Cagliari to Terrasini, Sicily
09 August 2017 | Terrasini, Sicily
Geoff/Phew! What a scorcher!!!
6th and 7th August Cagliari to Terrasini
Geoff and Tony arrived in time to have a good dinner on Saturday night and we left at 00.40 Sunday morning for the planned trip to Palermo, Sicily some 230 miles away. The weather was good and the forecast for the passage indicated light winds all the way and a full moon.
We crossed Cagliari Bay and rounded Capo Carbonara by 05.50 and set course for Palermo. A course we would hold for 186 miles across open sea. The passage was uneventful with little shipping to bother us save for one cargo ship in-bound to Cagliari that crossed our path about one mile ahead.
At the halfway point, late on Sunday afternoon we came across a large tanker, which we had spotted 6 hours earlier, on the AIS, empty and stationary, 100 miles from land and presumably waiting for a cargo.
Geoff and Tony had a celebratory swim in water 1.5 miles deep followed by a cold beer. The real highlight though, was the visitation by a family of dolphins who came to play. We saw two adults and a calf and with the water being dead calm and glassy we were able to watch them beneath the surface as well as above. A short time later a solitary dolphin passed by, ignoring us and then a further pod investigated our presence but didn't stay.
The sunrises, sunsets and the full moon gave us spectacular confirmation of the natural wonders but the dolphins were the highlight.
By dawn on Monday the rugged volcanic coast of Sicily was in sight and when seen from the sea has a stark beauty.
As we approached Palermo fuel became a concern so we diverted to Terrasini a small fishing port. Unfortunately being Italy and a Monday the fuel dock was closed - the proprietor obviously being one of the few still taking the Boomtown Rats seriously!
We found a berth on the only pontoon and as we prepared to move from the fuel dock the gasman unexpectedly turned up and sold us the diesel needed.
The wind had increased under the influence of the surrounding volcanic montains and we had a strong cross wind as we tried to moor stern to on the end berth. It took 4 tries and the assistance of the pontoon owner and his brothers (all seem to have brothers here) before Summertime was safely moored. No damage except to the skipper's pride and self-esteem.
Terrasini is a small fishing harbour and does not seek to cater for pleasure craft. The sole pontoon seems to be the initiative of three brothers who have carved out a section of the beach and hired out beach furniture and umbrellas. In addition they installed a pontoon from which they hired out small boats to people wanting a day on nearby beaches with room for 4 or 5 yachts on the end. This collection of businesses and the bar they had installed on the beach, seemed to do a good trade catering for visitors. One wonders how they established and maintained their monopoly of beach fun in Terrasini.
We left the next morning and managed to lift our neighbour's anchor as well as our own, so a ruddy complexion for the skipper, again!
There were no showers or WC but the beach and beach shower enabled us to cool off after the lengthy trip and to wash the salt off.
We were obviously very tired and pleased to arrive safely. Tony caught his flight home OK and we can all reflect on the achievement of crossing 200 miles of open sea safely.