04 August 2010
From here we headed towards Cap Carbonara, the south-eastern tip of Sardinia. The picture is the lighthouse on the island off the cape. These waters are shallow and filled with rocks. The Seccia di Berni has its double ball back on its beacon, but we saw other, unmarked reefs, mostly very close to the cliffs. An area to be sailed in calm weather and daylight.
The twenty miles across the Golfe de Cagliari gave us another good workout, starting with an energetic, fast six miles under cruising chute and mizzen. Then the wind got up and shifted south so we hoisted the main and genoa and made good time to Cap St Elia
We are now tied up in Marine del Sole. This small marina is fairly laissez-faire, and basic, but is extremely good value by the standards as of Italy in August (EU38 a night for us, including water and power). It's very friendly and we've already made new friends, including another woman singlehander, Lyn of Knight in Gale (not her choice of name!). All these years, and we've not met any, and now two come along in a month.
We desperately need the water: Olbia was great, being free and useful, but pretty grubby and our decks are filthy. Cagliari is also good stop to see the museum which contains many statuettes from the ancient history of the island.
Sardinia has not been particularly kind to us. Since leaving the Maddalena archipelego which was great we've had infestations, evictions, three mistral storms and headwinds. To cap it all off, one of our AGM house batteries died suddenly. On Tuesday night, we realised it was getting very hot and had a rather frightening half-hour while we disconnected all our electrical systems.
It now seems that it has just expired of old age, being over seven years in use. For the first three years we were plugged into the mains a lot, but the repetitive discharge cycles of months on the hook have taken their toll. They're only warrantied for five years. So we took a very deep breath and have bought two new house batteries. They might be delivered on Friday, but it may be early next week. In the meantime, the other battery is working gallantly so we are nearly back to normal.