The sail to the Sardinia West coast was easy. This was Denny's first long passage where she would have to stand watch alone with only Harry on board. We had chosen a full moon which came up on the first night while Denny was on watch - she thought that it was a large ship appearing over the horizon. We carried the reacher for a full day with the wind abarft of the beam but then the wind dropped and we had to motor the last few miles round the north west cape into the Golfo dell Asinara. We had difficulty finding a place to anchor because of the marine reserves. The next day we set off for Bonifacio in Corsica.
I did not have any chart for this area and my chart plotter's charts ran out a few miles to the east. In preparation I had copied Google Earth map of the coast and the port and had the waypoints plus CMap charts on the computer but I had no depths or real detail. The Bonifacio Straits are very busy with shipping and are supposed to have a fearful reputation for severe weather. We traversed the straits in almost a flat calm and arrived at the port just as a ferry was exiting. The moorings were quite full but we were able to pull alongside a French yacht.
Bonifacio is where Nelson hid the English fleet after the battle of the Nile. Nelson though it was a great place but the French negotiated to keep Corsica. It has a lovely French feel to the town, shops and restaurants. We dined out here but were disappointed in the choice and quality of the food. Again the wine featured in our shopping list. The harbour is overlooked by a magnificent walled city and fort which we visited.
We set out with Dennis and Jo on Aurora who I had heard in the Pacific in the Port to Port Rally in 2004. It is a small world the sailing community.
We left them in the Fornelli passage and sailed to La Madealena to get a cruising permit only to realise that it was Sunday and everything was closed. This is the naval headquarters of the NATO task force and therefore dominated by the USA both on the water and in the slums of the town. Not a nice place to be.
We spent the night in a small bay then beat a hasty retreat out of the area towards supposedly the best sailing grounds in the world at Porto Cervo where the Aga Khan has built a very up market marina and resort. We went ashore to find the place deserted except for the shop girls in the exclusive boutiques lined up next to each other in the tastefully decorated mall.
The port is the most expensive in the Med. On race day it must be great if you are part of a sponsored team but for us anchoring out in the bay it is just ordinary.
On the 8 May we upped anchor and set sail across the Tyrrhenian Sea for Rome.