As we had decided that we needed to hurry up to get to Sardinia before the mistral hit, we left straight from Alcudia, making this crossing our longest one yet.
The weather was supposed to be very calm, and for most of the time, that was correct. We unfortunately ended up motoring quite a lot, where as if we knew we had time we would have been happy just bobbing along. We really wanted to be on the safe side regarding the mistral so…
We had a quite rough couple of hours on the last day, with more than 20 knots of wind almost constant, sidewind, so we tried to avoid it and ended up quite off course. But other than that it was pretty calm.
We were a bit tired and because we had gone so much of course, we decided to stop at Carloforte, on an island just off the south west corner of Sardinia. We had read there was a town quay that you could moor at for free. On our way there the wind changed and it took us a bit longer, getting quite late and dark. As we were approaching around the north west side it was all dark except some moonlight. We could suddenly see that there was something ahead of us in the water and as we shone the light we could see that the area was full of fishing buoys and what looked like tunny nets! The wind also picked up, making it even harder to see if there were any buoys around.
We did see a big fish jumping out off the water, we think it was a tuna, but it might have been something else.
Docked at a free spot on the quay, we walked the dogs and then slept for four hours before continuing on towards Cagliari. The wind had already begun increasing and we had a very fast downwind sail that also turned around the coast and brought us along quite a while.
We sailed around 70 NM that day, and as we reached Cagliari bay the wind just instantly died, only to pick up a lot after around 1,5 hours. Then of course it was right on the nose and whipped up the sea really fast in that shallow area. So we were stomping in the waves, motoring the last 2 hours, only to reach the marina just in time for sunset.
In Cagliari we stayed in Marina del Sole, which had the lowest rates in the area. When we first arrived and was going to moor, it turned out one of the lines (mooring/anchor lines, not sure what they are called) were broken, so we had to find another spot. Then we were crammed in tight in a narrow berth, but all seemed fine. We soon realised that something was a little off with the mooring lines there too. Either it was shifted or the boat on our port side had picked up the wrong ones, because we were tilted and pressing towards the boat on our starboard side, which in turn was pressing on the boat on that starboard side and so on. As it started getting really windy, the lady on the end was a bit distressed. A guy from the marina came over and tied our boat together with the port one…
The marina staff was very helpful and friendly, but the facilities were quite in need of some renovation unfortunately.
We stayed for five days, first to wait out the mistral and then to wait for Joel to recover. He came down with a high fever and was very under the weather.
We had been doing a lot of boat work the first day and then went out to town for dinner, very good pizza and ice cream!
The next day we took a long walk in the scorching heat, passed salt lakes with pink flamingos and a huge beach where we were in luck and ended up at a dog area, so the dogs could go swimming too. After that, Joel became ill and I did some exploring on my own. It’s just not the same and I was feeling bored and lonely. I started missing my friends and family very much, even though I just visited them, and I felt a longing for a “regular” life. Probably everything felt much worse due to Joel being sick and that there was not much for me to do. The town wasn’t that impressive, even though it had some nice parts, like the old town and the botanical garden.
When Joel was feeling better we moved on towards Villasimius, where we anchored, also just in time before darkness. The sail there was not so comfortable, lots of wind and waves on the nose again, but we did our best…
We stayed in the anchorage, off the beach outside the marina, for three nights and days and it was a lovely place. We couldn’t find a good place for the dinghy except for the marina, so we brought a jerry can each time and got some diesel, like payment for leaving it there for a few hours 😝
The area was much nicer than Cagliari in the sense that we were closer to nature and also maybe it was less run down. Every day we went for long walks, exploring the area. There was a salt lake (like the one in Cagliari but this was smaller and you could see the pink flamingos closer), two huge beaches and many smaller ones, nice sandy (horse) paths and clear water. We did some snorkelling and also went for some climbing that we never found though.
After monitoring the weather, we decided to leave for Sicily on Friday afternoon.