Thursday 7 June 2012

Santa Maria Navarese

Gusts of up to 25 knots are racing across the bay from the sandy beach where we are anchored on the south western most tip of Sardinia. It is six thirty in the evening and the sun it still hot and the wind is still blowing. When we left Santa Maria Navarese early this morning the water was flat calm and for the first four hours we motored south in the hottest sun we have yet encountered this season.

At around midday the wind started to freshen from the North and as forecasted, the Mistrale had worked its way south and over the mountains. Further north in the straights of Bonifacio and the Magdalena Islands it was blowing 40 knots and we were getting the tail end of the same weather. It started as a few cats paws across the surface of the sea and slowly built from the North with white crested waves chasing us from astern until we had a force 5, gusting up to force 7. Although it was quite boisterous these are marvellous sailing conditions with the wind on the beam, a full main and jib pushing us along at speeds of up to 9 knots.

By four pm we had covered fifty miles and there was no sign of the wind abating so rather than try and dock in a strong cross wind we motored into this beautiful sandy bay called Porto Giunco and dropped the anchor in 6 metres of water over sand. With forty metes of chain and our 40 kg anchor, Juno hasn't moved an inch despite the bow snatching in the big gusts and down below all is calm and tranquil with little movement and out of earshot of the howling winds.

As we sit in the cockpit the dough is proving on the engine block. I can highly recommend a 130 horsepower VW marine engine room as the perfect place for proving dough, every bit as effective as the Aga. As the evening wears on, the wind falls to a whisper and a huge moon rises over the horizon and hangs heavy in the still air and we think of Jamie celebrating the same full moon at a party in Thailand. Tomorrow we will head to Cagliari to explore the city and wait for the next weather system to pass for our crossing to Sicily.


  1. i always enjoy reading these!

  2. Just looked at grib files - looks as if there is plenty of wind this morning between Cagliari and Sicily - sorry I am not with you to share the crossing.

    The Mistral seems to have been a feature of your Sardinian leg - anyway I enjoyed the update.


  3. Thanks Paul, we are staying here in Cagliari until tomorrow morning when we will leave for Tripani. You're right about the wind. Either a gale form the South or a Mistrale form the North - but the sun shines regardless!