Baby its cold outside.
Sunday 9th and Monday 10th August
It has sort of been creeping up on us ever since we left Malta, but for sure the evenings and nights are colder. In fact by the second night during the passage to Sardinia, Sarah was doing her watch wearing jeans, several t-shirts and a fleece along with a fleece hat. At night at anchor we have had to break out the blankets again all of which is a little disconcerting in August. I mentioned this on Sunday night during the SSB radio net with Scott Free and Apparition (hooray, we could just hear them both at last, although they could both hear us loud and clear.) and Chris said that they were having the same experience so it must just be a blip in the weather pattern surely!
On Sunday the day started with a mass exodus from the nearby marina as almost all the boats streamed out frantic to get a good spot in one of the nearby bays we assume. Soon our anchorage emptied as well and by lunchtime we had the whole bay to ourselves. Should really have been a very casual day, but Sarah has difficulty sitting still when there is so much boat to keep looking beautiful and so she spent far too much time polishing. This included the wind turbine mounting and I did take a photo of her up there which will appear at www.rhbell.com just as soon as we can find some wifi.
We both had a swim, but rather more because it was a rare opportunity than because the water was inviting. It certainly was crystal clear and a beautiful blue, but it was also pretty bloody cold – well we thought it was. It also gave us an opportunity of scrubbing off a very unpleasant line of dirt and algae that had developed only during our stay in Cagliari!
The forecast for Tuesday was a bit of a blow from the south which was not too clever in this bay so we made an early start and went round to Portoscuso which was a straightforward trip but did involve coming through the San Pietro channel which is a large expanse of water between Sardinia and the small Island of San Pietro that looks very inviting but rather like the east coast of the UK, it is VERY shallow. Of course the comparison finishes there, because here you can admire the bottom as you skim over it at 6 knots!
We made a cautious approach to the marina at Portoscuso as the charted depths were a bit borderline for us, but we got through the entrance OK but there was no sign of a marinero nor could we raise anyone on the phone or radio. We had made a reservation so we were fairly confident.... Anyway two helpful lads waved us over to an empty pontoon and we tied up alongside whilst they shouted for the marinero (who is also the one man office here) and he finally appeared wearing a yellow towel wrapped loosely around his ample waist and he cheerfully said that we were fine where we were. We were given to understand that this marina was a cheaper option as there are few facilities here and there is very little room for yachts our size. Mostly it is taken up with motor boats, ribs and just a few quite small yachts. However this is Sardinia in August and once again we were more than a little rocked by the cost of a night here. We wandered into the town to take a look round, find an internet cafe and supermarket and generally check the place out to see if it would be a suitable jumping off point next Saturday when we head for Cartagena in Spain, a mere 500 miles away.
Sadly we found almost nothing here at all. The only internet spot had long since packed in and everywhere else we enquired were quite clear that they did not have internet access. This of course is a moot point, because of course they do have internet access (I have a hand held gauge that tells me exactly what they have) but this is Italy and the rules are quite strict and it seems easier for them to just say no than make any effort to help you. We did finally locate the supermarket which Sarah is planning to check out on Tuesday morning and we were pleased to see that the travelling fairground that rather overlooked our mooring, was packing up and moving on.
Just after we tied up here though, a 50ft Sweden yacht pulled into the berth next to us and this was one of the yachts that had been anchored in the bay with us the other day. The Italian owner came across for a chat and to say what a beautiful yacht Serafina was (they know how to make Sarah happy!) and explained that he used to have a Najad 331 and had traded up now to his current 50 foot Sweden Yacht. He spoke excellent English, but sadly was rushing off with his girlfriend as they had hired a car to join a party and were leaving the boat here for a day or two.
In the evening Sarah and I went out for a meal and found a very nice restaurant which did us very proud indeed, with Sarah proclaiming that her mussels were the very best she had had for a very long time although the amount of garlic involved was a little extreme! The town was a little busier when we had finished our meal and we paused to watch a volleyball league match being played out on the promenade before making our way back to Serafina.