A Sardinian family business
17 August 2013 | Laconia, Arzachena Bay, N. Sardinia
Barb/lots of sunshine
We have stayed now several days in a sweet little anchorage behind a small rock island with a line of rocks just below the surface extending to land. A couple of them poke up enough for a seagull or two to land. This small barrier protects us from the swell and most of the boat wakes arriving from the passage lying about a mile north of us. That is the main passage from the west to the east side of Sardinia. There is a fine statue on the rock island looking out into the Bay of Arzachena.
We first anchored here with friends and weathered a light blow before heading off to explore the La Maddalenas. Now we are here again to prepare for our sail to Cagliari at the south end of the island, 200 miles away. We refueled and loaded our water tanks at the end of the bay when we first arrived. We then bicycled around the Nuraghi villages inland a few miles. These Nuraghi people lived in this area 3800 years ago and were still here just before the Romans came in 300BC. They knew the Egyptians and probably traded with them. They may still be living here as many Sards still live in the mountains and have little to do with the modern world.
Beside our anchorage is a small dock with a pontoon. It is painted a bright turquoise. It is owned by one of these mountain families. They probably always kept a little fishing boat here. There is an old traditional wooden boat tied to a buoy near us, mostly likely the grandpa's boat. Now the whole family comes down for the summer and they rent the space on their small pontoon to the smallest powerboats and the largest dinghies. They are all here! We thought there was a hamburger joint at their dock when the family lined up for lunch! There are at least 20 in this brood. They allowed us to tie our dinghy to their dock with the understanding that, should they rent all their space, they would pull our dinghy up on their beach. They offered us cheese and bread and some kind of white lightning one day when we came up. We are not sure where they all stay. They have a 24' sailboat with ragged sails that at least a couple of them sleep on.
They also attached a fine mooring ball to a strong chain and a concrete block about 8' x 8', I believe thinking we might prefer it to being at anchor. We would but we are anchored in good sand and the ball might command a high price this week in the middle of August. Down by the marina they want 10€ per square meter of boat. They don't have many takers. Besides if there were to be a storm we could latch on to it from our boat. We tag it every time we drift past. We have new friends that have rented a mooring ball beside us for a month. The electrical storm we experienced a week ago ruined this mans alternator and he is awaiting parts being shipped from Germany. He has an annual contract in the marina for all but the month of August when rates go up to an extreme price, most likely 100€/ day.
This man and his family are enjoying being tied to the mooring. It's not far to the Sard families dock. A good thing since his family uses 200-300 liters of water per day. They have a 200 liter soft bladder that they fill at the dock. It lies like a beached whale in their dinghy. With a hose and a small pump they can easily refill their water tank every day. This family includes Max and Piña and their 3 children, Mikala, who will turn 18 next week, Luka, who looks to be about 13 and Traicha, the only girl, about 8. The boys look very Italian and take after their mother, a pretty woman, whose family is Italian from Calabria, far down in the toe of the boot. She was born in Germany, however, and Max is German as are the children. Both boys are very Italian looking with handsome dark features, the little girl has long blond hair. She loves horses and all three kids love the boat. Oddly they do not like sand and much prefer swimming off the boat to hanging out on the beach. We have enjoyed visiting with them. They sun and play in the water and take their nice rib for a spin most days. We sit and drink wine with them in the evenings.
Just day before yesterday some friends arrived in our bay and we have had a few visits. The girl, Gabby, left to fly home to Germany for a week, so we have been visiting up with Paul, a very interesting British fellow. He and Gabby met up nine years ago in Turkey. Both were single handers, a boat phase for sailing alone. Gabby s boat was a roomy large steel ketch which they kept, only changing the paint job from pink to maroon. It is a nicely kept boat. Gabby made her living sewing canvas for boats in Turkey and still does a little canvas work. I could have used some advice on my Bimini top. She got away too quick! That's a whole 'nuther story but I will be sewing another one while we are home this year! Paul was a university professor and facilitated many boater discussions last year at MdR. He and I originally connected at a weather seminar since we both taught meteorology in a previous life. We shared our weather observations from this summer. They also have a sweet older dog named Linda. Linda enjoyed the spaghetti dinner we had last night. She opted out for the fireworks in the evening however. Such a cute dog. She rides on the side pontoons in the dinghy like a person. She has lived all her life on a boat.
Now I see my blog for today is long winded. We sailed to Porto Cervo today and are tied to a buoy. This is the center of the Costa Smeralda, the most exclusive superyacht community in the western Med, next to the French Riviera. We are enjoying the big boats. And it is naptime!
Enjoy your day and keep those cards and letters coming. We love to hear from all of you!
Barb & Doug