Fwd: Northern Sardinia and the Maddalena Islands

The adventures of Chili III
Peter & Belinda Vernon
Wed 18 May 2022 11:31

40:54.9n 008:42.3e
We left Ponza on 12th May to continue our journey west to Sardinia, beginning to close the loop of our voyage round the Western Mediterranean. The forecast was for little wind but by heading north west initially we managed 5 or 6 hours of good sailing with light NW winds. Otherwise motoring over a smooth sea heading for the Gulfo di Congianus on the NE coast of Sardinia (the Costa Smerelda). A late change of destination (given very settled weather) brought us to Cala Sabina where we anchored. This was a perfect spot - a white beach with a small beach bar, a warm breeze, bright sunshine, beautifully clear aqua-marine water. Wonderful swimming and or the first time, after the initial sharp breaths, warm enough to comfortably stay in for a while. Graham thoroughly enjoyed - a keen sea swimmer in Brighton (which, for him, might never be quite the same again).
We spent a day exploring the Gulf before tying up in Marina di Portisco where we had a great dinner together in the Port and picked up some good tips for boat improvements from G). The following daywe waved Graham off after an excellent week on board andsailed to the Maddalena Islands and Isola Caprera where we anchored for the night.
16th May was our 30th Wedding Anniversary and it began at 4:30am, wrapped in blankets in the cockpit with binoculars watching the total eclipse turn the moon a dusky orange. We had a wonderful day walking on the Island followed by swimming and snorkelling from another delightful beach surrounded by striking rounded pink granite rock formations. A very happy day.
We spent 4 days sailing around these fabulous islands between Sardinia and Corsica and loved every minute. We never expected to find such unspoiled beauty in the Med, especially so close to the famous Costa Smerelda and yet here we were anchoring off Santa Maria, Caprera and Rizzoli with very few other boats and next to no development. The seascape of granite rocks and machair could easily be Scotland (if the temp was 10 degrees lower). Cala Lunga on Rizzoli was particularly special. The Italian Authorities have done a superb job of conservation in this area and should be congratulated.
On 19th May we sailed down to Castelsardo on the North Coast of Sardinia for a couple of days of boat jobs and provisioning. This is a very pretty town built around a hilltop fortress built in C11th with attractive narrow lanes winding up the hill to the fort and Cathedral. A bride and groom arrived in a white tuc tuc at the park next to the fort and overlooking the sea - just the most incredible backdrop. The walked up the “isle” to a live rendition Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.” With the sun glinting on a glassy sea and the vast fort behind them it was indeed perfect.