Quick Stop in Cagliari, Sardinia
30 May 2011 | North Atlantic
Last week we changed course towards the southern end of Sardinia and on Sunday morning arrived in the beautiful small port city of Cagliari, Sardinia. There were two reasons for this. The first was to discharge Mathys off the crew list, as he had decided that he had had enough and that sailing was not his idea of fun. We went through the formalities and by that evening he was sharing accommodation in the city with three young American girls and one American male. We wish him well on his land-based adventures.
The second reason was to take on more fuel. We have basically motor-sailed all the way from Gibraltar and were getting low on diesel. It was quite shocking to have to pay Euros 1.58 per litre for diesel, which is equivalent to R15.00 per litre back home, where we paid R8.00 when we departed Cape Town - basically half of the price I just paid in Italy!
We departed again at noon on Monday and are now making our way east with a slight bit of south thrown in, heading for the Straits of Messina. This is the narrow stretch of water between Sicily and mainland Italy. The weather forecast is very light winds from the east-southeast for the next few days, which means we are motor-sailing again.
It is quite tiring running a watch system with only three persons on board, but it will only be for a week or so during this final 1000 nautical mile leg. We expect to arrive in Turkey, all being well, around the 7th or 8th of June. We then spend a few days cleaning the boat, giving it that final "spit n polish", before handing it over to the base for charter. Dave will be flying to the Caribbean, where he will be joining his wife for a months sail around the islands on his own catamaran, whilst Josh is wanting to get some work on a large charter boat. I will be flying home to Cape Town.
Since leaving Gibraltar we have had an endless chatter of moronic nonsense on marine VHF channel 16, all appearing to emanate from the North African coast. This includes a bunch of pea-brained idiots playing Arabic radio stations, swearing continuously, making animal sounds and trying to block out ship to ship communications where ships are trying to avoid collisions. I do not know how the civilised European countries put up with this continuous interference. Something urgently needs to be done about it as it is causing a serious danger to shipping. It has become so bad, especially at night, that we have to turn the volume of our VHF radio right down to try and minimise the continuous babble, which means being extra vigilant during our watches.
Well, as the VHF chatters away in the background, greetings, until the next blog report, from Dave, Josh and myself, John.