May 21, 2009
When we entered Carlo Forte a friendly man in a red dingy came out to meet us and direct us to the visitors mooring. There are two areas, one closer to town, but also closer to the rather regular ferries coming in and out of the harbour, the other slightly further away but closer to the showers and office, so we were informed. We chose the location near the showers and the man in the red dingy helped with the lines on a lazy line quay. The shower and office block looked quite new, and it wasn’t long before we realised that they were in fact work in progress – no water, no people, just a guy creosoting a floor of the future “clubhouse”. No real problem as we have a great shower on board and there was water and electricity on the dock. We began to realise our friendly man in the red dinghy probably had nothing to do with the marina and was just looking for a tip. In fact we couldn’t find anyone at all and left after lunch the next day heading for an anchorage at Porto Malfatano, about halfway to Cagliari, and recommended by the owner of a charter company with 15 boats on the same quay (Carlo Forte charter). We were warned that there would be 20 knots on the nose to start with, but set off to motor the first few hours confident that we would then be able to sail the second half on a beam reach. The other warning related to the military firing range we had to pass through – we checked the radio broadcasts and were confident there would be no firing today. All was quiet, but the wind proved more problematic, with an unerring tendency to follow us around from the south to the east in perfect coordination with our progress along the route, so it was largely motoring the whole 6 hours to Malfatano. We arrived at about 8.00 pm and found the trip well worth it – Malfatano is a beautiful, quiet bay with a small island off the beach where we anchored for a very calm night, watched the stars come out and dined on fresh ravioli bought in Carlo Forte. The only real concern was the colony of seagulls nested on the island about 50 metres away, but they weren’t as noisy as the ones in Brighton. However the real noisy neighbours got going at around 10 am the next morning with the booms from the firing range ringing out every few minutes. There didn’t seem to be any sign of collateral damage in Malfatano bay, so we’re quite relaxed at the moment. Sue, Nathan and Dick went ashore to climb a mountain while John and I have been doing a few boat jobs – fuel gauge is still playing up, and of course chartplotter not functioning. When there’s a lull in the firing we hope to sneak out and make our getaway moving further around the coast to Cagliari.