From the Island of Maddalena on to Porto Cervo in the North of Sardinia

CALA LUNGA:

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Cala Lunga … We were so impressed that we immediately decided to drop anchor and stay the night – we were the only takers for the night until a puny little yacht (probably a 22 or 24 ft sailing boat) arrived at the entrance to the cala and got into trouble – they could not get their engine going and was drifting onto the rocks. Johann of cause thrilled to rescue 4 girls, managed to keep them away from the rocks until the engine final started. By then it was too late for them to move on and we convinced them to go deeper into the cala and anchor in shallower water. We wondered how 4 girls can even fit into such a small boat, no matter what permutations were used!

The bay is surrounded with the most amazing rock formation (limestone) that looks like children’s art with play dough! Every other angle revealed a new “sculpture”! We went around in the dinghy to get some pictures while the sun is out and the wind less blowy. The water is perfectly clear and it is also perfectly clear that there is absolutely no fish around whatsoever! The only live sea creatures around are jellyfish and the little blue things that we though was blue bottles or jellyfish. After research on the internet, we found out that they are indeed free-floating hydrozoans that live on the surface of the open ocean. There is only one known species, Velella velella commonly known by the names sea raft, by-the-wind sailor, purple sail, little sail, or simply Velella. Each apparent individual Velella velella is in fact a hydroid colony, and most are less than about 7 cm long. They are usually deep blue in colour, but their most obvious feature is a small stiff sail that catches the wind and propels them over the surface of the sea. Under certain wind conditions, they may be stranded by the thousand on beaches. And that is exactly what we have seen there!
We had a wonderful BBQ trying out our last Spanish sausages … small ones, but a great collection of 5 different recipes … each absolutely delicious. As always the case … we are sooo sorry that we did not buy more of it! Anyway … new countries, new food … that way we keep it interesting!

MADDALENA:

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We left early the next morning for Cala Gavetta (one of the ports at Maddalena). The idea was just to get a permit and then shoot off to the next anchorage. We need to stay out of marinas that cost us money … Well, what a surprise to see this little Port! The friendly Capitano del porto helped us to pick up a berth. The problem is that this is really a cute little town – we love the fishermen’s vibe at the port and have to hope the price is not too steep! Well surprise surprise! … it was only €35 for the night which includes water and electricity! A bargain we thought!

Maddalena is a lovely must see town if you ever get to Sardinia! We loved the little shops having each their own speciality of products. Frozen seafood mixes ready for paella, stews, soups or seafood risotto to the Gelateria with the home made gelato (no artificial colours or flavours! … Divine!). Every corner has a coffee shop and we felt obliged to support a few of them. It was sad to leave, and we both wished we were to pushed for time … dreaming of season with no time boundaries to it … where we can stay for as long as we wish if we like a place and “live” there for a while … Maddalena is just one of those places.
PORTO CERVO:

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We headed off to Porto Cervo … the Buzz of Sardinia where whoever wants to be seen would go to The village is the main centre of the Costa Smeralda, that was created by Prince Karim Aga Khan. (We think we have spotted his house!) The marina Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has been known to be one of the most expensive marina’s and can host up to 200 yachts. A lot of super yachts are making this their base in high season. The yacht club is known for hosting some of the most known yacht races and motor races. Needless to say – we did not even think of going inside and anchored just outside the marina in a little bay on the “front lawn” of some of the most beautiful houses around!… for free! We thought to go inside with the dinghy just to see what it looks like and have a drink in one of the posh restaurant!
Well, it turns out to be just about empty and the cheapest we have come across since Gibraltar! €19 / night! There you go! Off season can be a bargain everywhere!! The Champaign (like only the French can make!) just tastes better here! On the way back to the boat, we took a few pictures and one of the really big hotels. We learned afterwards, that it is Hotel Cala di Volpe, which has featured in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. The Presidential Suite of the hotel, billed at US$32,736 per night, is listed at number 7 on World’s 15 most expensive hotel suites complied by CNN Go in 2012. There is also a Millionaires Club! The story goes that Bruce Willis was recently chucked out of it because of bad behaviour! (and not because he did not pay a round mill at the entrance!)
It was a wonderful anchorage! I can imagine the place to be a totally different kettle of fish in high season, but would love to come back and experience the buzz … it would not be a bad option to leave the next Scolamanzi there for the European winter! Very cheap and facilities are great! I made a note…
We slept in the next morning and had a very slugging start to the day … We got away around 10am to Olbia. We have chosen Olbia, just to get a better angle for the approach to the Italian coast (around Naples)… we plan to wait for a weather window at Olbia … refresh, restock and rest out before the long tough crossing of the Thyrrian sea. The weather forecast is not suggesting anything else but a tough ride!

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