Tag Archives: Cagliari

Cagliari to Salerno across the Tyrrhenian Sea

We set off for Salerno at just before 9 am on Saturday 29th April with a 280 mile, 56 hour passage across the Tyrrhenian Sea ahead of us.    If we made 5 knots all the way we would be there by 5 pm on Monday 1st May. The weather forecast was consistently showing moderate north westerly winds for the entire weekend, which would mean having the wind behind us the whole way.

We’d spent our week in Cagliari in the Marina del Sole and by comparison to, I think, every other marina we’ve used this was by far the most run down and basic. The pontoons had all seen better days and there were a host of abandoned boats rotting at their moorings , some even growing plants from their decks! The pontoons lead onto a very tatty rotting wood ‘board walk’ and the marina office was a plastic table in a corner of the ‘bar housed in a tent! Having said that, the marina staff were friendly and helpful, there was water and electricity on the pontoons and the price was very reasonable. As a stop over to wait for the weather it was just what we needed.

Our route was simple, only about 2 courses, one from Cagliari down to Cabo Carbonara and Isla del Cavoli and the other from there to Salerno. As soon as we got away from the harbour we got the sails up and were roaring along at 7 knots, but that didn’t last unfortunately. Although as the voyage progressed the wind settled down to come from the north west is was not quite enough to allow us to sail throughout and a lot of the time we were motoring. But every now and then the wind would pick up and we could fly the big Code Zero and even reached a cracking 8 knots at one point!

We saw dolphins twice, or they came to play with us. Valeria saw what turned out to be a turtle, although thought it was a lump of drift wood until we were right on top of it and we had guests for both nights.

Hopefully won’t doing much sail trimming tonight!

At sun set on Saturday we found ourselves being ‘buzzed’ by 4 swallows, 2 of which settled down for the night on board and on Sunday we found ourselves hosting about a half dozen perching themselves around the deck. Come sun rise they were off again, but each left us a little thank you!

Sunset over Sardinia
Sunrise over the Tyrrhenian Sea

Approaching the main land we were due to make landfall at Capri and all through Sunday night into Monday morning we could make out the glow of Naples over the horizon.

Sunrise off Capri
Capri

We actually got to Capri as the Sun rose and were treated to some magnificent views of the south side of the island as we cruised east towards the Amalfi Coast. It is a place I’d heard of but wasn’t really prepared for how pretty it looked. It is very mountainous and rugged right to the coast with numerous houses and villages clinging to the mountainsides and ports such a Amalfi, Positano crammed into the mouths of valleys. In the morning sun it is easy to see how it became so popular!

The Amalfi Coast

Although planned to take us 56 hours we did it in just over 50 and by mid day we were tied up to the jetty in the Marina d’Arechi; this is a brand new marina, or rather an aspiring ‘marina village’. No ‘gardens’ on any of the boats here, and the only tents in sight are the gazebos along the jetty behind us for the 2nd Arechi Boat Show!

In all an almost perfect crossing, 280 miles and 2 days of fair winds and a following seas.

Cagliari

Cagliari was to have been a simple stop over on our way further around the coast before we set off for Salerno from a place called Arbatrax, half way up the east coast of Sardinia; however, a forecast of poor weather meant we stayed in Cagliari for 6 days before we could get a couple of clear days to head across to the mainland.

The city, Sardinia’s capital, is spread around the commercial port and pretty much conformed to my impression of Port cities. The old of town is built on a large hill and the castle walls were built to reinforce that hill, in places they are quite massive. Within the walls the town is a maze of narrow streets between tall buildings and much of the place seems to be rather shabby.

The most impressive buildings were the Bastione Saint Remy, the Cathedral di Santa Maria and the Palazzo Régio.

Bastione Saint Remy

The Bastione was a 19th century addition to the original 14th century walls and is described as a monumental staircase; an accurate description. It links the Constitution Square with the top of the ramparts. Happily there is a lift close by as the entire Bastione was closed for repairs.

Cathedral of Santa Maria

The Cathedral was started in the 13th century by the Pisans but was subject to the influences of the Aragonese, Spanish and the Genoans. It is suitably impressive.

Palazzo Regio

The Palazzo Regio is alongside the Cathedral and was originally built in the 14th century to house the Spanish Viceroy. Much of what is now evident dates from the 18th Century remodelling. During the Napoleonic Wars it was home to the Italian Royal family in exile from Turin. It is now the seat of the city government.

Councis Chamber in the Palazzo Regio

There is also a museum in the old town which houses the archaeological finds from the Bronze and Iron Ages in Sardinia, giving context to all the massive Nuraghe we’d visited on the island. That for me was about the best bit of the day, because otherwise we were pretty underwhelmed, even a little disappointed!

All the while we were in Cagliari we saw flights of flamingos which Valeria tried to photograph without much success, so on our last day we decided to go and visit them at the salt flats a few kilometres from the marina. The weather was overcast and the old salt pans were a bit dreary but the flamingos and other birds made up for it.

And that was Cagliari. My highlight was the museum, and Valeria’s was the flamingos!

Alghero to Cagliari – Day 4

Our night at Teulada was settled and pleasant. Once the cars had left the beach car park we alone, even the marina appeared devoid of people.

Morning Teulada!

Over night we had 10 knot winds from the north but they didn’t trouble us tucked away in the lee of Torre Budello.
We had a suitably relaxed Sunday morning, which, once the wind died away was quite warm. We set off at 1030 in almost calm conditions and didn’t even bother with the sail.

Once we set off along the coast the wind remained behind us and never actually got about 7 knots, not much use to us so we settled down to an uneventful Sunday drive to Cagliari.

Trying to look cool …..

Just until 1230 when we got pulled over by the Old Bill; well, Guardiã Finaza which we think is something like HM Customs. They turned around and came up behind us waving a fishing net wanting to see our papers; “Licence, insurance and registration please! Oh, and your VAT receipt.” All our papers are ready to go in my smart new Tarp dispatch bag and so were dropped straight into their net. Fifteen minutes later the bag came back and we were on our way again.  I can see why we were stopped, we were the only boat out there, but on a Sunday lunch time !!!

“They must be admiring my new Tarp Dispatch Bag”

The rest of the afternoon was a bit of an anticlimax! We arrived as planned and we all tied up in the Marina del Sole by 5.30.

On first impressions I am not sure what to make of the ‘Marina of the Sun’. The pontoons are a well used as you might expect, but as you get closer to the harbour wall they become down right shabby and rickety, and the Marina Office is a table in a tent. It is a substantial tent, with a bar in it, but still a tent!   But we have been quoted a very reasonable rate so we’re happy!

And you can’t grumble with sunsets like this!