2 clueless day skippers with Patience

Wild Winds and Magnificent Fish on the coast of Sardinia

30 July 2023
Donna Smith
Thursday 20th July
A month until our marina contract starts in Spain.. Yikes, still 900 miles to go and that's an optimistic approximation!

We left the bay of San Gemiliano Ovest on Sardinia with very little wind, so set full sail, only to be hit by huge gusts of wind coming down the mountains. These winds are generically known as Katabatic winds, from the Greek word Katabaino, meaning 'to go down.' Each area has its own name - oh how people love to name their winds! These winds flow down steep hills and mountains slopes . They are caused by gravity pulling higher density air down slopes to lower density air. In other parts of the world this can have with catastrophic results, fortunately for us not where we were. And here endeth the meteorological lesson. To selfl- 'Be prepared if you anchor next to a cliff.' These winds whooshed us along at 7knots (which is kinda fast for us.) We held on to our hats for a whole 2O minutes , wishing we didn't have all that sail flapping around , then as suddenly as it arrived it stopped - dead! Leaving us becalmed facing a bank of fog ahead.

As we watched the fog engulf the land that we needed to steer a course around, it was to say the least a tad daunting. Fortunately the weather being the weather, by the time we got there the glorious Sardinian sun had burnt the fog off. Being becalmed the sun felt very hot, the deck was scorching so nothing left to do but keep jumping in and out of the water to keep cool. The surface of the sea was a hazy misty blue colour, with the tiniest of ripples, yet underneath it was royal blue,clear, deep and still.

That night we anchored south of Arbatrax marina in a bay next to the beach called Sangemiliano Ovest, once again in clear water, despite the abundance of water sports. I chuckled to myself as an oversized yellow inflatable banana zoomed past us carrying excited children and their responsible adults clinging on for dear life. An impossible task as all those who have ridden one will know is an impossible task. By evening the anchorage was quiet and by 7 the following morning we were already moving on to our next stop La Calletta Marina to get water and diesel.

On route Ricky caught a magnificent fish. A Mahi Mahi, also known as a dolphin fish. The famous fresco (in photo) of a young fisherman catching the same fish off Santorini was discovered in Akrotiri. It dates from 1600 and 1500 BC. So you can see why they are considered quite the catch for fishermen like Ricky, a kind of 'right of passage' in the anglers world. It was a beautiful fish, iridescent, sadly the photo does not do it justice. It was so beautiful that we couldn't bring ourselves to eat it and when Ricky told me he believed they mated for life, it's fate was sealed, quick photo then back in the sea to his or her partner. We spent 2 nights at the marina, shopping and having pizza out on the first night, then staying on the free pontoon as weather was bad on the second night. Despite the wind howling, and waves pushing the boats hard against the pontoon, Ricky helped moor a yacht that had no working engine. This could have been a disaster as the yacht obviously had no steerage, but Ricky, another sailor and the marinaros all worked together, strength, compassion, team work and expertise safely delivering the young family ashore. A real achievement !!! Ricky will hate me for saying it but I was so so proud of him.

From Caletta we had one overnight stop south of Molara island with lots of other boats, Kayak enthusiasts and Jelly fish. This is one of the smallest islands off the coast of Sardinia. It is privately owned, so off limits apart from guided tours at certain times of the year. Its Roman name was 'Buccina Insula ' after a large shell that's found there. It is supposed to be a remarkable unspoilt island but sadly it will have to remain unvisited by the crew of Patience this time as there be a storm brewing! We needed to be further North in a more protected bay at Porto Istana asap. Yikes!
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Make/Model: Moody376
Hailing Port: Haslar , Gosport , England
Crew: Ricky and Donna
About: 2023 Still clueless , but having fun !
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