To continue our adventures please use the following link:Italy, Sardinia II
Log Entry Monday 16th March - "Sailaway's lift out - the hard work begins!"
As all are aware we have been awaiting a "lift out" into the yard, Sailaway's bottom needs a good scrubbing before we start our journey south. There are also other items requiring attention, following an evening in the club house we get the green light from Antonella - 0900 hours we come out of the water!
This is our first lift out "Mediterranean style", back in Britain we are used to "Travel Hoists", in simplistic terms you steer the boat in and it lifts you up. Here it is slightly different, using two straps and four lifting points, the lifting chains are adjusted to suit the centre of gravity of your boat - a lot more skill involved. We come along side the harbour wall, we had previously supplied a photograph of Sailaway's hull to Antonella to provide some insight to the task in hand. The guys feed the straps under the hull.
Attaching the straps to the lifting cross members, "best guess" is tried and Sailaway is lifted clear of the water - Antonella, not quite happy with the lift, drops her back into the water, pulls the crane back and makes some adjustments to the lifting chains.
Ready once again Sailaway is lifted, this time all are happy, she comes clear of the water and over the quay side. We are quite happy with what we see below the water line, a little weed, but it is two and a half years and 4000 miles since her last lift out. Sailaway's journey begins into the boat yard across the main road, traffic giving way of coarse.
And now the hard work begins!
Log Entry Sunday 8th March - Cagliari old quarter "Marina"
We head into the old, ancient quarter of "Marina" an area which originated from ancient merchants trading with Majorca, Marseilles, Africa and of coast mainland Italy. The sector stands behind the now very cosmopolitan "Via Roma". Turning north off "Via Roma" we head for "Piazza Yenne" pick up an ice-scream on the way - it is a beautiful day!
The small square is dominated by two statues, a stone column dated 1822 marks the start of the highway linking Cagliari to Sassari, built by order of King Carlo Felice of Savoy, the second is a statue dedicated to him for his efforts.
We make our way behind the Piazza Yenne to see the convent of the sisters of Santa Chiar which is dated from the 13th Century when it is alleged that Alfonso III pledged ongoing support for their efforts to humanity. A new chapel was construct in the 17th Century however a large proportion of the original building can still be seen today. In the 1980's during further renovation further graves were uncovered along with the foundations of the Convents steeple on the northern side of the church.
While making our way behind the Convent we enter the ancient quarter of "Stampage" which dates back to the medieval times, then into the quarter of "Castello" this section was originally fortified by the Pisans, passing on the heritage to the Aragonese and finally, the Peidmontese.
On we walk through the quarter toward the ancient University and it's buildings, some of them dating back to the medieval time.
Two Pisan towers, the Elephant and the San Pancrazio dating from the 13th Century still dominate the area, the surrounding narrow streets are interesting to walk through - a much greater task for today's traffic?
Beyond the towers you find the "Bastione San Remy", a panoramic terrace dedicated to one of the Savoy Viceroys it was built early in the last Century. It links the two quarters of Villanova and Castello and as one might expect draws all aspects of today's society to it's area.
The views of the city and the surrounding area are fantastic, although spoiled a little for us by sea mist.
We make for the terrace restaurant, and enjoy the outside seating on this beautiful day - lunch follows and the afternoon seems to disappear.
Our unprotected skin starts to burn from the sun, we decide to call an end to the days trip and exit to the streets below via the grand arches. The rest of the city we leave to another day!
Log Entry Tuesday 3rd March - Cagliari Water Front.
The Province of Cagliari claims to be rich in history and traditions, the coast line and beaches of this southern part of Sardinia are quite often off the beaten track. It's interior said to be "clothed in lush Mediterranean brush" enhanced with many archaeological sites dating from the Nuraghic times. We plan to be here until mid April and hope to see much of this area - from here we will head south to Tunisia.
Today our plan is to walk along the City waterfront into the main section of both the town and the commercial area. Once you leave the designated area, mainly associated with the numerous marinas the waterfront provides a further contrast of activity on the water. It is a busy commercial city but "traditions" are still very evident.
As we walk along one of the many moles (Penmello Di Bonaria) supporting the ongoing fishing fleet and yet another small craft maria, one gets an excellant view of the waterfront and its commercial development. To day is a beautiful clear day, the best we have had since we arrived, the light southerly winds and the 18C ambient temperature brings about the true believe that summer is truly on its way.
Walking along the ""Calata Dei Mercedari" the palm lined promenade we head into the town centre the water ways are full of vessels of all sizes, commercial and naval, a UK naval vessel in the compliment.
We make our way around to the main port area, which runs parallel to Via Roma, off which, leads a maze of walkways leading into the ancient quarter of "Marina". Our exploration of "Marina" is for another day, we walk along Via Rome which is lined with bars and restaurants - we stop for refreshment.
This whole area is obviously heavily geared up to the tourists - it is too early in the season for them which makes it easy for us to get around.
Via Roma is lined with very impressive buildings, from the "twin towered" City Hall to numerous periodic building of different styles, however all ground floors along with their arches appear to create the perfect walkway, shade from rain or sun, complemented with many shops, bars and restaurants.
Log Entry Saturday 28th February - Finding our way around Cagliari.
We now begin one of our favourite tasks - finding out where every thing is. We decide to walk as apposed to cycling, we are pre-armed with a local street map kindly supplied to us by John & Mo (Ocean Star), their sailboat already here in the yard. John & Mo are in the UK at present, we will meet up with John at the end of March as he returns to get Ocean Star ready for the season. Our primary "items to find" are a supermarket and internet access.
We walk along the water front, comforting to find a couple of floating Pizzeria's nearby, there is always plenty going on on any city water front.
With "mission accomplished" we retire to a local cafe for a couple of beers to celebrate our safe arrival.
Log Entry Friday 27th February - Cagliari, here we come!
We continue on through the night, surprised by the volume of traffic (commercial and fishing, mainly trawling), due to the time we approach "Capo Teulada", the Military Exclusion Area is inactive and we cut through it with no chance of being blow out of the water. The sky is completely clear of cloud, a superb display of stars above our heads - no cloud cover obviously means "lower temperatures". In darkness we pass "Capo di Pula" and head north past the commercial exclusion area off the "Sarroch Oil Terminal", heading directly to Cagliari - now in "Golfo di Cagliari" we are now starved of wind. Its time to start the engine, I remove one of the engine compartment panels to get as much heat into the cabin area as quickly as possible - always better to sail but the heat from the engine in this case was a real plus. We were making excellant time, we made for an anchorage just outside of the harbour, it was 0600 (it would be day light in an hour or so), our target was to enter the marina between 0900/1000 hours when we knew staff would be present.
Making our way through the anchored, commercial vessels, we dropped anchor in darkness, set our lights and "anchor cone". The diesel heating went on and Ann did an excellant early breakfast, after two cups of lovely hot tea we set the alarm for 0930 hours and turned in for a well earned nap.
Waking up we were as surprised at the volume of commercial traffic in the anchorage as we were the vessels we had met during the night.
Cagliari, is obviously a totally different setting to that of Carloforte, a large, vastly developed commercial city. We get ourselves ready to move once again, following a call to the "Marina del Sole", one of the numerous marinas there, we lift our anchor and make our way in. The entrance both to the harbour and marina is straight forward. We are met with "waving arms", directed to our berth and helped with our mooring lines, we always prefer to berth "bow to" - a lovely hot shower and fresh clothes finishes the trip off perfectly!
Log Entry Thursday 26th February - We leave Carloforte for Cagliari!
Today we leave for Cagliari, some 70 nautical miles east on the Sardinian mainland. Once there we intend to have the boat lifted out and prepared for the on coming season. Sailaway has covered nearly 4000 nautical miles (approx. 4400 miles) since she last had her "bottom scrubbed" and anti fouled to keep the weed from attaching itself. Being a steel boat she is in need of some "TLC", we touch the paint work up as we travel but she is looking a little "tired". Sailaway has been ready for the trip for some time awaiting a good stable spell of weather - it is at last here! As we have had quite volatile weather we plan to complete the trip in one jump - we need to arrive at Cagliari in daylight when marina staff are present. It therefore means we are to leave late afternoon, traveling over night - the forecast moderate north westerly winds helping us on. We hate waiting, we lock up and head off into town for the last time, to pick up some bread and have a final coffee at one of our favourite bars - and of coarse to say goodbye to the proprietor and his family. We return to Sailaway a little sad, climbing aboard we realise we have locked the keys inside - we cannot get in, will we ever leave we mumble! I race off to the marina office and explain our predicament - we borrow a set of bolt cutters from the hardware store on the high street to cut through the lock, nothing will stop us leaving! I must admit there are a number of jokes and giggles about our predicament, but who cares?
Carloforte will be a miss to us, we have valued the security and friendship shown by the locals even through the language barrier. The sense of trust is warming, every thing is safe, keys left in the car/scooter ignitions, doors left open - takes me back to what I remember of "life as a child". An example - two days before we had found a mobile telephone on the pavement, we handed into the nearest cafe. The next day we were stopped and told the owner had been found - amazing!
We slip our lines, making our way out of the marina and across the harbour making for the exit we give way to the constant flow of ferries - general rule, if they are bigger or faster than you - stay clear.
Once out of the harbour we turn into the wind and raise our mainsail, back on coarse and then let out our genoa. Our fist leg is about 12 NM south east, taking us through the "Canale di San Pietro", past "I. Mangiabarche" and around the south west corner of "Isola di San Antico". The north westerly remained with us as we made good way with darkness approaching.
As we passed "Isle del Toro" we began to meet the traffic moving to and from Cagliari, as the sun began to set the temperature dropped dramatically - more layers of clothing went on! We reminded our selves of sailing in UK waters, the temperatures we were grumbling about were probably almost tropical in comparison. It is amazing how you become climatised to local temperatures. We take turns on watch, at this stage more so to keep warm more than any thing else, as cold as we felt it was clear it would seem like a long night.
Log Entry Tuesday 24th February - The Carnival continues in Carloforte
The town centre is busy again today - it's the "grown ups" turn to dress up. The procession dances its way the full length of the promenade past the ferries.
I would estimate at least one quarter of the village has turned out in dress, the effort of the people must be commended.
Once the procession has passed, it brakes up some what, a high proportion of the people making to the Community Centre next to the church. The Centres windows are opened, from inside a Disc Jockey plays music and the people dance for some time in the small square. At the end there is a gathering for the photographer.
Other than this being the equivalent of school "half term" we can find no reason for this Carnival, but it does have some religious weighting?
Log Entry Sunday 22nd February - Ann relieves her boredom!
As we now await our departure to Cagliari daily Ann, has found a new way to occupy her mind - she has taken up cooking. While re-organising one of the storage areas she stumbles across a Pressure Cooker and a couple of cookery books we had bought before we had left the UK. We eat very well as it is Ann always makes sure we our "Five fruit and vegetables daily" Ann now begins experimenting - who knows what lies ahead, I program the local emergency services telephone number into our mobile!
It's a serious focus on "Soups & Stews" at the moment, we are now working our way through many kilos of vegetables, fish, beef and pork - today it is chicken! I under take my normal "supportive, constructive role!" I have to confess all is very tasty, family and friends back home are kept up to speed with the various configurations - all are looking forward to their participation in Ann's new found talent. We have had to purchase again, a blender and numerous cooking utensils, all of which we had discarded before we had left the UK usually because they had not been used - "we went out to eat!" We are getting so healthy now cholesterol levels must be so low probably negative. I have no doubt, knowing my luck I will live for ever!
Log Entry Thursday 19th February - Carnival time in Carloforte!
Walking around the town yesterday we noticed the ongoing erection of some form of stand in the town square. The town was had recently under gone "local authority elections", the results displayed on posters all around town. We assumed the stand had some sort of role to play in those election results - we checked out the information in the "closed" local information centre but could find no mention of any thing happening? This morning, or at least by lunch time we could hear music coming from the town centre - we went off to investigate.
There was some form of carnival under way, we could find no indication as to what the festival related too, however we had noticed the smaller children had be dressed up in costumes all week. There had been a great deal of effort under taken by all, excellant costumes worn by all ages.
Mr & Mrs Shrek attracted a great deal of attention, arriving in there purpose decorated transport!
There was terrific focus on the Chinese aspect, an brilliant dragon, and due to the lack of Chinese population on the island, many were dressed as Chinese supporting the dragon as it danced through the streets and square. We had seen similar "turn outs" to celebrate Chinese New Year - too late for that in this case.
There was music of different styles, going on for some time, a great effort made by the locals - for what ever reason, we have no idea!
Log Entry Wednesday 18th February - The first casualty of the season!
As we sit the weather out in the protection of the harbour our frustrations are eased some what as reality hits home as we watch the Italian Coast Guard tow a yacht into the harbour. It flies no flags at all, ensign or courtesy, however on close examination it is of British registration.
As we talk to the Spanish crew we realise that our decision to "sit tight" is warranted. In 40 knots of wind (Gale Force 8) and 5 meter seas they had already lost their engine, but then they tore their main sail! To further add to their problems, their steering failed and were reduced to their emergency system - the Coast Guard then called to their assistance - we will continue to sit tight!
As we listen to the weather forecast on the VHF an Italian vessel puts out a "PAN PAN" - a call for assistance!
Log Entry Tuesday 17th February - We almost left Carloforte!!
We watch the weather daily, today we thought we had a window, we had actually been checking the weather twice daily for the last couple of days. Our departure seemed certain when we retired last night. The weather, forecast (westerly winds) looked to give us a brisk sail around "Capo Teulada" with strong north westerlies hitting about midnight speeding us through the "Golfo di Cagliari" and into Cagliari itself. During the night we were awoken by strengthening winds (south westerlies) and the resulting swell building up across the harbour. We awake to head winds, listening to the forecasts its all change for today. The now south westerlies would give us head winds for the first half of our journey which would result in full exposure to the still forecast strong north westerlies and the resulting forecast rough seas! We decide to sit tight, we do have another series of strong winds heading for us, we could be here for a few more days?
The locals tell us this weather is not normal, it seems every one is suffering? Two of our friends currently in Tunisia have snow on the mountain tops - the first time for twenty years!
Log Entry Tuesday 3rd February - The unfavourable winds continue!
We have been back almost two weeks now - the unfavourable winds continue. We keep our selves busy, "always plenty to do on a boat!"
During our stay in the UK we had been watching the weather - so we knew of the constant strong winds and gales Sailaway had been subjected too! She had been well cared for by the marina staff, most of the mooring lines had been replaced due to "wear & tear", in fact additional lines had been added. The ensign looked quite sorry for itself, we replaced it and settled back into our "live aboard life style". The vast majority of the town is closed due to the extended holidays the Italians enjoy at this time of year!
We are now ready to move, all preparation is complete all we need is favourable weather - sounds fairly straight forward? Our next port of call is Cagliari (mainland Sardinia) from there we will head south to Tunisia. We continue to sit out the low pressure systems as they pass over, the result being typically strong to gale force westerlies - with these the seas built! As the pressure system passes over it leaves us with high seas and then resulting "relatively light head winds." A bad combination - still we are not in a hurry, no deadlines to make - we have to wait!