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Maritime Ibiza – Slaves and Salt

Not surprisingly, being an island surrounded by sea, Ibiza has a strong maritime tradition

Not surprisingly, being an island surrounded by sea, Ibiza has a strong maritime tradition and history going back hundreds of years and which is still prevalent today – just take a look at the many boats in our sports harbours round the island.

We've two contrasting snippets of information from days of yore which illustrate the good and bad sides to Ibiza's seafaring side. Stephen Spielberg's film Amistad tells the story of a slave ship which was hijacked by the slaves on board after they killed the captain and crew in 1839. The captain of the ship was Ramón Ferrer Ferrer, born in ibiza in 1797 to a seafaring family, who had moved to Cuba in 1830.

In 1846 a blockade of Barcelona by Carlist forces had left the city in severe need of salt. A local businessman organised a competition between the fastest ships of the day to bring salt from Ibiza's salt pans. The winner was the Maltese Falcon, a Schooner from Baltimore, and these days we remember this event with the annual Ruta de la Sal Yacht regatta.

yachts at sea in the ruta de la sal

This year it takes place from the 5th to 8th April and has two routes, the first, 140 miles from Barcelona to San Antonio and the second, 120 miles from Denia to San Antonio. Around 300 boats take part and the harbour at San An is transformed into a maritime village full of yachts, sailors, shops and special events and is well worth a visit if you're on the island at Easter.

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