Category: Story

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 7

May 25th 2017

Mosquito alarm at 5 a.m.!!

I woke up due to the unmistakably buzzing. The unpleasant sound usually wakes me up instantly, even from deep sleep, since I’m highly allergic to these little buggers!

Patrik was still asleep so I tried to get up and out as quiet as possible. Luckily, sunrise had started and I could see without switching on the light. Being awake now, I first nursed my three or four bites. After that I snatched the camera and went outside. The pictures talk for themselves, simply amazing!

So, that was the positive side….

The negative was, it clearly would be impossible for me to return to my bed and go back to sleep in peace. Which meant, beside of spraying mosquito spray everywhere in the boat, hunting was the next thing to do!

Quite easily, I caught two of these flying bastards….both left big bloody marks on the surface – our blood obviously! I reckon, they were so full, they could hardly move anymore….well, themselves to blame!

Yes, yes, I know: I am a vegetarian, hence a huge animal lover! And I swear, I couldn’t kill a fly, a spider or a bug! But when it comes to mosquitoes, it’s a question of survival – them or me! Just one example: Many years ago I couldn’t go to work for two day, because of ONE mosquito bite in my face…. So, there you go!

It must have been almost half seven, when I finally went to bed again (and caught another “vampire”, filled with blood). Patrik was awake, turned around and “WOAH!!”

Poor me him! Not a nice sight….

We tried to stay in bed for a while longer, reading, hunting mosquitoes (smashed two more, hehe), dozing off…..but when it was 8.45 we decided it was time for breakfast. As usual, the sun was shining, and we looked forward to our orange juice and freshly brewed coffee!

Sitting outside we realised some rough gusts and listening to the forecast we had a windy day ahead of us, with a force up to 5. That means winds up to 21 knots and moderate high waves.

After we did the dishes and completed WOBBLES, it was 10 o’clock and we left “Mosquito Bay”. We were, by the way, still the only boat….hmm…. ?

Just before eleven we hoisted the sails, our todays goal was to reach “Cala di Volpe”, which lays in the “Golfo di Congianus”. We would decide after arrival, on which side of the entrance we would drop our anchor. Depending on how many yachts were lying there and where.

Unfortunately, the sea became rough with every minute and even going inside to fill up the water bottle became a challenge. Not to mention, going to the loo! Funnily, in spite of the uncomfortable moving and shaking, the wind started to die down, to 4 – 7 knots and we hardly gained any speed. We just felt like a toy, thrown into the sea and the waves were playing with us!

Patrik said, they must have been “old waves”, coming from Italy mainland.

Finally we decided it made no sense, keeping the sails up, so we took them down. First the jib, already at 11 o’clock and one hour later the mainsail.   Grudgingly, we started the engines and headed for “Cala di Volpe”. What a shame it was, the sun was radiating, but we had to sit in the cockpit, trying not to get wet, since the waves sometimes smashed over our brave “Blue Moon”. She was surprisingly stable, inside it felt like being on a giant  rocking horse.

Well, it was around 15h when we arrived at the bay. It took us a while to choose a suitable anchor spot, since there were a few other (super-) yachts around. 45 minutes later we were done with everything and ready for our aperitif! The next hours we repeatedly measured with the hand bearing compass, to make sure we were secure! And as usual, Patrik sat additionally the anchor alarm in his iPad.

Later we cooked dinner: Soy schnitzel with a tasty tomato-(vegan-)mozzarella salad – mmhhhh…..perfect to the sunshine and warmth!

Tomorrow was already Friday *deep sigh*, and we had to be back at the marina in Cannigione, latest at 5 p.m. “Blue Moon” had to be filled up with diesel and –  after spending the last night in the marina – we would have to leave the boat on Saturday morning, at 08.30 a.m. That was according to our contract with “Sailitalia”.

Only two nights left…..such a pity!

 

 

 

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 6

May 24th 2017

Bongiorno, bella Sardegna!

Today we slept a bit longer than usual, it was 09.15h when I got up. Patrik sat already outside, drinking coffee and enjoying the morning sun.

Our anchoring spot for today would be “Porto Istana”, which lays in “Golfo di Spurlatta”. Since it wasn’t that far away, we took our time, doing WOBBLES and then hiked strolled one last time into “Porto Ottiolu”, to do the last shopping.

This time we visited a tiny shop called “La Cambusa”, hoping to find some fresh bread there. Instead, we were heartily welcomed, and the lady introduced us to a couple of Sardinia specialties. She wanted us to try this and that and even ordered in one of her guests (who was sitting outside). He became our translator and explained, how to eat the delicacies correctly! It was such a lovely experience!

Of course, we ended up buying more than actually planned….but we had a good working fridge onboard after all. Plus it would have been a pity to miss all these yummies!!

Well, finally and in a good mood we returned to “Blue Moon” and around midday we left Porto Ottiolu….a little bit sad actually. If we had more time, we surely would have spent another night or two in this pretty village! So arrivederci….

Twenty minutes later we hoisted the sails and enjoyed a windspeed between 8 and up to 16 knots! Its was great, with just a few other boats around and the usual sunshine (what else?)!

Our plan was to anchor in the “Golfo di Spurlatta”, apparently there were a few suitable spots. My idea was to stay with the “Isola Cavalli”, a tiny island, between “Isola Piana” and “Porto Costa Corallina”, which is a private harbour.

We also read in our book that “great care must be taken of above- and below-water rocks in the general area”. The water depths were supposed to be between 4 and 2 metres.  We decided we would give it a try, since the water was crystal clear (good visibility) and – hey – we had a catamaran, with a draft of 1.2 metres! So down with the sails and start the engines!

Very carefuly we entered the bay, looking out for rocks. It wasn’t that easy, ’cause of a sudden light breeze which made it a bit hard to see the bottom. Luckily, we also had the plotter in Patrik’s iPad, which was a great help!

When we arrived at the “Isola Cavalli”, we soon realised that the island was too small and with no shelter at all. Also, the forecast promised stronger winds during the night and for tomorrow.

All righty, not much we could do about it, so we left the bay again. Our next aim was “Porto Istana”, north-west, just around the corner.

Amazingly, we were the only ones anchoring, and the coast showed off with some stunning villas! Well, that was actually the case pretty everywhere around the Sardinia coast (at least what we saw)!

It was just after 4 o’clock when the we dropped the anchor and did the usual measurements with the handbearing compass. Then it was time for our aperitif, a beer for Patrik and a glass of white wine for me and of course some of the newly purchased goodies – cheers!

After a shower, we made dinner: A lovely green salad with fried onions and veggie sausages, accompanied with some bread and a nice bottle of Sardinia red wine!

Tomorrow we would get a possible explanation, why we were the only visitors in this bay…… But until then: Good night and sleep tight (don’t let the bedbugs bite….hahaha…)

 

 

 

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 5

May 23rd 2017

Another beautiful and sunny morning wakes us up – we must be in paradise, surely!

08.15h: while planning our day, we are having our coffee. It’s Tuesday and today we would spend the night in a marina. Mainly to buy some fresh bread, veggies and fruits….ah, we also needed some beer and wine. But also to find out how it works with the radio and registering etc., etc.

   

We planned to sail southwards, passing the marina where we would spend the night, turn around after a while (depends on the winds) and head for the marina.

Our first choice was the “Marina di Puntaldia”, which lays in the bay called Porto Brandinghi. According to our “bible” it seemed an excellent option, with good shelter, all the facilities one needs, a mini market for shopping, plus restaurants & bars. The price class was a 6+, which means the highest standard, with a fee from EUR 100.00 per night (July-August).

Well, we thought it was worth it, since we would only spend one night in a marina – so, why not spoil oneself a little bit?

Nevertheless, we still had a day of sailing ahead of us! So after WOBBLES, we left at 10 o’clock with fair winds and a sunny smile in our faces!

After 11h we hoisted both sails, the winds had reached a great 7-8.5 knots and we enjoyed another fantastic day on the sea.

While passing “Marina di Puntaldia”, we noticed another marina, a bit south. This one is called “Porto Ottiolu” and after reading about it in “the book”, we decided to spend the night there instead. The price was almost the same: a 6, which means between EUR 70.00-100.00 per night. Lucky we did, as it turned out!

But first we had to accomplish our first tacking – which was around 2 p.m. It went so smooth and perfect, we were almost a bit embarrassed…..Franco would have been proud of us!

Further we went and our next stop was “Porto Ottiolu”.

After a couple of tries, Patrik finally reached someone at the marina, asking if they had room for us. “Yes , of course, we and “Blue Moon” would be very welcome”.

Approximately one nautical mile outside Patrik called again as instructed and the lady said, someone will be waiting for us, showing our mooring. And sure enough, a guy in a dinghy was waiting for us, waving and directing us to our spot (which was C 14).

Everything went fine, Patrik backed perfectly, the guy had meanwhile jumped ashore, in order to assist us with the ropes. And then I messed it all up: I threw the line to the man, he pulled it through a mooring ring, tossed the line back to me and I started to secure it on the cleat – unfortunately from the wrong side of the railing! The guy shouted “No, no, no, signora!” – it took ages until I realised, why!

*arghhh* – so damned embarrassing and unnecessary!! Bloody amateur (me of course)!!!

Anyhow, at 15.20h our cat was secured and we decided to do the registering at once. Then check out the showers, have a well-deserved cold drink, do the grocery shopping and return to “Blue Moon”.

Said and done, we walked along other yachts, passed restaurants, tourist shops, more shops, bars, some pretty terraced houses…..well, we soon noticed that our mooring was about as far away as possible from the registration office. It took us almost half an hour to get there. Incredibly, the bee line between our boat and the office was actually just about 30 metres, but  – annoyingly – we couldn’t walk on water and none of us was in the mood to swim over there……So we walked!

No problems there, luckily, we didn’t forget a thing and the lady was very helpful. The fee was EUR 86.22 which we paid by credit card.

Then finally, a big, cold beer for Patrik and an icy “Spritz” for me. DIVINE!

While sitting in the comfy armchairs, enjoying the fantastic view over the marina, we tried to imagine, how this incredibly lovely village must look like in high season. VERY CROWDED! Definitely not a place where we wanted to be!

Then it was time for grocery shopping and after that we went back to our boat, stowing the stuff away. Since we had plenty of time (we decided, we would have dinner in one of the restaurants), we wanted to have a “spacy” shower tonight, at the marina. Which obviously meant, another loooong walk to the other side again (the showers were just beside the office, hahaha….).

Never mind, a bit of walking felt quite good and the showers – although some parts were under construction – were very clean and spacious. Half an hour later we were on the way back to our boat.

While passing different restaurants, we tried to decide at which one we would have dinner. We choose “Nautilus”, because they had the biggest selection with vegetarian meals. The outdoor area looked very beautiful, just a few metres from the water and some yachts!

It became dark when we arrived at the restaurant and we took our time to select our dinner, while enjoying a glass of prosecco. The staff was super friendly and courteous and helped us to choose a suitable red wine.

All in all, it was such a romantic evening with a fantastic candlelight dinner. At the end we ordered espresso, accompanied by a very tasteful grappa!

Afterwards, we were actually glad to go for a stroll and just after midnight we were in our bed. Happy and full of unforgettable impressions!

Good night world – sleep tight!

Her comes a little video when sailing.

[kad_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/yich0JfSu2A” width=550 height=400 ]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Views from our surrounding

Last weekend we took a walk around the area where we live.
When we was doing so. I tested our new camera which is a Nikon Coolpix B700.
Why we chose this model was because of the compact design. The objective which is mounted is Nikkor 60X wide optical zoom 4.3 – 258 mm.
So we never need to change objective.

As most probably everyone knows there exists much better cameras but on the other hand we are no professionals.

We need a camera for quick operation and then without zoom as well as for far away objects.
As you can see on some of the pictures here below, the quality is in my eyes quite impressive.
Bare in mind that I am a 100% amateur and have just started the interesting journey within photographing.

 

Intruders in the House!

My friends! I was hoping. I wouldn’t have to write about THIS, but now it seems like a longer story. Which I thought, it’s worth a post!

During winter, my mum said that she hears “something” on the roof of our house – almost every night. And she knows, because her sleep is not very deep; she wakes up often and usually stays awake for a while.

Dad is different: He usually sleeps very soundly. (Almost) nothing wakes him up – lucky bugger!

I might have to mention, that our bedroom lies directly under the roof without an accessible attic.

So, of course one can hear a lot….My mum and I used to look at each other, every time the noises start. And believe me, sometimes it sounds as if an elephant herd races back and forth the roof – chasing each other. Or whatever the heck they are doing!

Well, since we live in the countryside. It’s not unusual of course, to have foxes, mice, squirrels, birds, edible dormice, hedgehogs, martens…..you name it….in the garden and on the roof.

These visitors keep me very busy during daytime (when I’m not asleep). Me snooping around in our garden and try to find out, who visited us during night time. It’s quite thrilling, detecting all these different scents and sometimes even marks. But I’m not sure, I would actually like to meet one of them…I heard, some are bigger than cats and have sharp teeth as well *gulp* 

 

Anyhow, one day my mum claimed that the animals are not only ON the roof, but IN it. She said that she hears them scratching and scraping on wood, not only on roof tiles. My dad laughed and told her, that she was seeing – well, hearing – ghosts and that such a small animal wouldn’t be strong enough, to lift a tile and get into the house.

At least, meanwhile, they’ve both agreed that the intruders must be beech martens (martes foina)! Because sometimes, particularly at twilight, we were able to see a shadow or two hurry past the roof windows! And believe it or not: Some are even that cheeky, they stop and have a look inside!

Also, my humans share the opinion, that martens are super sweet-looking animals (well, not as sweet as me, of course!), although they can destroy cars, by “eating” cables or/and the attic of a house, by damaging isolation – amongst other things.

Anyway, the noises became more and finally  – around February – my dad also heard the difference between the scratching noises, outside and inside, but he couldn’t find a displaced tile or a suitable entrance for these animals.

March has arrived and my mum reported, that the noises are different now: Beside the usual scratching, running and playing sounds, there was newly whimpering, squeaking and whining above us…..

By now, my mum read and collected all kind of information about beech martens. She found out, how clever and playful these creatures are (well, THAT we knew by now!), their size (58-84 cm long, very slim) and weight (1.7-2 kg), the colour (brown-greyish with a white throat) and that they are loners.

She also learned that between March and July the females have their offspring (between one and four babies)!

Aha, so there we had the explanation about the new noises!

It also meant that it was too late to scare the martens off. An animal protection brochure says that, while the martens have their pups, it’s not recommended to disturb the mother. She could disappear and leave the babies behind.

 

They would die of course, which not only would be very sad, but also a problem: Sooner or later “the” smell would start…..

Meanwhile my dad discovered the loose tile and a roofer was ordered to replaced it – making sure the mommy-marten is still able to get under the roof and to her babies.

Yeah well, my mum told my dad, what a funny phone call that was to the roofer company. Explaining the whole situation about the marten family and that, when fixing the roof, the worker had to make sure, the mother still gets to her pups. A definitive solution has to be found after July – after the marten family (hopefully) has moved out.

We also learned that beech martens are not an endangered species and therefore, – sadly –  many are being killed, before any possible damage happens.

My mum and dad didn’t have to discuss that topic: No animal would be killed or harmed in our house  – despite the costs they would cause! Oh Boy, I just hope the martens appreciate that…..

Nevertheless, it’s almost May and the sounds are different again: It seems like the baby martens became teenagers (still don’t know how many we are accommodating) and are big enough to play their wild chasing games. I guess, they even follow their mother outside, exploring the roof and neighborhood.

My mum told my dad, she wished we could film them, or at least take some pictures! Unfortunately, these fellows are pretty shy, and my dad’s new camera GoPro hasn’t got such a strong battery, which lasts a whole night. Otherwise he could mount it on the roof, which surely would produce excellent pics!

Therefore, and much to my regret, the beech marten pics are from the internet – but no less adorable! Wouldn’t you agree?

Wish you all a peaceful week   =^.^=

 

Horsepower

I think I’ve never told you. But – usually – once a week I enjoy the company of horses and go horse riding.

These beautiful animals have been haunting me ever since I was a little girl. And believe me, my poor family has been terrorized by me. Because I wanted to be around horses ALL the time and ride them of course.

Luckily, my parents made it possible for me to take riding lessons. Since they never bought me my own horse (which, in the little girls opinion, was very mean of them!).

.Meanwhile, I understand why: It’s so much work and it costs a fortune! And of course, it’s not only the buying and the daily costs. The really big expenses start with insurances and vet costs, in case your horse gets sick! Not to mention all the other costs, which come together in buying this and that.

Anyhow, after almost 20 years of riding the English style. Never tournaments, though, only for pleasure and leisure – more than 20 years ago I decided to take lessons in the western riding style. Proper trainers and horses had finally arrived in Switzerland! And that style convinced me at once and ever since.

Well, since a bit more than a year, I’m accompanying Sabine, who owns two horses, once a week, exploring the nature!

She is actually more into endurance riding with her 12-year-old Criollo mare “Yapeyú” and her 24(!!) year old Welsh pony “Kelly”. Both – well, all three of them – are in top condition and right now she’s planning some endurance riding tours for this summer.

As for me, I’m glad I can spend a few hours a week with her, have a good chat and many laughs together, while enjoying the always fascinating nature on horseback.

Right now, I believe, the most beautiful time of the year has arrived (when having to do with horses): Spring! No mosquitoes yet, but with all its fresh scents, birds are chirping, countless shades of greens and if you are lucky, you can meet a fox, a wild boar or even a deer in the forest!

So, I do hope you enjoy spring as much as we do….well, when it’s coming back again! It’s been a bit FAR too cold for the last few days…..

Hoppy Easter!

Hello everyone!

We wish you all a very HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND!

 

….and don’t eat too much chocolate ?

Stop the Bloodbath

http://stopthebloodbath.afd.org.au/petition

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