Returning to SARDINIA

Align Center
Align CenterAlign Center14th June 2009
We leave Porto Vecchio late morning, with only 8 kts. wind on the beam.Both sails are up and these add 1.5kts. to our S.O.G. , so we can use less revs. on the motor. It is another glorious day and great to be out here. Later we can sail for 1.5 hours of our 5 hour trip.

Ross enjoying a relaxed sail

We are pleased to find there is space available at Porto Cervo, and we are given a place in the old port which is very attractive and with lots of atmosphere. It is also fun to return to somewhere special we already know.

Porto Cervo

15th. June 2009
Dan´s first priority is to his skipper who he is here to race with. He comes to us at 4p.m. after their training session. We are so pleased to see him and welcome all his help. He is a trained marine electric technician with Mark, so we are very lucky as most of our issues are electrical.
Dan has several hours with us and plans to return at the same time tomorrow. With issues like these language is a real problem, so this is another reason why we so appreciate him being able to help us out.

16th. June 2009
We have day of doing our own jobs on the boat, the main frustrating one being to service the heads. This takes a long time, because one of the hoses is blocked, but is one of those tasks that has to be done.
Dan returns as planned and achieves a lot today. The hot water now works in port, the mast light is operating and the remote control is working for the bow cable (the docking line winch). Also the water maker is sorted and just needs a new pump which Russell and Lee are bringing over for us (just what one needs in one´s luggage!)

Dan going up the mast

It is interesting to talk with Dan and learn something of the logistcs of being involved in a world class race like this. The crew and skipper are based in Sydney so there is a large organizing feat to plan for their 2 weeks here e.g. accommodation, getting around, training sessions etc. We are interested to hear prince Frederick from Denmark is racing his yacht here too.

17th. June 2009
We see Dan over at the yacht he is crewing on and wish he and the skipper (whom Ross knows) good luck. We plan to follow the races and hope they do well. What a great experience.
Also in the port is a Russian owned cruiser. Apparently it is one of the top ten in the world and looks quite amazing. The stewardess from this vessel asked us for a lift in our dinghy so we are interested to know something about it.
"Goodbye" to Sardinia again, and we set off to track up the east coast of Corsica. Our plan is to travel 45 n.miles to Solenzara. After being in port for 3 nights it is lovely to be out here again. The sea is flat calm and just so blue. We are hopeful to see a marlin, as Dan and his crew did yesterday, but we have no luck with this.
As we come into this port Ross again checks his new "Yachtsman´s Ten Language Dictionary" so he can speak to the port Capitanaire. This has been a great present the Albertinis gave him, and has already been very useful. Solenzara is written up as a having a new marina built to attract tourism on the east coast. This is not successful but it is a relaxed town with the high rugged mountains as a backdrop with gentle rolling hills down to the sea, and with the river running beside it.
It is lively at night time with many attractive, small restaurants about, near the river. We find a lovely place to eat outdoors in the cool of the evening.

18th. June 2009
We really enjoy this place with its very friendly and helpful people. It is low key and has a country atmosphere about it. It is hopeful Ross can get local help with a few outstanding boat issues.
As usual we have to wait sometime before Ian comes to help us. However it is worth the wait. After sometime and several lengthy interruptions (he still has his marine duties to fulfil) the head pipe is cleared and flowing freely again. This is a great relief. We have been getting up very early every morning and working on this for several days. Also he changes some belts - the engine belt for the fridge and second alternator belt. Ross was under the impression this had been done in Rome so it was lucky he checked them.
It is after 9.30pm now we have cleaned up the boat so decide to wander into town for a simple dinner at the Amadeus restuarant.

19th. June 2009

View across the mouth of the river towards the beach

It is lovely waking up and knowing Impulsive is ship-shape again. There is a beautiful long stretch of beach nearby so we start the day with a long walk and a swim. Our time around Sardinia and Corsica is how I imagined sailing around Australia would be (how wrong was I, with the overnight sails, dealing with bars and reefs etc.), having short sails and lovely places to anchor in most nights.
We set off this morning to trek 55n.miles up the e.coast of Corsica to Bastia.
We really enjoy this place with its very friendly and helpful people. It is low key and has a country atmosphere about it. It is hopeful Ross can get local help with a few outstanding boat issues.
This afternoon is idyllic for settling into a relaxed read. The sea is calm nd there is just enough wind in the right direction to motor sail, averaging 7 kts.
Ross is reading " The White Tiger", and I am delving into Barak Obama´s "Dreams from my Father."..Both books lead to interesting discussions.

Having a shower off the back of the boat as we track along

Coming into Bastia early evening is lovely. It is nestled into the high mountains covered in green vegetation as they come down to the sea. It must be hot on shore as thereis a haze settling over it all.
The Captainerie as we approach Bastia doesn´t answer our call requesting a place to tie up. The marina looks full but we find a space between the customs boat and a large cruiser.
This very small port is surrounded by many small restaurants by the water, with a backdrop of very tall Genoese style architecture buildings. Thee are very old and some are very grand in the ochre, vermillion and yellow colours, with shutters,but many are in a state of disrepair. Many have washing hanging from their balconies.

Bastia in the evening light

It is very pleasant having a drink here as the hot sun sinks below the high mountains. "people watching" is fun too. Walking back to Impulsive have some glimpses through open doorways into enclosed courtyards.

View from Impulsive across to the old church

We wander ashore after dinner looking for a gelati. The central suuare is buzzing with thousands of people enjoying an outdoor l concert. The main artist/singer is wonderful.
The forecast for tonight is for a SW force 7 wind to come up tonightso Ross attaches an extra bow mooring line. Fortunately the forecast is incorrect and we have a very calm night with an excellent sleep.

Leaving Bastia
We have enjoyed our time in Corsica and the contrast of sailing up the east coast this time The west coast has stunning steep cliffs down to the coast and more history eg Napoleon´s birth place at Ajaccio. We have had many hours of sailing this time too. Corsica now relies on tourism and agriculture for its economy.
We don´t hire a car here because we did last time and it is the only time I have seen Ross frightened driving.. We drove back down some of the west coast along the cliffs. The scenery was stunning but I don´t think he saw any of it because we were on the cliff side of the road with a sheer drop below, and there was a lot of traffic from the opposite direction, including large buses.

Favourite recipe this leg:
Stuffed eggplant (aubergine facies)
1 medium sized eggplant - boil until tender
Then slice in half and remove the centre section (keep this and dice)

2 cloves of garlic - cook until tender
shallots - 3 per person - cook until tender
Stir the above into the ricotta cheese - .5 cup per person
3 tblsns. grated parmesan

1.5 cups of homemade tomato sauce per person
2 teaspn. finely chopped thyme

Place seasoned eggplant on oven dish - sprayed with non-stick oil
Fill with above filling, then put a layer of tomato mixture on top
Top with grated parmesan and finely diced tomato
Bake in a pre-heated very hot oven until browned on top.