Isla Cabrera to Cagliari, Sardinia

The adventures of Chili III
Peter & Belinda Vernon
Sun 3 Apr 2022 20:45


Having spent almost 2 weeks in Palma monitoring the weather forecast daily for a window to sail east, we were conscious of the "stuck behind a tractor" syndrome. Risks we would not have taken a week ago we might be more inclined to take now. So we deliberately tried to lay off for this and look at weather forecasts objectively. Unlike Atlantic weather which has an understandable pattern of lows moving across the ocean from West to East, the weather at this time of year in the Western Med. seems harder to read - that may be a lack of familiarity of course.

We'd had 2 weeks of strong easterlies caused by a low over North Africa and a high in Northern Europe (bringing lovely weather to the UK). At last the low was moving north over the Ballearics bringing, by Wednesday, a westerly breeze behind it. This was our chance, but later that week (Friday pm through Saturday) gales from the NW were forecast in the Gulf of Lyon moving south towards us. We needed to  get in before they arrived and the sail to Sardinia would be 48 hours - just enough time. We used Predictwind - a really useful app to work out the most likely weather for us and it looked as if we had a good 12 hours of contingency and so after a period of deliberation we decided to leave at 9am Wednesday 30th March.

The weather did pretty much what was forecast... between force W/NW 5 and 6 and for most of the passage we were sailing downwind or reaching. The sailing was good although the short and confused seas did make it a fairly uncomfortable ride in sharp contrast to a nice long Atlantic swell. At times this made it hard to sleep especially downwind rolling from side to side. Fabulous Iberico ham and goats cheese that we stocked up on before we left made all the difference!

We arrived in Cagliari at 8am on Friday and managed to reverse into our berth without incident. After a long hot shower and a bit of a rest we found our way to Restorante Basilico for an outstanding Italian lunch which we felt was well deserved.

As a post script the gales arrived on Friday night and Saturday  - force 8/9 and a gust a 10 causing mayhem in the harbour. Thanks once again to the forecasters!

Sailing Yacht Chili III
Sailing Yacht Chili III