Discovering the Ebro Delta, by Captain Pinya.
In this fantastic adventure I sailed 132 miles on a Oceanis 41 and 87 km by bike, which allowed me to discover the wonderful port San Carlos in Sa Rapita, an incredible fishing port where a great fleet of fishing boats sails every day. I also sailed in the quiet Alfacs bay, I got lost in the immense and magical park of the Ebro Delta with its kilometric sand beaches and an endless number of experiences lived in this region.
The port of Sa Ràpita counts on the shelter provided by Alfacs Bay, at the south part of the river Ebro’s mouth. Over the last years, the number of berths for sports vessels has increased and the marina has been extended. It is not a coincidence, since leisure sailing is ideal here because of the calmness of the waters and the beauty of the mentioned bay. It is also said that soon the cruises sailing the Mediterranean will stop at this area. As well as the leisure activities, everything related to fishing represents important economic movement, with a great number of fishing boats sailing on a daily basis. In fact, it is one of the biggest ports of Catalonia in terms of turnover and it is very well-known by its crayfish, mantis shrimps and other fish varieties. The bay also provides plenty of shellfish with oyster and mussel farming platforms.
The Ebro Delta is the most humid area of Catalonia, with a surface of 320 km². It constitutes one of the most important aquatic habitats of the western Mediterranean. The river Ebro, the mightiest in Spain, is the main responsible for this environment, providing elements from its headwaters to be settled here and aligned with the Mediterranean. The sediments are, thus, elements coming from the Pyrenees, the Iberian system and the Cantabrian mountains, areas were the river rises.
The amount of sediment material has created a surface of more than 320 km², where numerous habitats have appeared. The current shape of the Delta is like a perfectly clear “arrow” which penetrates around 22 km into the sea, creating the third major delta of the Mediterranean after the Nile Delta with 24.000 km² and the Rhone, which covers a surface of 500 km².
The Ebro Delta is the biggest humid area of Catalonia and one of the most important in Western Europe after the regional park of La Camargue in France and the national park of Doñana in the south of Spain.
The wetland of the Ebro Delta is internationally important for eight plant species and hundreds of vertebrate fauna species, most of them birds. 95 species nest here, and many other species spend the winter, rest and eat during migrations. The Ebro Delta is home to 316 species of common birds and around 360 birds registered out of the 600 existing in Europe. Jensen, Cristian (2010).
An unusual place of the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Virgin, beautiful, with some remote spots, irregularly shaped and with warm and clear waters. The “alfaques” (sandbanks), is the biggest natural bay in Europe. No overcrowding, no disturbing yachts, respecting the coastline, from which the locals have taken advantage from time immemorial.
Its great extension, constant winds and calm waters make it perfect for sailing. And if you get tired of sailing in this region you can go to the Colubretas Isles, 43 miles away from Port San Carlos.