40:54.78N 08:42.10E Castelsardo
40:54.78N 08:42.10E Castelsardo
We sailed most of the 22.2 miles from Stintino to Castelsardo in the beautiful afternoon sun and motored into the marina and found a space on the visitor’s pontoon. You can see the castle wall and the houses for approximately ten miles and in the late sun it looked quite magical.
Castelsardo’s setting in a dramatic coastal bay is perhaps one of the most attractive towns in the North West area of Sardinia. The town with its pastel facades hangs like a fringe from the rocky knoll on which perches a tiny old town. There are many cobbled streets with handicrafts on sale made from straw and reed to small floor carpets. Each we were told are produced by hand by local ladies.
The town was founded in the early 12th century by the Genoese Doria family and they called their citadel Castelgenovese. When the Aragonese arrived they renamed it Castelargonese until the Piedmontese called it Castelsardo or Sardinian castle. The small Doria fort at the pinnacle of the old town houses the museum which has a display of basket and reed work including fishing pots big and small.
We walked up to the old town and visited the museum. Afterwards we climbed the steps up to the top of the fort and looked out over the beautiful view of the whole bay. We walked to the church overlooking the bay and beautiful displays of flowers were being delivered but they were unfortunately being blown in the wind. The sea was very rough and so we had to stay three nights until the wind dropped.
This gave us a chance to visit Port Torres where we were told there was a very secure marina/yard to leave Ariel for the winter.
We sourced the bus details, had an ice-cream while we waited and got the bus when it arrived. After the bus had left the town a lady came to speak to us in English to say the driver said there was no return bus. Jim took the decision to stay on the bus and we would sort it at the other end. We enjoyed the coastal ride to Port Torres and fortunately, the bus dropped us just by the port. Jim was able to inspect one marina and with the help of the chandlers shop manager the marina man from the other marina came to meet Jim showing him pictures and wanting him to visit the yard there and then. Fay had in the mean time visited the information bureau while I stayed in the middle of them both so we could all meet up again. We had a choice of the factory workers bus at 10.15 p.m. when they finished their shift or the 6.05 p.m. to Sassari and then the 7.10 p.m. bus to Castelsardo which we did. Sassari was a much bigger town on the island than we had seen so far and is famous for having the first university in Sardinia. We all enjoyed the bus journeys but we were very pleased to see Ariel safe and sound as the bus turned the corner and we overlooked the marina.
On Sunday at 4 a.m. as predicted the wind suddenly stopped. Jim had set the alarm for 7 a.m. and we were up to leave Castelsardo as the weather forecast predicted more winds starting Sunday evening. Although the sea had a rolly swell from the Mediterranean Ariel motored along nicely with the main up until we got to the corner of Capo Testa and we were able to sail with both sails and no engine the Bonifacio Straits to Pozzo Bay. We covered approximately 37.6 miles on our journey. We anchored, re-anchored as it appeared to be dragging slowly. The water temperature was 31.9 degrees.
After a marvellous fish cataplanner dinner with green beans and new potatoes we decided to move to a buoy as the internet gave warnings of severe wind over night and not due to stop until Monday night. Tuesday shows winds of 2 to 4 knots per hour so we hope to move through the Maddalena islands and down to Olbia just a short distance.
Today we have recorded 38.2 miles per hour of wind and although the sun is shining we are being buffeted around on the buoy. We have fenders on both sides of the boat as advised by our friend John B. to help slow down the gliding across the water which is working well as we are watching another Jeanneau 45 in front of us which is moving much quicker than us and gliding a bigger circle. We did have fun watching the Jeanneau man playing his musical instrument sat on the back of his boat in the strong wind. The next moment the dinghy from the unoccupied boat lost its dinghy and outboard when it suddenly left their boat and drifted quite quickly across the bay towards the shore. Jim blew the fog horn, a rib from the shore appeared and retrieved the dinghy before it hit the rocks and after trying to repatriate it took it ashore.
We have our eyes watching the bay as this is where the dolphin family had been three weeks ago. Nothing to report so far. No ice-cream ladies in ribs today with their little horns!
We are hoping the weather reports are correct and tomorrow there will be no wind so we can motor around the Maddalena islands past Porto Cervo and into Olbia.