Sunday 20 July 41:06.306N 09:26.664E

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Sun 20 Jul 2014 19:28

Saturday morning (19 July) dawned bright, sunny and hot, but as we needed to stay put in Porto Pozzo we ended up spending the morning doing chores downstairs! However, by 2 o'clock we had a sparkling clean galley, 2 clean bathrooms, clear top decks and laundry hanging out to dry, plus numerous other bits'n'pieces done. We decided we'd done enough by then, so settled down to a lazy afternoon.

We had earlier observed a gaff rigged UK boat flying the CA (Cruising association burgee and after a trip ashore to dispose of garbage and increase the days takings at the local store, so we dropped by to say hello and invite them over for drinks that evening. Clive and Mel joined us at 6pm and as they'd also booked a table at the little beach restaurant for dinner, at 19:30 we clambered into our respective dinghies to go ashore and dine together. The restaurant is extremely popular and was a hive of activity with all tables taken. Tables and chairs were laid out on a terrace and along the beach - dining under the stars on a very balmy evening, we enjoyed a good meal of melon, prosciutto ham, local mussels, sea bass and fried vegetables. When we left around 10 o'clock, the restaurant was still packed and more customers were just arriving.

Our evening peace at the anchorage was somewhat disturbed by the occupants of a large motor boat (flying a Spanish flag), with some 14+ people on board having a (dinner?) party. As the evening wore on there was dancing and singing - there seemed to be a gaggle of young girls entertaining a similar number of "older" men; the noise and frolics continued into the wee small hours and kept us awake. Their boat left around 07:00 on Sunday morning, presumably there was a crew, as we doubt any of the guests were in a fit state to drive!

The weather - Charlie has been studiously checking the weather forecast over the weekend as on Monday evening/Tuesday morning a mistral wind is forecast . Originally the winds forecast for Porto Pozzo were moderate and we had intended to stay put, but the Sunday forecast indicated 30+ knots of wind, so at 09:30 we moved on along the coast, having first informed Clive and Mel of the new forecast and our intention to shift further south in search of better shelter and a good anchorage/mooring to ride it out.

We left Porto Pozzo in a flat calm which persisted while underway. In the end Charlie opted to play safe and we headed for a mooring off Campo Boe in Calla Arzachena. As we turned to enter the gulf, the winds very suddenly increased in force and we motored into a strengthening wind for about half an hour or so. We were relieved to find there were moorings still available as we reached the top end of the gulf near the town and the marina. We successfully grabbed hold of a vacant buoy and were soon securel. The harbour master has advised that the Mistral would be stronger than normal and he recommended we stay on board. Charlie has dived to check out the quality of the ground chain, and we have secured a heavy mooring line to the buoy and exhumed a bridle, which we last used in Falmouth, so we know it's up to doing the job, better safe than sorry.

At €30 euros a night, they're quite expensive moorings, but we'd rather be here than at anchor, as the bottom here is heavy with sea grass and the anchor is easily fouled.

Since arriving, several other boats have come in, all scrambling to get a mooring, before the weather worsens. There's plenty to watch! We're going to take the opportunity, whilst we can, to go ashore this afternoon for a wander around, the town looks pleasant, and hopefully purchase the permit for the islands later next week. Tomorrow, we'll almost certainly be staying on board, riding out the weather and ensuring everything remains in tact, including ourselves. After the Mistral has blown through, the forecast is then, I'm pleased to say, settled!

One things for sure, sailing in these islands and waters is interesting; the winds turn within seconds and come at you from every direction, or not at all, but when they're blowing in the 'right' direction, the sailing is really enjoyable. The scenery itself is delightful wherever we go and we've been told the island is much greener this year due to a very wet winter - (does that sound familiar?) Apparently there was serious flooding in parts of Olbia and several people lost their lives. All the islands are lovely to look at and with lots of low lying hills, covered in dark green shrubbery together with wonderfully shaped rocks peaking out everywhere. There are numerous attractive developments and many small villas scattered unobtrusively on the hillsides, nothing as intrusive or ugly as we witnessed in Spain. The harbour at the top end of the Cala is quite busy and the marina and the mooring field appears to be full - its a very international picture, with flags from many nations and presumably everyone is her to take cover before the Mistral arrives.

The coastline we passed on the way here was quite something. Our route took us through a channel, with Sardinia on the starboard side and the Maddelena islands to port. A lovely and very varied route, together with dozens and dozens of boats of every shape and size, going in every direction. We've yet to obtain a permit to sail within the Maddalena archipelago, but we're saving that little adventure for when Matthew joins us in just over a weeks time.

Its dark now and the sky is overcast, the wind is presently light and we can hear a few crickets in the distance. Its a pretty sight with all the lights on in the village and on the boats. Supper is finished and Charlie has volunteered to do the washing up! We’re hoping for a restful and quiet nights sleep, especially after last nights disturbance, courtesy of the Spanish ‘party' boat and its occupants!