The first day in Porto Conte was the last day of my parents on the boat, which we spent visiting the impressive caves of Neptune on the northwestern tip of Sardinia. It was an exceptionally hot day and we were all pretty tired from the night sail, so it took us all day to dinghy as close to the caves as we could and then walk up the footpath with thousands of steps to the caves. Of course, this all took place on the hottest moment of the day. We’re still learning.
We said goodbye to my parents in Alghero, which was only a few kilometers away from Porto Conte but it still took hours to get there. We thoroughly investigated bus schedules and bus stops but still we were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The bus did zip by but didn’t stop to pick us up.. and the next one was a few hours later. We ended up walking and trying to hitchhike but nobody stopped (Didn’t we save an exhausted windsurfer? Didn’t we warn a dragging catamaran? What was happening here, karma?). We were so thirsty we saw fata morgana’s of cafés selling ice cold Coca Cola.. We ended up taking an overpriced tourist bus which didn’t sell ice cold drinks, but we were already super relieved we didn’t have to walk all the way! By the time we got to Alghero it was almost time for us to say goodbye and take the last bus back. My parents stayed in Alghero from where they would start travelling north towards their car in Ajaccio. This took them 3 days..
With that, it was only Thomas and me on the boat again. But not for long, Thomas’ parents were flying in a few days later and we had a lot of projects to catch up on. Besides boat work we also had to do some chores like laundry – kind of a challenge as the laundry machine was a 40 min dinghy ride away and the weather was bad with high waves and strong winds. On the way back we had to head into the waves and it took us almost an hour, lying on op of the clean laundry to protect it from the salt water. We arrived cold and soaked but the laundry was salt free and smelled amazing. After we prepared the boat for our new crew we were off to Alghero.
By boat, the city was a lot easier to reach than by bus. We motored in early in the morning and got a prime spot on the boulevard next to the tourist boats. We tied Scehawk up and took the bus to Sassari, where Thomas’ parents were arriving by train from Cagliari. Sassari turned out to be a bit uninteresting, but we did arrive during the midday siesta break so maybe we shouldn’t judge. Italian cities come to life at night!
Our new crew settled in on the boat and got to explore the city while we searched the outskirts for boat parts. We were searching for an impeller puller and a hydrometer for the batteries. It was a real treasure hunt: at the first DIY store we succeeded to communicate by hand what we needed and within seconds he said ’aaahhhaaa, estrattori!’ No, he didn’t have it but Giovanni around the corner would definitely be able to help us. He wrote down Giovanni’s address and sent us off. Giovanni also knew exactly what we were looking for (Si! Estrattori!) but he didn’t sell those. Probably Ronaldo from around the corner could help us. He wrote down Ronaldo’s address and sent us off. Arriving at Ronaldo, he told us (or: signed with his hands) just to use two screwdrivers. But other ways old Renzo from around the corner might be able to help us… etc. We didn’t get lucky. We did have a lot of fun with the Sardinians, taking time for us and teaching us about their island and language in tiny DIY stores. We also visited the old city centre which is super picturesque, we strolled along the large boulevard on top of the bastion at the seaside, ate some gelato in the narrow streets and tried some of the many restaurants. And we also got some boat projects done!