II - 2020 Christmas on board Sailaway.
We had initially expected to be in the yard in Cagliari and out for Christmas but the delays with our "Italian Residency" application have seen us abandon those plans and remain in Carloforte over the Christmas period. As December begins the application is still incomplete, however it has been verbally confirmed that we do have residency. The only box to be ticked being the inspection of Sailaway of the local police to confirm we live there. Once the visit is complete our identification cards will be issued.
We have to return to the UK in January/February 2021 for a couple of reasons, that visit may be brought forward and the trip to Cagliari delayed further until our return? With UK just passing 60,000 deaths we are in no real hurry to return, the equivalent number in Sardinia as I write has just passed 450?
Please read on:-
To view our previous log entries please use the following link:
I - Sailaway Logbook 2020 - "The New Normal!" (August till November inclusive)
Log Entry - Thursday 31st December - Our final log entry for 2020.
As a final note for 2020, we wish all a "Happy New Year" and a prosperous 2021! We celebrate the coming of 2021 on board, in the temporarily enforced "Red Zone", with plans to return to the UK sometime in January. Exactly when we are unsure as there are a number factors driving the return visit. On our return, whenever that is we still plan to take Sailaway to Cagliari, have her lifted out and cosmetically, brought back to how we like her! Out thanks to you all for keeping up with us, looking forward to seeing you again in 2021.
Take care and stay safe!
Log Entry - Monday 28th December - Our appointment today finalises our Residency Application.
We have been officially Residents of Carloforte since 26th November, but today we finalise the process, and pay for our "Residency Cards", they should be with us within the week. As far as "Brexit" goes we can now come and go as we please we are no longer restricted to a maximum of 3 months, then "exiled" for a further 3 months? The residency will also allow easier travel by road via France for example. The stay in the Commune have been excellent, I am sure they will be glad to see the conclusion of our application too!
Log Entry - Sunday 27th December - With very strong winds for 3 days, we sit precariously at an angle.
We have very strong winds and rain for three days, winds gusting up to 45 knots (49.5 miles per hour) not only is motion of Sailaway quite challenging but the noise is quite deafening at times? The heavy rain, occasionally hailstones also "drumming" down on the deck. We secure everything best we can and sit it out, not much more to be done? When the winds do finally drop off over night, we wake up in the morning, the first thing we notice is the silence, due to the lack of wind, then the lack of motion as a result?
Log Entry - Friday 25th December - A quiet Christmas Day on Sailaway.
Our Christmas Day has been planned out for a few weeks now. Following a few telephone calls in the morning, we eat and drink what we want, passing the time watching movies and reading - may not suit every one but it certainly suits us. The town is completely closed down, traditional holidays compounded by the fact that we have now been moved from the "Yellow to Red Zones" for the holidays. We enjoyed a couple of days "lazing around."
Contrary to what one may deduct from that photograph, I am actually enjoying myself - HONESTLY!
Log Entry - Wednesday 23rd December - To night, into town, it's Ann's birthday!
What a week this is, 22nd Wedding Anniversary, 23rd Ann's Birthday - then Christmas Day! At least we get a few days break before New Years Eve?
With today being Ann's birthday, our options are limited with the Covid restrictions? We are still in the "Yellow Zone" for a further day until all Italy goes red! All restaurants etc have to close by 1800 hours, so we have a plan. We will go out about 1600 hours as we have to have produced document type photographs for our Residency Cards, there is a store in town able to produce them, he opens at 1600 - 1630. Nothing happens dead on time here it is just the way it is "Island Life" as we call it - he told me earlier today that he opens at 1600 hours? We are there for 1600 hours, "closed", obviously, we hang around for 15 minutes then decide to head off and return later, nearer 1700 hours perhaps? We head down to "Nikko's" on the front and have a celebratory drink, with nibbles of coarse, the evening begins. After our refreshments we head back to pursue the photographs as we need them for our appointment on Monday in the Comme? Ahead of us @ 1645 we see the proprietor arrive to open the shop up, we enter with the entire process taking about 15 minutes, we leave for the town square, we have an hour left to celebrate Ann's birthday.
We arrive in Piazza Repubblica, Ann's choice and it just happens to be her favorite "nibbles provider". It is quiet when we arrive, considering they have to close in an hour? We order our drinks and the favored nibbles arrive - our free celebratory dinner? Ann is constantly on the telephone, friends wishing her well etc?
As darkness begins to fall the lights begin to become more prominent and more people begin to gather in the square which is traditional - the bars etc may shut at 1800, but the curfew does not begin until 2200 hours then continues until 0500 hours.
Well by 1800 we have had our fill but people are still arriving, all tables are full, inside and out, and they are still serving? We put that down to "island life?" It's getting too busy for us now, people every where, not our thing especially with covid around, so we pay our bill, bid our farewells and head back to Sailaway to continue our celebration.
The streets are now thinning out too, few people out now, all the other cafes we pass have their doors closed with a few people outside finishing off their drinks and chat?
The ferries are still busy, irrespective of Ann's birthday, they run on a "guaranteed schedule" as a minimum to ensure the island receives the service and transport it needs to function, lots of people work on the mainland, and vice versa? The "guaranteed schedule" is set and documented in law to cover "disasters, breakdowns and industrial action" which is quite a task? This service is also subsidised by the government, as is most of public transport in Europe. The Italians for example pay approximately 25% of what we do at the moment - our residency will allow us to travel at the subsidised cost, (€15 return for Ann and I plus the car, at the moment we pay €56) amazing?
We clear the town, and it's decorations, the people out further thin too, all four cafes on the front are now closed for the evening, the lights still on behind closed doors as they clean up I guess?
As we cross the building works. i.e., the car park outside of the marina, Sailaway is the only live-aboard boat of the four with external decor, she shines out of the darkness. She would have looked great if the other 4 rope lights had worked, still there is always next year! It's been a nice couple of hours out, back below decks to watch a movie and continue our evening, and, we are also ready for the last stage of our residency application on Monday!
Log Entry - Tuesday 22nd December - Today is our Wedding Anniversary and the town square is being prepared for the festive season.
Note: The festive season being Christmas, not our Wedding Anniversary?
Today is our Wedding Anniversary, this morning I woke to Ann telling me it was our "Silver Wedding Anniversary, twenty-five years married". Me being a guy, saw no real significance in the naming of various stages of a life sentence? Still apparently she should have had a "piece of silver jewelry, something silver at least!" I heard this statement repeatably, so I check our wedding certificate and guess what? Our silver wedding anniversary was last year - we missed it, still we laughed. I took the opportunity to take a balanced view on the situation, 25 years is silver, 26 must be iron and that's what Ann got - Ann seemed happy enough?
On our almost daily walk, we enter the town square "Piazza Repubblica" The activity is a welcome sight to us, we thought that as we were, as all of Italy, moving into the "Red Zone" for the holiday period the local authorities were not troubling with the Christmas decorations that we had witnessed in past years. Today the 4 ancient olive trees in the square are being decorated, and lights being installed too.
Even the local newsagent (Edicole\Negozio di Giornali) has made a real effort in the last day or so. The advent calender has been on the wall and updated daily since the beginning of the month, but the inflated, mechanical, Father Christmas is proven of real interest to the adults as well as the small children.
Log Entry - Wednesday 16th December - The town begins to adopt the Christmas spirit.
Walking through the towns streets we see one of the first indications that Christmas is indeed coming! In one of the empty shops they have redecorated the internal into a typical Christmas scene - Jesus in his crib. The whole scene is also created from recyclable materials, all done by the towns volunteers.
The detail is quite impressive, clearly a lot of artistic talent gone into the display, and a lot of the volunteers time too!
Log Entry - Monday 14th December - As the UK initially relax the Christmas Covid restrictions, the rest of Europe "clamp down!"
We received notification of our restrictions assigned during the holiday period. We, Sardinia are usually a "yellow zone" as you can see during the holiday period the whole of Italy are under the same conditions, all being in "red" red being "lock-down" type conditions, moving into "orange" between the primary days. It is not until 7th January we revert back to a "yellow zone" following "Epiphany".
We could not believe that the UK were relaxing restrictions for the holidays in this climate, still that decision now being reversed, for the better we believe? All we hear from UK's finest, family and friends is how they will bend/break the rules to suit themselves and with such pride? It is also sad for us to hear of more and more of people we know and are usually in contact with falling foul to Covid, most passing because of their age?
Log Entry - Sunday 13th December - Our Christmas decorations go up!
We have been hearing from the UK how people have been putting up decorations since mid-November to cheer themselves up because of Covid - well that's too early even for us, today is our time!
It has been a long time since we had all of our decorations up at Christmas for a number of reasons. It takes no time to pull out of storage what we have, a little longer to see what works, some of the equipment has not been out for six or eight years - too long to remember? We are happy with the way she looks down below, certainly colourful. Not many would appreciate that our tree is actual tied up to keep it upright during the winter gales?
We used to have "5 rope lights" to cover our decks, unfortunately only one has survived the hibernation, still, one is better than none! They are not the sort of thing we would expect to find on the island, we tried, even the external lights are impossible to find. The Italian Amazon Account was our next visit but something as robust as these need to be, were cost prohibitive, still never mind.
Down below decks with the lights on there is little need for any interior lighting, as you see the lights are hung all around the cabin and most of the roof. We had some failure of our aging internal lights but we were able to get some internal lights in a local shop?
Log Entry - Wednesday 2nd December, we keep ourselves busy around the weather.
Now, resided to the fact that we will be spending Christmas and the New Year in Carloforte we continue to keep ourselves occupied. Exerciser is important, getting off the boat when we can, when it rains it truly rains creating large puddles and even floods the streets as the water heads down hill towards the harbor. To get caught in ankle deep water when crossing a road or street is not usual.
One of the tasks is to get the diesel fire working, it warm and the flicker of the flames inside Sailaway is extremely pleasant we feel? It has not be lit for 4/5 years so a little cleaning and bleeding of the system is needed and she immediately "fires up!" It still creates a soothing experience as the flame action flickers around the cabin.