Yacht Pipit


Carloforte & Cagliari, 5th October 2012

Pretty Flamingos, Carloforte salt pans:  

We don't just throw this thing together - click the play button above for some appropriate music...

We actually stayed in Carloforte for a week - the weather played its part as usual as strong winds and thundery rain was forecast. In the event neither were as bad as predicted, but we could see that the sea state was less than comfortable, so were happy to stay put. We also received a discount, presumably for staying for a whole week.

This gave us the opportunity to explore the island a little on foot, including walking round the above salt pans, now a nature reserve, where, as well as flamingos, we saw herons, egrets and other unidentified birds. Other inhabitants that we didn't see on the day include avocets and kingfishers.

Salt harvesting machinery, which was still in use until the early 1990s.

A Carloforte street.

And another one.

First Italian gelato. What we though we ordered was one lemon & one Irish Coffee flavour, but what actually arrived was one lemon gelato and one Irish coffee - not quite what I wanted on a hot afternoon, but never mind! Must learn some Italian...

Although we were only on an island off an island off the mainland, we must surely have seen just about every possible combination of Fiat 500 spec, colour, trim & wheel combination there is: we have settled on red or white with black leather interior. Or black with light interior. Or maybe grey with light interior. Or perhaps yellow with black leather interior. Oh you decide here!

All we need now is a pair of sturdy davits from which to suspend one from Pipit... It seems there is a Fiat dealer in Corfu when we get there too...

We also had time to recruit a new crew member - TIM1. We found the TIM shop and were able to purchase a SIM card for our unlocked dongle for €10, then it's €24 per month for a whopping 10Gb of data. Returning to Pipit TIM worked straight away - no text messages to send to ensure you get your Brucie Bonus, no faffing - it just works, and so far has very good coverage and bandwidth. TIM could give a lesson to some other operators on how to do it...

Coinciding with our arrival in Italian parts, Nigella has a new TV series about Italian cooking: Nigellissima. Now I know she's got her knockers, but I think she's ok...

One evening we treated ourselves to the local speciality of Pasta alla Carlofortina at a ristorante on the front. Basically pasta in a tuna & tomato sauce. Carloforte's main industry used to be tuna fishing - now it's tourism.

On Monday we left Carloforte in bright sunshine and headed for Teulada, about half way to Cagliari. A while later as we looked back at Isola di San Pietro it was becoming shrouded in cloud and heavy rain was falling. The skies to the west of us were looking threatening, but we managed to escape with just a few spots of rain - not enough to warrant even a jacket. We had a gentle sail most of the way, but wouldn't you know it - as we approached Teulada we suddenly had a F6 to contend with. There was supposed to be an anchorage, but it didn't look very inviting and so a little reluctantly we opted for a berth in the marina. The marina is quite new with decent pontoons & facilities, but it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. This didn't bother us as we planned only an overnight stay, and at €18.60 for the night (it was October 1st!) we were happy.

On Tuesday we moved on to Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. We had already decided on Marina di Sant' Elmo, as opposed to its immediate neighbour Marina del Sole, as they reputedly have better facilities and offer a Cruising Association discount. The entrance to the marina wasn't obvious, and we'd read about being 'intercepted' by the adjacent marina on the way in, so we radioed and they sent out a RIB to show us the way and help us park. The ormeggiatori gave us a very friendly welcome and must have spotted the remnants of our CA burgee - he mentioned the discount without any prompting, a good sign...

On Wednesday we found a reasonable supermarket and two chandlers, one particularly well stocked one where we bought a few things we actually do need and resisted a few we don't. Yesterday we had a brief look round the old part of Cagliari and last evening were invited aboard Lazy Pelican, who arrived on Wednesday, for supper. A very enjoyable evening it was too. We shall probably move along the coast a few miles to Villasimius at the weekend, from where we'll cross to Sicily.

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