Category Archives: Sardinia

Oblia … our last port of call in Sardinia



As we enter the port of Olbia, the very distinctive old lighthouse must have thought the paparazzi has arrived! – It is beautiful and makes a great picture, standing almost in the middle of the entrance! The next observation was the massive industry around boating support and services! We could not remember having seen such a large industry in any other place thus far! From power yachts (and even massive super yachts) to sailing yachts can be taken out on the hard, shrink-wrapping and repairs etc. all seems to be happening here! Something to remember if you are looking for services and a place to store your yacht … after you have learned to speak Italian, that is … otherwise, rather consider other options.

Scolamanzi at Olbia with the National Museum behind it
Scolamanzi at Olbia with the National Museum behind it
Muscle farms in front of the boat industry that was going on for stretches on end!
Muscle farms in front of the boat industry that was going on for stretches on end!
Beautiful church in Olbia ... love the colourful couple
Beautiful church in Olbia … love the colourful couple

Just in front of this industrial development, are a huge muscle farm! We could not miss the opportunity to have fresh muscles for dinner that night … And that would have been my highlight of Olbia!!! The muscles were only little, being the start of the harvest season that stretches over 4–5 months and I have to say – they taste so much better than the big fat ones! Less stomach/intestines (pardon the graphic description) and more meat on them! Tender and full of flavour! That same night we each had a whole grilled fish (two different fish and recipes) in a tiny little restaurant meant for the locals. No English menu’s made it even more authentic … plain, undressed with no pretension … but great food! It was very funny that she told me that they have no ice available – only a few days later we realised that Italian restaurants (no matter how smart /big the restaurant) are not big on ice. Their beers are not very cold and ice is almost never available. It did not matter – the rest was perfecto! That is also where we were introduced to Pane Carasau, or Italian flat-bread! Thin and crispy and savoury… perfect as a nibble before meals!,
We docked ourselves on the wall of the old port. No electricity and no water…and more importantly, no fees!! So that was great! We just need a safe spot to wait for a weather window. It was here, just about 4 hours before we planned to leave, that we realised the detailed maps stops about 10 nm outside of Olbia …we have no electronic maps on the Raymarine for the crossing or for Italy!!! Johann rushed off to the little chandlery but the language barrier was a major problem and they could not locate a chart for us in time. We have a wonderful program on the IPad that is similar and was hoping that we would be able to navigate our way to the first port of call on the Italian coast without a problem.
We left as planned (a couple of hours earlier actually) that afternoon at about 3.30pm, the wind suddenly came up as we left the port and half way through the port, it was blowing at 25 knots already! That will mean bashing massive waves on the nose all the way! I was voicing my concerns and silently hoping the plans will change. It did – orders came to tack and go back and wait for better weather! 5 minutes on our way back to Oblia, the wind died down to about 10 knots! Now that is the Med for you! We drop the sails and turn around … according to forecasts, the wind should drop even further, but more importantly, should change direction that will make the trip more comfortable.
We anchored in a little bay about an hour and a half from Olbia, had an early dinner and a good sleep and left the next morning at 5am for Italy.
Getting ready for a cold and windy night out at sea!
Getting ready for a cold and windy night out at sea!
As we leave Oblia I had the pleasur of taking this picture of our last magic sunset of Sardinia!


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


Response code is 404

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!


Response code is 404

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.

Response code is 404

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!