Wednesday, August 31, 2011

At anchorages, and boat work Aug 19 – 30

After an enjoyable breakfast by the marina, we said goodbye to Paul and Rose at Santa Teresa bus stop, where they boarded the bus to go back to Olbia for 2 days before taking the flight back home-Kitchener, Ontario.   We will miss their company dearly as Rose is a wonderful cook and she had been cooking up some gastronomical meals.  Paul likes to enjoy life in an easy going manner; Eliza had a grand time poking fun at him. 

We spent one extra day at the St. Teresa marina to get supplies, provisions and some boat work done. We left just after the check-out time, not to be charged for another day.  Since it’s still at the peak of summer holiday for the Italians, we decided to go back to Liscia, a large, well-protected bay east of St Teresa.  To our surprise, there were fewer boats than expected and this time, we were able to locate the 25 ft depth.  More pleasant surprise in late afternoon, we saw our EMYR friend ‘GODSPEED’ anchored next to us.  We had a great time catching up with each other, on each other’s boat. 
            Seeing friends on Godspeed 

It had been a successful stay at Liscia.  Ben managed to get the watermaker and the stove working, and the moko (espresso maker) pot that was purchased at the hardware store at St. Teresa, would do for now until we can find a better design bodum. 

After several months of cruising almost non-stop, we are taking a week ‘off’ to relax and catch up on maintenance. Liscia is a large bay, nothing extraordinary, but it’s scenic enough, facing a nice beach in the distance, low-lying greens hills on three sides, and sheltered by an island in the north. Unlike some other anchorages, this bay has no marinas or private docks, so there’s very little boat traffic (the wakes mainly caused by power boats charging around are often the worst nuisance compared to gale winds). By mid-morning the sea breeze picks up, a gentle wind that comes in from the sea, rippling the blue-green clear water, and keeping the temperature down at a comfortable 27C. On land it’s probably well over 30C. With the sun awnings we keep ourselves cool in the shade, read a book, do some voyage planning, or just watch the wind surfers zipping by.

                    Ben diving down to check out the boat bottom

The days are definitely getting shorter now, the sun slanting more to the south. The solar panel is charging substantially less than back in June/July, to the extent that we almost need to run our generator every other day.  But… the best way to make the most out of the solar panels is to clean them, with fresh clean water …. sea water just won’t do.

After Liscia, we went into the South Channel, passed Capo d’Orso again, and headed south into Golfo di Arzachena.  First night, we stopped at Cala Bitta, with small, but scenic beaches and the day ended with a fantastic sunset.  We moved further into the bay the next day, to be closer to the town, Cannigione, where we could stretch our sea legs and to get provisions for the next four days.  Cannigione is another typical resort town, not as sophisticated as Porto Cervo, but it’s quieter and much less industrial than Olbia, so we didn’t mind staying here for a few days.

                 Another beautiful sunset at anchor

Life is not perfect, of course. There’s always boat work. To ensure a well-working water-maker, parts have been ordered and to be shipped to Olbia where our friends, the Tremante lived.  Until the shipment arrives and to wait out for another Mistral coming in the end of the week, we would just anchor away until the system passed. A Mistral is a strong wind coming from north of France, and it’s usually preceded by the Scirocco, a hot wind from the south. So it has been unusually hot for a few days. We enjoy staying on the boat a lot more walking around Cannigione.  With the help of the windscoop at the forward cabin, we have very nice breeze funneling down into 3Rivers and that’s where Eliza enjoys using her new gadget, Kindle with 3G; thank you Paul & Rose!

The Mistral arrived, exactly on time as forecasted. Wind shifted to the west, and started blowing through the night. By the next day it strengthened to 25 knots, with gusts at 35. The anchorage was sheltered in terms of waves, but not from the wind. The wind howled through the riggings, the masts shook, the halyards banged like crazy. Fortunately the anchor held.   This went on until the 27th, with wind now blowing at 20 knots instead, we lifted anchor and had a nice downwind run to Isola di Porri, a small bay with a small beach area.

                 Exciting sail on a windy day

At first, we picked Isola di Porri as it’s only 5 miles away from the Olbia channel entranc and we wanted to be able to get into Olbia the next day in fairly calm sea.  But to our surprise, Isola di Porri might be small, but with amazing turquoise water and the serene surrounding, we enjoyed this anchorage a lot!

The sea was not calm the next day, at least not until noon, 2 hours after we motored into the channel and docked at the commercial dock.  A local was fishing nearby and to his delight, he caught a sizable fish-a foot long!  But he couldn’t get his fishing net to work, even with Ben trying.  But no worry, any Sardinians would travel with a fishing rod and a collapsible fishing net, all you need to do is just to wave down your friend.  With that, he got his fish and celebrated his victory with an always-ready chilled bottle of white wine and we, got to ‘salute’ with them, with a picture to prove!

                 This angler caught a good size fish - cause for celebration!

It’s nice to be back in Olbia, for all the right reasons … see friends, pick up parts, get laundry done and what else, more provisions.  

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