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- To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 1 — 11 comments
Jun 24 2017
May 22nd 2017
07.22h – the sun is shining and peering outside, the water looks very calm, almost like a mirror! What a beautiful morning ☀️
I decided to stay a bit longer in bed, dozing for a while and simply tried to get over the fact, that we ARE living on a boat (if only for a week)!
Around eight o’clock I joined Patrik outside, drinking coffee and admiring the beautiful view.
We had our briefing and decided “Porto Brandinchi” would be our aim for today. Another lovely anchoring spot.
Then it was time for WOBBLES. That meant checking our two engines according to this easy-to-remember checklist:
Water – Oil – Battery – Belt – Leakage – Electricity – Strainer
Everything was in order and at 10.15h we hoisted the anchor and left the bay.
Since the wind was still barely noticeable (approx. 5 knots), it was the perfect moment (for us) to test the jib, together with the mainsail.
And – ta-daaa – we also managed that! We reached a comfortable cruising speed (between 6.5 and 8.5 knots) and laughed with the sun around the bet!
Time went really quick, although we didn’t have much to do, except of drinking water, steering “Blue Moon” every now and then (when the autopilot needed a break), ate some fruit for lunch……well, mainly we simply enjoyed the day and our journey!
At 15.30h we arrived at the bay and prepared for anchoring. A couple of other yachts were already lying there, but we still had plenty of space to pick a suitable spot. Once again we saw the advantage of sailing a catamaran: we were able to get much closer to the beach than monohulls. Our cat only had a draft of 1.20 m (approx. 4 ft) – outstanding!
An hour later we sat in the cockpit, enjoyed a glass of white wine and were pleased with another successful day!
For dinner we had a lovely green salad and a Cordon-Bleu each (vegetarian version, of course ?). Against all odds I really and truly enjoyed my little kitchen.
And again, a fantastic day was slowly ending and after a refreshing shower we went to bed…..very tired, but incredibly happy ?
Jun 16 2017
May 21th 2017
It was 07.30h when I woke up and I heard Patrik in the galley, preparing coffee.
The sun was shining and – ready for action – I got up, did our very comfy bed and after getting dressed joined my “captain” in the cockpit.
We enjoyed our orange juice and coffee, waved “Buongiorno’s” to others and planned our first day – around 10.00 we wanted to leave the marina. Also, we both couldn’t believe how deep and sound we’ve slept. Very unusual for a first night in a foreign “water”-bed!
Unfortunately, shortly after eight o’clock the winds were picking up again and became quite strong. Not the ideal sailing weather….(especially not for beginners).
Therefore, we suddenly had plenty time to do the dishes, brush our teeth and get ready. I even went and picked a bunch of wild fennel, for our cooking. I put it in a vase and – as it turned out during the week – it stayed fresh and tasty until the last day.
In between, we listened to the radio and weather forecast and they promised that the winds should calm down around midday. Otherwise, a sunny day was awaiting us, around 23° C, with some gusts, which apparently are typical for this area.
And sure enough, after ten o’clock the sea and winds have calmed down and we decided to leave.
Meanwhile, Enzo and Constantino had also arrived and Constantino came to help us, in order to manoeuvre “Blue Moon” safely between the other yachts and out of the marina.
This showed to be trickier than we thought! Mainly, because Patrik relied too much on a mark on the steering wheel, which he believed to be the centre (well, it wasn’t, as we later found out). Everyone, got a bit nervous – especially Constantino looked a bit worried – but finally we managed and we waved “Good Bye”! Gosh, what a start !!!
We were motoring for a while, leaving Cannigione behind us and tried to get used to “our” yacht. Patrik played a bit with the engines, back and forth, turning around our own axis and he found out where the centre of the steering wheel REALLY was!
Then we decided to hoist our mainsail, killed the engines and – Man! – this was a hundred times better! The quietness, hearing the waves and the creaking of the boat only – awesome!!
Soon we took up course – our aim for today was to reach a nice and sheltered anchor spot at “Isola di Tavolara” – a massive chunk of granite, south-east of Olbia. The north-easterly part of the island is a military zone, whereas the south-westerly part has a few good anchoring sports.
I made myself comfortable on the trampoline, looking down, hoping to see dolphins. Unfortunately, we never saw any, maybe it was the wrong area, or the wrong time of the year….who knows?!
Patrik joined me every now and then, the autopilot steering the “Blue Moon”. We both smiled and laughed and assured each other, what a fabulous life we had!
Later in the afternoon, we saw another suitable anchoring spot, not as far as “Isola di Tavolara”, but according to Patrik’s “bible” (called “Italian Waters Pilot”), it was an even nicer bay – called “Nodu Pianu” – so we decided to go there instead. The island “Porri” lay just beside.
It took us a little longer than we thought, it was almost 5 o’clock, but it was worth it! A lovely sheltered bay with a sandy bottom for anchoring and hardly any other boats.
We dropped anchor and it took us a while, measuring and waiting, until we were sure that we picked the right spot! Patrik also activated the anchor alarm on his iPad – better be on the safe side, right?!
Finally, it was around 6 o’clock, we opened our prosecco and toasted to our successful and wonderful first day on board a catamaran!
Furthermore, we were more than pleased how good everything was working: All the instruments onboard (Raymarine, as most boats have) and the yacht as itself. But especially Patrik’s navigation software, which was installed on his iPad. It surely helped us a lot **.
Then we started to get hungry and I was very excited, testing the galley and its gas stove for the first time! We planned to do “One Pan Pasta” tonight, with a nice salad, some bread and a glass of red wine!
One hour later we sat outside and enjoyed our fantastic meal, accompanied by the best view one could wish for!
After doing the dishes we realised how tired we were and soon went to bed. We were even too tired to read….never mind….Good night everyone and sweet dreams!
** iSailor is the name made by a company called TransMarine, world leader on nav software for commercial vessels.
Jun 10 2017
May 20th 2017
“Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen! We would like to inform you that……..”
05.15h a.m., and that was our wake-up call through the speakers in four languages, accompanied by soft harp music! How
silly romantic is that? *hahaha*
According to the “lady on air”, we were approaching Olbia harbour and breakfast was available on deck eight. At 06.30h a.m. it was scheduled to arrive at our destination!
Orange juice and coffee was ok for Patrik and me, we are no breakfast persons. Then, we were waiting with a lot others, at the stairs which led to the car decks. The weather outside looked promising: Sunny and blue sky – what a greeting ?
The debarkation went surprisingly orderly and organized and we drove first to a big parking lot, just outside the harbour. We wanted to take some pictures and get the first breaths of Sardinia air! It felt….well….holidayish!
Patrik adjusted the GPS for our drive to Cannigione, which should take about one hour.
And off we went, leaving Olbia and following the signs and our GPS. Passing colourful oleander bushed and filigree bougainvillea, among groups of cactuses, with its eatable fruits – not ready yet, though! We drove past bushes and trees and and in between we caught glimpses of the sea. What we saw was truly amazing: The terracotta of the earth, the stunning colours of the flowers, the greens and on top of everything, the turquoise-blue-green water! It felt so unreal and we were struggling to find the correct words….
It must have been around 8 o’clock a.m., when we arrived at Cannigione. We parked the car under a tree, grabbed the water bottles and the camera and went for a stroll.
We quickly found the harbour with its different charter companies – and the yachts of course. Unfortunately, the wind had reached around 25-35 knots. So, standing close to the sea made it a bit uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, we almost freaked out, when we saw a Leopard 384 berthed at the Sailitalia pontoon. With our camera, we zoomed it in, trying to read its name. “Blue Moon” it was called and we suspected, this could be “ours”! How exciting!!!
Patrik mentioned that he dreamed of “our” catamaran a week before and that it was called “Blue Moon”……weird, isn’t it?!
A few people were leaving boats, carrying suitcases – their sailing vacation had apparently come to an end (whereas ours haven’t even started). Others were working, busy with cleaning equipment, hosing down yachts or supervising whatever had to be supervised.
It was a real good first impression and we decided to find Sailitalia’s office, which was supposed to be nearby. And sure enough, three minutes later we stood in front of the tiny office. Opening hours 09.00 – 13.00/ 14.30 – 19.30 (We soon found out, by the way, that these were the regular opening hours on the island. Except today was Saturday, and many shops closed already at 13h for the weekend. So the necessary grocery shopping had to be planned carefully).
Since we still were too early, we went a bit further and found a cosy little place, called “Bamboo Café”. There we ordered coffee and discussed, what to do next.
According to our charter contract, we could go onboard our vessel at 6 o’clock in the evening. But since there was a cat sitting in their harbour, exactly the same model as we had rented, and obviously unoccupied, we decided to introduce ourselves to Sailitalia as soon as possible. Surely, paperwork had to be done and who knows, we maybe were THAT lucky that we could move in earlier?!
At around 10 o’clock we showed up at Sailitalia’s office, introducing ourselves and shaking hands with Luciana, the administrator. She welcomed us warmly, asked how our trip was and said, Enzo, the site manager, should come in shortly.
Until then, we could complete the paperwork. Our boat WAS the “Blue Moon” (hehe) and as far as she knew, it should be ready- more or less.
Then Enzo came in and we shook hands, talked about the beautiful weather (never wrong), the amazing island and how much Patrik and I were looking forward, to our sailing week. He told us that “Blue Moon” would indeed be ready after lunch. We were welcome to come back again, after 2.30 p.m.
We thanked him a lot, wished them a nice lunchtime and left their office. Outside, we couldn’t believe our luck! We really and truly could go onboard “our” cat so much earlier than we were hoping, install ourselves, get groceries and would be ready in good time to enjoy the evening and “our” boat! Marvelous ?
We used the time to go shopping: Fruits, greens, bread, olive oil, some yummy antipasti, 36l litre of water (2l PET bottles), beer, red and white wines (of course Sardinian) and a lovely bottle of prosecco for our first evening tomorrow (Sunday). We also bought some focaccia, for our lunch.
Time went fast and suddenly it was 2.30 p.m. We strolled back to Sailitalia’s marina, to meet Enzo and his crew.
Marco was the one who showed us the boat, together with a checklist, which seemed endless. He said we should take our time, check the inventory and let him know if he had questions or if something was missing. All righty, so we started…..
Believe it or not, it took us 1.5 hrs to go through the bloody list. Ropes, anchor, life vests, dinghy, its outboard engine (yes, it was there), towels, bedlinen (which we didn’t need, since we brought our own), some tools, maps, ….blablabla….endless, as I said. Luckily we had our own kitchen stuff with us, otherwise we would have been counting cutlery all night long.
On the end, only a bucket was missing and some cleaning rags, which showed later on to be quite handy. It was 7 p.m. and we had to go to the briefing, which Enzo scheduled earlier for us, chartering a boat. We met at their comfy bar/base at the pontoon, together with a couple from France and two Australian guys. Enzo and Marco welcomed us and started informing about the weather for next week – the forecast for the winds looked promising. Then, when sailing this or that direction, what we had to be careful of, what was allowed, what not, where to anchor, when in a marina some recommended restaurants… etc, etc. The other sailors were mainly interested sailing up north, visiting the Maddalena Archipelago or even to Corsica (the French couple).
Patrik and I have planned our route southwards, along the east coast of Sardinia. Our aim was to reach the marina of “Santa Maria Navarrese”. Then, turn around and sail homeward again.
After the briefing, Enzo wished us all a wonderful week with fair winds, in case he wouldn’t see us before leaving tomorrow morning. Only Patrik and I were a bit “special”, with our catamaran. Since the winds were supposed to be fairly strong during the morning, he – or someone else – promised us to be there, in case we would need some help to leave the marina.
Just when we were about to leave, he came to us and asked “By the way…ahem…….when…erm…is your crew arriving?”
Patrik and I looked at each other – a tiny bit surprised actually – and told him that “It’s only the two of us….we’re complete”. He swallowed, smiled and said “Really?! Okaaayyyy…”
What was that supposed to mean? Well of course he knew we are greenhorns, never sailed a catamaran before, never chartered a boat before – not to mention bareboat…. Well, what he didn’t know, we’ve made an additional “Skipper Insurance”, just in case….And we were eager to explore life onboard a cat.
Anyway, we wished each other a wonderful evening and Patrik and I went back to the “Blue Moon”, had a shower, finally opened a bottle of white wine and enjoyed the evening. Food was not an issue anymore, since we were so excited for the coming week.
Apparently, we underestimated the vanishing day, because around ten o’clock we felt soooo tired and worn out, we decided to go to bed. Our first night at “our” beautiful “Blue Moon” was awaiting us! Nighty-Nighty ?
Jun 03 2017
May 19th 2017
Finally, the long awaited day has arrived: Today we will drive to Livorno, take the ferry to Olbia/Sardinia and start our holiday on a catamaran, Leopard 384! How exciting is that?!
sharp just after 10 o’clock we left our home and (sadly) Odin. The weather wasn’t too prickling with clouds and rain. Whereas the forecast for Sardinia was sunny and between 25°-30° C! Also the winds were promised to be around 10-15 knots – good for us.
We took the road via Chur – in the eastern part of Switzerland – and drove over the St. Bernard pass. Since the weather still didn’t improve, we actually found ourselves alone on the road to the mountain top, which is 2066 m high. With thick fog, rain and the snow, we felt like, this could be the beginning of a horror movie…… a little bit scary indeed. ??
On the way down, towards Ticino (the Italian speaking canton of Switzerland), we surprisingly met “Bernie”. A friendly little snowman. He even hopped on our car and we chatted for a short while. Mostly about the weather and how much he liked it that way.
Soon we said our Good Byes and Bernie left, disappearing behind a mount of snow, waving! ☃️
Driving southwards, the rain stopped and we could finally see some blue patches in the sky!
Further we went, stopping after Lugano for a short lunch and filling up our car. There it was sunny with 20° C and – after the break – driving further south, the temps went up to 24° C! Yeah!! ☀️
Then we passed the Italian border, driving towards Milano, were we somehow “lost” the motorway and found ourselves in the city….bugger! Luckily, and thanks to a IKEA sign, we found the way out and to the motorway again. Why IKEA? Well, usually IKEA shops lie next to a motorway, so we followed these signs. Clever eh?! ?
We passed Genova, where we caught a glimpse of the sea, and heading for Livorno.
Luckily, we had no bottleneck or other problems on the way. So we arrived in good time at the harbour terminal in Livorno. At around five o’clock we drove on board the “Moby Dick” ferry.
After we checked in, got our cabin key and showered, we went to the bar and had a well deserved prosecco and a beer. Later on we shared a bottle of red wine and watched the ferry leaving the harbour at 22h. Our favourite topic of conversation was, of course, the week ahead us!
Just before eleven o’clock we went to our cabin, tired and looking forward to Sardinia. Good Night World ?
May 29 2017
May 19 2017
Finally we are leaving Switzerland, ready for our long drive to Livorno!
Already yesterday we started loading our car and this morning the last couple of items were added, like water bottles and some fruits.
Ten o’clock tonight the ferry will leave the port towards Sardinia, hopefully with us on board….
At 06.30h tomorrow morning we will arrive in Olbia, preferably after a good nights rest and some sunshine ?
Then, we will have the whole day for us, to have a look around. Which is nice, as we won’t be able to explore the island itself later on. The last grocery shopping will also be done, I guess. Around five, we hope, the boat will be ready for us.
So, our next post will be in about two weeks, filled with exciting stuff, like photo’s, movies and surely a lot to tell you!
We wish you all a great time and fair winds to us! Take care and so long…..
May 13 2017
It’s unbelievable, but in only one week Patrik and I already left Switzerland, heading for Sardinia and our sailing vacation! Marvellous!
After all these months of planning, looking forward, being excited and maybe drive each other and others almost nuts…..sorry folks…
Finally it’s only one week left to our sailing adventure! We are so happy and can hardly wait!
Patrik kept himself busy by doing the chart work for our daily sailing routes. Looking for suitable anchoring spots and decide which night we will spend in a port.
Meanwhile, we also roughly decided what we’ll take with us (and what not), such as bedding, kitchen stuff, what to load in the cooling box.
Put aside the clothes, we want to have with us – washed, ironed and ready to go.
Last important things have been bought, like new sailing shoes for Patrik for example.
The final payment for the boat has been made.
Odin’s cat sitter, Cony, has been organised (no sitter for “our” beech martens, though).
The driving route to Livorno has been decided and the hours to get there calculated. That’s pretty important, because the ferry to Olbia will leave on Friday, 19th May, 22.00h and the check-in is 90 minutes before.
So, now we are more than ready to set sail and find out what life could be on board a Leopard 384 catamaran.
How exciting is that?!