Leaving Cagliari/ Villasimius Bay
26 August 2016 | Villasimius Bay
We inched out of the corner in Portus Karalis on Wednesday morning with a couple of metres to spare on each side, very relieved that the wind was only 5/6 knots. We fueled up at the other side of the harbour (E1.59 per litre! – the most expensive yet) and motored out expecting the forecast 5 knots. What we got was 15 knots from the west and a really nice sail for the first couple of hours, great for the first outing of the new session. Having said that, Splice was clearly struggling to match her normal pace and though we topped 6 knots a couple of times under sail, when the wind faded and we needed to motor we were off the pace. At 17000 rpm we would normally expect about 6 knots through the water and we were making about 5.3 knots……….dirty bottom was diagnosed!
We anchored in the bay near the marina at Villasimius at around 16.15 in the 20 knot easterly wind which had helpfully sprung up as we turned eastwards into the bay. It’s a popular place with loads of local boats (mostly motor boats) and quite a few cruising yachts including a few over 100ft. All the locals go back to the marina at around 19.00 and the bay is quiet for the evening and overnight before it all starts again around 11.00 the next day. The water is clear and the bottom is mostly good sandy holding, it’s a nice bay and as long as the wind isn’t from the west it’s reasonably protected. You do get regular wash from passing ships and power boats however.
We are about to spend our third night here and it seems much of the time we have been in the water ……..scrubbing! The fouling on Splice’s hull, keels, sail-drive and props was really bad. This is the worst we have seen it even when she’s been moored for 6 months not just one. The copper-coated surfaces had some barnacles but were mostly covered with a white stringy weed that grows in clumps and produces a black extended frond, topped off around the waterline with a lovely green slime. The barnacles had homed in on every metal surface and you couldn’t see an inch of prop metal on either side. Luckily the weed and slime came off OK with scrapers and brushes and our copper-coat survived the assault but the props were hard work. Unfortunately the ‘miniB’ scuba set didn’t have much air left in the tank so whilst the props are clear of the main coverage there is still work to do to achieve a vaguely smooth surface. Scraping weed whilst holding my breath I can do, attacking solid ranks of barnacle debris needs air! We’ve got 95% of the fouling off with about 8 hours work between us so we should be a bit faster on the next trip.
We have also launched Fizz for the first time and taken her for a test run. The wind has been about 10 knots today so we were pleased that she tracks well through the water and, whilst needing a bit of effort, would go to windward without a problem. As part of the trip we stopped by another British boat ‘Ruby Tuesday’ who we last saw in Mallorca. They have since been to Greece and back and are now off to cross the Atlantic this winter. As usual we swapped details about anchorages and ports over a cup of tea. Were impressed with their mileage but still prefer to stop a while and see the areas when we get there, there are many different cruising styles!
We were running out of bread so this was the stimulus for our latest attempt, lots of ‘kneading and waiting hopefully to see if it will rise’ later we produced a nice rustic style brown loaf which has gone down well for lunch and afternoon tea with bread and jam. That’s twice it’s been edible now, we might be getting the hang of it!
Tomorrow (Saturday 26th Aug) we plan to set off early to cover the 60 odd miles to Arbatax, about halfway up the east coast of Sardinia. We considered stopping at the intervening port – Portus Corrallo – but have read a number of negative reports so will go for the longer trip with an early 6.00 start. The wind is forecast to change and actually be with us going north… we shall see!
Photo: Chris in full hull scraping regalia!! ‘Fizz’ shows herself in the background.