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 😴