Sunday, June 28, 2020

Up the West coast to Bosa Marina

Night was surprisingly calm and we slept well. In the morning our anchorage was even prettier than the evening before.
After the breakfast we sailed off, between cliffs and the island. In the almost vertical rocks opposite the small island was Porto Flavia. It was named after the daughter of engineer who designed it in 1926.
Below the building there was a crane for loading ships with minerals that were mined here and were brought to this point through tunnels. Water below is more than 15m deep so ships could anchor right beneath the cliff. It is now under Unesco protection and if we have time (if the calm weather lasts that long) on our way back, we might stop again and take the tour.
The small island has two holes and we saw some motor boats sail though them. We couldn't, unless we would saw our mast off.
Further up North coast is rocky and wild.
There are many Genovese towers everywhere. The Genovese republic controlled a big part of Mediterranean, pretty much in the same time the Venetian republic controlled Adriatic.
We tried sailing, but were very slow, so we mostly motored the whole day. We saw many birds...
...and couple of dolphins.
The water was so clear, we could see the dolphins coming up to the boat from the deep.
They came couple of times. We were the only non-fishing boat around, and their best chance to play a little.
Only in the afternoon we were able to sail a little. We turned into Oristano Bay and tie the boat to the mooring buoy on the West side of the bay. Buoys are free, put there to protect Poseidonia gras. In the evening we had a nice sunset, that coloured the sea green and sky light purple and made the buildings on the other side of bay glow.
We had a good night. Right next to our buoy was this Genovese tower...
...and a bit further North another one with old Roman ruins.
We didn't go ashore, we just took a look at them from the boat.
Although we expected to motor again the whole day, we were able to sail nicely. It was just enough wind to make 4 to 5 knots and we weren't in a hurry.

In the afternoon we reached the bay of Bosa Marina and anchored there. It is a port for town Bosa, that is situated 2 miles up the river. It was quite windy, but warm, and we went for a swim in crystal turquoise water. Captain prepared the dinghy and the outboard and made a test drive. We last used outboard last August. Luckily everything was working well. We wanted to sail to the town next day with the dinghy.
After a calm and good night and breakfast we sailed around the forth...
...and into the river. Scenery was so different, calm, peaceful.
After some time we reached the town...
...where banks were full of all kinds of small vessels...
...along pretty houses...
...and under the second bridge, where we tied our dinghy.
After a short walk we made a stop for gelato. It was delicious.
Then we walked through narrow streets with colourful houses...
...and even climbed a few steps up the hill, where we could see the town, the river and all the way to the sea. But it was too hot to walk all the way up to the fortress.
This is the right kind of vehicle for narrow streets of old Italian towns.
I liked the way they were "recycling" the old cans.
Beyond the town, to the East,  everything is green.
The fortress above the town, Maybe next time we're here, when it's not so hot.
We ended up in a nice cool restaurant and had a very delicious lunch. Yes, Italian food, wines and gelato are famous for a reason.
After lunch we did some shopping in one of the big supermarkets, luckily not far away from our dinghy. We mostly bought fruit and veggies, and bread, and two bottles of Sardinian wine. Everything else we still have from Spain.

After the expedition we were pretty tired and were just resting on the boat and swam a lot for the rest of the day. It was a really hot day, with almost no wind, not like the day before. We didn't even need any food, since we had such a big lunch. Since it was Friday, there were couple of parties going on on the beach, but not for too long. Everything went quiet shortly after midnight and we thought night would be calm. But no, at around 3 in the morning waves started rolling into the bay from SW, pounding on our boat and rolling it violently. None of us could sleep. We would gladly re-anchor, but we didn't know where to go. Luckily the worst didn't last long and towards the morning we were able to go back to sleep.

Next morning there were still some waves and the anchorage a bit rolly, so we sailed off already after the coffee. We were trying to figure out where the waves came from, but there was no wind anywhere near this side of Sardinia. Needless to say, none of the weather forecasts mentioned it either. Our next destination was Alghero, but we were mostly interested to find a good calm anchorage for the night and get some sleep.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Arriving to Sardinia

On Friday morning we woke to this beautiful view. The bay is quite open, so only suitable for anchoring in nice weather, but water is of amazing colour and surroundings gorgeous. There were maybe couple of boats anchored there in the day, and even less in the night.
After coffee we were studying the wether and decided to sail to Sardinia on next day. There was lots of wind and high waves forecast for Monday night by some of the weather forecasts, some forecast milder conditions. But after that it would be either rough or wind from Sardinia, and we would have to wait for another week to get another good weather window.

Captain wanted to go shopping for some more Spanish food, so we sailed around the corner to small tourist town of Colonia San Jordi and anchored in a small bay in front of it. Water was shallow, space limited and we were by far the biggest boat there. It felt safer if I stayed on the boat, anchored right in front of small harbour...
...and Captain rowed to the town. He was quite impressed to see that they even have a proper new dinghy dock there.
He didn't buy much, he thought we would both be going back once more and I would do some more serious shopping. But we didn't really need anything, and I was more interesting in spending a nice afternoon in front of the beautiful beach where we were anchored for the night. So we nicely sailed back to our anchorage, the afternoon wind was quite good, and anchored even without turning on the engine.
The wind attracted these little ducks.
We went to bed early. Next morning there was no wind at all.
But there were some fish swimming around, and our anchor was visible in clear water next to the boat.
We went for a swim as well and then we motored off. To the South was Cabrera, with its own cloud. We   have been there a couple of times and it's absolutely beautiful, although now one have to pay for the mooring buoy there. It's a nature reserve, so anchoring is forbidden. 
While the engine was on, I quickly did a load of laundry.
One last view of Mallorca.
Wind slowly picked up, first we motor-sailed and then we could sail nicely over the flat sea with main and gennacker. And my laundry got dry quickly. Some 12 miles away from Mallorca we saw many fishing boats, we even saw a guy on one pulling out a big fish, and Captain at once started fishing himself.

In the evening we pulled the gennacker down and replaced it with flock. While the wind was from the side, I managed to make 4 knots of speed in 7 knots of wind, which was fine as we weren't in a hurry. Last couple of hours of my watch I was motor sailing.

We had a beautiful sunset again...
and if you look closely, you can see the hills in Mallorca still visible little to the left from where the sun set, although we were 50 miles away.
In the night Captain was able to sail again. I got up around 8 when I heard some commotion, and found out Captain caught a tuna. It wasn't the first that got hooked, but two got away, one even took the hook with her. Poor fish now has a piercing. But modern hooks are made from material that rusts quickly, so it doesn't plague the fish for too long.
We filleted the fish and put some in fridge and lots more in freezer. Smaller bits I just boiled in water, removed all the bones and then heated it again in olive oil with couple of cloves of garlic, pepper corns and a bay leaf, and then left it to cool down. We eat a hefty portion of it for lunch.

During the day a Turtle dove came to ride with us. She found the nice spot on one of the lines and stayed for couple of hours.
She was sitting above the saloon hatch and left couple of souvenirs on it. Captain was not happy.
Wind got stronger and stronger towards evening, and waves bigger. None of us was really interested in dinner. Luckily we had a big lunch. We reefed the main twice. On my watch wind got to 20 knots with gusts to 30, and waves were 2m high, very steep and close together. And they were coming almost from the side, and were rolling the boat to the side violently. I didn't like it a bit. Captain couldn't sleep so he volunteered to take over already at midnight. I was quite relieved. But wind and waves got a bit worse, so it was almost impossible for me to sleep. Only towards morning wind eased up a bit and waves got rounder, although they were still 2,5m high. I got couple of hours of sleep, and then got up early thinking that Captain must be exhausted. But for him night was not so horrible as for me.

During the day we discussed the accuracy of weather forecasts and decided that ZyGrib was absolutely spot on, while three out of four PredictWind forecasts were completely amiss, including the waves forecast. The German forecast on was also quite accurate, and Italian one on was almost there.

Around 11 in the morning we reached Sardinia.
We sailed around South end of Isola di San Pietro...
...into the first suitable anchorage.
For the rest of the day we ate, then rested, then ate some more and went to bed early. And I went for a swim in the evening.

Next morning, over coffee, we discussed the weather again and seeing it will be very calm for the next week, decided to sail North along West coast of Sardinia. With strong wind often blowing from Gulf de Lyon, accompanied by high waves, this stretch of coast is often avoided by sailors. So after the breakfast we sailed off between island of san Pietro and Sardinia and continued North. Our first anchorage was only 15 miles away.
Out in the open water there were still some waves from the strong wind of the two nights before. They were about 1m high and I almost convinced Captain to sail back, because all of the anchorages on West coast are pretty open. Luckily he insisted that we check the first anchorage out and sail back if it's too rolly.

We had to sail around the tunny net, that was stretched for some 2 miles perpendicular to the shore.
In the afternoon we reached our destination, Porto Flavia behind a small island of Pan di Zuccero. Until we were in the bay we couldn't see the island because it looks like the part of the land.
It all looked very pretty and inviting, and waves were not too bad. So we decided to stay. There are some cliffs on the North side of bay...
...remains of the mining on the East side...
...and pretty hills and pine trees in between.
And in the evening waves got smaller, wind almost died and I was glad we came here.