II - 2021 We leave for Cagliari, Sailaway's "lift out" due once again.
Well with Christmas and New Year over, it is time for us to focus on 2021, we do not anticipate it being significantly different to 2020 but we do hope so? Even with vaccinations one is still advised to wear masks and social distance as the vaccination does not protect you fully, just reduce the symptoms, therefore reducing the number of deaths from it! With our planned return to the UK for the shortest possible period abandoned we have spent the last few weeks tackling getting to Cagliari on the south coast of Sardinia for the much needed lift out of Sailaway. She is tired and in need of a lot of cosmetic work after a number of years of neglect, for a number of good reasons. We now have our Italian Residency so there is no limit as to how long we can visit Sailaway without having to return to the UK.
Our revised plan is to have Sailaway completely up to scratch and looking good and then return to the UK - latest mid/late May. We believe we will be back in the UK for approximately three months, returning back to Sailaway fully "Covid-19 vaccinated," perhaps with a "vaccination passport if you believe the gossip, or the media? I must confess I believe they will be a requirement of the future, possibly for some time? Well, that's our latest plan, with the lift out happening in the "cantieri" at the Marina del Sole, we have decided to spend a couple of days at anchor to break up the trip and have a change of scenery, that we are looking forward too!
Please read on:-
To view our previous log entries please use the following link:
I - Sailaway Logbook 2021 - On board Sailaway in Carloforte.
Log Entry - Thursday 15th April - Eventually our lift-out, 8 weeks and 1 day after our arrival?
To Summarise: This period has been one of the most frustrating periods of our lives, especially the last five weeks in particular. Promise after promise of a lift-out, then a cancellation at the last moment, with a good excuse of coarse. It is clear now from their "lift-out procedure" there was never any real intension to lift us at all, the fact that they felt, we could be managed in this manor is a true insult of intelligence! We have seen boat after boat lifted and even relaunched, ourselves clearly at the end of the cue. Last week, clearly far over due, an almost "loss of control of emotion" was experienced by myself, a position mostly unknown to me. Unable to converse our displeasure in fluent Italian, it was done in writing, it seemed to receive attention, well here we are at last and we must now look forward. We were again pledged a lift on Monday, which failed to happen, the crane driver failed to turn in to work, eventually the Marina/Yard Manager stepping in to lift us today, why not Monday?
In latter weeks, unfortunately we took a couple of the early lift-out pledges as "real" running out of time, trying to save time in the yard, we stripped a lot of the deck fittings from the deck. Our biggest problem now is that for the last week three days of heavy rain has been forecast, it starts tomorrow - the grey duct tape indicates resulting holes in our deck where we now have great exposure to leaks?
It's approaching 0945 hours so we slip our lines and reverse out of our berth, we are to be in the lifting area at 1000 hours. Even the local cormorant cannot believe we are actually heading towards the cranes lifting area?
There is a sailboat being dropped back into the water, we can see the engine is running but guys are up and down from below deck, clearly checking something down below? In time all is good and the sailboat leaves and we take up position against the wall.
Although 15 minutes late to the dock, our lift is delayed a further 10 minutes or so as the skipper who's boat it is being launched brings the lifting crew cakes! I hope they do not expect the same from us? We take position on a nearby wall to watch and photograph the lift. I am called back on board to help the crew establish the position where the propeller shaft exits the hull as an incorrect position of the lifting straps can cause massive damage. It takes only a few minutes to take one of the crew down below, lift a floor panel and show him the exit point of the shaft relative to the windows. Off they go with positioning the straps, off I go to rejoin Ann on the wall.
We watch Sailaway being pulled back to the road and along to the boatyard, where while held in the slings Sailaway is power washed to remove any growth and a lot of the remaining anti-foul. Sailaway is left in the hydraulic travel unit, her cradle positioned below, I enquired as to where her resting place would be but I did not get an answer - perhaps it unknown? Still we settle in, run hoses to 20 liter containers draining our galley sink and shower. A high and dry, home from home!
The first night in the yard is interesting, we are the only ones in here, we are reminded about the dogs. They keep two dogs in a cage in the far corner of the yard, each night between the hours of 1830 - 1930 the two dogs are allowed to roam free - they are joined by the younger of the three dogs kept in the marina. To us it appears that almost for the full hour, the three dogs in hour yard, flex their muscles and bark at the two dogs in the next yard and vice versa?
Log Entry - Friday 10th April - A coffee out stirs our curiosity?
While out "stretching our legs" we stray to one of our usual cafes on Via Roma, on the waterfront we see a plaque entitled "Vittime del Moby Prince" translated it reads "The victims of the Moby Prince." To my disgust I have to Google the event of 10th April 1991 where in the port of Livorno on the Italian mainland to the north of Corsica 140 deaths occurred that day, one of two worst Italian naval disaster since World War II! The ferry collided with a tanker, (Agip Abruzzo) causing a fire which raged through the vessel, killing all but one of the 65 crew and 75 passengers? We know Livorno quite well, having stayed there twice to pick up the ferry to both Corsica and Sardinia - the same ferry route the Moby Prince sailed at that time.
In a crazy way the second naval disaster happened the day after, off Genoa where the crude oil tanker "Amoco Milford Haven" carrying one million barrels of crude oil caught fire and exploded flooding the Mediterranean with over 350,000 barrels of crude oil, polluting both the Italian and French coast, taking over 12 years to remove the pollution.
Log Entry - Wednesday 8th April - Our aft cabin roof stripped down, re-coated, a further step in the right direction.
While working in the aft cabin (our bedroom) we were horrified at the condition of the protective roof coating, the cause being the sheer amount of condensation within the roof space from the thousands of nights we have slept aboard. When we first pulled the panels down the marine ply panels we soaked through. When the boat was built the steel hull was completely lined with 1" polystyrene tiles, glued to the hull, we know from past experience that these tiles trap the condensation. We have in other areas of Sailaway completely removed the insulation and have not notice any detriment in doing so, condensation does not gather and makes its way down to the bilge as it should do. Here we do exactly the same and we both agree that to repair the coating makes complete sense, it takes two days in the sun to dry out two of the worst panels, their wood resealed too to increase their lifespan.
The first covering of the coating go on, but it is clear that two, as recommended would be best, we have 15 liters of white coating, hence the choice of colour as apposed to trying to match the original, existing maroon colour, once the panels are back up the roof is completely hidden from sight.
A second coat improves both the protection and appearance, another job well done, it will now certainly outlast us!
Log Entry - Monday 5th April - More of the same, roof panels down, remove the respective deck fittings, convert the roof panels to "removable" and rebuild.
It is clear from these pictures just how time and weather affect an aging steel sailboat, it is almost 6 years since any real work was carried out on the deck. Of coarse there is always reasons, two knee replacements, Covid - 19 alone account for almost 3 of those years? During those three, consecutive years Sailaway's deck received no attention at all so her condition is of no surprise. We continue to tear apart our living space, any resulting holes are "duct taped" internally before the roof sections are replaced to stop dust ingress below while sanding. The holes, top side are "duct taped" to keep out the damp and rainfall should we have any - hopefully not? With storage areas stripped down below deck to allow for welding their contents are now stored in plastic boxes on deck, our canvas sealed in black plastic bags! Once in the yard all will be positioned on the ground below allowing full access to the deck for repairs, all of our "removed" ropes and lines will be bagged and stored the same.
I work on the dorants and vents in the after cabin, much of the internal coating has broken down over the decades, as well as removing the fitting all of the panels require repairing, we even come across damaged wiring from the initial build - surprised a couple of the lights were evening working?
We break off for lunch, Ann the cheeky thing, catches me on camera dozing - not used to hard work she claims, clearly she is incorrect, I think?
After lunch I carry on below decks, Ann continues on deck re-stapling the damaged roof panels, cleaning them down as she does so. Bottom line is she is trying to beat my tan, both of us are slowly turning brown!
Log Entry - Sunday 4th April - The fish, I think we know them as "Mullet," are swarming the marina and bringing in the fishermen.
Log Entry - Saturday 3rd April - We have to return to the UK in May, to miss that objective gives us a number of problems.
Well, rightly or wrongly at this stage we decide to continue to dismantle Sailaway, reducing the amount of time required in the yard - should we ever get in there! To tackle, rust, failing components (turning blocks and jib track) we drop the required sections of the saloon cabin to remove the deck fitting from the under side. The jib track is of particular concern and during strong winds it also carries our storm jib, it is aluminum eroded over the 30 years of sitting on deck fully exposed to the elements and of coarse the sea water. A new track is sourced and ordered along with paint, our preferred anti-foul coating and new brackets to hold our life raft which in for a service. The roof panels are converted from "permanently pinned in place to screwed" and hence easily removable. Sections of the panel covers are now loose, originally stapled, Ann repairs those on deck as I work down below, a good team!
Log Entry - Thursday 31st March - With more time on our hand we climb nearby Cala Fighera.
Towering high above us in Cagliari is Cala Fighera, between us and Cala Fighera is Capo di Sant Elia and it's lighthouse, it's light sweeping the marina during hours of darkness. It is interesting that the UK have, due to the growth and accuracy of "Global Positioning Systems" have significantly reduced the number of lighthouses around the coastline, many becoming tourist attractions. In the Mediterranean it is completely the opposite with the ongoing development and investment in lighthouses, many serving a dual purpose as Military of Coast Guard observation centers.
Today we were again supposed to lift out and again we were let down and yet another excuse devised - the bottom line being "others" are given preference over us! It is becoming so frustrating, it is six weeks now - it is difficult to determine what we should do next? Sailaway is in desperate need of refurbishment, if we return to the UK before it is completed it could be at least 3 months before our return, if not longer?
We jump in the car and head towards Calamosca, where we will make our way along Viale Calamosca to the end of the peninsula, park up and from there make our way up Cala Fighera, it is stated that the views of the city of Cagliari are amazing, we may be able to see Sailaway too?
We park up, surprised at how many people are visiting, walkers, cyclists, runners etc and people just enjoying the waterfront. The view across Cagliari Bay is restricted by sea fret/fog, but the shipping arriving and leaving the port are clear enough. We also get a clear view of the lighthouse, Faro di Capo Sant Elia, we are now to the south of it, Sailaway sitting in the marina is to it's north. We make for the many pathways leading to the top, as we climb Calamosca comes into view also, now below us. The cycle tyres tracks catch my attention on the very narrow, un fenced tracks - the danger probably making it more interesting?
As we continue to climb the views of Faro di Capo Sant Elia and Calamosca become clearer, difficult to try and establish how high we climb, must try and establish a number when we get back to Sailaway?
As we approach the plateau, we are met by our first and only cyclists on the path, we stand aside and let them pass, the city of Cagliari also begins to come into view.
Eventually in time at the plateau we reach a fence, a military station of some nature, the pathway makes around it towards Poetto - but that's for another day. The port entrance comes into view at last but we are unable to the inner harbor where Sailaway sits! We grab our pack lunch, sitting on rocks watching the small green lizards too fast to catch on camera?
Log Entry - Wednesday 30th March - Almost lifted out into the yard, a cracked cradle delaying us further!
Due to the type of work that we are to complete, grinding and welding, the boat yard want to position us in a double space to eliminate damage to any nearby vessels, this has been said to be the cause of our delay. Yesterday we were put on standby for a lift-out, asked to be ready for 9am, they would come and tell us when to move, and of coarse we are ready. We are later told that we cannot be lifted, when lifting the existing boat damage is found to the cradle in which we are to sit, making it unusable, we are so frustrated. I am shown the next available cradle which is good two days away, and of coarse we have the Easter weekend, for sure we are told definitely next week! Lets face it what else can go against us - I hope they do not drop Sailaway or something similar?
Log Entry - Monday 29th March - Time to attack our storage box on deck, in need of a tidying up!
Our deck mounted storage box has weathered over time with the sun attacking the varnish, tiding up required. The fitting stripped off and once rubbed down, two coats of stain then at least two coats of clear varnish, around the winds of coarse. Hopefully another job off the list before we do eventually get into the yard, but it will take probably best part of a week to complete, but worth it.
Log Entry - Saturday 27th March - The dolphins are back in the harbor to feed around the boats.
It is becoming almost a weekly sight, it's great to see the dolphins feeding around us, they appear so relaxed, I last caught pictures of them back at the beginning of March. Here there are two, one large one smaller - if they come into feed makes you wonder why the fishermen go out?
Log Entry - Thursday 25th March - The new anchor chain transfer in the vee berth is completed, another job off the list!
Back in the "Log Entry - Sunday 28th February" we identified the need to replace the original chain pipe that fed the anchor chain from the windlass up on deck, down through the vee berth and into the chain locker. The original pipe had eroded away in a number of places with the almost constant presence of salt/sea water, protection was impossible as access was not possible at all. During that log entry we had cut away the rottern pipe and made a provisional cut out for the new, proposed chain slide. This method would allow access for cleaning and the addition of protective coatings over the winter etc.
Unfortunately as with every major job on a boat, first, access has to be achieved, bare in mind we are using the vee berth as an additional storage area while we have other, permanent storage areas apart awaiting work in the yard. Then you need the tools out to do the work, the two pictures above show the impact of the exercise to our already reduced living space. We do not empty the vee berth fully, only enough to give access to the forward area, I have to "wriggle" past our folding cycles.
With the chain slide piece now complete, the hole through the chain locker bulk head has to be finely cut to size, out comes the angle grinder once again. The initial hole was only a few millimeters away from size, so at least that task did not take too long. Once the snug fit is achieved the unit has then to be welded into place - many years since I last used our welder, but all went well. The wood work etc protected from sparks with a fire blanket we had purchased via our Italian Amazon account.
Ann then steps into the berth with her magic paint brush, two coats later the wooden bulk head is then rebuilt and the books retrieved from the car - our external storage facility. Not a bad job if I say so myself, the wider aperture of the slide as apposed to the relatively tightly fitting exit of the old chain pipe should assist the stacking of the anchor chain as it is retrieved, it works well in the marina, only time will tell?
Log Entry - Wednesday the 21st March - The flamingos fly over us morning and night to their feeding grounds.
There are two large flooded planes, one to the east and a second to the west, they are both used daily by the flamingos - we hear them pass over head morning and night. On an evening, they are more densely colored pink from their feeding. The pictures are a poor reflection of the sight, also the noise they make is very distinctive, you can almost set your clock by them.
Log Entry - Saturday 20th March - The only Irish Bar in the world not showing the Six Nation's England v Ireland rugby game today.
We were convinced that we needed today to watch the England v Ireland match, we were out of touch with the series but time to make a change. We had seen the "Old Square" Irish pub advertised on the roadside - a perfect venue to watch the game and down a few beers. The game was an early evening kick off, so we planned to have dinner out too, we thought it best to find the place and see if in fact they were showing the game and what our options for dinner were?
It was easy enough to find, situated in the upper quarter where the streets are lined with bars and restaurants. We went inside to find it was just as one would expect an "Irish Bar" should look like - outside of Ireland anyway? We were due a coffee, Ann her latte of coarse, it was too cold to sit outside in the breeze so we went inside, it was quite empty which suited us. Inside, every table was marked "reserved", I stopped a member of staff and asked if we could use one of the reserved tables for our coffee? The answer took me by surprise, "Of coarse, they are reserved for lunch, it's not lunch time for another hour!" We ordered our coffees and took a seat. When our coffees arrived I asked the waitress if they were showing the rugby later, she said she had to talk to the manager? The manager came to our table, very apologetically she explained that tonight was a very important football game for "Cagliari Calcio" and that must be shown as the bar would be full for the event. We thanked her for the information, we finished our coffees and left - now where do we watch the rugby? "The Square", had handled us very well, the staff were very friendly and helpful, even with my rough Italian speaking - we will return.
Believe it or not, we watched the game on board Sailaway, streaming it live - what a disappointing game, the best team won, and that was not England!
Log Entry - Friday 19th March - Ann's new training steps - "Adrianne"she screams!
Ann has been for some time now talking about using the steps of the church "Santuario di Nostra Signora di Bonaria" as a training area, we have seen many running up and down the steps. "Marion - Our Lady of Bonaria" is the Patron Saint of Sardinia, dating back to the 1300's originally the position of a Catalan, military headquarters, high on the hill to avoid the foul air from the old Cagliari city, the name of the hill was "Bonaria." Back to Ann, well today she completed her task and ran up the steps, for sure it will not be the last time!
Log Entry - Wednesday 17th March - Ann's daily walk sees another cruise ship coming in to Cagliari.
When Ann does her almost daily walk out, she takes about an hour counting her steps, distance traveled and heart rate - all of that good stuff! Today she sees the arrival of another cruise liner, I read about it's arrival in the local paper "L'Unione Sarda". Due to covid-19 they are running at one third capacity, around 700 guests depending on the vessel, this particular Company had one vessel in service and another two being prepared. They are 100% Italians, and when ashore they have to follow strict rules, they are shown various, prearranged sites, they must remain within the group, and they could only visit prearranged bars and restaurants, clearly acceptable for those taking the cruise but I am unsure of the point? Still I guess after so much time under "lock-down" something like this must be a real plus, good luck to them and it must bring revenue into the city?
Log Entry - Tuesday 16th March - Kevin's 50th birthday, well, 61 really - guess who writes here?
I have been told by a number of people "If your ignore your birthday you do not get any older?" Well I would put that right up there at the top of my "load of rubbish listing!" Still, birthday or not we have work to do, shopping first. Ann works at preparing me a birthday breakfast, very nice it was too.
Receiving the phone calls and texts was nice, later in the day I receive a package from the UK, cards and a book "A voyage for madmen!" which I thought was very appropriate. I used the above picture to enforce my gratitude on their thoughtfulness, a lovely day joking aside, greatly appreciated. I am now in my "70th decade" as Ann's Mum would have said, which is accurate I guess?
Log Entry - Monday 15th March - Back to work, completing the fuel and water tank vents on the other side.
I now complete the same exercise on the starboard/right side of the boat, to gain access the storage area and ceiling has to come apart. The glued panels taken apart with as little damage as possible then convert them to removable. The replacement hose for the water tank vent is fitted and the blocked diesel tank vent pipe removed, and an enlarged vent system fitted.
As on the other side of the vessel there is welding to be done on the deck above this area, there is no point in reassembling the two areas completely. The galley area is made good, microwave etc repositioned. Most of the equipment usually placed in the storage areas are now in plastic storage boxes on deck, we make the areas as "manageable" as possible until the yard and the completion of the welding!
Log Entry - Sunday 14th March - A run out in the car, east as far as Villasimius.
We decide to have a run out in the car, a mix of "work and play!" We head east along a small coastal road making for the far southeastern tip of Sardinia, a port call Villasimius. We know the adjacent, rolly anchorage quite well, the marina we have used once following our 5 day, non stop sailing trip from the volcanic islands off the north east tip of Sicily across to Sardinia a few years back. The marina was huge, but almost empty back then, and quite a walk to town, but it was indeed a welcome resting place after that trip! We deliberately stay off the main route, enjoying the narrow winding roads high above the coast line. After about an hour we decide to stop for coffee and call Kevin's mum - we pick Salinas. We know Salinas, effectively originally a small town within a beautiful beach area where an entire tourist industry developed, hotels resorts etc. We head for the old part, a small cafe we have used before, the town with the time of year and covid, almost deserted - locals only and not many of them!
After our coffee we head down to the beach area, a large sandy bay backed by mountains, we have seen it from the sea in summer with barely a speck of sand to be seen for the bodies lying on it. There are a couple of people around, but not many, reasonable temperatures for the time of year circular 17C, a pleasant walk.
From Salinas we pick up the old coastal road and follow the coast heading east, bay after bay, lots of rock and pebbled areas but with the water colours changing with depth and seabed (weed v sand) still pretty to view.
Villasimius in the distance here has further large sandy beaches predominantly on western side of the peninsular on which it sits, again a heavily developed town around tourists. We drove into town and were amazed how busy it was, cafes etc almost full, people walking the pavements - too many people for us. We do not stop in the town deciding to drive straight through, we park off the beach for 15 minutes or so. Two beach bars already open and quite full by the looks of it - we cannot get used to people, we prefer to distance for obvious reasons. Having reached our target destination we decide to head up the east coast and pick up the main road back to Cagliari, a route with a good view of the mountains. We will arrive back about 5pm, amazing how quickly the day has gone!
Log Entry - Thursday 12th March - We continue tearing our living space apart, time to resolve our tank vent issues!
There are two issues with our tank vents:
1. Diesel Vent - They are failing for whatever reason, I favor collapsed pipe work as the vents are plastic pipes and I have seen that they are bent at some peculiar angle to fit through the internal wooden structure. This is becoming a major problem when refueling and causes a "blow back" of fuel and spillage into the water no matter how careful you are. You could be hit with a €10,000.00 fine!
2. Water Tank Vent - for some reason the boat was built with the vents leading to the bilge, this causes the over filled water to end up in the bilge. We avoid this by watching the water level as you fill, but as the vents are in the same area while creating the access to get to the diesel vent we plan to resolve the water tank vent issue too.
To further complicate this exercise both areas where the diesel filler caps are located are badly corroded and need new welded sections. We have the sections cut and ready to fit, that part of the job has to be done in the yard. It will take a good day per side to get access to each set of tanks and make the panels removable then best part of a day to replace the panels, cupboards, TV unit etc, etc. With that in mind we do not plan to rebuild the interior until after the welding is done as it will require the same strip down of the areas - we will just adjust to the mess until the job can be completed!
Starting on the port (left) side, to get to the tank vents some panels have to be removed for the first time which is interesting separating the "glued components" as previously mentioned removing and converting them to "removable" takes time and effort but worth it longer term. Unfortunately as they are removed other issues, crushed wires, poorly routed cables are uncovered and need to be improved adding to the task. Our panels are material covered marine ply panels, the material is stapled to the rear of each panel. With age the staples in many places have rusted away loosening the material, so repairs needed their too, the new staples will outlast me for sure!
The above pictures give some idea of the disruption to our small living area as we work, and of coarse we have to find additional storage for the items usually held in the storage area that we have just torn apart over the port side tanks - our vee berth is completely full now.
The above pictures clearly show why I selected the "shorter" version of a wife, the tall glamorous version would never have been able to get into the required areas.
To cap it all, half way through the day I receive a telephone call from the couriers, our complete set of new perspex windows arrive, one week early. Although unable to fit until later, while in the yard, something else we have to find space for - all good fun!
Log Entry - Wednesday 10th March - My favorite job on board, a leaking toilet, 3 hours with my hands in "stuff!
My two most "challenging" jobs on Sailaway relate to the toilet and the holding tank - both involve meddling around in "human stuff!" To put a more positive angle on the task at least it is our! Both assemblies require maintenance but also the repair of failures/breakages, unfortunately like anything they always happen when you could least do with it doing so!
We woke up this morning to a wet floor and the smell of urine, great! The failure was quickly traced to the diverter valve from the toilet to the holding tank, a seal failure, known from experience. When in an anchorage when people are in the water, although not law, as consideration for those people, we prefer to use the tank to store our waste, then pump it out when traveling. The combination of urine and sea water causes calcium to build up in your system which requires maintenance and cleaning periodically. This calcium can harden and tears seals etc, this is almost certainly to be the cause here. It takes longer to clean the assembly down than to strip and rebuild the valve, we carry spare seals so no issue there, there is also an indication too that that this valve has a limited life so a replacement should be sourced when back in the UK.
Ann continues her work in the cockpit, we have stripped as much of the deck fittings off as possible, ready for the painting of the deck. She cleans and revitalises the components.
Log Entry - Saturday 6th March - Our lift-out still not in sight we attack our "Yard Job List!"
We have been here over three weeks now, when chasing our lift-out we are constantly hit with excuses, but we also see boats move in and out of the yard, frustrating! We revise our own "plan of action" and decide to begin our yard work while in the water, with due respect for the boats moored either side of us of coarse. Our first task is to continue with the tightening down of our deck stantions, they are the up rights on the deck that carry our guard wires around our deck for our safety. Two years ago we replaced the hardwood bases upon which they sit, due to the compression over time they need tightening down, otherwise the water will seep underneath then, rot the wood and cause rust. During other work we have recently completed in the aft cabin and vee berth we have secured those units but there remains three in the saloon and one in the heads (toilet) to be secured - off we go!
Unfortunately almost every job on a boat involves tearing up one's living space and creating a hell of a mess, be it a mess of debris, stripped down components of just the required tools being located? Each stantion tightening is a two man, or a one man and one woman job - sorry I should write "two person job!" Ann supports we well by following me around clearing up the debris behind me - she hates mess more than me!
A particular issue our boat has/had is that when it was build back in the 1990's there was no consideration for access, or even maintenance with most panels glued on. We have a different approach, whenever we have required access anywhere in the past we remove the fixed panel and make it "easily removable", makes sense to us. The positive thing with this exercise is that all panels in this instance are "removable" as we have required access before. A job off the list!
Log Entry - Thursday 4th March - Market Day, our daily exercise and coffee of coarse!
Today our excuse to get off Sailaway is "it's Market Day!" - we do not need anything, but always worth a look. We noted from Carloforte that pricing in these markets is not what it used to be, today you appear to be expected to pay extra for "local produce" sometimes of lower quality too? That's not for us, once again, this our first visit here but that is exactly what we see?
Our wander then takes us west to Via Roma, the new marina built here several years ago seems to have transformed this area, it was always a very cosmopolitan area but the unused waterfront did not complement it at all.
The commercial port is still very busy, with a container port further west again, although I read in the local newspaper that the container port is under threat? We continue along the front until past the great wheel that has this year appeared on the waterfront, it's under preparation for opening now we are in the "White Zone"
Well, it's over to the covered pedestrian area for our coffee then back to Sailaway, work to do! We have been here 3 weeks yesterday when chasing our lift-out we receive excuse after excuse - "Italian's first!" we are beginning to believe? Still, we do not drive the cranes, all we can do is keep the pressure on and manage our frustrations!
Log Entry - Wednesday 3rd March - We have a run out into the mountains just to the north of Cagliari.
It's perfect having the car, jumping in and driving off helps manage the waiting for the lift-out! We have always loved our time in the mountainous regions in central Sardinia, we have witness development too over the years, new road systems etc, all with positives and negatives. We decide today to take a couple of hours and drop into the southern section of the central Gennargentu Area, beginning some 30 miles to the north of Cagliari. A relatively short distance, but our satnav tells us 1hour 15minutes due to the type of road. We have no true target, just a drive out, we use as a target a small town called "Villsalto". Along the road the "Divieto di Caccia" or Hunting Ban seems throughout, with signs every 200/300 meters along the road side, literally, to the point where the signs almost are detrimental to the view?
The drive is as interesting as we expected, the first thing we notice is the lack of litter! In Cagliari the disposal of waste, due to the local authorities control of recycling etc seems to us to have created a massive waste problem, it is dumped everywhere in the city and immediate area. Every "pull over space" on the roadside is littered with plastic bags of rubbish, it blows around your feet as you walk the city etc? In the marina due to the policies, we are told, we are charged 60 cents/kilo of waste, I have some doubt that they are making cash on the transaction, as when I inquired, the system, including the recording of each kilo, where it came from and charges appeared a complete nightmare? In Carloforte there is no cost for the waste as yet, but there was a great deal of frustration from the marina staff due to the fines imposed on them for "incorrect classifications" of waste by the public
We arrive at Villsalto early afternoon - their lunch time, the deserted streets reminded us of Carloforte, in the city, lunch time is the busiest for obvious reasons. It is a quaint lovely town, everything closed, not even a coffee available, Ann is disappointed - "No Latte!" It's like walking around a ghost town, but prettier I guess, not that we have ever walked a ghost town, that we know of?
It's getting a little late in the afternoon, after numerous stops to admire the view and a walk around town so we pick a different return path, again varying the view - we head towards "San Vito" directly to the east, then head south to Cagliari via the main coastal road. Our return, due to the initial scenic route takes a couple of hours, arriving back in time for dinner, a good afternoon out!
Log Entry - Tuesday 2nd March - Sardinia is the first Italian Provence to move into the "White Zone".
A number of weeks ago the Italian Government Health Authorities introduced a "White Zone" into the Covid Classification Groups. We find out this week in the "L'Union di Sarda" local newspaper, that Sardinia is the first Provence to be put into that category, there are still restrictions, but relaxed still further to the Yellow Zone in which we have predominately been in since we arrived in August 2020. Sardinia, as was every other Provence put into the Red Zone over the Christmas/New Year holiday period.
The relaxations of the White Zone are as follows:
1. Bars/Cafes can now remain open until 9pm, was 6pm.
2. Restaurants can now open until 11pm, was 6pm.
3. Nightly curfew moves from 11.30pm - 5am, was 10pm - 5pm, to allow you to get home from the restaurants I guess?
4. The laws with regards to masks, social distancing, sanitation and group/crowd control remain unchanged.
All good news,the vaccination program is also being rolled out to the general public, they have dropped out of the EU central distribution scheme and are sourcing their vaccines independently.
We watch the Covid numbers almost daily and will continue to do so, for Sardinia 1,183 recorded deaths, 0 in the last 24 hours, 41,745 infected, + 0 in the last 24 hours.
We continue to keep ourselves busy on board, preparing for our lift-out, we have stopped asking about a date as we feel they tell us only what they think we want to hear and then let us down, it's a cultural thing? I suppose it does not help having known the family for almost 14 years, our problem is the length of time we need in the yard, they need to empty space, otherwise we will lock other boats due to be launched in? Still we continue to do work here in the water that we would have initially planned to complete in the yard, stripping off all ropes, deck fitting, our sails and dinghy have gone into storage with the sail maker.
Log Entry - Monday 1st March - We have a run out in the car to nearby Poetto, our favorite anchorage behind Cagliari.
Poetto is a nearby town with long beach area stretching over 5km around the great bay, we have spent several days here at anchor, with dozens of others I may add! It is clearly a suburban tourist resort, it sits just behind Cagliari, in fact Sailaway sits just behind that headland show above. During the seasonal months under normal circumstances this beach is lined with cafes, dinghies for hire etc, too early in the year and of coarse the hotels are still closed with the Covid Restriction.
We do appreciate how fortunate we are, if we had stayed in the UK and been subject to the conditions there, non of this would be possible? Ann took a surprise picture, clearly I am deep in thought, over that comparison, here verses the UK.
Log Entry - Monday 1st March - We have dolphins feeding off the stern of Sailaway in the harbor.
We are up around 0700 as usual, while keeping ourselves busy on deck we see a pair of dolphins swim pass us and make for the head of the harbor, time to get the camera. It is not that unusual we have seen them here before, they follow the shoals of fish in to feed. We watch them in the distance, not too far off shore, then they turn back when we are able to get these better shots. They are at closest 50m-70m off our stern but seem unaware of our excitement to see them, they disappear from view making their way back out to sea..
Log Entry - Sunday 28th February - Our lift out continues to be delayed so we begin to do some preparation.
We have completed as much preparation for our lift out as possible, to keep us busy we begin to investigate the "known jobs". One of our more challenging on the list is in the vee berth/chain locker. Our anchor chain is fed down from the deck by our windlass, the chain is lowered to the anchor locker forward of the vee berth via a fabricated tube, welded into the structure. Over the years with the constant presence of salt water and the inability to offer it any form of protection, the delivery tube has rotted through.
An interesting task as the windlass will have to be removed from the deck, and the rotten tube assembly cut out, I have had to pull apart the wooden panel covering the assembly to get access. A new, more robust delivery system will have to be designed and manufacture then, secured, probably welded in it's place - "a piece of cake!" We are unable to remove the windlass until in the yard, nor cut out the failed assembly, today I will put some ideas together, make a sketch of what we need and progress with that with a local fabricator.
Log Entry - Saturday 27th February - Favorite jobs on a boat.
We all have them, be them on a boat or in a house - "Favorite Jobs!"
1. The heads (toilet) - servicing, repairing it's all the same!
2. The black/grey water holding tank - We have the ability to deposit all of our black (toilet waste) and grey (sink and shower waste) into our holding tank from where we can deposit at sea, as is the regulations or at a pump out station. This assembly requires maintenance, occasionally unblocking, this task usually involves being up to the elbows in "stuff!"
3. Shower sump - Our shower water collects in this sump and then is automatically pumped over board or into our aforementioned holding tank. We treat this unit regularly each month with drain cleaner to dissolve body and soap waste, but yearly (usually) it is removed from it's position and cleaned throughly.
The shower has become slow to drain, two recent cleans with drain cleaner (Mr Muscle) does not appear to have resolved the situation. Facing my fears I realise that the unit has not be cleaned this year, and due to Covid it is now over two years since it's last thorough clean?
I strip out the shower sump, to my disgust and shame I post this picture - "I think I have found the reason for the slow draining!" I call to Ann. This has not been cleaned properly for some time, perhaps three years was a more realistic assessment, still staring at it does not get the job done!
It takes me about an hour but I am pleased with the result, my maintenance schedule is marked up I will not miss this again! While the floor is up it makes sense to clean the whole area fully especially with shore power as our large vacuum can be used.
It takes some time and effort to get the foul smell off my hands, once achieved its time for our daily walk. The temperatures are starting to climb a little now regular 16C/17C which makes our strolls more pleasant.
The milder, humid evenings see the mosquitoes arrive, we burn our oil lamps with anti mosquito additive to keep us free of them until a permanent solution is sourced.
Log Entry - Thursday 25th February - We fit our new domestic batteries, as usual nothing is straight forward?
The first thing one always does when taking any job on a boat is to tear apart the living space to find the required tools - then the work begins! We achieve a life of 5-6 years for our domestic band, for the last two sets we have used "Trojan Batteries" an American manufacture, originally found in Turkey believe it or not? We procured our second set in Sicily, that was 6 years ago, frightening! The only wet acid, Trojan option we have now are too large to fit in our space, so we go with an Italian supplier "Luminor" I prefer wet acid, they require maintenance but I record the monthly topping levels which allows us to monitor there performance.
Still, I have two further issues, the battery terminal are of different sizes, the positive and negative are physically different in size. Looking at the currant connections I decide that they can also be tidied up during this exchange so, as usual on a boat you start off with one job and end up with three!
Now we have to dispose of the old units, we carefully lifted the new units on board with ropes, Ann and I maneuvering them by hand onto the deck - less care needed with the older units, to our surprise the marina takes them for free. The disposal of any waste products here as in Carloforte is difficult and costly, every piece of garbage is sorted, rightly so, weighed and costed, not deemed as part of your fees. In Carloforte you sort and place in the appropriate bins, we have heard of the fines imposed on the marina for the wrong things being put into the wrong bins. Here I guess they just pass the cost on, and enforce stricter control. I must confess the result is obvious, the whole city seems plagued with waste, path side bins stuffed with bags of waste, abandoned roadside waste etc?
Log Entry - Tuesday 23rd February - We head back to Carloforte to bring back our car to Cagliari.
We have three choices to return to Carloforte, firstly by public transport, advised against by the Covid Rules, secondly a private car/taxi, circular €125? The third option was to utilise the local shuttle, originally known as "DiBi" it has now expanded, has it's own booking and payment App - seems very professional, talking about temperature monitoring, sanitising etc. The service is used by the Carloforte inhabitants to commute to hospital appointments, large shopping malls or even the airport. At a cost of €12 one way well worth a consideration - we book and pay using the App. As we make our way to the pickup point on "Via Roma" we receive a call from our driver, he is early and is asking where we are, he tells us if we are early he leaves early, if not he will park up elsewhere and meet us at the agreed time. We give him our location, he agrees to meet us a little earlier than scheduled.
We are met by our masked driver at the agreed pick up point, before we are allowed to climb aboard we are asked for our hands and the driver applies sanitiser - we climb aboard the small transporter. To our relief we are the only passengers at this point, still there are other potential stops perhaps more will join us later, to our surprise nobody does - it must cost than our fare in fuel to provide this service today?
We arrive at Portovesme, via a different route than I would have used, in a much faster time, I will try his route on the way back but just not at his speed? The driver takes us up to the ticket office where I purchase our return tickets, this time via our residency permits which allows us discounted transport cost, I am pleasantly surprised! A return ticket for us as residents costs €14.20, we have been paying as "tourists" €54.00 - WOW! We are told that the next ferry is 10am and we are dropped off outside the cafe, we wander in for Ann's daily latte, a busy little place people continuously in and out - "espresso's" they call their coffee's for more reason than one? The ferry is due, as we begin to gather ourselves to leave we are joined by an ambulance crew, the previous set of guys were ferry terminal staff.
We arrive outside the ferry, only two cars and another two pedestrians joining us. An ambulance is the first vehicle off, they meet up with a second ambulance across the car park, there they under go a transfer of an patient, someone from the island is clearly in need of hospital assistance on one of the nearby hospitals, poor sod!
We are soon off and on our way, the trip is less than 30 minutes, we look south, down the channel we sailed down last week taking Sailaway to Cagliari - seems so long ago? We are soon in Carloforte, we call at the pharmacy for further medication, pick up some shopping for the next couple of days and return to Cagliari later in the afternoon. We sit for a hour or so in the square, there is no comparison to be made between Carloforte and Cagliari, we certainly have our preference. Returning I use the drivers route, but sticking to speed limits made much slower time, still the drive was pleasant. We call into a marine supplier "Incaspisano" in Cagliari a contact made via friends, he is proving to be a valuable contact within the industry, we have ordered a set of domestic batteries, ours were proved to be almost "dead" at anchor. Another job on the list!
The great benefit of having the car is our choice of shopping venues is endless, this last week we have been stuck with using a local "Despar", very expensive as one would imagine, "the rules" also warn you against public transport understandable. The car will also give us the opportunity to explore the area around as we await our lift-out.
Log Entry - Saturday 20th February - We begin to enjoy the city, we have established the best time of the day to enjoy the quiet?
In Carloforte we were used to walking around during their lunch break (1300 - 1500 hours) here, as a city is different, lunch is the busiest time, so we readjust to suit the city. The best time for us to go out is mid morning or mid afternoon, so we change our movement pattern to suit. We walk along the new section of water front to Via Roma, the center of the tourist area, lots of cafes, bar etc, bring back memories. We last stayed in a B&B on Via Roma back in 2018, we had a great time there too.
With the readjustment of timing for the city with most back to work there is plenty of space and movement without people, that suits us in these exceptional times, so we enjoy it, grab a coffee and take in the scenery.
Log Entry - Thursday 18th February - Our first walk around Cagliari for almost two years, we start stripping off our canvas for storage.
We thought we should have a look around and get used to the city, it's noisier, faster and busier than what we are used too - you step to the road side and the cars do not even stop to allow you to cross, that's what we are used too? The cathedral has not changed, in fact she has never looked better, many runners still using the steps for training - must have seen the movie "Rocky!" It's just gone 1300 hours we have missed he market too, still we make our way to the local supermarket for fresh fruit, vegetables and salad.
External cafes have popped up on the waterfront, perhaps driven by covid, they appear very busy, to the detriment of the established bars and restaurants, still nothing stays the same for ever? They are establishments we will not frequent, just guessing, but between 100 - 200 covers services by 2 portable toilets, no hand sanitiser stations or anything noticeable - not for us.
We return to Sailaway with the shopping, it's put away then we start on our canvas, genoa, gib and mainsail to be removed and folded. We have a sail-maker due in the morning we have needed repairs to 3 sails and storage for 5 sails and our dinghy for two months to free up some room below decks during Sailaway's refurbishment. Everything is packed and ready on the pontoon for pickup in the morning, he did not turn up but when I complained at least he came the next day - that's just the way it is in Sardinia!
We are fascinated by the local cormorants, they seem to have no fear of man! They swim/feed in between boats, this one on the end of the pontoon drying off, allowed me to get less than 5 meters before it even turned it's head - I went no further and left it in piece.
Log Entry - Wednesday 17th February - We arrive at Cagliari, our home for the next couple of months.
Well, no hurry to leave, we sort ourselves out and get ready to move, we have quite heavy mist covering the land so even with our larger camera it proves difficult to expose any detail. We have heard any times how you can snorkel amongst the ruins, viewing the roman streets and ruins - not today too bloody cold? The peninsular hosts a museum, where you can view mosaic flooring of the ancient Roman baths amongst other treasures: https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/en/explore/ancient-city-nora
We leave the anchorage with the determination to return, irrespective as to how full the bays are, it must be quite fascinating? We do not go ashore as not to create too much interest in our moving of Sailaway from Carloforte to Cagliari, the last thing we would need is a serious fine or worse, Sailaway impounded?
What change of contrast in theory, between the "ancient ruins of Nora at Capo di Pula" verses the "Sarroch Oil Terminal," still one cannot exist without the other I guess? We watch for movement between the terminal and the anchorage, the most we see is tug movement and a service vessel attending one of the tankers at anchor.
Cagliari is now beginning to become clearer through the mist, we begin to realise the contrast between what we are used too and where we are going? We have survived the Covid - 19 on Isola San Pietro and its population of just over 6000 inhabitants, moving to Cagliari and it's population of around 150,000 - our minds begin to work overtime? We have been watching the reported number daily regarding Covid so we have made made this trip with a full understanding of what's ahead but the "city image" ahead makes you focus a little more, still it just requires tighter management.
We have little or rather no movement to manage entering the port, it must be the loneliest entrance we have ever made, a couple of sailboats ahead of us, nothing more than that!
We are soon inside the multiple stage harbor, we call the Marina del Sole on the VHF and await the marina staff to appear on the pontoons ahead to guide us to our berth. Hopefully a relatively short term berth as we would prefer to be lifted out as soon as possible? The gent appears, we follow his instructions and we are soon secure and settling in!
Log Entry - Tuesday 16th February - A lovely morning after a great nights sleep, we make for Pula today!
We wake early to the sound of the small fishing vessels returning from their work, we slept extremely well and with regards to the cold (4C) to quote Ann - "the boat was warmer in the morning with our heating than in the marina!" and she was right.
Outside the temperature was a little different but the sun was already begins to warm the air, the deck was drenched with condensation. We have never actually visited the port or town in the past, it is clearly it is too shallow for us but the car-park was full of vehicles, mainly vans servicing the fishing boats. As I sat in the cockpit with my coffee I watched the almost never ending stream of vessels returning.
No wind at all today, so lots of motoring, we grab a little breakfast, make ready to leave, Ann lifts her first anchor perfectly and we head south for Capo Teleuda and the south coast. A positive about having to motor this trip is the fact that the heat from the engine, keeps our domestic water hot and provides heat down below decks to warm us up should we need it?
We round the cape with nothing other than the lobster pot markers to negotiate, yesterdays swell had completely disappeared, the water now flat. As we do so Capo Spartivento about 10 miles east comes into view, from there we turn north towards Cagliari. We have already decided that tonights resting place will be Pula, an ancient area of Roman ruins, a "sunken roman city" falls into the sea to both the north and south sides of Capo di Pula. We have looked at this anchorage many times over the years, but it has always been full of local boats - definitely not this time of year!
The south coast has a list of great anchorages that we have visited over the years, seems a shame to be passing straight by this time, especially when it is so quiet - always next time we pass. We are fortunate that due to the lack of covid on Sardinia there are no restrictions in place to restrict movement, the curfew from 2200 - 0500 hours enforces that you must be in your place of residence during those times. We have never left our residence so we are never in breach of the regulations - technically, but we do not push our luck. go ashore etc?
Once around Spartivento its almost due north to Capo di Pula, only another 8 miles or so, all we have to do now is pass the time - lots of coffee and snacks!
The lower, southern coastline is literally row upon row of beaches backed by developments, the sun is now lovely and warm, Capo di Pula is easily recognisable from the tower on Isola San Macario which sits just off the Capo di Pula.
We drop our anchor on the northern side of the cape as it provides best shelter from the slight swell, tucked in the bay we make ourselves secure, heating straight on of coarse and settle down for the evening. Every passing of this area has seen boats packed in, with beaches covered with bodies - not today all we see are small fishing vessels servicing their pots in the bay, and a couple walking along the beach with their dog, complete contrast.
We are fortunate, the sun once again sets providing a blanket of colour for us to enjoy, tomorrow we make for Cagliari a mere 15 miles to the north of us now.
Log Entry - Monday 15th February - At last the day arrives, we are finally leaving for Cagliari!
The package we have been waiting for arrives eventually thanks to Brexit, our package with a nominal value of £25 cost us €6 tax plus €18 administration (€24 in total) effectively doubling it's cost - still worth it to us. So, off we go to Cagliari and the yard, spending a few nights at anchor on the way!
We unfortunately have picked the coldest nights of the year to travel according to the forecast, dropping to 4C at times over night. Still during the day there is to be little cloud or wind unfortunately, so we will wrap up, absorb the heat from the sunshine and use our heating over night, no problem. We have a stiff easterly wind to leave our berth in, our dear friend, Andrea helps us out of our berth and bids us farewell!
We are soon tidied up, and around the ferries, out into the channel, heading initially south with mainsail and genoa out making 5 knots, with that we are happy. On the autopilot Sailaway goes and we being to enjoy the long awaited trip - hot coffee first of coarse! We soon put Carloforte in the distance, we are unsure as to where we will spend the first evening at anchor all will depend on progress?
We put Isola San Pietro behind us too eventually, making good progress, but ahead the winds are clearly dropping off, still we take the weather as it comes it's just great to be moving again. In the far distance the shipping routes to the south of Sardinia are busy, we saw two freighters before this cruise ship, but all in the distance and far from our routing. I read in the local newspaper that cruise ships had once again began calling into Cagliari - with Covid regulations followed of coarse! This was a cruise for Italian people only, visiting only Italian ports, local restrictions allowing. The regulations and conditions of the "shore leave" made me think "was it worth it?" but I read the "trial vessel" at 30% capacity, due to "social distancing" was such a success they were to bring two other vessels back into commission.
They was one difference during this trip, the water is much more densely populated with lobster pot markers and what we see as "un patrolled floating drift nets" although we seen many small vessels in our area. One would like to think that they were watching our routing and would warn us of potential entanglement in one of their nets? I guess the density of fishing activity may be used to the lack of traffic on the water, or even the time of year, it's very early to have please craft on the water? The wind falls off almost completely, on goes our engine, putting us a greater risk with the nets/pot markers - Ann heads forward to keep an eye on what's in front of us and get some peace and quiet!
We do notice one thing of interest as we round the south of San Antocio, what looked like a "considerable muscle farm" a sizable investment and a strange location, if in deed that's what is was?
The conditions change against us as we head for Capo Teleuda and the south west coast of Sardinia, we now have quite a considerable swell against us and at the moment a slight headwind, certainly stronger ahead from the state of the water? We had previously a strong blow for days, we are seeing the end of that, dropping our speed over the ground to less that a couple of knots. At this rate we will be rounding Teleuda in the dark, and the temperatures were already starting to fall off?
A change of plan, we give up on rounding the point today, turn almost due east, raise the canvas and head for Porto Pino, we will anchor just to the south of the small port, off the long stretching beach area. Again, we have to pick our position with due consideration for the pot markers, but not a difficult task. During the later months this beach has housed 3 or 4 beach bars and numerous vessels at anchor?
With the anchor down and secure the first job is heating on, of coarse, it will burn all night keeping us warm until the sun arrives again - it's forecast to drop down to 4C tonight!
Still with the heat from the engine now topped with our heating stove it's still warm enough to sit in the cockpit and watch the sun go down, our first night at anchor for about 18 months - great!