39:12.670N 9:06.904E Sat 19th Sep 2019. 32nm 6hrs
We are now berthed in the delightful Sardinian capital, Cagliari and once again anxiously checking the forecasts for a “window” for our next overnight passage down to Sicily.
After two lazy days at anchor at Las Isletas, we did manage to get a berth in the centre of Palma in one of the charter boat marinas. It was great to have 24 hours in this gorgeous city but expensive at €88 for the one night! We made the most of our brief stay, seeing the best of the city’s sites again and reminding ourselves how stunning it all is. A full moon over the illuminated cathedral was the icing on the cake.
Palma by moonlight from the boat:
And another view of the cathedral:
The next morning we did have a visit from the varnishing ladies who had come so highly recommended. It was useful to hear their skilled opinions on what needed doing, but as expected, the estimate was very high for the work and it would mean finding a spot for at least a week in this most expensive of islands. Maybe we will have to think about that a bit more!!
We left Palma later that morning and motored along the impressive coastline to Puerto Petri. We picked up one of the many (charged for) buoys in this attractive cala just as a rainstorm came through. This was followed by a spectacular thunderstorm later which lasted for hours with some very heavy rain and kept us confined below. The next day, we left at first light for the 266 mile crossing to Sardinia, hoping for some good sailing on the first day at least. In the end, the forecasts let us down again and we only managed 5 hours of sailing for the whole passage. It was both boring and frustrating, but at least first mate enjoyed some dancing on deck under a full moon on her watch. We approached the Sardinian coast late in the second night and decided to make for an anchorage west of Cagliari which we had used two years ago. We arrived at 2.20am but knowing the spot and having the light of the full moon to guide us in, it was not difficult to anchor.
Porto Malfatano is a beautiful, sheltered bay and we woke to a glorious morning with azure waters, still around 24.5°C to tempt us in, a pretty, unspoiled beach (popular with locals from Cagliari) and lovely scenery all round. We spent two days there before heading on here yesterday as the winds promised the best chance to actually sail the 28 miles. We did resort to the engine for one hour, but otherwise it was an enjoyable, leisurely six hours on a sparkling sea. We had a big shock once in the harbour however, when we filled up with diesel and were faced with a €610 bill for it. The fuel prices here are scary!
So at this stage we are not sure how long we will be here because all the winds seem to be south easterly and that is the direction we have to go in. We would like to be in Sicily before the end of the month but fear having to motor too much again, especially with those fuel prices. Watch this space!
The headland 5km from the marina in Cagliari: