Cala Domestica to Cala Piscinni

Another early morning start, this time we were up at 0500 to leave at 0530. We eventually weighed anchor at 0554 and we quietly slipped past our only neighbours, a Belgium yacht, that was already in the Cala when we had arrived.

This is such a wonderful place that it would be nice to have stayed another day and explore the shore a little more. That said, I dare say it’s extremely busy on the weekends with visiting locals and in summer probably unbearably busy. In fact I remember a year ago, when Ed and I passed this Cala and attempted to go in, that it was extremely busy and one couldn’t swing a cat within its confines.

As soon as we were out of the Cala by a few hundred yards we had unexpected winds, and put our sails up. These were to stay up, although reefed, all the way to our new destination some 62 miles away. We had a cracking sail past the islands of S. Pietro and S.Antioco.

Out the blue we saw a “Guardia Di Finanza” vessel approaching us from our starboard side, they came close and then behind us, and over our fishing line, and we caught our biggest fish yet. The line went crazy and we eventually had to cut the line with our knife as this was one catch we didn’t want to land ?. They were obviously trying to call us, but as we had our deck speaker off, we didn’t hear them. Another lesson learnt. Anyway, they left us alone, taking our lure with them.

We continued on our route being headed by the 20 kt winds. We tacked 9 times towards our original destination of Tuarredda. As we drew near, I noticed two yachts anchored to the east of Tuarredda and pointed these out to Ed. After a brief discussion we decided to take a look and tacked towards the Cala Piscinni.

As we sailed into the Cala, the wind and waves dropped to nothing, being sheltered by the land. It looked a remarkably peaceful, protected place and ideal for a night stop. So we dropped anchor in 4 mtrs of water and were safely in by 1710. This probably saved us 1 hour off our journey and both Ed and I were happy to relax on deck in our newly found home for the evening. The night was calm and one of the most peaceful we’ve had, no rolling at all.

Ed, putting the anchor snubber on for a restful evening

Cala Piscinni
Sunset over Cala Piscinni

Alghero to Cala Domestica

Unfortunately the winds are not in our favour to continue sailing around Sardinia. So we have decided to catch a weather window and head back south. Our plan is to head for the anchorage of Cala Domestica.

We slipped lines at 0300 and engined out of Alghero and set a southerly course. The first couple of hours were under engine, due to lack of wind as predicted, but thereafter it picked up and we had a cracking sail until 1130.

The weather was absolutely stunning with a welcoming dawn and a glorious sunrise with fantastic cloud patterns. The sea was calm and the sun shone throughout the day. The wind died down to nothing and we had to motor the remainder of the voyage.

Wonderful sunrise and cloud patterns

As we entered the Cala, there was only one other yacht and so we anchored past him and closer the the beach in approximately 3.5 to 4.0 mtrs of water. The sea bed was sand and the anchor set immediately.

A few minutes later, I was swimming in these warn waters and towards the beach, some 200 mtrs away. Half way between Arctura and the beach, I was able to stand and walk the remaining distance. Up until 1940, minerals were mined here and loaded onto ships. The remains of these works are visible on either side of the Cala, and one can freely roam through them After a stroll along the beach, I returned to Arctura to relax and admire the peacefulness of this place and watch the dozen or so people enjoying the waters of this shelters bay.

The evening was completed with me cooking a fine Spaghetti alla puttanesca, accompanied by a fine bottle of Prosecco, whilst watching stars and Universe in this most beautiful of coves. One of the best.

Taking the plung in Cala Domestica
Me swimming through wonderful warm and turquoise waters
Half way to the beach
Arctura in Cala Domestica


A pleasant night at Mal Di Ventre, there was a little swell, but nothing like the 2 metres waves that we encountered a few miles from the island. Certainly a restful light and well worth a stopover.

We weighed anchor at 0530 and set our course for Alghero. Yet another cracking sail to within an hour of Alghero. No fishing this time as we have run out of lures?

The approach to Alghero was as magnificent as always. Swathed in glorious sunshine the views fro the sea of the old town and ramparts were very impressive.

Alghero as seen from the sea – coming from the south

We decided upon the marina that we had stayed in before, “Ser Mar”, and as last time we were greeted by a tender at the harbour entrance at 1300 and then by Frederico, the owner, when at the pontoon He remembered us and we exchanged pleasantries before putting Arctura to rest after her long voyage.

Marina Ser Mar

A short rest for us and then I concocted a spaghetti carbonara for lunch.

After lunch we took a walk into town and opted for a drink on the terrace of the highest building in Alghero, the Hotel Catalunya , with fantastic views of the city.

Views from hotel Catalunya

I booked a table for 2000 for Ed and me at our favourite restaurant “Mabrouk”. There is only one set menu, you take what comes, but there is plenty, so you need a good appetite. I think we counted 9 diff rent dishes and 3 deserts. The wine also flowed and you can have as many carafes as you can muster. All this for €40 per head.

Me and Ed at Ristorante Mabrouk

A fantastic gastronomic experience.

Sassari by bus

As there is no wind to sail, today we decided to take a bus ride into Sassari, Sardinia’s second largest city. But before we did, we settled up with Frederico, and he very kindly offered us a ride to the bus stop. This put us well ahead of

schedule, but gave us the opportunity to have a relaxed breakfast of cakes and coffee.

Via Catalonga from where we caught the bus

Our bus arrived on time at 1200 at the Via Catalonga bus stop. The return journey cost us €6.20 per person and took just over an hour.

A short 10 minute walk and we were in the old town, which is a stark contrast to the streets to get there en route.

Cattedrale di San Nicola

The old town has a warm feel to it and the stone work on the Catterdrale Di San Nicola, is amazing. There are plenty of nice restaurants and we were again lucky to chose one in the old town called “Spagettoria S’Artea”. The choice paid off, again, not a single tourist in site, strictly Italian, with some beautiful women having lunch to add to the ambiance.

We had a mussel soup to start, followed by a delicious spaghetti Sarda, and finally polished off with Tiramisu. Some wine off course ?

The journey to and from was through olive groves and vineyards, some of which I would like to visit next time.

A Coastal walk with friends

On our second day of having the hire car we decided to take a drive up to Santa Maria Navarrese. I was last here in July with Alex, Massimo and Marta, and off course Arba.

It was Ed’s turn to drive and on our way up I sent a text to Marta and Massimo to see where they were. Coincidently, they were anchored just off Santa Maria Navarrese at a small island called “Isola dell’Ogliastra. After a fe more texts and conversation with Ed, we all decided to meet up and go for the coastal walk that Ed and I had planned to do.

We arrived just after 1200 and met Marta and Massimo, and our Swiss friends, Rachel and Roman. After greeting and friendly exchanges, we made our way to the start of the walk.

A map at the route shows the route, distance and incline. We are on the inner 5km coastal route, marked in white.

Marta told us that the walk was fairly flat an easy. Ed had also checked information about the walk the previous night and concurred, as so we set off.

The walk starts of with a short climb up some step carved into the natural terrain and for the first part is pleasantly undulating, but progressively becomes more challenging with steeper inclines and descents, some quite rugged and rocky. That said, it’s a really pleasant walk, with the prize of fantastic views and a wonderful terraced restaurant at the end.

Happy faces, Marta and Massimo at the start of the walk
Ed and me starting the walk

Views back to the island opposite Santa Maria Navarrese
Wild goats on route
Pedralonga Longa in the distance
Arba enjoying the walk

Enjoying a well deserved lunch on the terrace of “Trattoria Pedralonga Longa”
The happy married couple the day before their first wedding anniversary

Sardinian donkey, on our return walk

Although the walk wasn’t as easy as anticipated it was more than pleasure able with stunning sights and the terraced restaurant at the end a fantastic bonus with great, fresh, seafood. We saw many families with young children, so if taken slowly must be o.k. For them too. Arba, certainly enjoyed herself.

North to Mal di Ventre

13th to 15th of October

We stayed a couple of nights on CarloForte and on the last night found a delightful restaurant, literally just opposite the marina office. As is our now mode operandi when seeking out new restaurants, it was populated with Italians, which is a good rule to observe, to get value for money, great food and ambiance. We had a amazing beef Tonga, followed by tagliatelle vongole, enhanced by a fine bottle of Vermentino.

Our neighbour whilst at CarloForte

The morning of the 15th, we slipped lines at 1000 and set sail fo Mal Di Ventre. A fantastic sail, with speeds exceeding 8kts. We had a massive bite on the fishing rod, so big in fact that the reel reached its limit and whatever was on the end was impossible to pull in. By the time we had slowed that boat down, whatever was on the end had escaped.

Approaching Isola Mal Di Ventre at 8.1 kts

We reached Isola Mal Di Ventre at 1830 and had 30 minutes of light , before the sun set, to find a sandy patch and drop anchor. There are mooring buoys here, but we prefer to use our own hardware. We have been here once before and remember the slightly sulphurous smell approaching the anchorage.

Due to our dinner escaping and taking our lure with it, we were forced to eat the steaks that we had bought before we left for our journey. Ed prepared them beautifully, with a mayonnaise sauce and accompanied the potatoes wedges and salad.

An undulating and yet comfortable night and even Ed managed to get some sleep.

A wonderful bolt hole and perhaps next time we may land and visit the Roman ruins.

Road Trip to Barumini and Villasimius

The first few days in Sardinia were spent visiting archaeological sites and taking nature walks. We hired a car for £32 for four days, unbelievable bargain. This allowed to venture in land to Barumini. We were here to visit the archeological site of “Su Nuraxi Di Barumini”, an ancient people called the Nuraghe, that inhabited Sardinia 1700 BC. Unbelievable remains of Bronze Age people, with amazing architectural skills. But before we did that we had lunch in a restaurant opposite the site called “Il Cacallinno Della Giara”. A good choice of Mortadella with a side dish of fresh cherry tomatoes. Delicious and very reasonably priced with pleasant service.

Restaurant – Il Cacallinno Della Giara
Interior of Restaurant – Il Cacallinno Della Giara
This is apparently a foot bath and sauna, or so we were told by our tour guide.
The Bronze Age village

Ed in one of the passages in the courtyards
Chiesa Parochial of Immacolata in the village of Barumini

Our next plan was to take the coastal road to Villasimius. This meant travelling all the way back to Cagliari and then heading east along the coastal road. The road proved absolutely wonderful along the coast with amazing views of the sea and shore. We passed by many anchorages that we had visited both on Arctura and Arya.

Fantastic views of the anchorages along the coastal road to Villasimius

Spectacular sunsets at Fortezza Vecchia and dusk overlooking Solanas

We arrived in Villasimius in time for the sunset and then started our return towards the setting sun and Cagliari.

Sardinia October 2019

A busy busy day on Sunday. Waking at 0300 and driving to Luton for an early morning flight to Gdansk to return Alex to Poland after his brief visit for a hospital appointment. I returned the same day arriving back at Luton at 2100 and a quick drive back to Esher to unpack and pack again for another early morning flight to Sardinia the following day.

The Alps
The Coast of Corsica
Sardinia – Capo Boi and Solanas Beach

The BA flight was on time and with a 160 mph tail wind which meant that we landed a full half hour early. Ed came to the airport by train to welcome me and we took a taxi back to Marina Sant Elmo.

A quick un packing and by 1330 we were in the Club Sportif for lunch. Wonderful to be back and be able to relax and unwind


After a spot of breakfast we weighed anchor and set sail for our next destination of CarloForte, some 34 miles away. We were no sooner out of the anchorage where we set our sails and were wizzing along the coast to our new destination.

We had two bites of our fishing lure, but each time, whatever it was, manage to get away. At over 7 kts, the boat speed was too fast. However, the third time, we struck luck, and managed to slow Arctura down enough to retrieve our evening meal, a splendid Tuna.

The proud fisherman

We arrived at CarloForte at 1600 having sailed the entire way. We stayed in our usual marina “Sifredi” against the rear wall next to the new marina office, €28.50 per night, bargain.

The galloping gourmet
Wonderful fresh tuna