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Captain's Blog


39’ 52”.1 N, 4’ 18”.6 E
harbour on menorca
Mahon is one of the finest natural harbours in the Mediterranean, and can be a joy to visit. The British made Mahon the capital of Menorca in 1722 during one of their several periods of occupying the island and it is easy to see why the harbour was seen as so important.

The narrow entrance can be difficult to spot but it is accessible in all weathers. Significant amounts of commercial and naval traffic frequent the entrance and have right of way, but it is still possible to find a quiet anchorage or moor up against the quayside.

We have even managed to have a pleasant afternoon's sailing while windbound in Mahon. A force 7, gusting 8, was blowing from the north west, creating short choppy seas outside the harbour. Inside, we dropped our mooring and with a couple of reefs and an experienced crew sailed across from the quayside to the fort at La Mola, which was built by Isabel II and swiftly became obselete. The beat back was fun, with steady winds but calm seas.

Mahon has been the capital of menorca since 1722. The British transferred their administration from Ciudadella due to the fantastic natural harbour that suited Britain's naval needs and it remained a key to control of the Mediterranean and it was fought over by the French and the British for the rest of the century. Eventually it was returned to Spain under the Treaty of Amiens in 1802.

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Images reproduced by permission of Sally Dutton, Rachel Hartley, Mark Lee, Barnaby Willitts-King
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