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Cruising with HappyCat
Golfo di Arzachena, Sardinia
Jul/04/2010

As we approached our anchorage in the golf we spotted a Kiwi flag on a Lagoon 440! Our first Lagoon and our first Kiwi sailors in the whole time sailing! Whilst I went ashore with Kimberly and Bill, James had a good catch

Bonifacio, Corsica
Jul/03/2010

On our way to Bonifacio, we experienced a close encounter with a ~55' motor yacht, the yacht obviously on auto pilot, and the skipper intent on filming the approach to Bonifacio missed side swiping us by less than a meter as we swerved sharply away! We had thought it was an official rapidly making its way towards us. Another lesson learnt!

Lavezzi, Corsica
Jul/02/2010, Kimberly and Bill

A few hours after the departure of Andrew and the girls, we picked up Kimberly and Bill from the ferry. How fun to see my dear girl friend all the way from Denver!

The next day we sailed down to Lavezzi. A bare group of rocky islands, part of the National Park.
We anchored for the night and saw a beautiful sunset amongst the weathered granite boulders, protruding from the crystal deep water. A great anchorage. Next day we had a lovely walk around the island. It is really worth it.

Porto Vecchio, Corsica
Jun/28/2010

A nice gentle sail, back to Porto Vecchio. This time the marina was full, so we chose to anchor one night in the Baie de Stagnolu, for a night and than just out side the marina. The marina was kind to let us use a jetty for our dyngy, which made it convenient to make trips into Porto Vecchio.

Summer weather at last has started to set in, it was finally possible to sail with a togs on, and throw off the blankets at night! The water is also finally warming up, and swimming is at last a daily occurrence.

Bonifacio, Corsica
Warm, Sunny
Jun/27/2010

I think everyone enjoyed wondering around Bonifacio, a little shopping, a good session of pictures, and just wondering in and around the alleys, and steps, that form this amazing ancient city on the cliff, defying gravity.

Stintino, Sardinia
Jun/26/2010

Christina, James's sisters' flights was cancelled due to air traffic control stike, so we were to meet them in Stintino, Sardinia, so back we went. Great to see them all come off the bus, and after a nice lunch at Lavinia's, and a purchase of a few provisions, we anchored off Piani once again, to enjoy that beautiful bay, and sunset.

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Cagliari, Sardinia

Jun/23/2010

Berthed in the marina right in front of the ancient city. Noisy but worth the proximity to the city. Francesco met us there and gave us a wonderful tour of the ancient walled city that rises steeply from the water front. Heavily bombed during WWII, though the castle town was barely damaged. Tall narrow buildings, with wrought iron balconies and marble slab balconies.

Francesco steered us to a typical Sardininan restaurant, which was absolutely delicious, one street back from the water front.

Villasimius, Sardinia
Jun/22/2010

Good sail next day to Villasimius. Beautiful port and bay, would like to have had time to explore more. Not easy to find supplies though if on the Western side. Little store in the camp ground. Stayed in the marina, waste of time and money, but a jovial bunch of friends enjoying the late afternoon, surrounded us.

Baie De Figari, Corsica
Jun/22/2010

We said our farewells to Stephen & Sussie, and left Castelsardo with a great sail to Capo Testa, for a night, before heading across the straight, where we had a great anchorage in the Bie di Fiagari. We had a few days on our own whilst we awaited the arrival of Christine, Andrew and there 3 girls who were to fly in to Figari. We took out our bikes and had a nice ride, albeit all uphill, to the town of Caldarello, which had a very sizeable supermarket. The homes are very different from Sardinia, all built of exposed blocks of stone, a lovely hamlet it was, with wonderful views.

Castelsardo, Sardinia
Jun/19/2010, Steve & Sussie

We knew a mistral was approaching and we were hoping to get around the point of Capo Testa the following morning, but swell and winds urged us to stay put. The marina is nicely pointed with friendly staff, a convenient supermarket, and cheap. Unfortunately we realized that here we would be terminating the sailing experience of Stephen & Susie's visit. But we rented a car, conveniently located opposite our birth, , and drove South to the middle of the country, recommended once again by Francesco.
We got as far as Gavoi, a small town in the mountains. As we wondered the narrow streets, we wondered where were all the people. There seemed to be no one in site. At last a couple of men came out of a corner bar, and I was able to query where might there be a restaurant. He pointed us to a small street, and there tucked away was a little wonderful eatery, full of locals. Our meal was delicious, a series of antipasti, succulent goat ricotta and typical Sardinia flat crisp breads, Carasau, eggplant, meats and cheeses. Followed by a a selection of grilled meats served in a bowl of cork. Of particular interest was the sausage of tripe! Hmmmm.
As we drove back to Castelsardo, we had a goal in mind, which we soon achieved. A village with a café, and cars outside, indicated only one thing, that a TV. was available and the viewing of the world cup final was being shown. As we entered the café, NZ was up 1 nil! Go NZ I shouted, to the group of men glued to the TV. Oops, probably not a good idea, mercifully Italy regained itself, and drew 1 all!
The following day, we drove to Olbia, to drop Steve & Susie at the airport, and on the return we were able to take in a few of the coastal villages of the North coast, getting ideas for possible anchorages.

Stintino, Sardinia
Jun/18/2010, 40 54.77N:8 42.01’E

Headed South the next day across the Strait and anchored off Isola Piani and watched, with cocktails in hand, a wonderful sunset. Such a spectacular setting, the crystal clear aqua waters, 3 meters deep, fine sandy bottom. Plenty of safe anchorage.
Quick visit to Stintino, still one of our favorite towns in Sardinia, before heading to Castelsardo.

Bonifacio, Corsica
Jun/15/2010, Susie and Stephen

Picked up Stephen and Sussie from Olbia, and immediately headed North. Spent the first night in Pevora, very very rolly night following a major thunderstorm.

Sailed up to Bonifacio, through the Madalenas the next day. Good conditions, with a nice solid wind taking us across the Strait.
Moored on the S.E. side, our preferred spot. It was getting busier, and some spectacular super yachts entertained us.
Discovered a new set of stairs on the Southern face of the cliff. An impressive steep decent, to the ocean level and a path cut into the face parallel to the sea. 2 Euro entrance, but well worth it. Ate a wonderful meal in the old city, with wood fired pizzas, and a cosy stoned ceiling grotto.

Olbia,via Bonifacio and Pevora, Sardinia
Jun/06/2010

We sailed across to Bonifacio for a night, and than down to Golfo Pevora, one of our favorite safe anchorages. Wind really started picking up as we headed towards Olbia, coming from our beam. Reefed main and jib. As we entered the big Gofo di Olbia, winds were up to 37knots on the beam, and sloppy big seas. Dropped main and 2 reefs in jib. This completed Babby's trip to Sardinia, quite a sailor she become as we navigated around the whole island of Sardinia!

Castelsardo, Sardinia
Jun/06/2010

A good steady sail to Castelsardo. We had a German monohulll at our side, which made it fun. Nice inexpensive marina. Lovely walled castel town on top of hill, fascinating. Colorful, yet flat buildings, as though a huge consignment of plaster was provided and the whole town plastered up there homes and than painted them all in yellows and reds.

Stintino, Sardinia
Jun/05/2010

Sailed out of Assinara, (the law, no motor) at walking pace, if not less, down to STINTINO for the night. Anchored. Lovely little coastal village, just has a nice feel about it. Could happily have stayed there a lot longer. Met Lavinia, who is owner of sea side restaurant. She gave us some good tips of of future travels down South towards Sicily.

Assinara, Sardinia
Jun/05/2010

Another night anchored in Cala del Bollo before heading off to ASINARRA, to CALA REALE, where we had called ahead for a mooring. +39 348 69 13528 Antonelo. Expensive for a mooring though! Started with no wind and had to motor, but in a couple of hours we gently made our way with Genniker and Main.

Picked up our mooring, only one other boat was there, and tried to comprehend the history behind the isolated (since 1997) empty post island of quarantine, and than prison to head Mafia criminals. Now, since 2003, a marine reserve and National Park. Full of the Assinara cute albino little donkeys! James and I had a good walk heading East along the isolated well built road. Bizarre and eerie.

Alghero, Sardinia
Mistral
May/30/2010

Stayed in Aquatica Marina, very nice friendly place, and people. Contact Roberto at 3332074951. Really enjoyed Alghero, if you can oversee all the tourists! Very characteristic detailing in the stone paving and roads. Stayed 4 nights while mistral blew.

Calla del Bollo, Sardinia
May/29/2010

Slow sail North to Golfo di Oristano where we anchored for the night in front of the Roman ruins slowly decaying into the ocean. Next day carried on to Cala del Bollo, just outside of Alghero.
A good anchorage, took dinghy to pier by coffee shop, NW corner, and hiked up and down the steps to Neptune's Grotto. Did not go in, too many people, next time. Definitely worth doing though!

Carlo Forte, Sardinia
May/26/2010, 38 09.7'N:08 19.0'E

On our sail there, we were approached rapidly by a military boat, 2 young men shouting and signaling to us. I signaled for him to contact us by radio, for I did not know what he was trying to communicate. We apparently needed to move out 6 miles, they were firing that day, which we had heard. We made a rapid 90 degree turn, they were keeping an eye on us making sure we followed orders, and once they were out of site we regained our course. 6 miles is a long way out!

Really enjoyed CF. Long history of tuna catching. Very colorful 2-3 storey buildings, with wrought iron balconies, and marble floors. Nice sense of community. Square where children were happily playing, whilst adults and elders chatted away, sitting on the 4 corner benches of the 4 trees.
The paving is flush with the narrow roads, allowing for a closer sense of pedestrians sharing the space with the cars, slowing the traffic, a good urban concept.
Worth a visit, stayed in the friendly marina.

Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardinia
Marina
May/21/2010, Diner with Shepherds

Francesco had called his mate, and a trip was organized to take us up on a jeep ride of 20km. up into the hills to dine with the shepherds.

The 3 of us, and another couple ascended steeply up the winding road taking us through Baunei, one of many ancient villages clustered tightly to the side of the mountain It was nice to see how many of the homes were being renovated, centuries of plaster facades being removed and the original stone buildings revealed.

After 12km of road, and 8km. of harsh granite shingle over country side of myrtle, olives and other shrubs barely growing through this remarkable landscape, we arrived to the ancient shepherds huts. Built some 400 years ago, in a conical shape, out of stone and twigs. Inside a suckling pig was spit roasting on the fire place.

We all gathered to the laid long tables and began our 2 hour feast. Antipasto w/ the best goat ricotta I have ever tasted, and homemade ravioli w/ wild boar & mint ragu, salad and of course the delicious juicy pig.

Our carafes of local wine were replenished several times, the volume of lauphter and happy banter became louder and louder.

And of course the finale of various forms of grappa and myrto were not passed up. That evening will stay in our memories for ever, we knew as we drove back down the shingle road in the dark. Thank you Francesco.

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