Dined in an arched street in the old town. Sampled some local vino rosso
Wednesday 13th October.
Rain and rainbows first thing. Set off for the north end of the island at midday. Sailed to the capo caccia and motor sailed along beautiful unspoilt west coast of Sardinia for four hours. Spotted a few dolphins on the way. The swell picked up and carried us into the Fornelli Passage past Isola Asinara (a 9 mile long hilly island ex penal colony but now nature reserve... which we plan to come back to visit) Could be v hairy on a rougher day.. shallowed so we could see the bottom. Suddenly we were through and the swell stopped instantly. Headed to commercial town of Port Torres....with bent green plastic pontoons that the cats didn't like... but very pleasant and chic dockmaster.
Thursday 14th October
Sailed at 8 knots across the Golfo del Asinara and through the Straits of Bonifacio towards the Archipelago of Maddalena... Lovely quick sail past rocky headlands and into a peaceful anchorage at Porto Pozzo. We are now on the Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) and it is stunningly beautiful.
Friday 15th October
Bit short of time to visit Garibaldi's tomb and home on the Island of Caprera. Sailed with Yankie only between the Islands in the Archie and his pelagoes. Can see why this is such popular area in the summer... Definitely to be recommended for an extended exploration. Wind blowing 25 knots but Cala de Volpe (Fox Beach) anchorage was sheltered enough... Amazing houses along the coast. We dinghied ashore to a five star deserted hotel (only open 5 months of the year) met a very friendly English lady who worked there since 1978.
Sunday 10th October
Back from Blighty. Richard and Phillipa have been keeping Martyn out of mischief?! But not updating the blog...soz.
Thunder and lightning on Saturday night but we decided to make a break for Sardinia and so left Mahon (Goodbye Spain!) when it stopped raining first thing. The sea was particularly unsettled after the storm and in fact it was very confused and uncomfortable for the next 200 miles... Pretty horrible really. It took 34 hours and we motor sailed for all but three hours of sailing in the middle of the night. Chasing a storm in front of us and watching lightning behind us for the whole night... The stars were amazing tho... 'The Good' was a wonderful sunrise and the finale a couple of dolphins as we came into port at Alghero; 'the bad' was the rough sea and 'the ugly' was me throwing up followed by Richard throwing up into his hand which came through his fingers and hit me in the face!! (a first for me someone voming in my face!) The sun did come out on Monday and we passed spectacular cave ridden cliffs enroute to Alghero. Really appreciated our arrival beverage!!! As you can imagine. Welcome to Italy. Never been quite so pleased to arrive.
Tuesday 12th October
Lazy morning and then a sightsee of the walled old town in the rain. Spanish influenced, lovely old streets and shops full of coral and turquoise jewellery; liqueur made from Juniper (Mirto); some dehydrated marlin roe. (apparently you cook it with pasta so will let you know!)
Sunday 26th September
We moved back to the anchorage and braved going ashore (eventually) cos it was horrible weather....(I told Liz she would only need shorts!! Luckily she has been diving with me for years so didn't listen to me!)Walked around Mahon and stopped at various refreshment stops....Back onboard for supper and cards
Monday 27th September
Poked the boat's nose out the harbour and decided to head back in and hire a car.... Up to the highest point on the island for a worthwhile panorama of the island, then to a lovely beach at Arenal for lunch and a paddle, on to Ciutadella (which was much more atmospheric this time so I stand corrected. Plus the sun came out again!). Then we just made it to a nightclub in the cliffs(?) for a sunset and stunning sea views plus some funky music (and Judith dancing with another man!! Did Colin know?) lovely gin and tonic.
Tuesday 28th September
Sunny again hurrah. Drove to Binibequer for a swim and coffee (sea is still 24 degrees), before returning the car; having lunch on the quay... Good Menu del Dia; and sad farewell to our all too brief visitors. Dinghying back met the Moody owners again from Fornells who invited us for a drink.
Saturday 25th Sept
Our quick visit to La Mola Fortress at the entrance to Mahon harbour became a three hour tour cos it was really interesting. Built in 1848 for Queen Isobella it includes 1000 ft of underground casements and a massive Vickers Gun on the cliff top which had a range of 35 Km. Plus 1000s of wild orchids and wonderfully aromatic giant fennel.... it started to spit however....
Liz and Nic arrived laden with champagne and chocolates and presents. (Mucho Gusto thanks guys!) Including replacements for my 9yr old Birkenstocks (from Louis... Thanks sweetie..X). Ate ashore in a lovely quayside restaurant. "Unfortunately!" it started to rain....
Thursday 23rd September
Watched the seaplane pick up and drop its water then departed southbound cos a blow was coming from the North... coastline almost English on the east coast. In fact the English invaded Adaya and you can see the Heather the scots guard planted.
Motored into Mahon harbour and berthed on a harbour visitors pontoon with a very friendly and helpful harbour master and some jolly whistling Frenchmen. Rained overnight (sad face!)
Friday 24th September
Sun came out as we ambled around Mahon...Guide translation was interesting.... Describes an effigy of Jesus as being famous for sweating, and another shop as selling Tuppersex! (never did find out?!! Enlighten if you can)
Mahon is charming cos of the mix of influences, sash windows alongside French ironwork.... moved to an anchorage near the harbour entrance and the wind died thankfully
Liz and Nic arrive tomorrow (yay!) hope the sun comes out otherwise we will be spending a long time on the distillery visit
Recumbant or recusant? Actually he was looking at the ceiling detail... thats his excuse (doh sorry wrong pic!)
Monday 20th September
Motored and sailed 21 miles to Cala Ratjada. Were headed for Menorca, but it looked like rain....
And it did. Had to find my pacamac....Moored stern to the quay alongside lots of Germans... but it was cheap so hey. Wilson brought a cockroach onboard so we locked them up.... See not all roses! Have an abhorrence for roaches.....
Tuesday 21st Sept
39 59.80'N:03 49.50'E
Blue skies but no wind. Motor sailed to Menorca.... the old capital of Cuidadella.. Hard to see entrance into very small port which amazingly has big ferry cats (not furry!) and regular ferries turning on a sixpence... stern to outside a quayside restaurant with a very lively lobbie in a tank.
Cats found some millipeds to follow.... Wandered around the old town, Cathedral (originally a mosque) and the vaulted streets. Lovely and clean etc but missing something atmospherically for me. Maybe not many people. Certainly lots of restaurants etc partic along quay so prob just out of season (which is actually also nice!)
Wednesday 22nd Sept
40 03.90'N:04 08.20'E
After lunch motored along the northern coast of Menorca to a lovely inlet harbour called fornells. Scenery was rugged (and in places bleak but with sunshine!!!) Anchorage was almost lakelike.... beautiful moon. Town quite strange, white buildings with dour hills behind....