The leg of our journey from Bonifacio to Alghero took us three days, spending two nights at anchor on the north coast of Sardinia.
Before leaving Bonifacio on Monday morning I had to book in, pay and book out as the office was closed over the weekend. I had rung the previous week and had been quoted a price of €70 per night; a bit steep off-season even for a catarmaran, so I was pleasantly suprised when I was charged just €42 for our two nights!
Our route took us back across the Bonifacio Straights to Sardinia, our first anchorage on Monday night in a bay called La Marinedda north of Isla Rossa before heading west along the coast to Cala Yacca on the north west tip of Sardinia north of Stintino. From there I planned to sail between the islands of Assinsra and Piana.
The highlight of our day on Tuesday was cruising passed San Pietro a Mare, where the Brackenburys and the Melos are spending a holiday in the summer and taking some photos of the picturesque Castlesarda, a fortified town close by.
On Wednesday morning I wanted to be up and away early to get through the Fornelli Passage. This is a short cut between the islands of Asinara and Piana and with a strong wind the swell makes the passage dangerous. If we left later when the wind was due to pick up we might have needed to go all the way round Asinara, an additional 20 miles, or 4 hours!
The Passage is a ‘dog leg’ channel about a mile long and shallows to 3 metres; not a problem for us with a 1.3 metre draft and no wind! But even so there was still a bit of swell running and waves were breaking over the rocks at the exit; initially we couldn’t see the opening which worried Valeria.
To ensure you stay on the right course ‘leading marks’are used. These are pairs of beacons which you line up with each other and keep them in line showing that you are in safe water. At the ‘dog leg’ you alter course and line up two more beacons behind you and keep them in line to leave the channel. Reaching the ‘dog leg’ the exit became clear and so was the sigh of relief!
Once clear of the passage we got the sails up and motor sailed south along the coast towards Alghero passing the massive cliffs of the north west of the island.
On our way we found ourselves passing through ‘slicks’ of little things we could not identify, so we went ‘fishing’ with a bucket and managed to catch two of them; they were small jelly fish.
These two laid on their backs in our bowl but they have a small flap of ‘skin’ on their backs which act like sails, it was that we could see as we sailed through them.
Just after lunch we passed Capo Caccia and turned to the east into the Radar di Alghero. That put the wind behind us so I hauled out the Code Zero and turned off the engine and we had a nice quiet final leg into Alghero.
At this point I rang the ‘Ser Mar’ marina as previously instructed and before I had even given the boat’s name Frederico, the Marina owner said “Yes, yes, I know, I watch AIS.” On arrival I found out we were the first visiting yacht of the year and he’d been watching us all the way from Olbia!
And then it was ‘All hands to cleaning stations’. The whole boat needed washing, cleaning, beds making etc in readiness for the arrival of Ana, Charlie and Mateus, due to arrive on Thursday.