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Sep 08 2018
Again? Yeah, well, for those who don’t follow us regularly, next Friday we will be heading for Italy! Again? …….er….yes, but this time we a) drive to Genoa and b) together with our friends Michaela and Michael (aka M&M’s) c) take the ferry from there to Sardinia!
Yesssss, we are very excited, finally it’s (almost) time to set sails! Literally!! We are chartering a catamaran from 15th – 29th September – probably the same one as last year in May – which would be S/Y “Blue Moon”!
For those of you who DO follow us regularly, will be wondering, why and for heaven sake are we are chartering a sailing boat, when we recently bought our own one! Good question, but by the time we booked these holidays – which was last September – we never thought, we would find AND BUY a suitable yacht this year! So yes, it seems a bit silly, but in the end it’s a crucial difference, to sail a 42’ monohull or a Leopard 384 catamaran!
A couple of weeks ago we met at M&M’s place to discuss the most important details, like what to take with us, how much room do we have in the car for luggage, what time do we leave, bits of the route we are going to sail, ….etc. And all that was accompanied by a very tasty dinner – thanks again, you two!
We agreed to leave Cannigione on Sunday 16th Sept., before lunch, after spending our first night in the marina. We’ll try to find a lovely anchor spot for the evening – passing the noble Porto Cervo, Cala di Volpe, Porto Rotondo – we might anchor in Nodu Pianu, which lies north of Olbia. The next day, we would like to do a night sailing, in order to reach the main city, Cagliari, on the 18th. There we aim for anchoring again, but want to take the dinghy on land and visit Cagliari.
From there we plan to sail slowly northerly, along the east coast. We, most probably, will visit one or two recommended places and maybe even stay a couple of days at the same anchor spot, if we like the surroundings. Every third or fourth day we plan to visit a marina, which will give us the opportunity for grocery shopping if necessary, eat out, explore the town and simply play tourists!
Our deadline is Friday the 26th September, then we must return to Cannigione and the “Sailitalia” base, with a still intact and refueled “Blue Moon”. That’ll be our last night on board *sigh*, the next morning we’ll have to pack our stuff and leave Cannigione, in order to reach Olbia and our ferry to Genoa in the evening. At least we’ll have plenty of time, the drive only takes about 45 minutes. As last time, we might stop and have lunch somewhere on the way!
Anyhow, Patrik has ordered a new cool box (or chillybin, as the “Kiwi’s” call it ??), which we want to take with us. It is mainly to buy groceries on the Saturday, after our arrival in Cannigione. Most shops are closing around 1 o’clock and reopen around 4 or 5 o’clock in the evening. We didn’t know that last time, so it was a bit tricky with only one relatively small cooler and lots of fresh vegies, fruits, cheeses, beer, white wine….. Well, this time we are prepared! Plus we’ll be able to take some of the delicacies home.
I’m not sure, if we’ll have time to write a post next week. I promise, we’ll try, but please don’t be too disappointed, if you won’t find one. At the latest after our holidays, we’ll give you a full report with pictures and hopefully a cool movie!
Alrighty, I reckon, that’s about it for this week – except….did I point out yet, how bloody excited we are?!
So long and take care ?
Aug 04 2018
It was Tuesday, 17th July 2018, after lunch, when Patrik and I finally left Porto Masnou behind us and headed for France!
Since the weather forecast was ok, we’d decided to take the direct route over the Gulf de Lion to Cassis/FR (if possible) and from there along the Côte d’Azur to Loano/IT. Of course we were first and foremost very happy, and super excited about our adventure and what might be waiting for us!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the winds as predicted, so most of the time we had to use the engine, as we couldn’t afford to lose more time – which was a pity, of course! But, on the other hand, rather too little wind, than a storm, as it apparently isn’t unusual in this area. The mistral has to be respected there!
Anyway, to spare you too many details, I’ll only mention the most exciting episodes.
For example when my first night watch started at 11.30 p.m. (we settled on 2 hours shifts each). Patrik reported to me everything was quiet, a couple of cargo or cruise ships where around, but nothing to worry about. OK, I made myself comfortable in the cockpit, with warm clothes and a blanket (yes, at night it was chilly, while during the days we had over 30 deg. C). After a few minutes I checked the radar and……what the *** was that? A red skull was moving from the right corner above towards us!! It really looked like these pirate skulls, with the crossed bones underneath! My heart missed a beat and I went downstairs, waking up Patrik (sorry darling). He had a look at the screen, but wasn’t bothered at all. He just said, in case it comes too close (within 2 NM), an alarm will go off! Then he went to bed again. GREAT !!
Well, as for me, the calmness was gone. I sat in front of the radar and wouldn’t let the skull out of my eyes! And it did come really close, but finally – and luckily – it drifted away!
Until today, we haven’t found out what that was! No description anywhere, neither Raymarine nor Google can present an explanation….So, in case someone knows, we would be very thankful (or maybe not?!), to learn about this strange phenomenon.
But the night had also its beautiful side: We saw so many stars, like, millions! Even one or two shooting stars were visible! THAT was truly amazing! Unfortunately, with the light pollution these days, you don’t see the sky anymore!
We also experienced incredible sunsets and sunrises, with nothing around us, than……the sea!
Except….the first early morning, around five, we saw “something” far away and it didn’t take long, until we realized, these were dolphins! WOW, and you know what? They suddenly decided to visit us! It was totally crazy, at least seventy dolphins swam around our boat, playing, jumping, speeding, looking at us by swimming sideways…..It was absolutely the best ever! During the day and in the evening we had a few more visits of these amazing creatures and each time Patrik and I couldn’t believe our lucky stars!
Once more we became sad, how these intelligent and freedom-loving mammals are put in tiny tanks, and let them do stupid tricks for a dead fish…..
It was also highly visible that plastic pollution is no rumor! We came across a lot of plastic bottles in all sizes, dishes, inflatable toys, suddenly a sea of Styrofoam….unfortunately, we couldn’t fish out any of it, they were too far away. It’s very sad to see how we treat our blue planet….
After two days of (motor-)sailing we arrived at the Ile de Porquerolle, on 19th July at 6 o’clock in the morning. Cassis was not possible, we would have been there at two or three at night and an anchor spot was not guaranteed. So we sailed a bit further to have some daylight, when maneuvering the boat.
It was a wise decision, as it showed later. The Ile de Porquerolle is a beautiful island and – although masses of tourists are visiting – it shows a very environmentally conscious behaviour. Guests are constantly reminded of how sensitive the nature and its habitants is. Very exemplary!
We decided to spend the day and one night there, to buy groceries and enjoy the beautiful surroundings! All our neighbors – which were changing during the day – were very pleasant and we would have enjoyed chatting a bit more with some of them!
On the 20th, lunchtime we left the Ile de Porquerolle – regretting that we didn’t have more time. Next planned stop was towards St. Tropez, anchoring. From now on we had the famous coast line beside us. No more dolphins, though. It probably was too noisy for them, with all the motor yachts and jet skis, and not enough food available.
Around five we found a nice anchor spot in the Baie de Briande. It’s apparently one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean. And after the two or three “party yachts” had left, it was very peaceful and we enjoyed a lovely evening! Patrik even had a swim J
The next day, we hoped to come to Menton, also anchoring. The wind was good at the beginning and we had a speed of around 7 knots, sadly before lunchtime it died again and we had to start the engine *sigh* At least we arrived in Menton, but with quite high waves and a dark sky. But as soon we dropped the anchor, the weather cleared up and the sea became calmer! Perfect!
Since I’ve prepared dinner during the day, we just had to warm it up again and could eat at a reasonable time! We took a lot of pictures of the picturesque Menton – hopefully one day we can visit it again! The night was a bit bumpy, since there were still some uncomfortable waves around, but it could have been worse!
Full of enthusiasm, we got up the next morning, leaving early, as we knew our next stop would be in Loano – home for our Luna Azzurra! She behaved, by the way, exemplary, how she got us securely through the sea – we truly enjoyed her very much!
On Sunday, 22nd July, during the afternoon, we finally could see Loano – through the binoculars! What a feeling that was – wow! I think these last two hours were the longest under the whole journey. Almost painful ;o)
After 3 p.m. we entered the Marina di Loano, proud and more than happy! YEAH, we did it!!
After Luna Azzurra was safely moored at her spot – M13 – we went to see Elisa at the marina office. She was very happy to see us safe and sound and welcomed us “home”! Then we went back to our boat and enjoyed our well-earned glass of wine / beer! It must have been the best in the world J
Sadly, we couldn’t enjoy much of “dolce far niente”. The next day we had to start cleaning our yacht, inside and outside, throwing things away, more cleaning and sweating (it was over 30 deg. C), Patrik sanded the black painted table in the cockpit (he bought a sander in the end) – at least the worst bit.
We removed her old name “Dorah”, bought 6 brand new fenders, including the “socks”, new mooring lines, went even more shopping… I think I have never cleaned and sweated so much in my entire life!
Anyhow, slowly but surely she looked more and more beautiful, transforming from a sad Cinderella to a pretty “principessa”! The highlight of course was, when we officially baptized her to the name of LUNA AZZURRA! We are sure, she loves that name, it suits her perfectly!
Ah, and we met Matteo and Juliana of course. That’s the couple who will take care of Luna Azzurra, while we are note there. They will be cleaning, welcoming guests, maintaining the necessary, etc. A very lovable pair and we got on from the very beginning!
We even met another guy – organized from Matteo – who runs a B&B nearby and rents out his sailing boat. He showed us his interest of managing Luna Azzurra for us, getting in guests, arranging payments, etc. We would get a part of the profit, of course. Interesting, but it has to be well-considered of course. So we promised to keep in touch and see if we agree on a deal.
On Friday 27th July, lunch time, everything was finished and Luna Azzurra blazed in her new glow! It was really sad, that now, when everything was finished and super clean, we had to leave her and return home! A little tear confirmed our feelings….
It was around 8.30 p.m. when Patrik and I opened the door of our house in Switzerland! Very tired but soooo incredible happy!
Jul 28 2018
Hi there, I’m the new member of this family and I’m very happy about it!
But let me explain shortly, what I did so far:
Built in 2005, I’m a thoroughbred BAVARIA CRUISER 42. My first home was in Finland and apparently my owner took great care of me. That’s why I still look so pretty! He baptized me to the name of DORAH.
In 2015 he decided to move to Mallorca – including me! That was an adventure of course and I enjoyed the long sailing trip (naturally, I’m a sailing vessel, hahaha)!
Unfortunately, on the island I got quite bored, since my owner unexpectedly didn’t have much time to enjoy my company anymore. So I was more or less sitting in the marina of Palma and envied the other yachts, which were taken out sailing…
At least I got still maintained….
Then, last winter my owner finally decided to sell me. It came a bit as a shock for me, and suddenly unknown people were examining me, taking pictures and I received a proper swab and all around service.
People came and visited me, said they were interested….which they weren’t in the end. Well, apparently I had to wait for the right ones – which turned out to be Diana and Patrik……..ah and Odin, their furry companion…..aw sorry, he is actually the Admiral…!
So end of May 2018 I moved from Palma di Mallorca to Barcelona, to the big Bavaria workshop. There they did some repairs and in mid-July, Diana and Patrik picked me up, in order to sail me to Italy – to my new home!
I probably don’t have to mention, how excited I was! Finally a proper sailing trip again, after all this time! *splash*
And, boy, I do love my new marina! It’s in Loano and called….well….Marina di Loano! Very posh with enough space around me! I do also get a lot of visitors, some just admiring me and others renting me.
Doesn’t matter actually, it never gets boring and that’s the main thing, isn’t it?!
And hey, I also got a new name: LUNA AZZURRA ! Isn’t it beautiful? And so chic….it truly suits me, I suppose!
Here are some technical dates about me:
I also own a lot of extras, which would be too many to list here!
Anyhow, if you wish to visit, or even spend your holidays with me, please do not hesitate to contact me (well, that would be through Diana and Patrik, or the Admiral, if he can be bothered).
I do look very forward to meet you and your friends!
Jul 17 2018
…. Tuesday, 17th July and we are in Porto Masnou and could finally embrace our “Luna Azzurra” (well….not literally, obviously. But she got a kiss!)
Last Wednesday we received the long longed email from the Yacht Registration Holland, sending us the precious document!
Patrik immediately took out the insurance and in the evening we booked the hotel room in Nice (Friday to Saturday) and the flights from Nice to Barcelona on Saturday morning.
Needless to say, that we also enjoyed a bottle of champagne!!
Then we started to pack our bags – as little as possible, but that’s easier said than done (well, I speak for myself).
On Thursday we had our last working day and I brought croissants for my working colleagues and boss, to say “thank you” for their patience.
In the evening we started to load our car with all the stuff we bought for “Luna Azzurra”. Boy, were we happy to have a big car….Gosh!
Early on Friday morning we left, with mixed feelings, cause we had to leave Odin behind…..But with Cony and her kids we have an excellent cat sitter!
We chose the St. Bernard route again, which usually is the smoothest and quickest way.
Around 14.30h we arrived at the Marina di Loano â€“ tired, but over-happy! Elisa from the marina office met us, and we completed the paperwork for the mooring and the rented garage box and received the keys.
After a short visit at a local restaurant, it was already time to catch the train to Nice. The journey took ages, since many trains were delayed or even cancelled *damn*! So instead of approx. 8 p.m., we arrived at 10 p.m. at our destination. Then a short taxi ride to the hotel, which lies just opposite the airport! After a quick shower we went to the bar and enjoyed a glass of wine / beer and had a little bite.
The flight to Barcelona was booked and at 9.15 a.m. it should leave…..SHOULD! After the check-in and security control – while waiting for the boarding – the flight was suddenly cancelled!!! Unbelievable! So everyone had to get their luggage and contact the airline desk to get further instructions. Great, pure chaos! Finally they informed us that a bus would leave at 11h and drive us to Barcelona – which would take around 6-7 hours. Well, we took that, better than wait until 22h for the night flight….
Patrik informed Javi, our contact at the marina in Porto Masnou, that we would arrive much later and they arranged about the keys and everything, so we could come on board.
At 19.30h (much later than predicted, because of two stops) we arrived in Barcelona and took a taxi to Port Masnou (45 minutes ride), where “Luna Azzurra” was waiting for us! What an incredible journey that was – OMG!
But what a joy we felt to finally see her again and knowing she is ours now- “ undescribable!
What we didn’t know was that not all the work had been done yet…..*grrrrr*! For example the life raft hasn’t been changed (as promised). No gas on board, no short range radio (there was just a gaping hole) and some other things haven’t been done!! Our nightmare continued, because now we were stuck in Porto Masnou!
Nevertheless, we had to buy groceries and loads of water, stash everything safely and install ourselves comfortably. So on Sunday morning we went to the harbour master to get a key to the showers and toilets. Then we went shopping. Afterwards, we started to clean the boat, inside and outside and throwing unnecessary things away.
On Monday we went to meet Javi finally and told him about our misery. Well, of course it’s high season, so everything takes its time (plus we are in Spain), but that’s our dilemma, we don’t have much time – we have to get to Italy!
Slowly, things started to happen yesterday and now (10.40 a.m.) we actually are ready to leave – just waiting for the new life raft! (waiting, waiting, waiting…)
Our sailing route will be towards Cassis/FR and further along the Côte d’Azur until we’ll finally arrive at the Marina di Loano!
Fingers crossed, once more – but this time for a save journey! So stay tuned for our next post – it will be written in Loano, hopefully overflowing with beautiful pictures!
So long and take care
Jul 07 2018
Guess what! We are still at home! ?
It’s a f*** nightmare……
On Wednesday, Patrik contacted our representative, who should register LUNA AZZURRA under the Maltese flag. It has been postponed again, because Malta had a holiday last Friday (29th June). But after that, 2-3 working days more and everything should be clear! Which would have been THIS week! ??
Well, it turned out, they haven’t even started yet!! Unbelievable…. Patrik talked to the guy (Anthony) in Valletta/Malta, who represents us for the registering. He got the documents from a guy (Siegfried) in Mallorca (the “specialist” for Malta registration). According to Siegfried last week, the docs were complete and forwarded to Malta. But now Anthony told us, that our docs were still incomplete. The registering department also needs (just a few examples) :
Certified passport copies
Utility bill (why?)
Professional reference by a lawyer, tax advisor or notary
Personal profile/CV (didn’t know we are applying for a job…)
Source of wealth declaration, e.g. payslip or financial statement (er….what?!)
Patrik and I really and truly were freaking out! That simply couldn’t be true! We just want to register our boat under the Maltese flag, we don’t want to move there!! We are so desperately disappointed…Not only from the Maltese bureaucracy, but first and foremost from Siegfried. If we had known all that from the beginning, we wouldn’t have wasted 2 precious weeks with nonsense (=Siegfried)!
Anyway, we didn’t have time to search for the guilty or feel sorry for ourselves…It was Wednesday evening and we had to find a solution – immediately!
Registering under the Malta flag became impossible – we simply didn’t have more time. So the only and bitter solution was an easy and quick registration under the Dutch or Belgium flag…On their website it says 3-5 days and it can be done online! ?? ??
To be caught between a rock and a hard place, we chose the Dutch flag! (Nothing against the Dutch or Belgium people, though!)
After the registration (it will take 5 working days, it’s high season), Patrik wrote an email to Anthony and especially to Siegfried. Well, I won’t go into details about the content, but you may can imagine…. Surprisingly, Anthony replied at once and apologized, although it’s the Maltese rules and not his fault. From Siegfrid we haven’t heard back yet…. No surprise here, though…
So, once again we are waiting desperately for our personal D-Day. Provided the Dutch register office won’t have a Siegfried on board, we should finally be able to leave next Thursday or Friday!
Fingers crossed ?
Jun 30 2018
Right now we don’t know yet, when we’ll be ready to start our journey and pick up the boat! Sometime next week, we hope….. But this is our nerve-racking story so far, and meanwhile, we arrived at plan D or H, or so……
Since Patrik came home from the States on 01st June, he was almost daily in contact with Michael from Clipper Marine in Mallorca.
So, the goods news were, that the wharf in Barcelona, where DORAH was getting fixed, was working full power to get her finished on 11th or 12th June 2018! Well, we already had this information, but between 02nd and 04th June, it suddenly became reality!
That meant we had to organize a lot of things – and in a rush (or so we thought)!
For example, to convince our bosses that we need to move our two weeks summer vacation forward, starting on 11th June, instead of end of July.
We also had to buy the whole household stuff for a boat, and we mean everything, from complete bed accessories, full kitchen equipment, toilet things, towels.…..you name it….
So on Saturday, 02nd June we drove to IKEA (haha, such a cliché) and luckily found almost everything – also in the needed quantities.
Towels, deco pillows and plaids didn’t make us happy, though – IKEA didn’t have the colors we had in mind. So these we had to buy somewhere else – more phone calls and driving around…(but we found what we were looking for ;o) I’m very pleased).
Then, of course, we need to have an insurance. Fortunately, Patrik had been thinking ahead, so all the needed information and the insurance company is ready, which more or less means, just signing the contract (let’s hope that’s true, at least!).
To register DORAH under the Maltese flag and under the new name LUNA AZZURRA
was is trickier. Bloody hell, we had no idea…!!
Michael supports us as much as possible, together with the main office of Clipper Marine, which is located in England. Beginning/middle of week 23 the necessary documents were finally ready, but Clipper Marine didn’t have the experience to do the Malta registration.
Therefore, Patrik had to contact the English company again, which are specialized for Maltase flag registration. It was a benefit for us that he was in touch with them before, so not everything was new.
(Meanwhile we take back the “specialized”!!!)
Nevertheless, it turned out that Patrik had to be present in Barcelona, when signing the documents…. (haha, another joke!) Meanwhile, it was Wednesday evening, 06th June and sadly we realized, that the pick-up of LUNA AZZURRA had to be postponed.
So Patrik and Michael agreed, that they would meet on Friday morning, 15th June, at the Barcelona airport. Together, they would inspect the boat, and in case something was missing or not done properly, it could be complained at once. And they would accomplish the paperwork of course (YEP!).
At least the boat will be checked and ready, when we’ll pick it up…some day….!
The next day Patrik was home again.
Anyhow, since we have to arrange the vacation with our working colleagues, the next possible date to pick-up our boat was at the beginning of July 2018.
Luckily, our bosses and working colleagues understand our situation and took the change easy.
Ah, but in between, a happy happening happened: On Saturday 09th June, Patrik and I were invited at M&M’s place, to celebrate Michaela’s 50th birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dear “Michi-Mouse” – our best wishes for you! So that was a cool thing and since our trip had been postponed, we were able to enjoy the party for real – including the hang-over! *hehe*
Back to reality: Flights from Nice to Barcelona have to be booked and last but not least, Cony has to be asked if she could take care of Odin (well, she already knows about it, of course, and luckily she’s is also flexible ;o))
The original plan was, to leave on Tuesday, 03rd July (very early) morning, and drive towards Loano/Italy. It’s still the same plan, but another date…
We will park our IKEA-filled car at the Marina di Loano, in our rented garage. Then register at the marinas office (which hopefully doesn’t take too much time) and finally we will have to catch the train to Nice.
In Nice we will have a hotel room booked and the next day we will fly to Barcelona, which only takes about 2 hours. So around lunchtime we’ll arrive at the harbor and hopefully meet Michael. It’ll be nice, seeing him again and saying good bye in person (that’s still the plan)!
Since the vessel was already been checked earlier by Patrik and Michael, we’ll only have to buy groceries and enough water and maybe this and that for the boat (I’m almost sure we have forgotten a few things…).
It depends what time we’ll e been finished with everything. Maybe we could leave Barcelona the same day….Otherwise, we’ll have sleep on board our LUNA AZZURRA and leave early the day after. It also depends, what the weather is doing, of course!
Hopefully, everything goes according to plan — NO, as we know now, it doesn’t — and we’ll experience a wonderful adventure, sailing to Loano (that will still come true!). We reckon it will take between three and four days, depending on the winds and which route we choose.
We have two options: 1. From Barcelona northerly to San Sebastian and from there crossing the Gulf of Lion to the marina in Cassis. From there it would be quite comfortable, sailing along the beautiful coastline, passing St. Tropez, Monaco and all the other famous places!
Option 2: From Barcelona to Menorca, from there to Corsica and further, towards Loano. Certainly also a very attractive route… So actually I’m quite glad it will mainly be the Weather Gods who decide how we sail, and not only Patrik and me!
I must admit, I’m a wee bit nervous…. But Patrik is “calmness itself” (as usual, and it sometimes drives me nuts) and I have to trust him a 100% ! He is the skipper, after all….
Anyhow, please wish us luck and if everything works out, our next post will be published from……?! *ho-hoooooo*