Author Archives: cuffy40

The Final Leg – Licata, Sicily

Well where did the last seven months go?  The last time I posted we were in Salerno on the Italian mainland.  The sailing season was coming to a close, the days were getting shorter, the weather a little unpredictable and so we were now on a mission to get to Cuffysark’s winter berth in Licata on Sicily. 

We left Salerno on 21st October 2018 and arrived in Licata on 26th October.  We hopped from Salerno to Acciaroli 35 miles up the coast.  The weather wasn’t great so stopped here two nights on the visitors’ pontoon.  The next hop was an “overnighter”, my favourite sailing, NOT!  We were headed to the Messina Straits which you have to go through when the tide is right as the current can be up to four knots against you, which is like taking three steps forward and two back.  So, we had to get our timings right, yes you’ve guessed it we didn’t but that was down to going too fast on the way there and Ian couldn’t possibly slow up, well he did eventually or it would have been dark going through the Straits.  We left Acciaroli at 11.00am with the anticipation that we would arrive at the entrance to the Messina Straits at 8.00am.  We sailed the first 86nm in 11.25 hours and averaged 7.5knots. 

At 3.00am and with just 15 miles to go and not a breath of wind we had to put the engines on but only on tick-over.  We arrived at the entrance at 6.00am as it was just getting light.  The current was running “three knots against us” plus there were lots and lots of small fishing boats. 

We had intended to anchor up at Taormina which is on the NE coast of Sicily but we were going great guns so pushed onto Syracuse which was a further 50nm.  We anchored in the lovely bay there at 18.16, just ahead of darkness.  We had been told that it’s imperative you radio the harbourmaster here as they have to tell you where to anchor in the bay and they did, giving us exact co-ordinates where to drop the anchor.  There was us and one other boat there.  We had travelled 200nm with an average speed of 6.4knots over 31hours.  We were pleased to have arrived!

The next morning, Thursday 26th October, we were off again heading to Ragusa.  Our friends Cath and Ray, who we’d the spent the winter with in Cartagena, were here.  We arranged to meet up with them and would you believe in this very large marina we were given the berth alongside them!  We arrived at 6pm and were provided with a lovely dinner by Cath and Ray.  The following morning at a not too terrible start time of 10 o’clock off we went to our final destination of 2018, Licata.  We were met be quite a welcome committee, so no pressure to berth the boat, whilst being watched.  It had been a busy October we had covered 600nm over the last three weeks from when we had left Olbia in Sardinia to arriving in Licata.  We calculated we had travelled about 2,500 over the last season.  Definitely time for a well-earned rest!!

October 2018

Awesome Amalfi Coast

We left Rome and anchored up in Anzio just 25 miles up the coast.  Ian, unusually, was up with the larks the following morning as there was quite a swell in the bay so, off we went at 7am to Gaeta.  The year was rapidly disappearing and the weather can be more unpredictable plus we wanted to stop for a time in Salerno so we could visit the Amalfi coast and take in Pompeii so we had to get a move on.  As a result it was just an overnight stop at Gaeta, then off to another anchorage on the west side of the Bay of Naples and then finally along the Amalfi coast to Salerno.  The coastline is stunning and photos never do it justice.

There is no marina as such in Salerno, just pontoons that are owned by various people, we initially tied up alongside by the ferry terminal, which gave us time to wander around the pontoons to see if we could negotiate a price with any of them.  We found one that would take us but even though it was mid October and had no showers they still wanted €85 a night and no amount of persuasion was he going to budge on the price.  We promptly left and anchored in the bay, fortunately the weather forecast was good with no wind.  The pontoons on the otherside of Salerno didn’t accept catamarans but they very kindly let us tie our dinghy to their pontoon, even helping us tie up.  It can often be a problem to find somewhere you can leave the dinghy.

Ian’s Dad had raved about the bus ride along the coast road to Amalfi, because of the beautiful coastline.  So, on his recommendation we did just that and it was stunning.  Amalfi is a lovely town set in the mouth of a deep ravine at the foot of Monte Cerreto (1,315 metres, 4,314 feet).  In the 1920s and 1930s, Amalfi was a popular holiday destination for the British upper classes and aristocracy and you can see why.

We visited the cathedral at Amalfi which is dedicated to the Apostle Saint Andrew whose relics are kept here.


We took the train to Pompeii.  I‘d heard a lot about Pompeii but wasn’t expecting to be blown away quite as much as I was.  It is incredible how intact so much of it is considering how old it is.  It was buried under 4 to 6 metres of volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 24th August AD79.  The city was largely preserved because of lack of air and moisture.  When you looked down the streets you could imagine the Romans going about their daily lives.  The shops still had the counter tops all intact.

The Amphitheatre of Pompeii is the oldest surviving Roman amphitheatre.  Pink Floyd held a concert here in 1972 and Dave Gilmour returned for a solo gig in 2016

Human remains were found during excavation and they noticed that the skeletons were surrounded by voids in the compacted ash. By pouring plaster of Paris into the spaces, they were able to preserve the bodies in the exact position they were in when they died.  They learnt a lot about how the Romans lived from these remains too.


Also on one of the walls in the House of Venus is a fresco of Venus.

Getting knocked Up

Whilst in Salerno “knock knock” one morning on the side of the boat several times, we didn’t get much time to react. When we came up on deck it was a local fisherman who had a fishing net reel on the back minus the net.  We couldn’t work out, owing to the fact our Italian is non existent and his English was as good as our Italian whether he had dropped his net that morning or the day before (in which case it wasn’t marked) but he’d got his net wrapped around and around our anchor.  There was no way the fisherman was cutting the net so after about half an hour we managed to untangle it.  He then proceeded to drop it on the other side of the bay.

October 2018


Saturday 6th October at 8.45am we threw off the lines and left Sardinia for the Italian mainland.  The winds were very light, we managed an hour without the engine from midday but before soon had to put it back on again or we wouldn’t be going anywhere, or at least it would take a very long time.  We had massive thunderstorms during the trip.  Some of the thunder was so loud overhead and the bolts of lightening were quite frightening as you could see the forks so close, keeping our fingers crossed we didn’t get hit by one, which did the trick as we didn’t.  The lightening went on for hours around us.   It did at least help to see where we were as it was very very dark on the crossing.

A1. Cuffysark at Fiumicino 13.10.18.

We were booked into the boatyard at Constellation Nautica on the Fiuminco Canal which was about 20km from the centre of Rome which meant going under two bridges.  The bridges only open twice a day but not on Tuesday or Wednesday.  We arrived too early so we slowed the engine down.  We arrived at the boatyard and were met by Errico and friends to help us with our lines to tie up alongside on the quay.

Fiuminco is a small town alongside the airport.  Most of the planes flew out to sea but one or two flew right over head and they were loud.  Everything you need is close by, supermarkets (which were much more reasonably priced after being on Sardinia).  Us yachties get quite excited when we find a decent supermarket and not too far away, sad I know.  But I’ve said before being on a boat makes you appreciate the basic things you take for granted on land, like jumping in the car to go the supermarket or turning on the tap and letting it run as you know that there is always a supply and it’s hot.  There are lots of bars and restaurants and the buses to Rome were a two minute walk away.  Ian had his first pint of Guinness here in over five months.

G1. Ian in Fuiminco 13.10.18.Monday morning we hopped on the bus which took just over an hour.  We decided to do some walking around to get our bearings.  First stop off the bus we went for a coffee (as you know Ian a tea man and has to have it in over regular intervals , but they don’t do much of that here so coffee it was).  We got chatting to a Canadian couple who’d been on the hop on hop off bus tour.  We went on our way and the next minute the Canadians were behind us waving a ticket.  It was for the bus tour it still had time left on it so if we wanted to make use of it then feel free.  Well not one to look a gift horse in the mouth off we toddled off to the bus stop and there just happened to be a bus already waiting so we hopped on.  This saved us €55 and gave us a good idea of how far everything was apart, not that that stopped Ian walking me miles later that day.

We thought we’d better have some lunch before our trek.  Ian loves Spaghetti Bolognese, but we’ve discovered that it isn’t an Italian dish, hence why we hadn’t found it so far but we did for our first lunch in Rome, it was listed as “Spaghetti with meat sauce”.  It’s not quite the same recipe as we have at home but nice just the same.

B4. Ian with his Spag Bol 8.10.18.

Ian anticipating his bolognese

We visited the Trevi Fountain.  I couldn’t believe how many people were there.  We had naively thought Rome would be quieter in October, how WRONG were we.  It was rammed everywhere.  And of course, there was a church opposite so we went in.  There was an operatic concert being held so we stayed and listened.

The following day we walked even further seeing “Largo di Torre Argentina” where Julius Caesar was killed and the “Pantheon” a former Roman temple but is now a church.  The dome of the Pantheon is the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.

After two days of walking around we decided to have a day on the boat.  We were invited to join Errico and some of the people who were working on boats at the yard for lunch.  Frankie rustled us up a pasta with salad.  We were made to feel so welcome here.

G2. Lunch in Fiuminco - Oct 2018

Back to the sightseeing on Thursday at the Vatican City.  We had seen the length of the queue so opted for a guided tour.  Everywhere was packed it was shoulder to shoulder in the Vatican museums.  The Sistine Chapel was amazing, unfortunately photos are not allowed, so the only photos we were able to take were of the screen in the reception.  I hadn’t appreciated that Michelangelo’s preference was sculpting and refused numerous times to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel but the Pope put so much pressure on him that eventually he had no option but to agree.

It is believed on the “School of Athens” painting by Raphael he included Michelangelo and himself (the one looking towards you with the black hat).

On Friday we visited the Colosseum, again this was very busy and quite a sight.  It is the largest amphitheatre ever built and construction began in AD72 and was completed in AD 80.

From here we visited the Roman Forum which is a plaza surrounded by the ruins of government buildings and was the centre of day to day life in Rome for processions, elections public speeches, criminal trials and gladiatorial matches.

After a week our stay in Rome, which we thought was fabulous, we headed to the Amalfi Coast for more spectacular sights.

October 2018


We didn’t leave Olbia until 2 o’clock on Friday 21st September so we headed to the La Maddalena Islands for a stopover on the way to Bonifacio on Saturday morning.  We saw a quay on the Island of Santa Stefano that someone else was tied alongside so Ian being Ian thought we’d moor up there too.  So having moored up I went for a walk around, very eerie as there was no one around.  Whoever was on the other boat was not coming up on deck.  The Island was a NATO base up until 2008 when the Americans left.  There was a hotel resort there on the other side of the hill, we only knew this because of the booming of the music that played into the early hours.  This is one of the downsides of these remote areas you often find there is an “exclusive” resort which equals loud music!!

Our sail was lovely, light winds and hot, just how I like it, not quite so much to Ian’s liking.  We had a number of super yachts pass us.  To put it in perspective how big the one below is you need to look at the helicopter on the top deck.  It is the fourth longest yacht in the world and considered to be the largest yacht by volume in the world.

A3. Super Yacht - La Maddelana Islands 21.9.18.

There was nothing pleasant about the trip to Bonifacio the following morning.  It was one of those moments, rare admittedly, when I (obviously I being Lorraine.  Ian thinks not pleasant but not so bad) thought what the f**k am I doing here!!  The Straits are known to be windy as it funnels between Corsica and Sardinia and the seas are short and sharp.  Should have dug back in my memory to last years’ experience of coming through the Straits of Gibraltar when I had the self same thought.  “Straits” should set the alarm bells ringing.  We are due to go through the Straits of Messina in the next week or so (late October 2018), so fingers crossed it won’t be third time unlucky!  Oh well I survived.  The entrance to Bonifacio was stunning.

Bonifacio isn’t that big a marina but it is popular and they do get their share of superyachts, just a few can moor up on the main quay in the centre of town.  They come in, turn around, where there is some room to do this and then reverse in and drop their anchors to hold them off the quay.  It is quite narrow, so much so they are a few feet away from you when they come past.  When the normal sailboats come in (ie not superyachts) it can be quite chaotic. The marineroes push boats into the moorings with the bow of their rib and then roar off.  People are reliant on others already moored up to help with lines to shore as all mooring is stern to, with the exception of us catamarans who moor alongside the ends of pontoons which are only 6 ft wide so that’s also a mission in itself.  This is the only place we’ve been where there is no assistance from Marina staff.  Whilst doing these manoeuvres you also have the day tripper boats weaving in and out, they can’t wait you know they have a schedule to follow.  There’s plenty to see here!

We had only planned to stay in Bonifacio for a couple of nights to collect our guests then go off.  However, this was not to be, as a Mistral was forecast which brought winds of 50mph for several days.  So, we were “Port Bound”.  Gary and Shelley arrived and we found a restaurant that had been recommended called the “Kissing Pigs”. It was a good recommendation.

Bonifacio old town sits up high above the marina.  We took the land train up but we did walk down.  The citadel was originally built in the 9th century and overlooks the harbour.

Gary and Shelley had hired a car as transfers from the airports were extortionate.  A taxi (no buses available) for a 15 minute journey was €55.  This meant we were able to visit some other areas and we spent one day on a secluded beach on the east side of Corsica where we were out of the wind.  We also drove to Porto Vecchio, which was where we had originally tried to get a mooring but it was full as there was a regatta being held.  The wind was whipping through the bay.

After four nights we did eventually manage to escape Bonifacio and we took a sail across to La Maddalena islands, Sardinia and had a bay all to ourselves for a couple of nights.  Going across the straits this time was great.  We then took ourselves back to Bonifacio as it was time for Shelley and Gary to go home.  A great week.

We were going to spend a few days exploring more of La Maddalena Islands and cross over to Rome on the Tuesday (2nd October) but yes the wind again, was coming in strong so a night’s stopover there and then we headed back to the shelter of the Town Quay in Olbia where we stayed until Saturday 6th October before we departed on our overnight trip to Rome.

E1. La Maddalena islands 30.9.18..JPG


September 2018

Fish, Foiling Catamarans, Friends & Family


We arrived at Calasetta, which is on the north of Sant’ Antioco, to a welcome committee from Arctic Fern, aka Caroline, Howard, Jessica and Olivia.  It was nearly five months since we’d last seen them and it was lovely to see them all again.


We had to be in Cagliari for 8th September for our second visitors of this sailing season, Graham and Lesley, so we hopped along the mainland.  One of the hops was from Malfatano to Pula which was  just two and a half hours, just enough time for a Facetime call with the girls, Tracy and Tracey.  We arrived in Cagliari with Arctic Fern and had a bit of reccy of the city.  Cagliari seemed quite spread out and so we did a lot of walking!

Yes you’ve guessed it we visited another church, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, which has a crypt that holds the remains of 179 martyrs of Cagliari.  Portraits of the deceased can be found on the ceiling.

Graham and Lesley arrived and so spent  some more time looking around the city.

We left Cagliari and headed to a lovely anchorage at Torre delle Stelle.  We had a trip to the beach which made a change.  There were a few other boats anchored here, hopefully we didn’t disturb them too much, Ian likes the music loud and Lesley likes to dance!!!


From here we sailed to Villasimius where Lesley and Graham were jumping ship to a lovely hotel across the bay for another week.  We’d had a great time, as always.

Unbeknown to us there just happened to be a catamaran event being held here.  These were the GC32’s which are foiling cats.  Ian was in his element.  The UK was being represented by none other than  Sir Ben Ainsley and the America’s cup team, Ineos, Team UK.  We met up with Arctic Fern again here.  They’d been into the marina and Jessica and Olivia had met the team and had been able to go on the UK boat for a photo, well pleased they were!  The teams were out practising ahead of the start of the series the following day.  Howard called out to them on his PA system, “Go Team UK, we’re rooting for you”.  This got him a wave from them.  The following day Arctic Fern came onto our boat and we went out to the start line to watch the racing.  Unfortunately the wind really picked up and so the racing was abandoned after two races.

The wind now made the anchorage on the Villasimius side untenable, the swell was building and so we decided to move around to the other side of the headland to Porto Giuno.  Howard and Caroline got back to their boat but the girls stayed with us as getting into a dinghy would be too hazardous for them with the swell.  What a difference on the other side, flat as anything.

We now had to make our way up to Olbia on the NE coast of Sardinia as we had a late planned visit from Jessica.  She’s definitely making the most of seeing some of the places we are visiting which is lovely for us.  On our way to Cala Luna Ian had the fishing rod out and this time we caught a small yellow fin tuna.  Low and behold Arctic Fern also caught one, so fish all round for dinner.

Cala Luna

Cala Luna was a popular beach with caves.  We arrived at 5 o’clock when most of the tourist boats were departing which is always a good thing.  First we had to prepare our catch for dinner, which Caroline kindly showed me, having not done this before, (wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be) and then we went ashore and explored the caves.

On our next passage to Cala Girgola we picked up a stowaway, it never moved from where it came on, Gertrude or could have been Gerald …………. the Grasshopper.  Never caused us any bother so we let him cadge a lift.  We decided to go on to this cala which was a bit further than we’d originally planned.  I realised why by mid afternoon, Ian had timed it so that he could watch the Grand Prix just ahead of our arrival!


We arrived in Olbia a day ahead of Jessica arriving which gave us time to do some shopping etc.  Olbia is just under 3nm from the sea.  As you get nearer you see what looks like mooring buoys which is odd as there are so many of them bunched up together.  We discovered it is a mussel farm.  Olbia is a nice town with small narrow streets and we found a nice restaurant in one of them.  Jessica chose the crab linguine, looked delicious and apparently it was.

E1. Jessica in Cala Girgola 19.9.18.

We took a trip back to Cala Girgola for a night.  I took some photos of Jessica in the water which I was informed are typical “mum” photos, nothing in the photo but her and water, could be anywhere, no scenery, well I am her mum after all what did she expect, I know next time!

Opposite this anchorage is Isola Tavolara.  We ventured over there the following day, unfortunately the weather wasn’t very kind to us and it was very windy and raining.  We attempted to anchor but it wasn’t happening so we took ourselves back to Olbia to the safety of the Town Quay.

Before too long it was time for Jessica to leave us.  It’s always hard having to say goodbye each time but it was great surprise her popping out.  We now had to get a move on up to Bonifacio in Corsica to meet our next guests, Gary and Shelley.  So Jessica stepped off the boat to get her bus to the airport and we let the ropes go and off we went our separate ways.


September 2018

Sant Antioco, Sardinia

Sant Antioco is the larger of the two islands of the southwest coast of Sardinia.  We visited the town of Sant Antioco.  Yachts don’t as a rule go down here (so of course, we did!) as it’s a very narrow, shallow channel but it is marked with buoys.  At one point we went aground (our draft is 1.1m) but that was due to the fact that the port buoy (that’s the red one and should be to the left) we realised we had to leave to starboard (that’s to the righthand side).  There were a lot of windsurfers about on this particular day and one of the locals took pity on us and told us to follow him around this particular section.  You could see the sandbanks, and there were a lot of them.  I was all for going back to deeper water, but no, we are from the East Coast of England, we are used to this, I was told.  It was, I have to admit, worth it when we got there, very picturesque.  It was very sheltered and we anchored in 1.5m of water.  Just a few hundred yards away though there was a guy walking in the water only up to his knees.   The local were very friendly the fishermen gave us an enthusiastic wave each time they passed us.

It was a very small town but surprisingly there was more to see than the usual church.  We went off in search of the Villaggio Ipogeo which are cavernous tombs which were taken over by the islanders in the middle ages and were lived in until the 1930’s.

We followed the directions on the map, but only came to the Fort Sabaudo which was locked.  I was sure that it didn’t shut in the middle of the day.  We eventually found the ticket office.  We paid for our tickets to three venues, the Villaggio Ipogeo, Fort Sabaudo and the Ethnographical museum.  We were told “uno momento”, not quite sure what we were waiting for, after five minutes one of the ladies from the office took us and one other couple off down the street.  We came to a gate which the lady unlocked and in we all went to the Villaggio Ipogeo.  The village had been dug by the Carthaginians since the 6th century BC to create tombs to bury their dead.  It is calculated that there were more than 1500 underground tombs here.

Then we leave the village, the lady locks the gate up and off we wander along a couple more streets to the Fort Sabaudo, where she again unlocks the gate and in we go.  Fort Sabaudo, which is known locally as “su pisa” started construction in 1812 and was completed in 1815.

Once we had finished looking around here, the gate was locked up behind us and we are taken through several streets back to the ticket office which is where the Ethnographical museum is situated.  Again the door was unlocked and in we go.  The museum contains objects that were used in the 19th century.

D3. Strivers for the Virgin Strive Challenge - Aug 2018Looking across to the quayside I can see some banners flying and a blow-up arch, then lots of shouting in English.  People were coming through on bikes.  Hmm something is going on, so good old Google again and it transpired that it was the “Virgin Strive Challenge” which started in Cagliari and their first stop was the town of Sant Antioco on the island of Sant Antioco which is joined to the mainland of Sardinia by a bridge.  The challenge is in five stages and finishes at the summit of Mont Blanc.  Amongst the participants was Richard Branson himself, his son Sam and daughter Holly who are part of the Core Team and will be joined by up to 200 stage participants.  The Big Change Charity is raising money through The Strive Challenge for projects working with young people to thrive in life.  Wandering around town in the evening the group were having dinner at a local restaurant.

We were due to leave Sant Antioco on Sunday 2nd September but we’d heard our Cartagena neighbours on Arctic Fern were heading across from Menorca to Callasetta on the north of island, so we decided to stay another day and meet up with them the following day.  we were so glad we did.  As with most events we have discovered along our trip, it’s normally been by seeing people or boats starting to gather.  Earlier that morning one of the small motor boats alongside us had come along and put some bunting on his boat, I rightly or wrongly assumed this was to keep the birds off his boat, as there are a lot of them.  Off he went and then about 5 o’clock he appeared again along with some other people and motored off.  Then another boat appeared.  Couldn’t find anything on Google so out came the binoculars and I could see further into town there were crowds gathered.  Not wanting to miss the action we jumped in the dinghy and off we went to see what the commotion was.  It transpired it was a procession for Santa Maria.  We stood about waiting with the rest of the crowd for the effigy of the Virgin Mary and baby to arrive, which was by boat, as is the case with a lot of these festivals.

The start of the parade was waiting ahead of us, so we decided to get to the beginning so we could see all of it.  Now Ian has taken to walking slower than a snail, which means I have to keep stopping as it’s really hard to walk that slow!  Today he was a man possessed and he was faster than a hare and I struggled to keep up with him.

Once the parade had finished we decided to get something to eat.  I decided to have a pizza, which was enormous and really would be sufficient for two, but I struggled through.  We then wandered back into the main square and there was a jazz band playing just to finish the evening off.

The following day we headed off for the short journey to Callasetta.



September 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