Short Sharp Storm from Hell

David & Susan's Adventures
David & Susan Simpson
Sun 28 Sep 2014 11:12

39.08.58N 08.18.50E


We stayed in the anchorage off Cagliari on Monday and Tuesday nights. We didn’t manage to get any Yanmar filters at the 2 chandleries in town, but we did get enough parts that I managed to set up a system to allow both the main tank and the stern fuel tank to feed directly to the engine filters.


Cagliari was a real mixture, it had lots of really nice architecture (see below) and had a really good atmosphere to the town, however nearly all the nice buildings were spoilt by having graffiti on them. It is disappointing that there is so little respect for the city’s culture, this is the worst we have seen so far in the med.






On Wednesday we motor-sailed down to an anchorage just before the gulf of Teulada, which may be called Helicopter Bay. By night fall there were 8 yachts in the bay and as we expected about 18 knots from the North about 1.0am we ensured our anchor was well dug in. We were just getting up at about 8.0am when the skies went dark and we had a tremendous thunder storm. We had hail stones and then enormous winds. The sea surface was just picked up by the wind and blown across the bay so that visibility was a few feet. We couldn’t see the land which was less than 100 meters away. The boat was virtually knocked on its side by the wind which treated the bimini as a sail. I started the engine to help the anchor, but as you couldn’t see anything I didn’t know what direction to motor in. We recorded 48 knots on the wind instrument, but I know it was considerably higher than that in some of the gusts. It was a really frightening experienced as we had virtually no control over the fate of our boat.


When the storm passed (15-20 minutes) we had dragged our anchor about 50 meters and had moved from 7 meters depth to 13 meters. We think that only one of the 8 boats had stayed in position, most of the other boats were out at sea. We noticed in the next bay there was a yacht on the rocks.




We lifted our anchor and found that we had a lobster pot attached and this probably saved us from dragging even further. Our anchor was damaged as the round bar on the top was completely bent back and was cracked on one side. It doesn’t stop us using that anchor as it is only the roll bar that is damaged.




We went across to the boat on the rocks to see if we could help, but they said that they had help organised, so we set off for Carloforte on a small island to the West of Sardinia. We managed to find a place on the harbour quayside where you can berth for free, thanks to Gavin & Lisa (Sol Maria) and the CA website for alerting us to this option. We had been there for a couple of hours when I noticed a boat coming into the harbour which looked like our friends Brian and Coralie on Inga and the binoculars confirmed this. They went into one of the marinas so I sent them a text and arranged to go round to see them on Friday morning.


Brian & Coralie and their crew Tim & Lisa joined us for cocktails on Friday night and we had a really good time. Tim & Lisa departed for home on Saturday afternoon and after cocktails on Inga we went out for dinner. It was really good to catch up on news and swap war stories and as we are both heading for the Canaries, we are likely to meet up with Inga several times over the next month or two. Brian & Coralie have left to fuel up in a harbour on the main island and are then setting off for Menorca. We plan to leave tomorrow morning, also for Mahon on Menorca.