We had a great passage from Marsalla in Sicily managing to sail almost as soon as we left the marina. We had a close reach up to the Egadi islands with 20+ knots of wind in the acceleration zone between the islands. After that the wind moderated and stayed between 8-15 knots the whole way. Unfortunately we had to start our engine late evening as our batteries had crashed to 63% which was not expected. So we motor sailed through the night with 2 hour watches and arrived in Villasimius after 30 hours. Not bad for 160 nautical miles.
Villasimius turned out to be the best marina yet. Lots of facilities, shelter and a delightful, sandy beach 2 minutes away. The area is green and most of the development us very low rise like in the north of the island.
The whole area around Villasimius (Cape Carbobara) is a marine reserve and there are many fish even in the shallows of the beach. It was great snorkeling in the crystal clear water amongst the shoals of striped sea bream and other fish species. The possedonia sea grass is also protected with a ban on anchoring in many bays.
We spent 4 nights in Villasimius in the end, avoiding some strong winds. It was great being able to explore the area on the sandy tracks and have lots of swims and snorkeling. Tasty ice cream and evening meals were also available at the marina. We also met up again with the German couple Matija and Sarah and their beautiful dog from “The Dude” who we had been parked next to in Rochella Ionica (Italy). It was lovely to catch up with them over a few beers in the shade.
The evening routine of fizz, nibbles and a general knowledge crossword also continued. The only downside of the 4 nights was that the showers cost €2 each time and they were cold on the last 2 days!
We eventually tore ourselves away from Villasimius and sailed the 20 miles up to Cagliari in a lively following wind and quite big waves.
So here we are berthed in Marina Di St Elmo at the quiet end of the 3 big marinas in this huge commercial harbour. We have had dolphins swimming around the boat (feeding on the giant grey mullet). Egrets, sea gulls, cormorants and terns are about, as well as ducks and crows. There is just so much more wild life here than in Greece. Flamingoes fly over in the evening from the extensive salt flats just inland. They are now a nature reserve but were worked fairly recently.
Our friends Trina and Joe left yesterday and we are now getting the boat ready to leave on Thursday. All being well we should be back in September as we still have 29 days of our 90 day “allowance” left.
Looking forward to seeing family and friends again, particularly our wee Emma, and getting out of the stifling heat!