XII - We continue sailing.
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XI - Eventually we begin sailing.
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XIII - Ann & Kevin return to the UK.
Log Entry Wednesday 4th October - A telephone call brings good news!
Back in the UK the anticipated medical appoints are confirmed in a call with my knee surgeon's secretary, they are 4 weeks ahead of schedule. Initially confirmed to be 5-6 weeks (Mid - November) we are told they have been moved to 16th & 24th October. To us in simple language means a month less back in the UK for the knee replacement program and left hand correction operation - that is good news!
A brief look at the return trip to the UK tells us it's a ferry to the mainland, then a drive to Porto Torres, Northern Sardinia, then another ferry to Toulon in France. We will then drive north to Dunkirk and across to Dover by ferry - We leave Tuesday 10th October, arriving in the UK late Thursday 12th October.
Log Entry Monday 2nd October - The town (Carloforte) is becoming almost silent, very few tourists now.
We have sat in the square many times, it is quite sad to see the "hustle & bustle" begin to disappear, many of the bars, cafes and restaurants are now closing their doors until May 2018. It is times like this that do really make you wonder "where has this year gone?" a sign of old age I guess?
We have our trusty Golf here with us we have therefore to drive back, we are now considering two options:
1. Do we drive back at a leisurely pace, visiting places of interest on the way back to the UK, we do also have an offer to call in on Laura & Jacopo in Milan?
2. Remain here as long as possible and then take the shortest and fasted route back to the UK for the pending appointments?
Log Entry Sunday 1st October - Sundays are always one of the busiest days of the week, not now!
As Ann and I sat eating lunch on Sailaway my attention is drawn to the silence and lack of activity in the marina. Traditionally Sundays are very busy, just with the local boats alone, disappearing out for the day - could almost be described as "chaotic" at times, not now? I think we had counted two local boats going out this morning and only one visiter, passing by - winter is truly coming. We intend to remain here as long as possible, well until we receive notification of two medical appointments due but from receipt of letter we are expecting them to be 5/6 weeks away, probably mid November?
Log Entry Wednesday 27th September - We say farewell to Paul & Carol as they return to the UK.
The number of vessels with people on board is now demising, many all packing up for the winter, even the number of visiting vessels has almost disappeared. Paul & Carol (Chrisber) are another two leaving us alone tomorrow, they too returning home. We did make a good night of it though, plenty of wine and good fish at a nearby fish restaurant!
Log Entry Monday 25th September - We return back to Carloforte Marina.
Another spectacular morning, once the colours stabilise and our coffee is finished, we lift our anchor and return to the marina.
Log Entry Sunday 24th September - We continue to sit at anchor, passing time as we see fit!
We had a good nights sleep so up that little bit earlier, around 0630 hours. As we sit in the cockpit drinking coffee the colours around us are amazing as the sun rises up over the mountains of the mainland. Life goes on around the mass of colour, probably without any recognition by the various occupants within? How lucky we are to have the ability to sit back and watch such a spectacular display of colour?
It is going to be another interesting day, strong winds and perhaps showers forecast today, we do get the winds again but our decks stay dry!
Log Entry Saturday 23rd September - We are forced to move as the winds change?
Well, we sat in Calletta until about lunch time as the wind turned more to the north, sitting on the west coast of the island one would usually expect to find reasonable shelter here but the wind was blowing down the coastline from the north, directed into our bay by the cliffs and mountains. The wind had been forecast to be around 6/8 knots in strength but we were seeing 18/22 almost constantly, again accelerated by the local terrain I would imagine? We knew the holding was not great here a mix of sand and rocks, we had tucked in close to the beach to gain from the higher ratio of sand over rock? With the swell around a meter high and a shore line 300 meters behind us it was time to move, the anchorages on the south shore of San Pietro seemed a sensible option. Up came our anchor, we put the wind behind us and made for the south shoreline.
As we arrived at the southern anchorages, they were still plagued with a southerly swell coming in from the strong winds earlier in the week, to us neither comfortable or safe? We continued around the south coast and up the west coast, Carloforte and the marina was approaching at a great speed? We did not really want to return to the marina as yet?
As we entered the channel between San Pietro and the mainland the wind was now constantly over 20 knots but the swell far less than a meter as the wind swept over the island, we decided to drop our anchor just of "Spaggia (beach) del Girin". Not a great deal here, the marina only 1.5 miles to the north of us, we settled down just north of the "No Anchoring Zone" as cables were laid from the mainland to service the island. Not all were away of the area I guess as there was a catamaran and a small "day boat" smack in the middle of the zone, ignoring the beach markers?
We sat just south of the Carloforte/Casaletta ferry route, but at least we were not in the marina? The wind went on well into the night, it was so mild we watched a movie in the cockpit, we also watched the lightening storms passing us to the north, a good movie and entertaining lightening strikes!
Log Entry Friday 22nd September - It has been blowing a stink for a few days now, a break in the weather sees us out at anchor!
The wind has been blowing hard for so long it is hard to remember exactly how long? Still we are approaching 1st October a week tomorrow, one should not complain, after all it is warm, still around 25C?
We are up and out of the marina around 1100 hours, very little wind, quiet variable too for the next week the forecast says. We leave between 3 ferries, we are not alone a few other boats are taking advantage of the break in the weather, not much sailing going on anywhere? We turn south and head for the local anchorages, no specific target at this stage.
As we move south our options are more or less reduced for us, the strong northerlies have brought a swell around the south of Sardinia from the east coast making most anchorages a little unbearable? We decide to head for Calletta, it's shelter will be perfect in this situation.
We round the south coast of San Pietro, and continue in the rather annoying swell, with no wind very little we can do about it?
We eventually reach "P. Del. Castello" and round to the east into the bay "Spaggia la Calletta", it is empty of vessels we have it to ourselves, it looks like even the beach bar is closed, but we find later it is opening reduced hours - a beer perhaps? We settle down the conditions are great, we are well protected from the swell outside.
Log Entry Wednesday 13th September - A night in "Bar Baron Rosso" (The Red Baron) provides great benefits!
We meet as usual in the Marina Clubhouse, we are joined by a couple of friends, Paul & Carol, from the marina. We chat for about an hour and half, before we leave for the market, Paul and Carol invite us onto their boat for lunch - we accept of coarse.
We show Peter around, we pick up our usual fruit and salad, we then have just enough time for another coffee and then off to Paul and Carol's.
Carol is a keen cook, currently in the process of publishing a Thai Cook Book, the research etc actually completed in Thailand, well done! The spread was fantastic and the conversation great, the day disappeared very fast.
With dinner to source in the evening we walked back into town and made our first stop bar "Baron Rosso", I could not believe Peter's face as he saw the collection of beers on offer. Peters sampling and posting of his achievements continues throughout the evening at a rapid pace, they also did food, no need to leave the bar? We stayed for the evening, Peter leaves for Milan early in the morning so a good excuse for a farewell party!
I meant to ask Peter how many new beers he had tried on the island, just out of interest, but forgot?
Log Entry Tuesday 12th September - A disappointing day for Peter's Beer App.
A quiet day in town today, catch up on what we have been up to, Peter's new position etc, the weather is beginning to change for the better now, that is good news?
The evening we spend it in a waterfront Pizza Restaurant, great pizza's but no new beers, very disappointing!
Log Entry Monday 11th September - We give Peter a look around the island.
We meet up with Peter at our usual time after my visit to hospital, unsure wether Peter is photographing the boats or working his beer app? We agree to give Peter a run around the island, Ann puts together a pack lunch of traditional Sardinian cheeses, meats etc.
Today and for the next few days we have very strong northerly winds, Peter brought them too, so we decide to take him to the the far north of the island and watch the sea pounding San Pietro. The Isola Piana and Isola Ratti certainly taking their share of the pounding!
We then head to the south west corner of the island and find a nice sheltered area from the howling winds. The Isola San Pietro is only about 5 miles wide by 6 miles long, the only thing that makes the island difficult to get across is the roads, or lack of, we obviously want to avoid the rough tracks. We find this World War II gun installation quite interesting, it's not on the tourist map?
From there we make it up to the far north, Calletta, where we had anchored off a couple of weeks before, the beach now empty, it appears that the beach bar may still be opening weekends, certainly not today?
We return to Carloforte past the old salt works now out of commission, a few flamingos holding their ground.
We head back into town, let Peter work his beer app. then break for a couple of hours before we meet for dinner.
In the evening, our search for dinner takes us into the town square, our attention is attracted by a small Burger Bar, Peter is drawn by the beer menu it has a couple of beers he has yet to register? Not yet fully open we settle down for a drink until the kitchen is ready to provide food.
We could not fault our burgers, I won the evening, my selection having a "triple stack!"
Log Entry Saturday 10th September - Our friend Peter arrived yesterday and brought the bad weather with him!
Ann and I spent most of yesterday taking the ferry to the mainland, driving across to Cagliari to pick Peter up from the airport and bringing him back to Carloforte. It rained, showers, most of the day, but more to come today.
Today is much better, due to change this afternoon, we have Peter meet us in the marina clubhouse. It is a bit of a late start but an inner ear infection has resulted me in a week of anti-biotic injections given up at the hospital each morning.
We take Peter into the town, give him his first official tour.
Peter has a "Beer App." on his phone, his life time objective now is to register that he has drank as many new beers as possible, ideally never the same one twice? Posting a photograph of the beer awards him extra points/badges?
We end up in "Cafe Napoleon" as the rainfall peaks, boy does it come down - you guys back in the UK think you have rain, this is rain! However, it does not drive all of the customers inside, they clearly have a better protected seating area than us, or, are we just "light weights?"
By about 1500 hours the rain begins to stop, but by then most of the streets are flooded, the first time we have seen rain here since we arrived in June? We thought it quite ironic to see this guy in the flooded street with his fishing rod - "Be prepared!" not sure what he was fishing for?
Log Entry Wednesday 30th August - Out in town for dinner.
Laura & Jacopo invite us out for dinner to a small roadside restaurant they know in town, the choice of venue was a good one, the food and wine excellent.
After dinner it is along the waterfront to a "Gellato" for desert - ice cream, a table with our name on it!
Everyone tucks in!
Log Entry Tuesday 29th August - Mast Head Navigation Lamp needs checking.