Monday, 5 July 2010

Arriving in Sardinia

Peaceful anchorage in Sardinia Annie, Bridget, Amanda and Clare
Streetscape in Olbia
Peach of unknown name
Mark, Peter, Liam & Andrew
at the Football
Temporary outdoor Restaurant
Isola Tavolara
(end view)
Hi from Clare Arriving in Sardinia Sunday 4th July 2010 THE PROMISED LAND We left Ponza Monday morning along with the sailing yachts "Gone with the Wind" and "Balvenie" to sail to Sardinia. The 150 mile trip took thirty hours to complete. We motored for twelve hours until the wind kicked picked up. We then had a good sail to Porto Brandinchi on the N/E coast of Sardinia arriving midday Tuesday 29th June.
We felt as though we had arrived in the promised land; blue sky, white clouds, daily temperature in the low thirties, crystal clear 27 degree water and flat calm conditions. You could just about hear everyone sighing with pleasure as they dropped their anchor. It was so good, we stayed for three nights.
The first night we got together on "Eye Candy" for sundowners. This gave us a chance to reminisce on the highlights of the trip across. However, there was no mention of the unofficial race that occurs when any three boats are going in the same direction. Suffice to say "Eye Candy" performed very well.
On day two Bridget and Peter on "White Rose" returned from their trip to Rome and joined us in the anchorage. We dined on "Gone with the Wind" that evening. The girls got together and provided dinner for eight. Bridget, who suffers sea sickness, spent some time during their trip with her head in a bucket, so we guessed a night off from cooking wouldn't do her any harm. The plan worked, by 10pm she was looking pretty relaxed, along with the rest of us! On night three we had drinks on the beech before returning to our own boats for a quite one. Our daytime hours were spent catching up with boat chores and relaxing onboard; Andrew in the hammock on the foredeck, Clare asleep in the cockpit. I think an indication of how relaxed we were in this peaceful anchorage was reflected by the fact that no one ventured ashore for exercise. OLBIA AND THE SUPERMARKET Friday 2nd July fully recovered, we re-entered the land of the living and motored 12 miles around to the township of Olbia for fresh supplies and the World Cup Football. Olbia is the main port for bringing commence and tourists into Sardinia. After negotiating the channel and a number of large ferries, we managed to get a spot on the town wharf. We were rafted with "White Rose" whilst "Balvenie" and "Gone with the Wind" were also rafted together. Some others yachts were triple decked and to think that this is the beginning of the busy season; I can't imagine what August will bring. For the cruising fraternity, sad as this might sound, one of the highlights of Olbia is the modern supermarket within easy walking distance of the wharf. What a bonus to be able to get everything you need without wearing yourself out in the process. I'm sipping a glass of Vino da Tavola as I type. It is an Italian luncheon white wine purchased locally at the agreeable price of 99 Euro cents a litre, it's bound to become a staple. The other little treasure discovered is the local flat peach, as shown in photo number four. When first sighted I thought there was something wrong with them. They look as though they have been sat on, but they are sweet, firm and juicy with a small core; absolutely delicious. FOOTBALL AND A BEERA Most of the bars and outdoor restaurants are showing the World Cup Football. The town centre is frequented day and night with people watching the football. Some restaurants try to draw the crowd by telecasting the football. It appears to work, because by mid game it is standing room only. Of course, when in Italy, you don't have to be watching the football to know when Italy kicks a goal. The roar goes up and car horns are beeping. I'm not a football fan but the atmosphere is very contagious. WARM NIGHTS, NO BUGS We have observed in Sicily, the west coast of Italy and now in Sardinia that the town centers come alive at night. In the Mediterranean, the evening is such a lovely time of day. It has a gentle warm breeze, no biting insects, affordable outdoor restaurants and in Olbia, vibrant street markets and entertainers. Photo six shows Andrew standing behind a tree that, come night, is the centre piece for a temporary restaurant. The tables are arranged under the canopy of branches and the restaurant comes alive with starched white cloths, flowers and candles on the tables, attentive waiters, fairy lights in the tree and the aroma of fine cuisine. It is the most delightful setting for the adults to have dinner while the children play in the plaza. This community atmosphere is what I will remember of the Mediterranean night life. Come daylight the tables are pushed aside and the plaza reverts back to being the hub of the business district. OUR OWN OUTDOOR RESTAURANT By Saturday lunchtime we were ready to escape to an anchorage. "Eye Candy" and "White Rose" are now settled at the base of the impressive rock shown in photo number seven. It is eight miles from the town of Olbia and it is only one on the many anchorages in the area. Last night we had drinks on the beach and then Bridget and Peter cooked a wonderful dinner on "White Rose" for the four of us. The evening was right up there in memorable Mediterranean nights. THE DONGLE HAS CHANGED OUR WORLD We now have internet access on the boat so we are in contact with the world. But more importantly can call family and friends on Skype on their computer or home phones. It was quite a thrill talking with family today, whilst sitting here at the base of our big rock in Sardinia. So a big thank you to our Aussie friend Colin for getting us started. SO WHAT'S NEXT We will be heading north to Costa Smerelda which is a playground for the rich and famous. So we will have to dress up and see if we fit in with the crowd. Love CANDY xx radio email processed by SailMail for information see: