Sunday morning, we raised the anchor early and made
passage to Baia Reparata, a journey we expected to take about six hours, having
broken the back of it yesterday.
As we passed through the bay and en-route to Costa
Smeralda, we saw some pretty big motor yachts at anchor. The 350+feet yacht,
made the 250+feet yachts look small, the 100feet yachts looked like dinky toys
in comparison and we just resembled flotsam. Never have I seen so many boats of
that size in such a small area. There were also several large monohulls,
weighing in at about 200+feet, making our 20metre mast look quite
Passing through the Maddalena archipelago was something
of a trial. Weekend sailors and holiday makers were all over the place, not all
of them knowing quite what they were doing. Certainly, there appeared to be a
deficit of knowledge when it came to the rules of the road regarding boat
As we approached the Bonifacio straits, the cirrus clouds
appeared in the otherwise clear, blue, sunny sky.
The wind was on the nose. No change there. We did manage
briefly, to motor sail, as the wind moved round to almost 30º but for the most
part, we motored. During the last two hours of the passage, the strength of the
wind increased to force 5, gusting force 6.
There were nine monohulls already at anchor when we
reached our destination. We found a space which would give us sufficient room to
swing round and dropped the anchor in 8metres on sand, just at the edge of one
of the patches of weed. I have to say that I wasn’t too enamoured when I swam
out to check the anchor. It had lodged into the side, near to the top of the
hillock on which the weed was growing. It was obviously OK because although we
swung round completely during the night, the anchor remained set.
We were on our way before towards the north western corner of
Sardinia. We planned to anchor just south of Isola
Asinara, south east of Isola Piana and the Pelosa passage.
The passage was uneventful. During the first few hours,
the sea conditions were ideal for spotting marine life but all that was seen was
a solitary flying fish. The wind was right behind us and never gathered
sufficient strength for us to use the parasailor.
We anchored in sand, in the most beautiful, pale blue sea
at Cala Yacca, protected on all sides, except from the direction in which the
wind was currently blowing. Swimming against the swell, to check the anchor, was
no mean feat but swimming back was no trouble at all.
The strength of the wind and the direction, from which it
blew, although only a force5, didn’t change as was expected. We spent a dreadful
night. The swells were in excess of a metre, making the anchorage uncomfortable.
We had been seduced into believing that this wolf, in
sheep’s clothing, was a paradise on earth.
Needless to say, we left the anchorage earlier than
anticipated and made our way through the Fornelli passage, into the Sardinian
sea, on the west coast of Sardinia. We raised the
mainsail and unfurled the genoa and sailed for about two and a half hours, until
the wind changed by 180º, reducing in strength to force 1 and force 2.
Despite the sea conditions being ideal for spotting
marine life, we only saw a single flying fish, in addition to a sword fish which
twice, jumped from the water.
Dick managed to negotiate a mooring, for four nights, on
the town quay at Alghero. This gave us plenty of time for re-provisioning,
getting the genoa repaired and replacing one of the now empty, gas bottles. With
the luxury of water and electricity from the shore, we were also able to give
the boat a thorough clean and polish.
The rust remover that I purchased from one of the
chandleries in Palermo has turned
out to be simply brilliant. Not only does it remove rust easily, from the
gel-coat, it also seems to brighten the white gel-coat. It appears to be an
Italian product so I while we are here, I bought another while I had the
opportunity to do so.
After eight days at sea, while making passage from
Cagliari, we finally stepped onto
dry land and went out to dinner to celebrate our safe arrival.
Unable to access WiFi other than the first night we were
here, we bought a couple of drinks at a local bar, which also permitted us the
use of the internet for thirty minutes.
the 17th July, a taxi pulled up opposite our mooring. John had
arrived. We are now officially on holiday. We spent a lazy day and just after
, Janie arrived. Her plane had
landed early, which enabled her to join us almost an hour sooner than
We had planned to leave the marina after lunch on
Saturday and make our way to an anchorage in a bay about seven miles from the
marina. However, with a mistral blowing, we deferred our departure until the
morrow, when the gale-force wind should have subsided.