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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.

Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardinia
Marina
Jun/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.

Santa Maria Navarrese
Jun/20/2010

Heading out through the Olbia harbor entrance, the sea was still very rough from the mistral. Not pleasant first hour for dear Babby!. But as soon as we headed South things calmed down considerably, and it was a good sail down to Santa Maria Navarrese.


Olbia, Sardinia
Jun/19/2010

Babby arrives and after our introduction to the boat, we whisk off to the Supermarket to provision up, all conveniently located.. As we walked back to the boat with our trolley, we got absolutely drenched in a storm, quite comical all of us with plastic bags over our heads racing back to the boat.

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.

Olbia, Sardinia

Jun/18/2010

At last the mistral passed and we were able to head down to Olbia Marina to pick up my mother, or Babby as we call her. The sea was still rough through the Olbia passage. Very nice new marina. Olbia is a great place to use as a base to pick up or drop off friends. Airport is literally walking distance, with a very large shopping complex on the way.

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.

Porto Cervo, Sardinia
Marina / Mistral
Jun/17/2010, 41 08.4'N

Whilst waiting for the mistral to pass over in Porto Cervo, we met a very nice local young skiper, Francesco. He inspired us to stay in his country and gave us many tips of places to explore. We look forward to following them up.

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.

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