Monthly Archives: August 2018

Stormy Sardinia

Beautiful Bosa

The next place we visited was Bosa.  We anchored just off the breakwater opposite Porto de Bosa.  The town of Bosa is a 15 minute dinghy ride along the River Temo.  There is a bay on the other side of where we were but you can’t anchor overnight so we settled down or so we thought.  Along came the Coastguard and moved us and five other boats round to the bay, and we managed to understand that we could come back at 9pm, puzzled as to what was going on but we did as we were told, yes even Ian.  From 8.30pm onwards small motor boats started arriving, “heads up” something is going on.  All was revealed when we heard the first loud bang, fireworks.  Very nice of them to welcome us!  We stayed the night here and moved back to our original anchorage the next morning.



Bosa is a very picturesque town, with brightly coloured houses up the hillside and Serravalle Castle at the top.  It was a very steep walk up to the top (and hot) but the views of the river were stunning.

A Carnival is held in February and they revive it in August for the tourists, so we thought we’d stay and watch this.  We found ourselves a front row seat in a restaurant.  However, it isn’t the same as the February one, it wasn’t a parade just people dressed up wandering around, but always interesting to people watch.

We spent a week here and had a few more thunderstorms and plenty of rain.  At least the boat was still nice and clean.  It could be lovely and within minutes all hell broke loose.


The anchorage at Tharros was part of a national park and had mooring buoys laid which you needed a permit for which is available online.  The only issue was the form to download was only available in Italian or French, how did we manage without Google Translate.  So for €32 we were able to use the mooring buoys for no additional charge.  This area had Posidonia sea grass and you must not anchor on it as it is protected.  You can be fined if you do.  The police regularly cruise this area, it was a first to see them on jet skis.  We stayed here for longer than we had wanted to but more on that later………………..

We were anchored opposite the Ruins at Tharros which is believed were probably founded by the Phoenicians at the end of the 8th century BC, then by the Punics followed by the Romans.

There was a very small village just a short dinghy ride away, San Giovanni, where there was a beach and little else but two restaurants and of course, a church.

We had more thunderstorms here, one particularly bad one with 35 knots of wind, torrential rain, thunder and lightning on our second day but we were on a mooring buoy and it held fast.  When we arrived Ian had dived down onto the mooring buoy to see if it was ok.  The lines looked ok but couldn’t get far enough down to check the concrete block.

D1. Thunder clouds, Tharros 14.8.18.

After being here we realised there was a bus from San Giovanni into Oristano about 35 minutes away.  So off we went to have a mooch around on Saturday morning.  The weather became a bit overcast and we had some rain but nothing major.  We were just waiting for a museum to open and sheltering from the rain when Ian received a phone call, an Italian number.  It was someone from the Marine park who we’d got the permit from to say “there is a problem with your boat”.  Shocked was an understatement.  We were asked to get ourselves to his office in the next town, then a few minutes later he told us to stay where we were and he would come and collect us.  Thankfully he spoke fairly good English.  We got back to the boat where the coast guard was waiting for us.  The boat was now anchored in the seagrass.  We never quite to the bottom of exactly what had happened, but someone had jumped on the boat and stopped it drifting and dropped the anchor.  It transpired that the ubolt cast to the concrete block had rusted away.  It was a scary situation and very unlucky for us.  Thankfully there was no damage to the boat.  We had to send a statement to the Coastguard about our movements on the day and were told we also had to report to the Coastguard in Cabras on Monday morning.  Monday morning we checked that we had the correct address and was told no need to now go to the Coast guard, so we could have left Tharros the day before.  Lovely place but we were glad to move on.

Carloforte, Isola di San Pietro

In Carloforte there is a town quay where we were able to moor up alongside which was a relief after the incident in Tharros.  It is also nice to be able to step onto dry land straight from the boat once in a while.

We had to report into the Coastguard to get authorisation to stay there and we had to buy “una marco di bolo” which is a stamp for tax which was €16 from a local newsagent.  We liked it so much and there were some strong winds coming through so we decided to stay a few more days so we had to go through the whole process of getting more authorisation but happy to do that for a total of €32 for a week’s berth.  Marinas are ridiculously expensive at this time of year plus us being a Catamaran makes it even more so, which means we don’t use them as a general rule at this time of year.  Carloforte is the only town on the Island and has ferries from the other island and the mainland of Sardinia, which brings in lots of day trippers.  Again we had more storms here, with some terrific thunder and lightning.  So much for no rain in August.  Carloforte is a pretty town with narrow cobbled streets.  While we were here there was a beer festival with live music one evening and a fashion show the following night.  It still surprises me how often we’ve found events going on while we’ve been somewhere.

August 2018



So, we are anchored outside the harbour at Alghero, along with Copy Cat, Karen and Ronnie.  We can hear someone shouting from the harbour wall, we couldn’t quite make out what he was saying to start with but he was telling us there was space on the Town Quay, which we had heard was free.  The next thing the guy is holding up a Union Jack.  We’d heard about the infamous “Christopher” who helped British people get a place on the Town Quay, much to the annoyance of the marinas.  Karen asked him if he was Christopher and he was very pleased to confirm he was.  Christopher loves everything British especially a cup of tea.  We hadn’t expected there to be any space in July so hadn’t bothered to go in.  Karen and Ronnie went off first and said they would let us know if there was room for us as well.  Shortly we got the nod that there was.  There is only room for two boats, as the rest of the quay is day tripper boats, so we were chuffed we got a space.

A3. Mahe Mates Alghero 25.7.18.

Before leaving Mahon, Menorca we had stocked up with provisions as far as possible, water and fuel as we’d been told that it wasn’t so easy to access these in Sardinia.  So here we are in Alghero on the Town Quay, a public water tap just 20metres, a petrol station 50 metres and a large supermarket just a five minute walk.  Couldn’t be easier!

One downside to being on the Town Quay is that it’s a bit like being in a goldfish bowl.  Lots of people stop to have a look and peer in, so we kept the cockpit nets down to give us some privacy.  The evenings were particularly busy.  The traders set up just outside the boat on the quayside.  We went for the dinner the first night with Karen and Ronnie and then came back and sat on a bench opposite the boats watching people looking at the boats, it was quite amusing particularly when they walk past the first one and then realise the second one is the same, they did a double take.

Alghero old town is very quaint with lots of little streets decorated with lanterns.

Alghero is a very old town and we had a walk around the medieval city walls.  The bastions are dedicated to great explorers – Columbus, Pigafetta, Magellan and Marco Polo.  Of course we had to have a look around the cathedral, I’ve lost count of the churches and cathedrals that we’ve visited on our travels.

While we were here there was a Beer Festival, with live bands.  The festival was held in the Forte della Maddelena, which is the only surviving fort of three built at the end of the 16th century to bolster the city’s land battlements.  The lighting behind the bands looked amazing

C1. Band at Beer festival, Alghero 26.7.18.


After a great time in Alghero we were heading up to the Fornelli Passage, well actually we went into the Pellosa passage which is south of the Isola Piana. Karen took a picture of us as we rounding the Cape from Algerho, it gives you an idea of the sheer height of it by the size of us alongside, our mast is 55 feet above the water.

C7. Cuffysark rounding the cape 28.7.18.

The water at Pellosa was like a swimming pool so beautifully blue.  Copy Cat had arrived with us but they only stayed the one night so we parted company with our Mahe Mates who we would probably see next in Sicily later in the year.

Porte Conte

Most people tend to go across to the East side of Sardinia, but no not us.  We decided that we would go down the West coast, as we have some friends visiting in September who we will meet in the South, we will then go up the East side and onto Corsica after that.  The west side is much quieter than the East, mainly locals and French.  Fellow sailors were finding that the anchorages on the East side were rammed.  This wasn’t the case for us.  So, we left Pellosa and headed back the way we’d come and found a very sheltered anchorage in the NE corner of Porto Conte.  The area we were in was large and we only counted seven boats at any one time, mostly it was just three or four but as can often happen when there’s plenty of room to anchor, a 65ft Catamaran came along and anchored right next to us.  Quite bizarre really but they were only there the one night.

All that was ashore was a couple of hotels, with a few restaurants and a bar which did have loud music one night.  We found just one restaurant behind the water front called Ile Galeone.  They were very welcoming and the food and drinks were very reasonable.  If you wanted fish you could choose what you wanted from the tray she brought out to you.  I watched the waitress holding out the fish for the table in front to have a look at including a long eel, so I decided on steak!  I was a bit taken aback at the size of it when my plate appeared.

We had our first Sardinian thunderstorm here, which was to be the first of quite a few over the next few weeks.  We are also trying to get used to a different language, our Spanish isn’t great but we were both begining to understand a bit more but it’s back to the drawing board again even with some words being the same or similar.

Arrivederci for now!


August 2018



Bye Bye Balearics, Buongiorno Sardinia

We left Alcudia, Majorca on 19th July and headed over to Mahon in Menorca. The first few hours we had to motor as there was very little wind but by midday the wind was about 10 knots or so and now a south easterly gave us enough wind to be able to switch off the engine and sail. After 10 and a half hours we dropped the anchor in the small and only anchorage in Mahon.

All great, out the way in the very shallow water, which we can do as we only need 1.1metres to float. The wind had got up and was blowing about 25 knots but that is not normally a problem. All OK until 3.30am and then an alarm rings out. S**t it’s the anchor alarm, we must be dragging. Oh boy, yes we were. We hit the boat behind with our bowsprit and managed to pull his anchor out and so he was now dragging too and then there were three of us all together. Ian sprung into action and managed to get us out the way quickly and so we dropped the anchor again. We waited to see if all was ok but after 15 minutes we were dragging again. Up the anchor comes and then dropped it again, it still would not set, this is a Rocna anchor (we only bought it in Gibraltar in October) that everyone raves about. We have another anchor, an aluminium Spade, which we have for occasions when you want an anchor to hold you in one direction so it’s dropped off the back of the boat. So out this came but we dropped it over the bow as this was going to be our primary anchor for the night. The Spade set with no problem whatsoever. All this in the pitch black. Ian and I took a turn to sit on anchor watch we weren’t taking any chances.

A0. Mahon Anchorage 22.7.18.

Mahon Anchorage – July 2018

Before the excitement of the night before we had already decided to go into one of the marinas in Mahon for the following night as we wanted to do a final stock up, fill up with water and fuel before our trip across to Sardinia. We’d been told it was not so easy to get provisions and water plus the diesel was a lot more expensive at €1.75 a litre. The marina was a few pontoons with one electric supply and one water supply on each of the pontoons so it was a bit of a fight to get use of them, all this for the princely sum of €83! We met up with our Mahe Mates, Karen and Ronnie on CopyCat who we’d last seen 9 months before in Faro, Portugal. It was great to see them after all this time. It was also reassuring being moored up after the antics of the previous night.

A1. Mahe Mates in Mahon Marina 22.7.18.

Mahe Mates, Copy Cat & Cuffysark, Mahon July 2018

We’d had rain which had lots of red sand in it so the boat was looking the dirtiest it had for a long time. Before we left the marina we gave the boat a clean and she was looking lovely again. We left shortly after to go back to the anchorage. A couple of hours later the clouds started building and yes you’ve guessed it rained and not just a little it was torrential and whilst raining the sun had the cheek to show its face, like it was smirking at us. Thankfully no red sand, so at least she stayed clean and we did get a rainbow.

A2. Rainbow at Mahon anchorage 22.7.18.

Rainbow after the rain, Mahon – July 2018

The guy, Ingmar, whose boat we had hit, was still there so we invited him and his partner, Elvyra over for a drink. Ingmar had been very understanding about our dragging and he had managed to polish the mark out of his boat and there was no other damage. We discovered they will also be in Licata for the winter so we will see them again.

Bye Bye Balearics

The time had come to say Adios to Espana and head off to Sardinia. We’d seen a lot of different parts of Spain and it’s a fabulous country, we will look back fondly at our time there.

A3. Ian watching the sun rise from Mahon 23.7.18.

Ian watching the sunrise after leaving Mahon – 23 July 2018

We left at 6am on Monday 23rd July 2018 with Copy Cat. We anticipated the trip would take between 30-35 hours, so this meant sailing overnight, my favourite pastime ….. NOT! So far, of our friends who had already done the trip no-one had managed much sailing. Well there has to be a first and yes it was us! By 7.30am the Asymmetric was up and it came down at 7.30pm. I didn’t want it flying at night, if there are problems it’s not a sail you want to be dealing with in the middle of the night in the dark. We had a full 12 hours. We were flying, we were getting regular speeds of between nine and ten knots for quite a lot of hours. There was quite a swell though 2 metres across our beam. We did a 100 nautical miles in 11 hours and 47 minutes, averaging 8.5 knots, hitting a top speed of 13.4 knots. Ian was in his element, and I quote

 “one of the best sails in years”.

We continued to sail through the night. Eventually by 5.30am we had to switch on the engine as the wind had died so much. We’d been under sail for 22 hours. We finally arrived in Alghero at 8am on Tuesday 24th July after 26 hours, so a pretty speedy crossing and we only burnt 8 litres of diesel. We averaged 7.5 knots and covered 190 miles. We dropped the anchor outside the harbour wall and hopped into bed to catch up on some sleep.

BTW I FORGOT TO MENTION ….. in my last blog the mini tsunami. This occurred during our time in Alcudia. We did notice the strong winds, so much so that we didn’t leave the boat that day, in particular because we had had problems setting our anchor. Anyhow we didn’t actually notice it, the only thing that was odd was that the boat at one stage didn’t swing into the wind, which is the norm. It transpired that some of the restaurants on the beach front were flooded and there was a boat in the harbour that we saw on YouTube looked like it was on an ice rink as it skidded sideways on the water, but a bit of a non event for us, thankfully.

July 2018