Cagliari – Portus Karalis
18 July 2016 | Cagliari
We left Teulada around 8.00 hrs as we were keen to get away after 4 days ‘storm bound’. We clearly weren’t the only ones as there was a procession of boats heading away from the marina. The trip was light winds, mostly ‘on the nose’ so motor-sailing until we got within a few miles of Cagliari. Then the wind piped up, first from the south, then from the north and then again from the south, this time topping 20 knots. This of course was when we were coming into berth! Despite it being a reasonably easy berth in theory, a combination of being blown off at 20+ knots, confusion with the marineros as to what they were trying to do and standard cock-up theory (when you’ve gone all season with very little problem the next marina is bound to be a disaster) we had a somewhat undignified arrival in Portus Karalis. In the end our dignity and a small bump on the gelcoat on starboard bow were the only casualties but it was not a good arrival. Then we found out they hadn’t realized we were there for a month and we would have to move! ‘Tomorrow’ was the answer!
We spent the first evening exploring the city, Cagliari (the locals pronounce it without the ‘g’ sounding so ‘Cal-i –ari’) is an old and slightly tatty place but the buildings are lovely and the ‘vibe’ is very relaxed. The city is built on a flat area by the port and then up the side of the hill(s) around with much of the main parts of the place on the raised slope. We explored a number of eating places but as it was Saturday night all the attractive ones were booked and as Chris’s fuel and beer tanks were close to empty (he gets grumpy then) we stopped at the nearest place. Only after ordering a drink did we realise it was a South African meat restaurant! Oh well, two very rare ‘Tuscany beef’ burgers with oven baked potato chips (the potatoes were nice) accompanied by a bottle of Sardinian red wine (very nice but 14.5% - no wonder it was tasty) wasn’t the worst meal we have had this year………but it was in the bottom five!
Sunday was windy again and then they showed us where they wanted the boat to go. Probably the tightest position we have had to wriggle into this year, right in the corner down a narrow aisle, squeezing past other boats and then reversing in. Having checked the weather we declined to move until the morning as calm waters were forecast then. We did a bit of shopping and relaxed as it was hot.
On Monday morning the promised sub 5 knots did arrive and we made a perfect approach and entry into the berth…….until the marinaro pulled the lazy line from the centre of the boat towards our starboard side and it went straight in to our starboard prop – clunk – engine stopped. We secured ourselves to the port side line without problems as the wind was slight and at least we were in place. Declining the generous offer of a diver for E50++ Chris got out the mask and fins and managed to unwind the rope from the prop. Luckily it was loose enough to unwind rather than having to cut it off and the sail-drive (the prop and the leg that supports it) doesn’t seem to have suffered any damage on first examination. Two arrivals at Portus Karalis……two less than perfect processes... are they trying to tell us something?
We had bought a SIM from ‘3’ when we were in Carloforte but as it took 24 hours to activate were unable to test it at the time. Of course it didn’t work despite a few hours struggle so we had to find a ‘3’ store and this was our first chance (by now 25% of our data had lapsed as its time based). The two women in the ‘3’ store scratched their heads and knowingly told us it was our dongle that was at fault (it had been fine in Spain) and hadn’t any other clues to offer. By chance we then walked past a ‘Riparo Express’ and thought we would have another try. The guy in there (we think he’s called Fabio) was great, his English was pretty good but he also really tried to solve the issue, calling ‘3’ and eventually pushing his way through to their more senior technical helpline. It turns out that we were sold an old SIM that doesn’t respond to the current profile in the system and has to have a different set of instructions input – obviously these aren’t recorded anywhere in the package you are sold! So at least we will get about 25% of the value we paid for as we are flying to England on Thursday. We were there for more than an hour whilst he sorted this out and there was no financial benefit for him. Luckily he stocked the cartridges for our printer so we were able to buy something. If you have a ‘coms’ problem in Cagliari then go and find Ripario Express, via Iglesias, 6, 09125, Cagliari.
This afternoon we are waiting for two tradesmen, one to come and give us a quote to make ‘chaps’ for our dinghy (a cover that stays on all the time and protects the dinghy from the sun and abrasion) to extend Fid’s life expectancy, and the other to help us find the fault that prevents our windlass dropping the chain from the foredeck button (luckily it still raises it!). We did think of having a sweepstake as to whether anyone would turn up but this is Italy not Spain and… we shall see.
Photo: One of the alleys that run down the hills between the main streets in Cagliari.