The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

17 August 2016 | Marine Service Yacht Carloforte (position: 39 08.423'N 08 18.735'E)
14 August 2016 | Tharros (position: 39 52.290'N 08 26.698'E)
13 August 2016 | Tharros (position: 39 52.290'N 08 26.698'E)
12 August 2016 | Bosa (position: 40 17.445’N 08 28.345’E)
09 August 2016 | Bosa (position: 40 17.445’N 08 28.345’E)
08 August 2016 | Porto Conte (position: 40.36.244'N 08 11.188'E then 40 35.875'N 08 12.876'E)
07 August 2016 | Porto Conte (position: 40.36.244'N 08 11.188'E then 40 35.875'N 08 12.876'E)
06 August 2016 | SER-MAR Marina, Alghero (position: 40 33.907'N 08 18.720'E)
02 August 2016 | SER-MAR Marina, Alghero (position: 40 33.907'N 08 18.720'E)
31 July 2016 | SER-MAR Marina, Alghero (position: 40 33.907'N 08 18.720'E)
30 July 2016 | Cala Tramariglio (position: 40 35.475'N 08 10.372'E)
27 July 2016 | Cala Tramariglio (position: 40 35.475'N 08 10.372'E)
25 July 2016 | Puerto de Fornells (position: 40 03.043'N 04 07.940'E)
25 July 2016 | Puerto de Fornells (position: 40 03.043'N 04 07.940'E)
25 July 2016 | Puerto de Fornells (position: 40 03.043'N 04 07.940'E)
21 July 2016 | Puerto de Fornells (position: 40 03.043'N 04 07.940'E)
19 July 2016 | Puerto de Fornells (position: 40 03.043'N 04 07.940'E)
18 July 2016 | Cala Santa Galdana (position: 39 56.204'N 03 57.424'E)
17 July 2016 | Menorca, Cala Degollador (position: 39 59.673'N 03 49.643'E)
16 July 2016 | Club Nautico Porto Colom (position: 39 25.263'N 02 15.989'E)

Sardinia, Tharros to Carloforte Log

17 August 2016 | Marine Service Yacht Carloforte (position: 39 08.423'N 08 18.735'E)
Bruce and Caroline
the marina office, shaded bar and shower block

Looking at the sky this morning there was potential for rain or even thunderstorms. Not long after leaving Tharros we looked behind to see that it was raining quite heavily but as luck would have it we were just staying ahead! If the wind had picked up just a little, those rainbands would have reached us giving us a good soaking!

As we passed Capo Frasca the light air coming off the land sent a sweet but powerful smell of pine over to us. This wonderful natural air-freshener stayed with us for a couple of hours before the sun finally broke through.

The coastline along this stretch of the island is mountainous, rugged and with very few places to shelter from the NW or W winds. We decided to give two potential anchorages a miss (just N of Buggeru and the leeward side of Isola Pan di Zucchero) on the basis that swell can work its way around the corners... we've had our fair share of swelly nights! Instead we pressed on (sighting a lone dolphin :-)) covering some 45 miles under engine until we reached Isola do San Pietro. This is a small island approximately 4 miles off the south west coast of Sardinia with just the one town - Carloforte, which is home to the commercial port and three marinas.

According to our pilot there are no anchorages nearby so our choice was limited to which marina. We emailed all three marinas beforehand to check both availability and costs. All were prompt in responding and price varied considerably from €35 to €75. We decided to try the cheapest being Marine Service Yacht Carloforte despite having read some not so positive reviews from the cruising association's app 'CAptain's Mate'.

The approach between Sardinia and Isola do San Pietro is shallow enough to be able to see the bottom passing underneath which was a bit unnerving at times! Having navigated to the breakwater we then dodged a ferry, several larger RIB's and few yachts before arriving safely. Whilst donning Flirtie with fenders and ropes we noticed another RIB heading straight towards us at great speed before it came along side. The cute guy asked if we wanted a berth... touting for business for Marina Tour. We thanked him and informed him that we were heading to Marine Services Carloforte. He promptly responded with "when you've had enough, give me a call on VHF channel 9" before heading off again at great speed. This took us by surprise and we were left wondering what lies ahead?

Marina Services Carloforte is a small private marina, barely 50 yachts with few visitors. We didn't get any response when we radioed ahead however someone was there to greet us and take our ropes. We'd prepared Flirtie earlier for med-style mooring however he asked/gestured for us to go alongside the pontoon and face the bow to the North. We were of course totally unprepared for alongside mooring so whilst Bruce sent Flirtie around in circles a quick adjustment of fenders and ropes followed. By now the wind arrived (typical!) making the potential of mooring awkward as we were going to be blown off the pontoon. However, thanks to some nifty rope work by the mooring attendant ropes were passed through hoops and tied back on board. He then handed us a bow and stern slime line which we duly tied off to the remaining cleats. This allowed us to position ourselves nicely away from the pontoon - very handy should the NW wind strengthen, no fender squeaks and if a short chop comes across the bay we can adjust ourselves to 'point' into it!

The marina staff are extremely friendly; speak little English but enough to get by. There is a brand new shower block (with disabled access) which is immaculate and they've gone the extra mile by providing free shower gel in sachets. There's also a small bar and shaded seating area on-site, free wifi, electric and water. The town is a 10 minute walk away which is fine by us because it allows us to get away from the late night music emanating from some of the bars or clubs. What more could we ask for at €35 per night in August - so far so good!

Total distance this season: 1188.06 miles

Sardinia, Tharros

14 August 2016 | Tharros (position: 39 52.290'N 08 26.698'E)
Bruce and Caroline
the town centre of Tharros ;-)

It's not often that you find yourself moored opposite an archaeological site - that of the ancient ruins of Tharros. The town is of punic-roman origin, founded in the 8th century BC by the Phoenicians near a Bronze Age settlement and nuraghic (large stone structures) village. The area is now an open-air museum and an active excavation site.

Our outboard decided to let us down just as we left Flirtie. We wanted to visit the site in the morning to avoid the hottest part of the day so we rowed ashore to a small beach where yet again we found a huge boulder complete with holes (it looked volcanic) which allowed us to lock the dinghy. Having paid the €5 entrance fee we walked around the grounds trying to make sense of the layers of different civilisations - Punic, Phoenicians, Romans and even Christian.

Despite the comprehensive detail on the information boards, a good deal of imagination was needed to recognise the structure of the town and the changes made by each civilisation over the periods. The ancient town is spread over some distance and includes aqueduct remains, tophets (a sacred burial place), Roman baths, temples, water towers, moats, houses and workshops. We found it fascinating, despite the heat.


some ruins

Afterwards we headed off down the path to the little village of San Giovanni di Sinis, a seaside resort with few restaurants, tratorrias and bars where we tried the local brew named Ichnusa (which happens to mean 'Sardinia' in the Roman and ancient Greek language) accompanied by a Calzone (oven-baked folded pizza). Tasty!

Having returned back to Flirtie we spent some time snorkeling around watching the fish feed on the sea grass below and generally cooling off.


snorkelling whilst towing a bright 'see me' float. It obviously works as I didn't get run over by any RIB's!

Stripping the engine followed where our resident mechanic soon found the cause of the problem - the smallest particle of debris in the fuel carburettor - well done Captain Bruce!


Bruce taking a look at the engine, just before giving me the 'thumbs up' :-)

Sardinia, Bosa to Tharros (buoy-anchorage) Log

13 August 2016 | Tharros (position: 39 52.290'N 08 26.698'E)
Bruce and Caroline
We left early so that we would arrive around lunchtime in the 'Golfo di Oristano' located almost halfway down the West coast. The area is a marine reserve but has a commercial port, a marina and various designated spots to anchor.

Despite the forecast we ended up motoring the 28 miles having exhausted all attempts in trying to capture what little wind there was around. We followed the rugged coastline that had sporadic clusters of red-roofed houses until it became low lying. Golden beaches appeared packed with many multi-coloured umbrellas with cars parked behind.

The VHF radio crackled into life so we listened to an automated voice providing us with the latest weather forecast and 12 hour outlook first given in Italian, followed by an English translation. With mirror like conditions we wondered where all the dolphins are - it's been a while since we've seen any and we miss seeing these beautiful creatures.

Just off the small village of San Giovanni di Sinis lies 'Tharros', an ancient city and archaeological site where several mooring buoys have been laid and are free of charge for visitors. If all the buoys are taken then anchoring is permitted in a predefined area.

Our lunchtime arrival meant that potentially we would have to anchor and wait for someone to leave. As we arrived there were two mooring buoys available. A yacht was heading towards the one so we ended up taking the other furthest away from the shore.

A lazy afternoon was spent sat in the cockpit just enjoying the peace and quiet. It's certainly a tranquil place. As evening approached I happened to notice that all the other yachts had turned but we hadn't. After a general look around, the shore seemed quite distant too! Bruce switched on the GPS only to find that we'd drifted over half a mile from the mooring field complete with the buoy attached! We cast the buoy adrift and motored back to the shore to attach ourselves onto one of the buoys that had been vacated right in the middle of the field. After this experience we'll be sleeping with the anchor alarm on tonight!

Total distance this season: 1142.88 miles

Sardinia, Bosa

12 August 2016 | Bosa (position: 40 17.445’N 08 28.345’E)
Bruce and Caroline
We've just spent two days waiting for strong winds to abate again, coming out of the Gulf of Lion! The winds in the Med have names such as Mistral or Tramontana depending on the wind direction. We have names too but they are unrepeatable! We had to re-anchor as we found ourselves positioned far too close to the breakwater boulders. Listening to the wind whistling in the rigging whilst the waves crashed into the breakwater sending sea spray over the top was a bit disconcerting at times given that we were anchored just the other side but we're pleased to say that the anchor held firm even though the chain rattled at times in the gusts. Meanwhile Bosa town was there in the distance and within sight from the anchorage, teasing us!

All good things come to those that wait. Bosa is beautiful, unspoilt and our favourite Italian town so far.

It's been a while since we last dinghied up a river. This one was lined with palm trees with small boats tethered to rickety landing stages. The town is a maze of medieval cobbled streets, stone staircases and terraces of tall houses painted in bright pastel colours with terracotta tiled rooftops, stacked on a steep hillside, overlooked by a 12th century castle.



Once famous for exporting fine leather all over Europe, several old tanning buildings remain. One is now a museum and worth €3.50 entrance in order to get an appreciation of the tanning process and understand why the town was originally called 'stinky Bosa' - they used dog poo in the process. You can see the original stone tanks where the leather hides were washed and a small collection of photos, old tools and boots made especially for the job. There are explanatory panels (mainly in Italian) but we were given a translated A4 version.

Our last evening at anchor was briefly disturbed by a particularly loud 'blip' from a siren off a RIB - the coastal police asking if we were staying overnight and if so to not forget to put on our anchor light. We didn't get the chance to acknowledge before they'd bid us a good evening and headed off at great speed in true Italian style!

Sardinia, Porto Conte to Bosa (anchorage) Log

09 August 2016 | Bosa (position: 40 17.445’N 08 28.345’E)
Bruce and Caroline
A big decision had to be made... where do we go next? North around the top of the island or South towards the bottom. Our decision to head south was made for us after reading various forums that for the months of July and August the NE side in particular gets crowded and should be avoided unless you like crowds - the image below confirms!


various vessels transmitting their AIS (automated identification system) position - OMG. It doesn't show those vessels without AIS!!!

Onto our new destination, the town of Bosa, located roughly 25 miles south of Porto Conte. Unusually the prevailing NW wind didn't transpire so we motored the whole way following the rocky limestone cliffs. RIB's appear to be very popular here. They travel at great speed along the coast stopping to fish, swim, snorkel or dive. Apart from RIB's there were very few yachts around.


eroding cliffs... looks like cement has been trowelled onto the cliff face ;-)

Anchoring is allowed in the bay or behind the detached breakwater, clear of the fairway. We decided that behind the breakwater would do nicely being just a short dinghy ride up river to town.

Total distance this season: 1113.98 miles
Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
About:
We've sailed the South and East coast of England, the Channel Islands, Northern France and the Brittany coast. [...]
Extra: email us: bandc.trott@gmail.com skype us: distant.drummer797
Yacht Flirtie's Photos - Main
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Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

Where are we now?