Tag Archives: Olbia

On course, en Corse, of course! July 2020

Well, we managed to walk but in rather a roundabout, hot and sweaty way.  We arrived dripping and desperate for liquid refreshment without the energy to walk all the way round the bay to Porto Cervo proper!  On the way back we tried again and discovered a route back that only  took 15mins! Although Erin did have to swim across a narrow bay to retrieve the dinghy.  All was well and we arrived back to Linea just as the last light was disappearing from the sky and all had a refreshing dip to cool off.

We were excited to be visiting the National Marine Park of the Maddelena Archipelago for the first time.  We paid our fees for two nights online with no hassle (40% discount for sail boats) and then we were good to go. We enjoyed an almost deserted anchorage in Cala Stagnali on Isola Caprera which we had to enter using transit markers as there are rocks and hazards in the very narrow entrance.  Once in, we went ashore and were lucky enough to enjoy an informative talk from Luca of the Dolphin Research Centre

finding out all about the Whales and dolphins in the marine park. 

Next stop was Isola Santa Maria, which was a beautiful bay with crystal clear waters.  However, there were so many boats anchored there that it rather spoilt the ideal we had in mind and in the morning the trip boats arrived, disgorging hundreds of people on to the strip of beach.

Our first night on Corsica was in Rondinara bay          which had over 50 boats anchored in it.  It was quite a blowy night and other ‘No Foreign Land’ friends had an incident in the night when the anchor of a neighbouring boat caught their chain as it dragged in the wind.  All was well for us.

We continued to hop north and en route met up with Nic and Sandra on Seulle.  They have exactly the same model of yacht as us.  We spent a happy time comparing notes and boats! 

Erin with sail assisted motor Yacht A in the background.

On the way to Bastia we saw Yacht A again.

A view of the coast of Corsica where Erin and Josh worked in a hotel a couple of years ago.
Bastia from just outside the harbour.
Bastia harbour is an intriguing jumble of old and new, boats and cars, shops and restaurants.
Statue in a Bastia square.
Old billboards painted on to buildings.

We had an uncomfortable beat into the wind and waves. Although the anchorage was very swelly, it was free of charge, handy for town, spacious and had good holding.  

We enjoyed Bastia very much.  We did the laundry and collected more water.  It was very quiet in town and the temperature was perfect.  The mistral wind was blowing hard out to the northwest and cooling everything nicely so we were able to explore in relative comfort.  We liked Bastia very much.

Leaving Bastia, we stopped en route for coffee and croissants in Erbalunga and then again for a swim and lunch in Pietracorbara.  The final few miles took us to a beautiful, wild anchorage in the north of Cap Corse.  Iles Finnochiarola.  The string of islands offered good protection from the swell and we had our first decent nights’ sleep for days! 

There are some lovely coastal walks here and it is very peaceful and unspoilt.

From here we headed west, visiting St Florant, Iles Rouses and Calvi.

Looking out to the anchorage from Calvi.
Interesting doorway in Calvi.

All beautiful places tucked in under the imposing backdrop of the Monte Grosso Mountains which loom above.

Already we are loving the French supermarkets, the organisation of the anchorages and moorings, and the friendliness and helpfulness of the marineros. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful France.  On course, en Corse, of course!

Next stop, mainland France where we meet up with Keira and Sam!!!!

From Isola Rossa, Sardinia onwards – Early August 2016

In the interests of brevity, I won’t bore you with the details of the weeks around Northern Sardinia, suffice to say that a certain amount of sailing, swimming, lazing about and reading were involved!

We gradually made our way round the staggeringly beautiful coast of Northern Sardinia, hugging the Costa S’Emrelda like a long lost friend!brandinchi-bayliscia

We saw some big motor yachts ( and, by contrast, an old schooner) and plenty of celebrity look-a-likes, but not Orlando Bloom and Katie Perry who were reported to be there! (‘Who?’, asks Ian.) Budgie smugglers bountiful, though, for added entertainment.

We arrived in Liscia delle Saline near Olbia, in the late afternoon. The Tavolara island’s imposing granite table top providing a stunning backdrop.golfo-delle-saline-2

No one else was in the entire bay! Why???? It was shallow, sandy bottomed and gradually rising to the beach in a most accommodating fashion. Why was nobody else here? We ignored the nagging doubts and anchored anyway. We jumped in the crystal blue waters and swam to the anchor. Beautifully embedded. We sat down in the cockpit to dry off and have a glass of vino when we noticed the planes landing and taking off from Olbia airport, literally a couple of miles away! Oh well!

From here, we tried to suss out a bus to the airport for me. We ended up dinghy-ing to the beach, walking miles and met with a modicum of success. In the end, we decided to go into Olbia Harbour. Although it is a good three miles down the bay to the Town Quay we were hopeful that we could park there for free. In this way, Ian could drop me off and pick up David and Angela in one swift movement.

This we duly did. However, the usual shenanigans occurred.

First, we arrived at the quay and pulled up alongside in a very deft manoeuvre to see signs on the bollards announcing that the quay was to be kept free. On further inquiry it appeared that a very smart, luxury yacht was taking preference for the space.

We anchored out in the harbour. Once the yacht had arrived we went alongside.olbia-3

I radioed the coast guard to ask permission. I was told to take my documents to the office.

I went – it was shut.olbia-1

I set off early the next day – already it was exceptionally warm. The men on the door of the coast guards office by the quay told me to go to the head office of the coast guard right at the bottom of the mole. I walked the mile involved, crossed a huge car park went to one office, was redirected, went out through passport control, in through another door, up a flight of stairs and into a tiny office on the second floor of a circular tower at the end of the mole in the heart of the commercial traffic area.

I exclaimed in my appalling Italian that the office was very difficult to find, which, on reflection perhaps wasn’t the best start to the ensuing conversation (nevertheless, true!) and was met with blank stares.

I battled on; ‘I am on the sailing yacht Linea, I arrived on the town quay yesterday evening and have come to show you my documents as requested.’

The rejoinder was an immediate ‘Perche?’ And a wholly Italian shrug of the shoulders.

It would seem that these coast guards have far more important things to be doing than taking details of small, private sail boats on the town quay. I was sent away!

At 1800 hrs the same evening, two coast guards, smartly dressed as always, appeared by the boat demanding to see my documents and to be given a form and tax docket! Available from a nearby tabacchi!

Humph!

I filled in the form, bought the docket (16€) and returned it to the gentlemen. They said it is possible to stay for three days and after that to move on. Perfect for us – minus a day. Iannew-cockpit-cushion-covers would have to hide in the evening when the coast guards make their customary daily checks! We had time to wander around lovely Olbia and do various jobs before I shot back to UK leaving Ian all alone.olbia-2

David and Angela duly arrived and, by all accounts, a good time was had by all!