15 September 2016 | Poetto beach, near Cagliari (position: 39 11.755'N 09 09.808'E)
"The sun's shining and the sea calm, let's go anchor off Poetto, have lunch and a swim... after all, it could be the last swim this season" he said.
Little did I know that this actually meant "this is probably our last trip out with Flirtie and her waterline and bottom could do with a clean!"
Within an hour we were anchored off Poetto beach giving Flirtie some much needed TLC. The fish certainly enjoyed eating the free morsels of food floating around us as we swam around gently scraping the small crustaceans off her waterline. We were so focused on our task in hand that we didn't actually notice the sea conditions had changed remarkably until we were back onboard.
Across the bay small waves were being formed with white crests and 20 knots of wind blowing straight into the anchorage. Flirtie was yanking at her chain, up and down like a rocking horse by at least 1m. Needless to say, the motion wasn't conducive for having lunch. In fact conditions had changed remarkably in such a short time frame that getting the anchor back onboard without it damaging the bow was a potential concern.
We motored forward in order to take the weight off the chain, the bow continued to rise and fall sending spray and scooping the occasional wave onboard until the anchor came into sight, swinging alarmingly just below the waterline. Clearly, retrieval of the anchor with its sharp pointed end needed to be done swiftly to avoid it swinging into the bow which we managed to time beautifully, in line with the rise and fall of each wave, amazingly!
Progress out of the anchorage was pretty slow with the wind and breaking waves 'on the nose' until we rounded Sella del Diavolo (the Devil's Saddle) at which point both wind and waves were behind us, allowing a superb last sail of the season back into Cagliari.
the Devil's Saddle
returning back to Cagliari
The wind was a total surprise, not as per the forecast so it wasn't quite the quiet, relaxing lunchtime stop that we were looking for but at least the sea was beautifully warm and crystal clear :-).
Poetto is Cagliari's main beach, 6km of fine sand that's lined with small bars, and private lidos where parasols and sun-loungers can be rented together with pedalos, canoes, paddleboards, windsurfs and surf bikes.
Total distance this season: 1277.25 miles