Its only rock and roll
Saturday 7th August
Up at 7am this morning to make an early start on the trip round to Porto Teulada as we understand this is likely to be a popular spot over the weekend with local boats.
Firstly though we had to make our way over to the fuel station on the far side of the large harbour but just as we arrived and made our cautious approach to the quay, a small speedboat came flashing past and swept in to dock ahead of us. To our delight and surprise the nice man running the fuel berth simply waved the boat away and pointed to us. The driver of the speedboat looked at us and signalled to ask if we were going in for fuel.... we have no idea what else he thought we could possibly be doing there... and ungraciously pulled out of our way and had to wait. The fuel dock here was very clean and tidy which is by no means the case everywhere we have been and the guy was very helpful and polite.
We were soon on our way again but there was no wind at all and so we motored gently out of the harbour and set a course round the headlands heading south and west. Around midday we reached the Capo Spartivento which where we met the seas that were still pretty heavy from the last 4 days of gales. Nothing very dramatic but it slowed us up. An hour later the wind swung round 180 degrees and went from almost nothing to 25 knots and of course was bang on the nose again! We ploughed our way through the seas slowly before being able to bear away into the large bay which has Porto Teulada at the head.
There is a harbour here which is something of a local enigma as there is some confusion as to why it was ever constructed. It is miles from any town and originally built by the government possibly to house military vessels using the adjacent prohibited area for military exercises, but local fishermen claim it was built for them! Either way it has now been developed to become a Porto Turistico and has some pontoons and is being developed now as more of a marina but despite the wind still blowing at 20+ knots we opted to drop anchor in the bay outside which has clear blue water over a sandy bottom. The anchor set first time and we so we sat back enjoying being back at anchor for the first time in just over 3 months. I dived in to take a good look at the prop which has grown a good covering of barnacles, prop-shaft, anodes and the hull which we have not seen properly for the 3 months and found that the water up at this end of the Med is bloody cold! I also checked the anchor and after spending a short time brushing the waterline clean, I got out for a hot shower to warm back up.
We watched dozens of boats arriving during the afternoon and the marina quickly began to fill up and we noticed quite a bit of activity on the quayside and realised that they were setting up some sort of event for the evening, so after the 6.40 pm radio net with Scott Free on the SSB radio (which was not a success as we struggled to hear them, although they seemed to be able to hear us OK) we launched Doris the dinghy and made our way into the harbour. It seems that this was the final event in a day-long religious festival giving thanks for the fishing and fishermen and we found loads of stalls had been set up selling all manner of things. There was a religious service being conducted outside the marina office and so we took the opportunity to potter round the empty stalls to see what was on offer. We then made our way down to the visitors pontoon and sought out the Spanish flagged Najad 490 that had sailed in late in the afternoon. Sadly none of them had a word of English and we were reduced to using French again. This was not really going too well, when the crew and owner of a Contest 50 that we had seen two days earlier in Cagliari stepped off their boat behind us and we gratefully fell into a conversation with them in English. We then set off back to Serafina, but not before we had spotted a stage, set up with a large drum kit and lots of speakers so we knew we might be in for a late night.
As we got back on board, the entire fishing fleet came out of the harbour with all the boats crowded with people, presumably off to conduct a service at sea to bless the fishing grounds. They were all blowing their horns and several were dangerously overcrowded, but it all appeared to go off OK and they came back about half an hour later, just as darkness fell.
It was at 10.30 pm that the band struck up and to my delight it was British Rock and roll band (no idea of their name as we could hear them perfectly well without going back ashore!) who played some wonderful tracks that I have not heard in years.