Monday, 12 July 2010

North East Sardinia

Morning Tea on "Gone with the Wind"
Helicopter & 40' yacht Porto Cervo marina
Costa Smerelda Yacht Club
Porto Cervo plaza
"Eye Candy" having a rest
Sardinia Bay Holiday Village
Hi from Clare, North East Sardinia Sunday 11th July 2009 On Monday morning we parted company with "White Rose". They traveled north while we enjoyed some quiet time and the company of other cruising buddies in the anchorages of Isola Porri and Golfo Di Marinella.

FIRST SIGHT OF PORTO CERVO When I last wrote we were heading to the Costa Smerelda area, a playground for the rich and famous. "Eye Candy", "Balvenie" and "Gone with the Wind" arrived there Wednesday afternoon. The three yachts firstly went into the tiny harbour of Porto Cervo in the hope of anchoring off the marina. However there were a dozen yachts at anchor and eight empty mooring buoys available at the cost of 175 euros per day (no wonder they were empty). So the three of us did a quick circle of the harbour and then anchored in the next bay along with some very expensive boats.

HOW BIG IS 'BIG' The biggest power boat there was 358 feet long, five stories high and had six metres of draft. A panel folded down from the side of the boat to form a platform just above water level. This then became an outdoor eating area fitted out with grass, tables and chairs, large umbrellas, stainless steel guard rails and a double sliding glass door into the boat. The platform was adjoining a lower deck eating area and bar facility. That was all we could see of the inside, but it was enough to get the picture. As we sailed past, we counted twenty crew cleaning, polishing, setting up facilities, launching jet skies and other toys.

There were plenty of other big power boats there too, all very expensive with staff waiting hand and foot on the owners and guests. The tenders for these boats are about 40 feet long (the size of Eye Candy). They speed into the anchorage as forward scouts. If the anchorage suits, they disappear and then return shortly with their mother ship.

Photo two shows a 285 foot power boat with a helicopter on the back deck and a 40 foot yacht (the size of Eye Candy) on the side deck. We couldn't help but wonder if they ever put the yacht into the water?

BIG MONEY BUT NOT PRETENTIOUS Early the following morning the six of us went into Porto Cervo on "Eye Candy" and anchored off the marina. We marveled at the sheer opulence of some of the boats in the marina. We then recovered with a morning shot of coffee, a stroll around the shops and a leisurely lunch in the marina village. The shops weren't that expensive considering the location. A number of Porto Cervo T-shirts were purchased as souvenirs, lunch was reasonably priced and the supermarket prices were pretty normal for Sardinia. There has been a lot of money spent in the area but Porto Cervo has a lovely feel to it. The residents just go about their business and everyone we spoke to was very pleasant.

However the marina prices are pretty hefty. The price for "Eye Candy" for one night in the marina is 294 Euro ($440). The highest price on the list was for a boat over 55 metres at 2,573 Euro ($3860) per night. There was space in the marina and plenty of boats anchored in the next bay, no surprise!

FLAT WATER AGAIN While in Porto Cervo we ran into Bridget and Peter who had taken the bus into town from Golfo di Arzachena. We all decided to join them in Arzachena as they reported that at the southern end of the golf there was a nice little town, somewhere to watch the World Cup and flat sea conditions away from the power boats. Andrew and I (not being keen on soccer) anchored at the northern end of the bay in much cleaner water. We went ashore after dinner and found a lovely tourist village at Sardinia Bay. It was very up market with first class accommodation, shops, bars and restaurants. Once again it was crowded with well dressed Italians enjoying the night life of the Mediterranean. The north east coast of Sardinia is a wonderful place. It's clean, well maintained, very good housing and facilities, well frequented sandy beaches and a wonderful climate. The people seem well off, relaxed and friendly and as Andrew said "If you lived here, why would you move?"

SOON ONTO CORSICA We left Arzachena yesterday and sailed up past the Maddalena Islands to Porto Liscia which is at the top of Sardinia. We can see Corsica which is only about ten miles away.

Last night we had "White Rose" with us on "Eye Candy" to share dinner and a very pleasant evening together. We are spending so much time together at present that when Andrew is over on White Rose chatting, Peter answers the radio identifying the vessel as "White Candy"

After Corsica we will part company as "White Rose" will head for Majorca and then the Atlantic. We can only hope to meet them in the Caribbean sometime in the future.

SO WHAT NEXT Tomorrow we will head to Porto Vecchio on the SE coast of Corsica. We are hoping to see some festivities for Bastille Day on the 14th and catch a bus to town of Bonifacio. We have heard that it is well worth seeing and very difficult to find anchorage room there.

We will also have to buy a French sim card for the dongle. So if we are off the air for a short time, just be patient, while we find the best deal.

Love Candy xx

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