My Bro Damian and his nearly wife Helen joined us for the trip from Menorca to Sardinia. Helen, I felt, was particularly brave not just as she has no experience of sailing on small boats and had signed up for a 235NM Crossing off the bat, but as she was doing it confined space with us lot. She must be mad!
Luckily the weather was kind. A little too kind…we left Mahon at 4pm with 10 kts of wind on the nose – we were heading for Sardina, or possibly Corsica, depending on the wind. By 7pm there was not a breath, so the engine did the work. It was a beautiful still night, the waxing moon was almost full and cast a silvery glow over the sea. Poor Helen, though was not fairing so well and her lunch made several appearances thoughout the course of the evening…
The next day there was still no wind so we motored on and altered course to take us towards Alghero on the North West Coast of Sardinia – the nearest land fall and only 180MN from Mahon. At dawn, as the sun rose we were treated to 9 dolphins playing round the boat for a good 30 minutes. They put on a wonderful display jumping and splashing in the bow wave. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen dolphins, every time is special. They are truly incredible animals. We could clearly hear them talking. Helen, Damian, Milly and I sat on the bow at 6 am watching and listening. Then as soon as they arrived, they were gone and left us with nothing but the memory.
Then we spotted a turtle. He was about 50m off the beam and floating on the surface. I swung the helm over and headed towards him. I shut the engine off and we drifted with him for 10 mins watching him swim, breath and go on his way. The kids were stoked. The wind slowly built throughout the day and by 3pm we had between 8 and 12 knots on the beam and with full sail up we had a great sail right up to the sea cliffs of Sardinia. We motored into our anchorage just as it got dark – and once again not another boat in sight. Bliss.
The next morning we decided some shore leave was in order and walked up to the sea cliffs to a place called Neptune’s Grotto. It was mentioned in our guidebook in passing and we didn’t expect much, but we were amazed at its beauty – a whole cave network full of stalactites and stalagmites. A truly amazing place, with an incredible walk down the side of the cliffs to get into it. Back on the beach we had a beer, headed back to the boat and headed off downwind towards Alghero and its ancient citadel.
The Port was pretty chaotic, at the fuel dock we were hemmed in by fishing boats, speedboats, day boats and charter yachts all vying for position. We got in and successfully out again (we are getting pretty good at setting up bow and stern springs to get out of tight spots) but it was hectic, unorganized and noisy. Welcome to Italy!