This morning, we left Bonifacio in the rain. We had a walk to the Piazza, amidst all the building and paving works. Even in the drizzle, grey skies and cold morning, Bonifacio was picturesque. As you sail past, you can see houses on limestone cliffs that seem fixed and solid but from the sea you see large rocks of limestone which have been undermined, the huge blocks resting at the bottom of the cliff.
The trip to Sardinia is cold, short and easy – as long as you have an autopilot that can dodge all the reefs, rocks and islands in the Straights of Bonifacio. Even with a Coursemaster, you have to be diligent, because there is so much traffic. In the straights, you will see large cruise ships, ferries, sailing boats, cargo ships and fishing boats and all the RIBs*, making it quite an exercise in concentration. James likes the autopilot, he feels like the captain overseeing his ship and directing his helmsman.
Porto Cervo is overcast as we arrive and but then the sun comes out and we revel in the warmth and sunshine. James sailed here in 1980 and can see the changes.
The harbour and marina are well laid out, if slightly empty. The Costa Smeralda has such a reputation for being incredibly expensive, that several fellow cruisers have said they will bypass it. At this time of year, the tariff isn’t too expensive and the hot showers are worth it.**
June 1 must be the start of the season, because there are two regattas coming up and several super yachts have come in since we arrived. Kokomo is here but flying a Cayman Island flag. There is not a varnished mast to be seen. These masts are like church spires rising 200 feet in the air and maybe 8 feet across at the top. We have a photo to share with you – raising the club burgee on a Super Yacht.
We wish we could share the scents of the fresh bread baking wafting from the Boulangerie in the morning and the church bells ringing here in Porto Cervo and the jazz streaming from Swiss Jazz. At the moment, we only have bandwidth for words and photos, so we hope you enjoy them.
*RIB – Rubber inflatable boats
**Showers – we paid E2.5 for cold showers one day