The 25 hour (186 Nm) passage from Menorca got us to Alghero ahead of the Mestral. We had good winds and could sail all the way to a nice anchorage just outside Alghero where we spent two nights. The water temperature was a bit cooler than the Balearic Islands therefore much more refreshing.
The next day we took the dingy ashore to enjoy our first Italian pasta lunch at a beach restaurant. YUM!! Of course the reason for choosing this restaurant was their strong wi-fi signal so in order to get the code we had to “endure” wonderful pasta dishes with our feet buried in sand. Late afternoon the winds kicked up, the sky darkened, rain drops fell so all of the boats at anchor disappeared except us and a Italian boat. As the winds increased we noticed that the Italian boat was dragging anchor and in no time he was out of the cove, past the point and we could not get their attention. Several people on board and NOBODY noticed. As they had the mizzen sail up and now in deeper water, the bow swung and they started sailing away. A dingy came racing toward the boat and we then assumed it was the skipper of the boat and the others on board were charter guests. Away they went when he was on board so we had the cove to ourselves and spent the evening watching lightning flashes in the distance.
The priority for the next day was to get to Alghero to purchase Italian data and telephone SIM cards. We decided to go into the marina instead of anchoring outside as the NE wind was building and we really wanted to spend time exploring the city. Alghero is a lovely city especially the old town. It is most busy in the late evenings with many out for a evening walk after dinner. We enjoyed our time there but as the marina fees are expensive it was time to head back to the anchorages.
Anchored in the bay called Cala del Bollo which is just around Capo Caccia offered us walks around the resort, restaurants and a local small food store.
On the Sardinian Sea side of Capo Caccia is the “famous” Neptune’s Grotto so off we went in the morning walking the 1.5km up the mountainside to the lighthouse. Then down HUNDREDS of steps to the seaside to the grotto and then back up HUNDREDS of steps to the lighthouse. The afternoon was a much needed swim and a well deserved siesta.
The west coast of the island is very rugged. We went through the Fornelli Passage and into the Gulf of Asinara. This saved us over 20 nm compared to rounding Isola Asinara. The island has been fairy isolated for over a century. It was a quarantined island for the First world war POW camp and later a super prision for organized crime. The prison has now been closed and a marine reserve has been established around the island. Once we were through the Fornelli Passage we found a beautiful anchorage where the water was crystal clear.