Return from Portsmouth

As I mentioned before, being at my new home of Quay Side, means that one has to take tides into account more than usual. High water in Southampton is 1110, so we not only have to plan our journey back to go with the tidal flow, but also make sure we have enough water to get into our berth. So we either leave early or late afternoon. We opted for an early start and slipped lines at around 0845.

Successful mackerel fishing, this ones lucky day as it was returned to the sea. Not that you can tell from its expression

Initially, there was nearly enough wind, but we sailed anyway and it did pick up. Although the last hour or so we went under engine as we were being headed.

Fishing along the way resulted in two small mackerel, which were both released.

Queen Mary 2, at the entrance to the River Itchen

We arrived at our berth at 1230 and after a tidy up and a wash down, headed for Banana Wharf for lunch. Alex hasn’t been here for a while and neither has Ed, but we were remembered by the manager Craig, and warmly greeted. Ed, very kindly picked up the tab and after lunch we all headed in our own directions for land based homes.

The view from our table at Banana Wharf, Southampton

Great weekend , many thanks to Uncle Ed for sharing his time and company with us.

London – Apollo 11 – The Shard

Tuesday the 16th of July 2019

Today a visit to London and as Alex had his choice of seeing Spiderman the week before, it was now my turn. So we booked tickets to the BFI, on the SouthBank, to see Apollo 11. It is almost 50 years to the date since man first walked on the moon. I remember, very clearly, how I insisted on watching the moon landing, much to my mothers objections. The landing took place on the 20th of July at 21:17 BST and that was already past my bedtime and Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the moon at 04:56 BST. My stubbornness, passion and insistence paid off. I stayed and watched the whole time, promising my mother the world, or the moon, to be able to do so.

So 50 years hence, I sat in the cinema with my son Alex, and watched original and unseen footage all over again. Amazing memories flooding back and a great sense of pride, that mankind achieved this feat.

Little did Alex know that this was a rouse to lure him into London and take him up to the Shard, which was one of his birthday wishes.

As we arrived at the Shard Alex was ready to go home and looking for the train station to take us home. As we looked up at the Shard, I asked him if he would be brave enough to climb it and he was up for it. It was then, that I sprung the surprise, he was so excited. We walked in and into the first lift that took us to the first stage and then into a second lift that took us to the 68th floor. We then walked the final four floors, to the highest viewing point allowed to the general public.

Almost sunset

We were going to stay until sunset, but Alex was tired, after a whole day in London. So we set back to Waterloo by taxi,  only to be welcomed by train cancellations.

Taxi back to Waterloo

We managed to get the first available train out to Hinckley Wood and then an Uber to Esher. We later found out that a school boy had been knocked over and killed by a tracing at Chertsey/Woking. Just shows how fragile life is and one must ensure to make the most of it.

Dinner with Kamila and Alex

10th of July 2019

Returning from Sardinia to the greenness, coolness and wetness of England is surprisingly refreshing. Today Alex and I went to my Mum’s to cut the grass and pick up three pieces of cutlery, which have our coat of arms on it, “Korczak” The chap at the auction house saved a few pieces for me after researching its origins. In hindsight i should have kept more, but the set was incomplete.

After that, Alex and I headed for Sowa and then Kamila joined us at Northfields and we drove around Ealing, Hanwell and Acton, as Kami wants to buy a house in that area.

Then back to Esher, for dinner at “The Wheatsheaf” A lovely time with Kami and Alex.

At the Wheatsheaf

Portsmouth with Uncle Ed

12th of July 2019

After much tooing and froing on Friday night, it was finally decided between Ed, Alex and myself to make a trip to Portsmouth. Checking tides and tidal flows, we needed to be in Southampton for an early start. High water on Saturday morning is 1010, and being on my new berth, in Quayside which dries, means we are very much gouverned by the tides. Plus side is it’s cheap.

13th of July 2019

Alex and I set off at 0800 and on our way down stopped for Alex’s customary Mcdonalds breakfast, double sausage and egg Mcmuffin, without the egg. Also, on route I managed to get us booked into Gunwharf Quays marina, Portsmouth side. Slightly more expensive than Hazlar, but by the time you add ferry crossings from Gosport, works out a lot cheaper.

What’s happened to the ensign ?
Alex at the helm, navigating into Portsmouth

Although the forecast from Predict Wind, suggested no or minimal winds, we had more than enough to sail all the way to Portsmouth. Putting a preventer on, made our journey safe and confortable and enabled us to goose wing most the way. The entrance into Portsmouth is always spectaclur, especially on a fantastically sunny day. Alex guided Yaga skillfully to Balast Buoy, where we asked QHM for permission to cross to Gunwharf Quays.

We called the marina and were eventually placed in a tight spot on C pontoon. Being blown off, I guided Yaga’s bow towrads the pontoon, turning at the last minute to bring midships and stern into the pontoon, allowing Ed to gently step of and tie her up. No stress, no pressure and we were safely in and moored up by 1430. 3 hours door to door.

Ed, getting ready to step off at Gunwharf Quays

Spot Yaga

Within minutes we were sitting in one of the hundred of resturants of Portsmouth. We choose Bella Italian as Alex wanted a Spag Bols and Ed and I settled for a delicious Pizza. After lunch we headed back to Yaga. Ed settled for a siesta, whislt Alex and I went by bike and Foot scooter to the sea front and funfair.

Alex at the funfair

We opted for a open ticket, which allowed s as many rides as we wanted from 1800 to 2100. After two hours of fun at the fair, we headed back to Yaga and walked through old Portsmouth and planned to go for dinner to “The Bridge Pub” for fish and chips. Luckly, I called them to confirm they were still opened, and unfortunately they were just closing for food. So we headed for option two, The Wellington, which Alex and I had passed earlier. They were serving Thai curries, which we all enjoyed. The food was great and only surpassed by the freindly staff and service.

The day was completed, by a plesant walk back along the seafront and through Old Portsmouth, with moon and stars and harbour lights glittering and relecting in the sea


All good things come to an end and it is with sad heart that the day has come to leave Sardinia and return to the U.K. The only good thing is that we are returning to 25 degrees from a baking 38 degrees.

Massimo, Marta and Arba took Alex and me to the airport for our flight back to Gatwick.

We had such a great holiday and cant thank our friends enough for an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. One that will stay within us forever.

Arrivaderci Sardinia – A farewell at Cagliari airport.

Homeward Journey

We managed to reach our furthest point of our Sailing Odyssey and now its time to say farewell to BoniFacio and Corsica and set a course back to Cagliari, with hopefully some stops on the way.

We slipped lines at 1400, a little later than we planned, but that’s what this holiday has been all about. Compromise, no planned locations and if there are they are can be changed, and anything is possible. On this basis, we all voted for a last stop in the Maddalena’s, and stopped in a small anchorage that Ed and I pulled into a few weeks ago, to stow our tender, before entry into Maddalena. This time we were stopping overnight, and as usual participate in our usual beach landing and swim. We had a cracking sail here, all the way into the bay, Cala d’Alga, on the Isola Spargi.

Arya at anchor at Cala d’Alga
Sunset at Cala d’Alga

The Cala was almost empty when we anchored and certainly became empty, by the time we landed on the beach. Yet another experience of a beach all to ourselves. Privacy in Paradise is wonderful. We walked on our newly found territory and then donned flippers and snorkels and explored the undersea world of this paradise. Many fish and sea urchins, and I explored some underwater rocks and small crevices for octopus, but sadly found none. Still, it was interesting exploring.

Underwater at Cala d’Alga
Desert island Love

So, yet another night at anchor. Not a movement on the yachts and slept like babies. Next morning, another quick swim, before heading south and for Cagliari.

On route we caught a glimpse of two dolphins, a treat for Alex, although they only stayed with us for 2 minutes and were soon gone. But better than nothing.

Alex dolphin spotting
Home made pizza under sail
And yet another sunset, you can never get board of sunsets at sea. Humbling

The first part of our journey was under sail, but soon the wind died and we had to engine all through the night. We popped our heads into Marina Di Gairo, a lovely anchorage that I saw some weeks back. Very, very pretty and sheltered with a lovely beach, but because it was only 0700 and Massimo was still sleeping, we headed further south for Foxi Manna. This is where we anchored on the way up and swam many kilometres to and from the yacht. This time we went the 280 mtrs by tender and had breakfast at the beach cafe.

After breakfast we headed south and were beating into wind. We tried some tacking in 22 kt winds, but soon opted for an inland coastal route, under engine and back to Cagliari.

As we entered the harbour, in darkness, the yacht ahead of us suddenly stopped, and as we were passing, those on board were calling for help, as their engine had just failed. We pondered what to do and eventually, I suggested, we throw them a line and tow them in. It wasn’t easy, especially at night, but I managed to take them onto the end of a pontoon walkway, where we let loose and they drifted onto the pontoon. My good deed for the year ?

And so we moored up, and quickly made our way to Club Sportif and a delicous pizza for all, apart from Alex, who wanted a steak. Bless.

Alex and I went back to Arya for a very restful and peaceful night, while Massimo and Marta and Arba, went home. It was very strange waking up the next day and not seeing turquoise waters all around and going for our early morning dip. Still, there will be other times.

Farewell Sardinia

Well no sooner than you think your holiday is over and the sailing is done, then out pops a surprise.

After a lunch time meal at our favourite restaurant “Aquila” we return to Arya for a siesta. No sooner had we put our heads down there was a knock on the hatch. Massimo and Marta had turned up and offered to take us to anchor at Sella del Diavolo, an anchorage a mere 3nms from Sant Elmo marina.

We anchored in 3.3 mtrs and immediately went for a swim to cool down in the 38 degrees of heat. The water was as warm as bath water, but refreshing none the less. We stayed for hours, enjoying the Cala, and simply snorkelling and splashing around. Even Arba, with here new found sea legs joined in the fun.

Snorkelling yet again
Water polo

Alex didn’t want to leave
Arba, joining in the fun

The Cala was cooler, and as we left and headed back to Sant Elmo, we could immediately feel the hot wind, which like a hair drier, almost immediately dried our swimming consumes and clothes.

Back in the marina, we ordered take away pizzas, and reminisced about our adventures.

In our 9 days at sea we covered over 400 nm, anchored in 14 Calas, visited only 2 marinas, saw dolphins, Moray eels, empty secluded bays, paradise beaches, two night sails, stars and planets,visited two Countries, but above all had the most wonderful of times with our great friends Marta, Massimo and off course Arba.

Thank you to them and for the most wonderful of hoilidays, which will stay in Alex’s and my heart and mind forever. THANK YOU

A day in BoniFacio

This is my third time here and this place never ceases to amaze me. This time we all spent a leisurely later afternoon, going to the marina office, paying our dues €116, OW!!!, filing water tanks and cleaning Arya. After which I managed to slip of with Alex for a ice cream and beer, a beer for me that is ?

A small beer, pour moi

In the evening, we set of into the Citadel. It’s always wonderful, walking through these delightful narrow street, full of shops and restaurants all accompanied by incredible views of either the sea and spectacular cliffs on on side or spectacular sights of the yachts and marina below, on the other side.

The marina on one side
Spectacular views the other side

The marina at night

We were recommended a pizza restaurant “U Castile”, by the marina staff, which we headed for after our sight seeing. It proved a great recommendation, with all of us delighting in the good quality, fresh pizzas, produced on the premises.

Preparing our pizza, under Alex’s supervision

After dinner, we headed back down into the bustling port and marina and joined in with the merriments of the late evening and early morning.

Alex also managed to talk his way into a delightful sweet shop by the quayside.

Alex in sweet shop heaven

Another day in true Paradise, Calvallo

So, we have woken up in true paradise and quickly went ashore, much to Arba’s delight. A short walk up the single track road and we arrived at the hotel, where I had been with Edward and Elaine some 6 weeks ago.

I introduced Alex, Massimo and Marta to Chrsitana, a member of the hotel staff, whom I met here last time. She remembered me and was happy that we all returned. We sat by the hotel bay and indulged in coffee, Granita’s and the odd beer, and savoured paradise.

On the way back to Arya,we turned right, off the single track right road and into the most wonderful beach and bay you could ever imagine. As there are no private beaches on this island we headed down to the golden sands and clear waters of what is truly the most wonderful bay I have ever had the pleasure of swimming in. TRUE PARADISE.

Marta and Massimo at the Hotel Des Pecheurs

Alex, Marta Massimo teaching Arba how to swim

Alex and Arba swimming in Paradise Bay

The Bay was fantastic and so inviting, that we just couldn’t get out,and it was with sad heart that we had to leave and get back to Arya and onto our final and furthest destination of our trip, BoniFacio.

Unfortunately, we had to engine all the way, but it was only 8nms and we arrived to the wonderful entrance of the gorge. By 1630 we were moored up and relaxing on deck.

Alex with Arba, at the entrance to Bonifacio

At last the Maddelenas

Tuesday the 2nd of July 2019

After the night sail we decided to take a quick breakfast stop at the wonderful island of Tavolara, there was only one other yacht anchored nearby and as we ate our breakfast an sea plane few overhead. A few minutes later, we saw it again, this time on a final approach and landed a few hundred metres away. Another first, as I’ve never seen a sea landing in real life. After a quick swim for Marta we headed to the south western tip of Tavolara and then across the bay of Olbia. Being here twice before, it was now familiar territory and as the wind picked up we raised our sails and headed onto our next destination, Cavallo.

At Anchor at Tavolara

We had a steady wind and as we entered the beautiful waters of The Maddalena islands, I decided to take us into Cala Coticcio, more commonly referred to as Tahiti beach, because of it’s white sands and turquoise waters. Although, having said that I have seen clearer waters and whiter beaches elsewhere in this area.

I have been her several times before, but in April or May, this time as we sailed in the Cala was full of tenders, zodiacs, motor boats and yachts, not to mention large tourist boats, brining in even more tourists. We decided to stop for a while anyway. There was a free mooring buoy, which I decided to pick up, a first for Massimo. We had a swim amongst the fish, which only just managed to out number the tourists.

The madness of Tahiti beach, not how I remembered it on other occasions. Very busy
Massimo, with hundred of fish in the background

So, refreshed, but somewhat disappointed, with the number of yachts and tourists, and not being able to get onto the beach for lack of space, we pressed on and had a wonderful sail all the way to the entrance of Cala Di Zeri, of the island of Cavallo, arriving 2000 . We anchored in the eastern part of the Cala in 4.5 metres. We readied the tender and made our way to the beach for an evening swim in the warm waters of bay.

Arriving just before sunset at Cala Zeri, Cavallo
Evening swim for Alex

A long day, and now a restful night with dinner under the stars. What a difference to Tahiti, quite and peaceful.