Category Archive: Trips

Aug 19 2017

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 10

May 28th 2017

Good Morning, world!

After the already known wake up call at 05.15h, we enjoyed an espresso and were ready in no time. Punctual, at 06.30h we arrived in sunny Livorno and soon after left the ferry orderly.

The plan was, to drive the same route home, via the St. Bernard pass. The only difference would be that we would pass Parma, instead of Genova. Our GPS said, the journey would take approx. 7 hours. Fantastic!

Our choice to drive via Parma was a bad one, as it turned out….Not because of the traffic, that was ok. But because of the numerous animal transports, pigs on their way to slaughter houses, to become the famous Parma ham….

It was almost unbearable to see these poor animals and not being able to rescue them. I will never again drive this route again, that’s for sure!

Without problems we passed the border to Switzerland and drove further, towards St. Bernard and Chur – the weather was the complete opposite as a week ago: Sunny and warm! That at least made it easier that the holidays were almost over and we were heading homewards.

The St. Bernard pass looked quite different now: The mountains of snow had nearly disappeared, replaced by patches of flowers. The activity on the road was also the opposite, as a week ago. Brave cyclists fought their way up to the top, together with cars, with and without caravans from all over Europe. And as if these weren’t enough, hordes of motorcyclists passed us, with more or less risky manoeuvers. I had to close my eyes sometimes, about some crazy daredevil….

Nevertheless, we looked forward to perhaps meeting Bernie again! But sadly, we couldn’t see him anywhere…..Maybe the traffic was too much for him, or he had his hiding place somewhere and was waiting for the next snowfall, who knows?!

Just before Chur, we heard on the radio that the motorway was blocked by several traffic jams. So we decided to leave the motorway and took the smaller roads beside. It showed that was a wise decision, since we passed a couple of stunning and well known alpine sceneries, such as the “Via Mala” and “Roffla Schlucht”! Just beautiful! We also stopped there somewhere, to have a short lunch.

Unfortunately, our unintended sightseeing tour caused some delay and instead of coming home at 2 p.m., our GPS now said approx. 4 p.m. Well, nothing we could do about it, just roll on, Baby!

The last bit we were back on the motorway again, that went quicker of course and – finally – at 15.30h we arrived home. Tired, but happy! Even more, when Odin came around the corner and welcomed us with a “meow”.

With almost 30° C we started to unload the car immediately, to get it behind us! And to start being home again.

And finally, the bottom line of this adventure is short and clear: Simply marvellous! The week was better than we dared to hope for. Starting with the trip to Italy and back, the ferry rides, Sailitalia and it’s lovely crew and last but not least “Blue Moon”, our faithful cat – thank you!

 

Jul 29 2017

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 9

May 27th 2017

Saturday morning has actually arrived. Just before 08 o’clock Patrik and I sat outside in the cockpit and drank our coffee.

Of course the sun was shining and people at the marina were busy with fixing and cleaning boats. Some were talking and laughing and a few were leaving with a cooling box and their fishing rods. It was weekend, after all.

The evening before, we had already packed most of our stuff into our car – only the bedding and coffee cups were left. Also, the rest of the foods had to be moved from the fridge into our cooling box.

We were really happy, that we didn’t have to hurry, but could take it easy. One of the cleaning ladies came by and we had a little chat, about where she and we were from, how much we all liked Sardinia (she was originally from Milan) and how our sailing week was. At the end she even offered us some homemade ricotta cheese. Sadly, we had to reject it with thanks, since our cooling box was quite full….what a pity!

Then it was time to say good-bye, to our dear “Blue Moon”, and Marco and Constantino at the marina. We also decided to visit the office, in order to say good-bye to Luciana and Enzo. Both were there and we talked and joked for quite a while. Among other things, they assured us that we would receive a discount, with our next booking with Sailitalia! GREAT 😉

Finally, they recommended a few places worth visiting, on our drive back to Olbia. Our ferry to Livorno was scheduled for 10 o’clock this evening, so we had pleeeeenty of time!

Off we went, but before leaving Cannigione, we played our role as decent tourists and went shopping! Sardinia has – amongst kitschy kitsch of course – very nice craft, such as pottery.

After lunch we were poorer ready and said “ciao” this lovely little town.

Our first stop was – via “Palau” – “Santa Teresa”, which apparently is the northernmost city. Unfortunately, there was not much space to park somewhere. So I took some photo’s and we left again (after we had lost our way in these narrow streets….shush!). Next stop was “Porto Cervo”. What an extravagant place! The marina was crowded with super-super yachts and the villas embedded in the landscape, look like they would try to surpass eachother in luxury….unbelievable! Well, it is the splendid “Costa Smeralda” after all, where the rich and famous are…..ah, and the money, obviously!

Well, after that overwhelming impression needed something to calm us down – lunch was perfect! In “Porto Pozzo” we’ve found the perfect little place: A bruschetteria called “Gian Paolo’s Bar”, we think it’s worth to mention, because the bruschetta was heaven and the service lovely!

Further we drove, through the amazing landscape of Sardinia, towards Olbia. We even met a wild turtle crossing the street – I had no idea there were turtles living in Sardinia! Around 4 p.m. we arrived in Olbia. Now, we took the chance to explore the city with its numerous bars, restaurants and shops. We still had a few hours to kill…..

Most of all, we noticed that people in Olbia were less warmly than what we were used to after this short time. Not unfriendly, not at all! But our guess is, with all the tourists arriving and leaving daily, it is less important how to treat customers, cause they are there anyway…. Plus the prices – no matter what – are higher.

Around 8 p.m. we went onboard the ferry, which was quite chaotic. It seemed none of the staff on shore knew what their colleagues onboard did and vice versa…. At last we had parked our car and moved to he cabin. A quick shower and off we went to the bar, enjoying a glass of red wine.

The ferry left punctual at 22h and we were so tired…..well, a bit frustrated too, for sure…..that half an hour later we decided we would go to bed. And we had a long day ahead of us: Arriving 06.30h in Livorno and an approx. 7 hours car journey home.

So, Good Ni……….. *snore*

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 22 2017

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 8

May 26th 2017

Friday morning, 8 o’clock! Although, the sun welcomed us again, we felt a bit sad. It was our last day out sailing. At five we had to be back at the marina in Cannigione and tomorrow we had to say goodbye to “Blue Moon”…

As usual we had our juice and coffee, did the dishes, completed WOBBLES (still everything in order) and lifted the anchor at 9.40.

We soon realised that the sea hadn’t calmed down as we had hoped. The wind was still a force 4 to 5 and the waves were still present. That meant no lazying around on the trampoline – what a pity!

Instead, I tried to do pictures and movies, as best as possible. Quite a tricky thing, I must say… Patrik steered “Blue Moon” steadily towards Cannigione, first with both sails hissed. It proofed to become too uncomfortable, with the rocking and shacking, so took down the mainsail. With only the jib out, we started the starbord engine, and tried motor sailing for a while.

At around 1 p.m. we passed “Passo del Bisce”, then the island “Isola Cappuccino”. Unfortunately, there was no invitation for a cappuccino, so we carried on…

Around 2 o’clock Cannigione and it’s surroundings came in sight. We headed for the service station first, in order to fill up the diesel tanks. This was tougher than we thought, cause just when we entered the small harbour, nasty gusts of winds had started and we kept drifting away. Luckily, there was an employee there, helping us with the mooring and refuelling. GRAZIE MILLE, AMICO!

We only needed about 34 litres, which costed us ca. EUR 62.00 – what a happy surprise, how little diesel we had used!

Then, just around the corner, “our” marina came in sight and with it Constantino and another guy, both busy. When they saw us, he waved and pointed out our jetty. Well, easier said than done, with up to 15 knots of wind force! Bloody hell….

After a bit of a tohu-bohu, we finally managed to secure “Blue Moon” safely at the pier – the time was about 2.30 p.m. when we stopped the engines.

Just after that Enzo arrived and together with Constantino had a first look at the yacht, also asking, if everything went ok! A bit baffled they looked at us and asked , if we did anything else, than cleaning… In their opinion the cat was so surprisingly clean, something they apparently rarely see after a week of charter.

Enzo then told us, that since “Blue Moon” wasn’t rented the following week, we wouldn’t have to rush the next morning with leaving. If 10 or 11 would be OK for us?! Yeah, wow great! Of course!! We thanked him and were more than happy about this news!

One – not unimportant – defect we had to tell them, though: There was a water leak under the starbord side bed (where we slept). From day one on we were hearing the pump, more or less constantly. After a few days Patrik found out that the fresh water system was leaking, therefore the pump was constantly working. Not only was it a bit difficult to sleep sometimes, but also our fresh water had disappeared with an incredible speed.

We refilled in “Porto Ottiolu”, (to a total of more than 700 litres of water) and 24 hours later two third of it was gone….. But except of that, “Blue Moon” had served us well and we were more than satisfied!

After telling them about our amazing week, some good laughs and answering some questions, Patrik and I decided to visit Luciana at the office. There we were warmly welcomed and she wanted to know, how the week was! We told her what a fantastic time we’ve had and how sad we were, that it was already over.

She asked us about our plans for the evening and highly recommended a newly opened restaurant, just beside the marina.

Well, why not? Since we didn’t have any fresh food left onboard, it seemed like a good idea eating out. So we had a lovely shower – after a well deserved aperitif of course – and off we went, to the “Ristorante Acqua Marina”. And it IS a wonderful place, indeed! An old boat, fixed at the pier, with a romantic entrance, lit with candles and being onboard, the stuff welcomes you warmly.

Since we were the first guests, we could choose were we wanted to sit. At the front, with the big window, looking out over the darkening harbour and sea was our choice. Then we ordered a glass of prosecco each and started to explore the menu card.

After ordering – veggie for me was no problem – another couple had arrived, they took the table beside us. After a short while, another couple joined them, friends apparently. We quickly realised that they were no ordinary guests: Several times the chef came rushing to them, taking orders, asking if everything was fine…almost kneeling beside them.

It was quite amusing for us to watch and we really started to wonder, who these VIP’s were. Well, up until today, we never found out…

Anyway, after dinner, an espresso and THREE grappas (two of them offered from the house), we were ready for bed! The bill was surprisingly low…but who knows how long?! This marvellous, little restaurant could easily develop to a hot spot!

As for us, we had our last night on board “Blue Moon”. So “buona notte” and sleep well, everyone!  *yawn*  🌜✨

 

 

 

Jul 15 2017

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!

 

 

 

Jul 08 2017

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…)

 

 

 

Jul 01 2017

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 24 2017

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 4

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

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 3

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

To Guest on S/V “Blue Moon” – Part 2

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 😴

 

 

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