Puerto de Mahon (Menorca) -> Carloforte (Sardinia, Italy)

Stephen & Anne
Thu 14 Aug 2008 07:54

39.08.800N 8.18.693E


After really carefully watching the weather for the last week, very early on Tuesday morning we set sail for Sardinia. After being kept awake the night before by people running their engines and generally being loud we had no qualms starting our engine at 6.00 am. We really were a bit too considerate – we should have shouted our instructions to each other rather than whisper. We made a quick escape as the police appeared to be boarding boats anchored near our pontoon.


The wind was doing what we expected – blowing from the South – although it was a little stronger than we had thought at 19 knots. The swell was from the south east. The seas were a lot rougher than we would have liked – but we kept going in the knowledge the wind and swell would die down during the passage. We were flying along at 7.3 knots (that’s fast for us – in fact we even managed 7.7 at one bit). Overnight the winds died down so we had to motor and the speed dropped down a bit. The swell was still there until the early hours of the morning. We had waves breaking over the bow and rolling down the decks for the first 24 hours. We had predicted the wind speed and strength correctly however the swell was a lot worse than predicted.


Wanda sliced through all the waves and was remarkably steady – however we were still shaken for the first 24 hours.


Wanda did have a few mishaps – the stay sail would only partly unfurl and the running backstay support line snapped in half meaning a large block came flying through the air at us in the cockpit – we caught it and secured it. The bow light failed probably due to the constant crashing bashing of the waves. We need to inspect the deck gear carefully after all the pounding she took for us and give Wanda some well deserved TLC.


Yoyo and Koshka as usual slept through most of the journey. Yoyo did try and keep us company overnight – but with the breaking waves we sent her straight back down below. In the morning when it had all calmed down Yoyo spent the remainder of the passage asleep in the shade in the cockpit.


On the plus side we did manage to cut the passage down from a planned 36 hours to 32 hours due to our speed in the early part.


We had planned to go to Portoscuso, but when we arrived we were turned away as they were full. So we had to set off across the bay to Carloforte. When we arrived in the marina it was virtually empty and we were directed to a tricky mooring spot. We asked if we could move and they said no they were full. We found that very hard to believe. However this evening we have found out they are full – very full. About 6pm it started, a trickle of yachts coming in. By 8pm the marina was full. We plan to stay here for a few days and recover from our aches and pains!


Well we are definitely in Italy. They drive their dinghies like they drive cars – fast and furious. No slowing down as they come in to the jetty – skid stopping only here. We’ll have to watch and learn!