love by practicing a little sailing with friends native to the island on a lake called Estagne, then dedicating myself to great fishing trips, while always respecting the our precious sea and the laws of the place, fishing only what Mari, our dog and I could consume.
It was also very interesting to share our catch with the islanders.With many friends from Formentera, we got together and grilled fish and had memorable dinners where I took the opportunity to learn and taste new fish recipes that in our twenty years of experience we had never tasted.
Formentera: a unique and special island.
We are still here in the archipelago, sailing far and wide for these beautiful pearls of the Mediterranean, throughout the summer until January 2020. However it is very sad to think og how challenging it will be to find another winter destination like this.
But we will do it!