Olbia to Olbia 2.9.2010 to 7.9.2010
Olbia to Olbia 2.9.2010 to 7.9.2010
41:04.94N 09:32.45E Cala du Volpe 17.75 miles from Olbia
We had a change of crew, Fay left us sadly on Wednesday, 1st September. To celebrate our wedding anniversary that day we cooked a lovely meal and had champagne but earlier in the day we had a wonderful ice-cream from this marvellous ice-cream parlour.
John and Viv arrived on the 2nd and Jim cooked a very nice fish cataplaner to welcome them.
The wind which had been annoying us for a few days subsided considerably by Friday. Therefore, we motored down the Golfo di Olbia and around Capo Figari into the Golfo di Congianus keeping the Isola Soffi to our starboard and sailed into the Cala di Volpe which is a long and mostly shallow bay. We anchored within sight of the large Hotel Cala di Volpe where we swam. John and Viv took the dinghy ashore to the nearest point and cameras were trained on them from the woods. This is the first time we have seen cameras trained on any beach area. Obviously, with the expensive Wally’s and Riva’s on display everywhere here the owners have to be careful. We spent a lovely quiet night at anchor in this enchanting bay.
41:08.24N 09:32.14E Porto Cervo
Cala di Volpe is at the start of Costa Smeralda and therefore we were now in the billionaire’s playground. We made our way into Porto Cervo passing Point Capaccia and Isole delle Roche and Isole Nibani and anchored just in front of a beautiful house. We swam, read our books and went ashore in the early evening to eat.
Porto Cervo is the yachting hub of the Costa Smeralda and one of the first parts of Costa Smeralda to be developed in the 1960’s. The founder of Costa Smeralda was Prince Karim Aga Khan IV. He moved in elite social circles and he and his super rich friends loved this area where they could call home for a few weeks every year. The Aga Khan worked with the Italian architects Busiri-Vici and Vietti to plan the site of the marina and create a village which includes a church, shops with the best designer names, fine dining and beautiful villas in order that no one needed to leave this coast while they were here for the summer. Villa owners became members of the consortium with voting rights and a say in what went on around town. This is not a public venue but a privately owned tiny village where visitors are limited to just 4 hotels. The consortium protects the interests of the members and the reputation of the Costa Smeralda. It vets all new development and organises a full social calendar including rallies and regattas in the harbour. During July and August the beautiful people arrive and rock stars like Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger rub shoulders with royalty and celebrities and the rich and super rich show off their new floating toys. We did keep looking but we did not recognise anyone.
After a wonderful meal at the local restaurant we wandered around the quay to look at the wonderful racing yachts which had gathered for the week of Rolex racing. This will be a separate report by Jim. Just from the quay the mean machines looked magnificent.
On arriving back at Ariel who was sitting quite happily at anchor we discovered a chartered Lagoon 440 had picked up a buoy just in front of us when there were at least 12 other empty buoys around him. We had no option but to up anchor in order to sleep soundly and go onto a buoy ourselves as he had left a long line and was swinging around. Jim was not impressed as the buoy which he had swam to earlier was labelled 91 euros for a yacht up to 15 metres. As you can already guess we were up early the next morning leaving the harbour before 7 a.m. to avoid the harbour man and the unnecessary charge.
41:11.30N 09:27.09E Porto Palma
On leaving Porto Cervo we pulled into the beautiful bay Cala Granu for breakfast about 15 minutes later. We spotted the early morning gentleman swimmer and already at 7.30 the small café hut was opening, the umbrellas and beds were being arranged for the day. The beautiful houses around the bay were very nice. There was a huge hotel just a few hundred yards along the cliff towards Capo Ferro which was set among a golf course with a big area of umbrellas and sun beds.
We sailed to Liscia Di Vacca a bay looking out to the island of Cappuccino where you can rent little houses to be a away from the madding crowd. After taking a close up view we decided it was not for us. We had a great swim in the bay of very clear water and enjoyed morning coffee time here. A chap appeared in a canoe exercising his two dogs that were swimming along beside him. The dogs did two swims for about 20 minutes a time. They were obviously use to this form of exercise as they were very excited about getting in the water.
After lunch we sailed onto Porto Palma, the southern end of the island of Caprera. We were treated to 2 hours of dinghy sailing. As the wind was very strong at this time the dinghies were flying past with two sails and a spinnaker. We saw quite a few tip over but the support boats were quick to help everyone. We had a very peaceful night on anchor with numerous other boats.
41:14.29N 09:21.58E Spargi Island
After a good breakfast we left Porto Palma and sailed past the Island of Stefano where NATO has a base which is manned by American servicemen. Six large ferries seem to be on the move at all times from Palau on the main land to La Maddalena Island. We were surprised at the way La Maddalena Island appears so built up from the sea.
We sailed to the island of Spargi, the western most of the southern group of Maddalena islands lying just under a mile west of La Maddalena. The island is very green and rocky with a hill rising to 509 feet at its summit. There are three anchorages along the east coast for summer yachts to enjoy the beautiful turquoise and aquamarine clear water where we all swam as it was irresistible. Ariel was anchored just off shore but numerous large day tripper boats past very close and it was nothing for five to follow each other. The day trippers were leaning over the sides with camera’s in hand snapping the beautiful colour water.
Nelson spent a few months here waiting for the French to come out before the Battle of Trafalgar. He could not land on Sardinia because the Kingdom of Sardinia was neutral so he busied his men charting the area and firing off letters to the Ministry explaining how this northern end of Sardinia would make a superb naval base. His letters had little effect and Malta was chosen as the British naval base in the Mediterranean after Gibraltar. His death at Trafalgar robbed him of the chance to press his case in London and much later it was the Americans who acted and established a naval base on the island Sant Stefano.
After lunch we made a move and sailed to an anchorage just south of Capo Orso called Porto Mannu where we spent a very nice afternoon relaxing just opposite a camp site which appeared to have a small water sports facility.
40:55.32N 09:30.51E Olbia
After breakfast the wind started to make us aware it was going to be a windy day. We quickly packed away breakfast items, pulled up the anchor and we were off motoring out of the bay towards Porto Cervo. We had the most wonderful surprise when 50 racing yachts were there in our view all practising and changing sails before the start of the day’s racing. A full report by Jim will be posted very soon. I could not do justice to these beautiful boats myself.
We covered 32.2 miles into Olbia and we had to tack several times against a very strong wind to get into the bay of Olbia. It was quite a sail against the wind calling for all of Jim’s experience to be called upon. We tied up on the harbour wall as more wind was forecast.
Jim, John, Viv and I all visited the best ice-cream shop in the afternoon followed by a well earned pizza for the crew in the evening.