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Log Entry Monday 20th July - Sailaway's return to the water.
All is now complete! A couple of days before Sailaway was transferred from the cradled which had held her safely for four months, to the hydraulic unit that would take her from her "racked position" to the crane, then eventually back to the water. This first transfer allows the cleaning and antifouling of the final areas, the base of the keel and supporting pad areas of the fixed cradle - the last of the anti foul paint is used up wisely!.
Local strong winds had now fall away, conditions are now right to return Sailaway to the water, she is slowly moved to the centre of the compound, then outside where the crane awaits.
Once outside of the compound enclosure the crane is moved into position. It is typical to have the hull marked on the initial lift to allow the re-position of the crane boom and the slings. This allows them to quickly achieve a "balanced lift". As we had re-painted the topsides we had photographed the original markings and supplied the yard with A4 pictures to work from - the relative positions are perfect and the lift is straight forward. Sailaway was only dropped once - only joking!
Once held solely by the crane, she crosses the main road to the allocated quay side for delivery to the water - all goes well.
Once in the water all is checked over - no incoming water, that's always a good thing! The engine is started for the first time in 4 months, she starts immediately as one would expect. Our plan now is to take her out into the bay to test the engine and electronics, we had estimated that this would take us a couple of hours. We informed the marina of our intension's just in case they thought we were leaving with out paying. It was strange that we received a chuckle from the lads as it had actually crossed our minds - we owed a considerable amount of cash!
We took Sailaway out into the harbour, then out into the bay as planned, no problems were found all looked good - now for the real shake down, out to sea and the anchorages and their contents we love so much.
Log Entry Monday 6th July - A trip to the Central and Barbagia Region of Sardinia
We decide to hire a car and head north into the centre of the island, our destination is Belvi, just north of the province of Cagliari. The area is said to reflect the ancient characteristics of the island with rugged mountains, shepard's, trails, with villages perched high over steep valleys. Barbagia, developed from the latin word "Barbaria" was used by the Romans to designate inaccessible regions of the interior, inhabited by "barbarians", not sharing Roman believes. This central region resisted invasion for centuries, preserving it's nuraghic regional rites. Chestnut forests dominate the hillsides, with numerous opportunities to enjoy their beauty by road or foot.
The infrastructure is not well developed therefore the average speed on the the trip is probably 30/40 km/hour. As we leave the city the roads become more "rural" (narrow and windy) but the scenery is beautiful. One interesting lesson learned the the constant availability of "fresh spring water", periodically we pass "named springs", we pull over to to view the scenery and we are told by a local woodsman about the spring, in this case the "Funtana de is Imbriagos". We fill our previously purchased water bottle, the water is certainly cool and refreshing.
The springs are constantly passed, and used by many - the sardinian equivalent of the Service Station, but it's free!
We climb higher towards Belvi, there is clearly development and investment into the infrastructure and the scenery become more and more dramatic.
We arrive in Belvi early evening, finding the "Phillyrea Hotel" is easy and we are very pleased with the large modern construction, over looking the chestnut and hazelnut forests and the Iscra river. The friendly, family run 40 bedroom hotels is the property of Stella and Michele Onano assisted with a very friendly receptionist "Anna". They make our stay perfect, we use the hotel as abase to explore the area and would recommend it to any one.
Kevin hit it off immediately with the friendly staff as usual!
Contact Details:Tel: +39 0784 629200 email: email@example.com website: www.phillyreahotel.it
Belvi, the village itself over looks the Iscar river, hazelnut and chestnut forests - a truly beautiful setting. The forests are riddled with shepard trials, the constant sound of of cow/goat bells can be heard confirming their constant usage. It is famous for it's wood carving capabilities producing "carved products" for sale through out the island. The area can also be reached by the Cagliari - Sorgono narrow gauge railway, a perfectly preserved service traveling through the beautiful countryside.
The nearby town of Aritzo is more developed for the tourist with a greater number of hotels and restruant's, its narrow streets permanent congested with traffic. It was once famous for shipping ice in straw lined baskets around the island in the warmed times.
There exists a fountain in the small square, locals continuously fill their containers for their personal use, the town itself is a great contrast of old and new.
Our plan is to drive further up into the mountains to Desulo, as one would expect the road physically worsened, we negotiate avalanches, pot holes and of coarse the livestock. The livestock vary from from wild roaming beasts to goats, being herded by shepard's in vans. All is negotiated with relative ease - it is just the way things are here!
Even the wild pigs seem to have a function here - we see them following the goat herds, cleaning up after them.
An interesting pastime appears to be "shooting up" the road signs, we see many examples - fairly large caliber.
We arrive at Desulo about lunch time, a friendly interesting place, we grab a beer, but here even the cafes shut at lunch time - we are left on our own by the proprietor, just as they would in the UK?
The town is perched high on the slopes of Ensnare and is saturated in history the old part of the village clearly vi sable on the hillside.
It is now unfortunately time to make our way back to Cagliari, we decide to take a "scenic route" and visit the area containing the lakes "Lugo de flumendosa and Lago Mulargia" due south of us.
We slowly make our way south with all of the normal issues - beautiful views and shepard's!
The views are astounding, never truly reflected on camera, we are sad as the trip comes to an end - we have been to a beautiful area and met many, many friendly people.
Log Entry Thursday 2nd July - All repairs complete at last!
Our efforts at last show good results as final coats of paint are now complete. In selected areas we have applied up to 9 coats - my greatest regret is that we had not recorded the number of litres applied! We have also included a number of modifications to help us sail Sailaway easier as well as changes to reduce the regular maintenance required - all have benefit, one way or the other.
We have to return briefly to the UK, we therefore do not apply the required two coats of anti foul and anodes - they will be completed upon our return, prior to "re launch". The last week or so, with it's temperatures reaching the mid 30C's by mid day has slowed the work down considerably - it just gets too bloody hot!.
Before we fly back we are two spend three days in the Central, Barbagia region of Sardinia about two hours drive to the north - a well earned holiday.
Log Entry Saturday 8th May - The Replacement of Sailaway's bow.
Due to the late arrival of the steel, Hazel left us on Wednesday as originally planned, Dave stayed behind until Sunday to complete the bow. Both sides (port and starboard) had been ground back before the steel dimensions had been determined to give a good weld. Lugs were welded to the hull, once the sheet was hoisted into position and sat into the supporting lugs it's base was tacked in position. "Anchors" were then welded onto the hull around the sheet and "wooden wedges" hammered into to shape the sheet to the hull. That respective section was then welded continuously, the wedge and anchor then moved around the sheet until the sheet was attached, excluding the "bow point". The sheet was then cut to the shape of the bow.
The supplier had been unable to supply two sheets as required, fortunately a conversation with a "local steel boat owner/builder" in the boat yard secured the second sheet. It was declared as a gift to a friend, along with a bag of fresh lemons from his own garden. We were able to force on him a few beers and a bottle of wine but only with great effort - we felt a little better when he asked Dave to do a small weld on his hull before his boat went back into the water. The gent, whose name we never got, was indeed a "friend" as while cutting the sheet of steel to shape I lost control of the angle grinder and damaged my let. "Our friend" took me to the hospital to be stitched up - upon return to Sailaway, his boat went back into the water, he disappeared out of our life as quickly as he appeared, hopefully we will see him again before we leave? I have to say within the boating community help is often at hand when needed irrespective of nationality or requirement.
Dave is now on his own, the fact that it does not slow him down asks the question:"Was I actually a help or a hindrance?"
The sheet for the starboard side is cut roughly to the shape of the bow with the section cut of the port side. The sheet has surface rust which is also removed, once cleaned it is put in position and shaped to hull as before. The two sheets (port and starboard) are then welded and shaped to the existing bow profile - she is probably capable of breaking ice now!
Once the welding is complete the edges are filled and shaped to the existing hull profile.
A good primer is applied, a perfect job, with additional strength added to the bow - this will certainly come in handy even if just coming into marinas as we frequently "tickle" the pontoon as we moor!
Ann then continues with the interior of the chain locker, two coats of good "anticorrosion primer", topcoat then the complete interior was coated in resin. We are also contemplating fitting a fresh water anchor chain wash. We have no doubt the locker will out last us - a good lesson learned!
Log Entry Monday 4th May - Our drive east to Villasimius.
Awaiting our required steel (which in itself is another story) we decide to utilise the hire car further and take the coastal route east as far as Villasimius. The route, once clear of the city is as panoramic and spectacular as the previous day. We enjoy repetitive views of beautiful coves and beaches on our seaward side and spectacular mountains views inland.
We continue for some time then decide to stop for refreshment, Hazel loves beaches so we make our way down towards sea level and stop at Solanas. The town is some what antiquated but interesting. We arrive at the "spiaggia", a lovely deserted beach equipped with its own beach bar. The staff are extremely friendly, the beach/resort is clearly "local" every one seems to know each other.
Fully refreshed and equipped with ice screams we climb back into the "pre-cooled" car and continue on. We are amazed to find these beaches almost deserted, the weather to us is great but clearly to the locals not warm enough!
We continue on around the "Golfo di Carbonara" driving towards the "Capo Carbonara" and the "Isle .Dei Cavoli" to Villasimius Marina - after all we had not seen a sailboat for quite some time! The marina was clearly under utilised, but from the work being under taken by it's staff very well maintained. The complex, both marina and apartments was well equipped with bars, restruant's etc - we were the only customers!
Across from the Marina was Porto Giuco another beach for Hazel! This complete section of the coastline is part of "Riserva Naturale Marina Capo Carbonara" a well protected and developed section of the coastline.
Log Entry Sunday 3rd May - Our drive south to Porto Pino.
We had hired a car to explore the island by road, unfortunately our exploration plans were to be cut short due to the extent of the work now to be complete. Today we are to head south through Nora, Pula and around the "Golfo di Teulada". We prepare a pack lunch and head for the coast road south through the "Stragno di St Gilla" the salt marshes to the west of the city, home to many hundreds if not thousands of flamingos. We make our way through the picturesque town of Pula, very much a developed tourist area. We head for Nora, but with the continuation of the "Festa di Sant Efisio", we are tuned back by the police - the town appears to be full! Many motorists pull over in front of us parking up their cars on the roadside and begin the long walk into town. We decide to head for the local beach and have lunch. The local roads are now becoming difficult due to parked cars, we make our way to "Spiaggia Sant Margherita" and break out lunch.
The area is heavily dunned, but the beach deserted, either too early in the year for locals or all are at the festival at Nora.
We eat lunch, then spend a little time walking it off - time to move on!
We carry on down the coastline, many picturesque views of numerous coves and beaches as we climb high above sea level. We head for Chia, notorious for it's beautiful beaches, the "Spiaggia di Chia". The booklets were correct, they were beautiful, but still deserted!
Over shadowing the beaches is the Torre di Chia, we climb up to take in the local views - well worth the climb!
We decide to continue along the coastline (Costa del Sud) using the small coastal road as apposed to the main road - we would classify it as a "B road" or less. Our next stop was to be "Porto di Malfantano". When we sailed from Carloforte, this had been one of our "bolt holes - a cove of save refuge" should the winds have turned against us. The winds had not so we were curious, especially as to its acclaimed beauty - we were not disappointed.
We stopped on the road above to view the cove, it was a fascinating sight, the clear blue waters beautiful to see - a sail boat anchored in the cove.
We drove down to the beach, photographs do not always display the image one sees. We will return to this anchorage on our way to Tunisia for its pure beauty, this is nothing here other than a small number of open fishing boats. We make our way further along the amazing coastline, rounding "Capo Teulada" we stop at "Porto Pienbo" for a coffee.
The port is basically a wooden key approximately one meter wide with small boats attached, the only cafe serves (by the odours received) excellant sea food. The are closed but serve us coffee. Talking to the waitress they only serve fish from the small craft in front of the restaurant and some form of fishery in the base of the cove? The fish travel from the sea, through sluice gates into a lake, the locals close the gates and capture the fish?
All being all, we put it on our our "places to anchor" on the way south - we must try their fare!
We decide to make our way to "Porto Pino" before picking up the main road back to Cagliari, the small port is well developed and very popular compared to our previous stops. The "dunned beaches" reach as far as the eye can see, quite busy too.
We pick one of the local bars for a drink before we head back in land to Cagliari, through the mountains via the "Riserva Naturale Di Monte Arcosa" the view breath taking and the roads, at times a little questionable? Many a time was murmured "look at that view - not you Kevin!"
Log Entry Friday 1st May - The Festa di Sant'Efisio.
For 353 years, the city of Cagliari has been confirming it's devotion and thanks to Saint Efisio. The festival is effectively a four day journey, a procession (a simulation) begins from his little Church in the Stampace quarter of the City and continues to his place of martyrdom in the small town of Nora where he was beheaded on 15th January, 303AD. A popular pilgrimage and fascinating show of traditional Sardinia costumes whilst trying to maintain it's deep religious meaning. We arrive early to get a good view of the procession, but crowds are already gathering.
The oxen pulling the highly decorated cards are extremely well behave, each card named after a town/province, its occupants dressed in traditional costumes.
The parade then continues on with further examples of traditional dress, men women and children dressed accordingly, it continues for well over two hours.
With the procession all but over we head into the old sector of the town, through "Piazza Yenne", past the "Church Sant Efisio" across to the old "Roman Anti-theater" then to the "Bastione Saint Remy" where we resolve the dehydration issue!
Log Entry Thursday 30th April - Dave and Hazel to the rescue!
We picked Dave and Hazel up from the airport just before midnight last night. Dave and I spent the day on Sailaway, Ann and Hazel went into town to do "lady things". The conclusion was that the corrosion was wider than originally thought and not completely visible. The concern was that if we patched, then next year we could be looking at further patches. We were to replace the bow panels on both sides, attacking the problem completely - we needed a lot more steel! The evening was spent on the local floating pizza restaurant, tomorrow was May day to us, the "Festa di Sant'Efisio" to the Sardinia people.
Log Entry Monday 6th April - To ignore a chain locker on a steel sailboat!
On our return from the UK we are disappointed to see "paint blisters" developing on our newly painted topside in the chain locker area. We had originally ground back, treated and painted (two primer and one top coat), rust in the same area just over a week ago! We unpack and once again the grinder comes out, this area was the only area of the topside and hull showing any form of problems, the rest was good.
We grind back, deeper this time to find small "pin pricks" in the hull, an effort to weld them up fails - the corrosion hampers all efforts.
The only option is to cut out all of the corrosion, both port and starboard sections, we are left with "letter boxes" as Ann calls them. We source locally sheets of steel to weld in - I start on the starboard side. I encounter a number of problems with the task, seeking advice from our friend back in the UK little progress is made as more corrosion is uncovered within the section. After further discussions with Dave, Dave and Hazel decide to come out - Dave to assist with the welding, Hazel to have a holiday? This is great news for us, we agreed to leave the welding and focus on the other jobs left. We had a number of "lovely to do jobs", not essential but "nice to do", this was the time to at least start them.
Log Entry Sunday 22nd March - "A day off - we head for a local market!"
The evening before, John (Ocean Star) arrives from England - we had first met John & Mo in Carloforte. They had wintered here at Cagliari for the second winter. We knew of John's arrival, we caught up on the gossip over a few glasses of wine - John offers to take us to a local market, a bike ride away. We take a break from the work on Sailaway, the sun is out however strong northerlies force the temperature down to 15/16C.
Cycles at the ready Ann sets the Italian fashion - "It does not matter what you look like as long as you are warm" Ann declares.
The three of us take a coastal path along the "Golfo Degu Angeu" we look right across to the west shore of "Golfo di Cagliari", it was a shame that the mist covered the mountains, the water was active with both pleasure and commercial craft.
The market was exactly as John had described, vast, lining many streets. The streets were not closed to traffic as one might expect, the local traffic worked their way through the pedestrians, sounding their horns as they did. No one seemed to mind, we got used to it eventually - the close proximity, car wing mirrors brushing your clothes was a little unsettling?
The market was created from a mix of attendees, the usual form of "professional" stall holders as one would expect and a large compliment of regular people selling what they had! To us it was almost a combined "market/car boot sale". The fish was definitely fresh - the eels still alive!