Dag Pike finds a quiet anchorage outside the glitz and glamour of Puerto Portals
Puerto Portals is best known as one of the marina hotspots in Mallorca, a place where the rich and famous go to escape the crowds of Palma.
The large marina dominates the port and has room for several superyachts at a time.
There was not much in the marina under 60 ft when I visited, apart from some local fishing boats that are accommodated as part of the permission to build the marina.
This might be enough to put off the cruising yachtsman but, if you don’t want the crowds and high cost of the marina, there is a cosy anchorage just outside the marina entrance where you can still enjoy the facilities but retire at night to a quiet berth away from the revellers.
The entrance to the marina has deep water of more than 8 metres all the way in, but you do need to give the pier head a wide berth as there is a shoal extending out from the pier head for about 100 metres.
To get to the anchorage you would head up to the pier head, but instead of turning to starboard to enter the marina you keep going on a northerly heading.
From this point on you need to have your echo sounder on because the water depth will be the best guide for where to anchor.
The seabed shoals gradually into the shore so you can keep going until you find a depth that you are comfortable with and then drop the hook, probably about 200 metres from the beach.
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A guide for the right heading into the anchorage is the point where the high-rise buildings stop, but don’t take that too literally because high-rise buildings on the shore have a habit of springing up at short notice. Perhaps a better guide is a white six-pointed tent-like structure just back from the beach which is quite distinctive.
The last time I was there some mooring buoys had been laid in the best spots close to the marina, so you may have to anchor a bit further to the west.
This anchorage is well sheltered from most directions apart from the south, and even the mooring buoys, which gain a bit of shelter from the marina breakwater, can be exposed to a southerly. If you are coming in at night then the green flashing light on the main pier head is your guide, but after that it is the echo sounder that you have to trust.
For getting ashore, your tender might not be too welcome in the marina so it is best and closer to head to the beach on the land side. If you plan on eating ashore there is no shortage of restaurants nearby, but I prefer to take the easy walk up into town to find a more local restaurant where prices are half those at the marina.
The marina has most of the facilities that you might require in terms of chandleries or other supplies, but again if you want food and drink head up into town where you will be rewarded with lower prices.
There is even an English supermarket where you can buy things like Marmite. Puerto Portals is reasonably convenient for the airport if you have crew coming in or going out, and taxis are not too exorbitant.