Tag Archives: France

SARDINIA – NE COAST

We arrived back to Sardinia from Corsica to meet our friend Miguel in Porto Torres.     We decided to make a quick detour and cross back to Corsica to visit Bonifacio and it was well worth it!     The combination of the beautiful natural harbor’s vertical sides of white limestone and the medieval wall around the town and citadel makes this a very unique and splendid place to visit.    The evening lights of the town reflect off the white rocks surrounding the harbor.   Magical!
Bonifacio entrance

Bonifacio entrance

Bonifacio

Bonifacio

Bonifacio by Night

Bonifacio by Night

Returning back to Sardinia, our first anchorage  was the French Island  of Lavezzi as this was highly recommended to us as a day anchorage.    This proved to be very special indeed.       It was  crowded when we arrived but were able to find space and later when a tour boat arrived full of anxious people wanting to spend time on the beach, the private boats refused to move so the tour boat could not come in and retreated.

Lavezzi

Lavezzi

We learned that the Rolex Mega yacht race was starting in Porto Cervo in two days which explained seeing so many racing yachts.   As we sailed along the east side of Caprera Island, many were out practicing.   We stopped for a coffee break in a anchorage called Cala Coticcio which the locals call (Tahiti Bay).   Beautiful water, great snorkeling and quite crowded.  Here we were approached by the marine park reserve authorities.   Roland had ordered our permit online which is a cost savings.   Those who were anchored there without a permit paid 40% higher.   They had a credit card machine with them.
Cala Coticcio

Cala Coticcio

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

There are so many wonderful places to anchor in this area and we enjoyed them all.   One anchorage turned out to be a perfect location to watch boats pass by.   We all commented it was like a ring side seat at a boat show.    Who could guess the length, who could guess the brand,  what country does that flag represent?
Mega Yacht passing our anchorage

Mega Yacht passing our anchorage

We arrived in Olbia at a small marina and were happy they had space for us.
Here we rented a car to get Miguel to the airport on the west side of the island.   We took a long day and drove into the mountains.   Roland and Miguel were mountain goats, climbing rocks to get the best view for photos.
Miguel rock climbing

Miguel rock climbing

The next day Roland and i took the car to Porto Cervo to view the Rolex Mega Yachts.  Walking the dock was almost the feeling of being in a art gallery for boats.   The pristine conditions, the size of the rigs, the multiple sail bags that must be hoisted on board, the number of crew and the expenses……    I only hope while walking around in awe, I did remember to close my mouth.
Porto Cervo

Porto Cervo

J-Boat,  Velsheda

J-Boat, Velsheda

To heavy to carry!

To heavy to carry!

It was time to move on but we needed to get some fuel at the marina.    As you will see in the photo below, this is Italian class even at a fuel pump.   This lady owns the station and arrives each morning in her skirt and pearls.    She insists on pumping the fuel and will not accept assistance.      The day prior Roland had questions for her about bio diesel, which Miguel translated.    She could not answer direct but did her research and called Miguel back later in the afternoon.   Class and good service!

Top class fuel service in Olbia

Top class fuel service in Olbia

As we left Olbia with the next anchorage in mind for the evening, our intention was to leave the next morning for Naples.    Part of cruising is the ability to change your mind at the last minute.   We decided it was best to continue south along the Sardinian coast then cross to Sicily.

 

CORSICA

With 9 days to spare before our friend will meet us in Sardinia, we crossed to the French island, Corsica.    The island is 100 miles long and 45 miles wide with a coastline of nearly 600 miles due to so many bays and peninsulas.     The wonderful scent from the low shrubs covering the island to the majestic mountain peaks (highest 2,710m / 8,900ft) to the beautiful anchorages makes this a cruisers paradise.    This island is all about the enjoyment of nature with  a bonus of  French cuisine.    Great snorkeling and diving.    We were told by several that  a trip across the island to see some of  the mountain villages is a must.    A contrast  while at anchor  offered the roar of  thunder rolling through the mountains, while  enjoying full sunshine.
Anse De Chevanu

Anse De Chevanu

Corsica anchorage

Corsica anchorage

In Ajaccio is the main capital where we stayed for two nights. Here is where Napoleon was born. The firefighting planes filled their tanks outside the marina and flew up in the mountains.
Firefighting planes filling water

Firefighting planes filling water

We experienced perhaps the end of the hot summer season as the evening temperatures were cooler. I wonder if I will think the same once we arrive in Sicily?   With another mestral coming we had to cut our stay shorter than planned and cross back to Sardinia.
 Roland under the Bimini

Roland under the Bimini

BELGIUM and FRANCE

Our first and only port in Belgium was Oostende.   A busy commercial port, with the International Port Traffic Signals.  As we approached the entrance we could see via the light signal that we were not allowed to enter without permission.    After a VHF call to the port control, we were told we could follow the ferry coming from England into the port.

Next day we followed the Belgium coastline to Calais, France.    We really cannot recommend this as a place of destination and would recommend considering Dunqurke or Boulogne.   These I believe would offer more variety once you arrive in the ports. 

A HR 37 owner, Marco, who has crossed the English Channel 144 times gave us a good tip to sail a bit further south to Cap Gris Nez and then cross.     The morning was bright sunshine, warm but very little wind so taking Marco´s advice we headed south and then made the crossing motor sailing.   Once we were out of the traffic separation lanes we adjusted our course to Eastbourne, England and had a wonderful downwind sail using the genoa only.    The winds increased to 20 knots and with the current in our favour we arrived perfectly with the tide conditions for entering the canal and locks into the inner harbour.      Eastbourne has a very nice harbour and well protected.      Of course we had to go to the local pub that evening and cheer for Sweden playing England.      We got some surprised looks when Sweden scored their first goal.   It was fun!

We have now visited Brighton and  Cowes and are currently in Portsmouth.     Roland’s daughter Jenny, and Jimmy have been with us for 10 days now and they must fly back to Sweden tomorrow.  As it is Midsummer today and we could not find herring, we will settle for strawberries after dinner.

 

A true England fan!