An evening with friends

After two months it was finally time for a haircut. Massimo can to pick us up to take us for our trim. Ed was still busy with the washing and so I went out with Massimo for a quick coffee and then returned to pick up Ed. The hair dresser Massimo uses was busy until 14:00 and so we were invited to Marta’s and Massimos appartment for an impromptu lunch of pasta. Lovely as ever.

Then onto our haircuts.



After having our trim we felt it befitting to invite our friends, Marta and Massimo for an evening meal at a fantastic Sardinian resturant “Sa Domu Sarda”. A fantastic place with traditional Sardinia dishes. I had the stewed donkey, not all of it of course ?. At the end of the meal, some wonderful news that Marta and Massimo are getting married in August and have invited us for this special day. Alex will be thrilled when he an I come out in August for this special day. I AM SO HAPPY FOR THEM. And its an honour to be invited.

Celebrating the good news with Marta and Massimo

The last Leg

They day has arrived for our final leg to Arctura’s home port of Cagliari. We weighed anchor at 08:24 and after sailing past Marta and Massimo’s anchored yacht, where there was no sign of life, proceeded out of the bay and raised our sails. The wind was 15kts and building quickly and we started sailing at a brisk 6kts almost immediately.

We made our way eastwards and towards Cagliari, the wind picking up and our speed increasing. We had a cracking sail all the way being hit by 30kt gusts and heavy rain showers, but the sail was exhilarating and a fine and rememberable end to a 1,100nm journey.

Arriving at Cagliari, the wind dropped as if by magic to allow for a easy mooring and as soon as tied up and safe the wind picked up again.

And so the end of a 46 day voyage, covering 1,100 nm and encompassing 21 locations.

I hope you have all enjoyed following my travels, any comments and suggestions are always welcome. Keep watching the blog for future trips and updates and I will try a publish a video of our Mediterranean Odyssey, with previously unseen footage and more photos.

A map of the Mediterranean Odyssey 2018


Homeward Bound

We spent a couple of days on CarloForte. We had been before with our friend Massimo, but that time by ferry and only for a couple of hours. This time was a very different experience and we felt relaxed in the charming atmosphere of the seafront cafes and resturants. We were recommended a lovely resturant “ Torro di Corsa “, where I treated Ed to another meal for the use of Arctura and a wonderful Oddesey around the Mediterranean. The resturant specialises in Tuna dishes, using all the different parts of this wonderful fish, including the heart, stomach and of course the finest fillets.

The heart is the one on the far left
I couldn’t wait and took a bite before taking the photo


We then progressed south east and towards a very beautiful anchorage, Porto Zafferano. It’s very sheltered and being in a military zone we were the only yacht in the bay. The only other activity was a small fishing boat casting its nets across the bay, we must have gone over them as we came in as later in the evening we could see him gathering them in with the catch of the day.


Heading South


We set sail for the island of Isola di Mal di Ventre ( Upset stomach island ), so called because of the sailor sailing its shore complained of sea sickness due to the rough weather around its shores. Apparently this island was declared and Independant state by an Italian truck driver, who wrote to Berlusconi and the UN asking for independence. He was eventually jailed for 4 million Euros tax evasion. Whilst jailed he went on hunger strike, protesting political asylum and after 2 month, subsequently died.

The island itself is barren and desolate. We anchored up next to a French yacht. They probably wern’t expecting anyone else to join them.

An evening meal of my freshly prepared Spagetti Puntanesca at anchor on Isola di Mal di Ventre, with our French neighbours on their yachts in the background.
Sunset on desolate Isola di Mal di Ventre



After a reasonably restful night, we set our sails and made way for CarloForte. After an hour the wind died down to nothing and we had to start the iron maiden and engined for the next 7 hours.

Ed had an idea to try some anchorages that lay about 12nm from Carloforte. We popped our head into one called Cala Domestica, but were beaten in by a yacht motoring past us at great speed, simply to get a spot before we entered. As there was limited room within this anchorage we carried on south to the next one, Mausa, near Pan Di Zucchero. This was initially bearable, but during the cooking of our evening meal became unbearable. We scoffed our food as quickly as it would go down and having just enough time to get to CarloForte before dusk set sail in a strong breeze to the island.

As we approached the main channel to CarloForte, we came across a mass of bouys and looking through the binoculars determined what we could only describe as being Tuna nets. Totally unmarked and unlit. Avoiding these we made our way to Carloforte to a welcome by a lonely Ormagetori, which Ed had requested earlier to take our lines. The other welcome we got was thousand of mosquitos. So we managed to enter and tie up at 21:00, just before dusk and after settling down, made our way to the seafront and a local pizzeria.

Home Waters

And so we have arrived at Tuerredda, The first place in almost two month where we have been to before with Arctura. You could say we are in home waters. This, in my opinion is the very best anchorage on the southern coast of Sardinia. Although this time we were shooed away from Tuerredda, as we were a little close to shore, which in a way was a good thing as the beach was so crowded with people that you couldn’t see the sand. So we went to the western Bay “Cala Malfatano”. There was only one other yacht anchored in the bay and the beaches were a lot less full, with perhaps 40 or so people.

Once anchored we prepared our tender and motored ashore and went to a small, but very pleasant beach resturant for our customary spaghetti Botarga and some wine. The staff here were very welcoming and the food of high quality. By the time we had finished our lunch there were more yachts in the anchorage.

Earlier in the day we had some good news that Marta and Massimo would be joining us and sailing the 30 odd miles in their yacht. So to pass the time Ed and I explored the bay by tender and even went ashore to a small pebbled beach.

We waited and waited and had booked a restaurant for the four of us, but still no Marta and Massimo. Eventually, at about 22:00 they arrived in the bay and we guided them in with a torch. They had been delayed leaving and had wind and waves against them all the way, but we were flattered that they made the magnificent effort of joining us for just one night.

We Invited them to Arctura and we promptly made a spaghetti carbonara, which went down a treat with all, including Arba, who promptly christened Arctura after her ordeal.

After jollities and exchanges of sea passages we called it a night and it was off to bed we go. A fantastic day, with fantastic friends. Although only knowing Marta and Massimo for one year, the friendship to me feels like a lifelong one.

Tomorrow the final leg of our Mediterranean Odyssey.


Edward parking up


The view from our resturant 
Who that good looking chap?


Arctura at anchor



We stopped at Cala Liscia in the Maddalena island for a couple of day, so as to rest up after our long passage. This bay from westerlies and Arctura was as stable as in any marina. WE managed to catch some fish, which we cooked in garlic, tomatoes, courgettes and black olives, served up with some rice. Not much else to report as we simply chilled and watched as new neighbours arrived and departed.

Cala Liscia at sunset
Our daily catch
And now in the pan
And now about to be consumed
Night fall in the bay


We left Liscia our anchorage and home of two days and set sail for Bonifacio. We left at 08:35 and set sails immediately and had a fantastic run, reaching Bonifacio at 12:45 and in one tack. There was no one to help us moor up as they seemed rather busy and so we did the job ourselves, loosing a boat hook in the process. Our first job was to clean and refilled Arctura, our faithful vessel and home and then off for lunch. The contrast of French Corsica and Italy it quite startling, with different foods,  atmosphere, mannerism, culture and off course language. We had lunch and Ed went back to Arctura for a rest whilst I ventured into town.

A steep walk up to the old walled city was not the easiest, but was definitely worth the effort. Quaint, narrow allies and cobbled streets, full of resturants and shops and locals playing pétanque.

Our marina
Narrow streets of Bonifacio


A view from the top of the city
The walled city as view from Arctura

I then can across a pay booth that charge €3 for access to the “King of Aragon Steps”. A steep walk down from the top of the walled city to practically sea level, The walk down was great, but i knew the walk back up would be difficult and it certainly was and I would say not for everyone. The walk along the steps and the views are spectacular, to say the least.

The King of Aragon’s steps
The view from the bottom of the steps
The view from the bottom of the steps

Once back at the top and I headed for the nearest bar for a well deserved beers and the a pleasant walk back to the marina. The marina is full of life with many visitors chattering yachts and plenty of sea schools teaching teenagers sailing and morning skills. Lovely to see kids without iPhones or iPads, sitting on deck, having a Lucy break with their colleagues and discussing their days events with smiles and laughter.

The marina at night is quite busy, with restaurants overflowing, even at this time of year, and music playing into the early hours of the morning. Not a quite place ?

Stintino to Alghero

Up at the crack of dawn, 06:00 to be precise. I set about preparing our meal for our 12 hour sail to Alghero. I used up the sausages that we bought on Bonifacio and made a sort of a spag bols, using up the existing vegetables.

We slipped lines a 07:15 and motored out of Stintino and through the Fornelli passage, the depth never went below 7 metres and the transits were easy to follow. It’s amazing how different with the sea is the other side, with breaking waves and turbulent seas, even on this mild day. Not recommended in high winds or adverse conditions.

We then raised sails and followed a tracking plan that I downloaded using some new software “Savvy Navvy”, its still in BETA, but pretty good. Will keep an eye on it. The tacking plan worked well and within 8 tacks we were 9 miles from the entrance to Alghero, when the wind died to 4 kts or less, and we engined the rest of the way into harbour. We were greeted into Ser-Mar by a tender and guided to our berth. Ser-Mar was again recommended by my very good friend Carolyn. The welcome at the berth by the owner and his companion was splendid and we were made to feel very welcomed immediately. What a find and only €35 per night.

And so into town and to a resturant that Ed had been to before, “Mabrouk”, which means blessing in Arabic. Alghero, was first settled by the Phoeniciansand then the Catalans. Indeed Catalan is a Co-official language here ( a unique situation in Italy ).

Anyway, enough history. The resturant was very pleasant and you have to book as its extremely popular. The food was amazing, with great sea foods, carafe after carafe of wine and all at a set price.

The light house at Capo Caccia which we rounded on or final leg to Alghero
Arrival at Alghero, with the marina tender coming out to greet us


A cracking sail to Stintino

We slipped lines and motored out of Castelstrado. As soon as we were outside the marina walls we hoisted our sail and set our course for Stintino. The wind was westerly and between 10 and 15kts. We were determined to do this 21 mile passage under sail and so we did. After only 5 tacking manoeuvres we arrived at Statino. We hoisted sails at 11:00 and arrived at the entrance of Statino at 16:45. A voyage of 5:45 with a total distance covered of 33.4 miles.

The marina is very pleasant, clean and tidy and we made our way to the office and very pleasant welcome from Massimilian, the office manager. He couldn’t do enough for us, with plenary of local knowledge, from local anchorage on nearby beaches, moorings buoys on the nearby island of Asinara to restaurants in town. He even offered us the free use of the marina courtesy car, which we declined as we wanted to walk, but its good to know, should we want to explore further a field.

The marina office
Massimilian, the marina manager

We then continued into the town, which is a small dwelling on 1800 residence. The town is totally unspoilt and its main industry is fishing. A very peaceful and tranquil place.

The view of our marina from our walk into town
The town harbour
Some local art


Today we explore the pleasant town of Castelstrado. Literally a town built on a rock. We walked from the marina and through the new town that has developed at the bast of the rock where the old town starts. It’s about a half hour walk, with moderate inclines and with each step the town gets older and prettier, There’s a small castle at the top containing a hand weaving basket exhibition, which was the trade of the people who lived and live here. Pleasant resturants, and off course we had to stop for our usual spaghetti vongole.

A view of our marina from the top of Castelstrado
The usual Vongole in one of the many lovely restaurants in Castelstrado
The walk back down with a view of the marina


In the evening we relaxed on Arctura and I prepared our sea bream that we purchased in Bonifacio. This is a very pleasant marina with welcoming staff and the town is a must to visit.

The sea bream we bought in Bonifacio