After a couple of days recouping in Cape Carbonara we had to run to Cagliari, to escape a fairly intensive Mistral that was rapidly heading across the Balearic sea towards us. The Mistral is another of those Mediterranean winds that sends sailors scurrying to find shelter. It’s a very gusty wind, the average wind speed maybe only 25 – 30 knots, but there are regular gusts up to 50, 60 and occasionally 80 knots with seas to match. Brown pants time.
We found ourselves sheltering in Marina Del Sole and as it turned out it was a great choice. It’s rustic charm coupled with an eclectic mix of sailors, made it a great place to ride out the Mistral.
Much to the delight of the locals Ben and Oliver from S/V Intention ran riot around the marina. Milly made a new French friend called Lucy and collectively the crews of Vega and Intention checked out the town, which has a nice vibe, but it’s nothing incredible. It’s a big stop on Mediterranean cruise ship itineraries but I can’t really see why, compared to what else the Med has to offer!
There are some cool small streets and a strong alfresco café culture. The highlights are the II Castello with its views across the city and Torre dell’Elefante which is a tower built in 1307. The 42m-high tower is named after the sculpted elephant by the vicious-looking portcullis. Back in the day, the tower became something of a horror show, thanks to the severed heads the city’s Spanish rulers used to adorn it with. Another nice European touch.
The wind continued to blow hard for 4 days and in addition to checking out Cagliari we hung out in the super cool marina bar (on an only just floating jetty, made of drift wood and adorned with with plastic chairs and tables) drinking cold beer and proseco with Clive and Claire. We were visited by the resident dolphins and enjoyed watching the occasional bird who landed on Vega resting as it was too exhausting to fly into the relentless wind.
Oh and Heather and I also got on with a few boat jobs including sorting out a permanent fix for our knackered windlass control and beefing up our bilge pumping capability.
Having cruised on and off for three years I think one of the hardest things about this lifestyle is meeting lots of really interesting, friendly people, getting to know them over a few days and then having to say goodbye. Everyone has their own plans, timeframes and destinations. Their own journeys, which for fleeting moments intersect yours, they bring different insight, different cultures and experiences. It’s a shame to part so soon…but its part of this transient, nomadic cruising life.