I am sitting in a small café in the Marina of Porto Rotondo, looking out to yachts rocking peacefully alongside their docks. On one sleek and narrow motor yacht a big yellow Labrador just appeared, crossing the polished white deck, tail wagging. The calm is in stark contrast to the scene we had just two days ago when the Mistral was blowing in a gail of up to 50 knots for almost 48 hours. We knew of it coming. That’s why we returned to Porto Rotondo after three days out on anchor in a nice bay four sailing hours away. So we were safe. But it sure felt rough and the first night nobody really slept. Even the kids awoke from the banging and shaking and cranking. The wind howled violently and all the fiberglass, metal and wood around us was screaming from the abuse. Bill and I were outside for a while in the night securing us with more lines and so where most of our neighbors.
It is nice to have some me-time away from the boat, the first time really (where it is not filled with running errands). As I am writing this Sol and Leonie have company: two girls their age from the UK who have been sailing the Med with their parents on a catamaran since three years. The family just found us on our boat again here in the Marina. We’ve first met them last week on anchor in Salines Bay. Ah, here they are: The four of them just ran by on their way to buy gelato!
Tomorrow it will be two weeks since we’ve left Victoria and it has been quite an intense time. The learning curve is steep and it feels both exciting and overwhelming. I have to admit: Thoughts like “what have I done? “ HAVE crossed my mind already several times. In Victoria everything is so easy, everything works, the toilet just flushes, the shower is right there, you don’t have to loose sleep over your anchor wondering if your house might float away.
But this is the beginning and change never is a cakewalk for me. I can already see it getting easier as we got a few things in place. One of them being Bill’s Visa which required going to Olbia Immigration Police twice so far. We still have to go one more time – Italian bureaucracy – but now we know what to do. Then there are things around the safety and functionality of our swimming home which we like to have checked and installed before leaving Porto Rotondo end of this month. Like the rigging, the water quality of the boat tank and some additional electronic equipment. We’ve found people to help with some of those tasks who’ve squeezed us into their schedule since this is the beginning of the busy summer boating season in Sardinia. Everybody is getting their boat ready!
Overall the boat is in amazing condition, given that it is 25 years old. My dad, Siegfried, and his buddy, Manfred, worked hard ahead of time to have everything fixed up and spick and span before our arrival. We spent the first three days together in Porto Rotondo, digging into the belly of the boat together with Siegfried who tried to think of everything we needed to know and that could be important to us throughout the year. We also went for a sail together, took the storm sail out and saw how the Passat beams work.
Coming back from Salines Bay we had a wonderful sail in 25 to 30 knots wind. It felt great to ride the waves, to see all these amazing yachts and the rugged Sardinian coastline. And when Bill maneuvered us into our dock like a charm nonwithstanding the strong wind, everything seemed perfect – until I realized that I had the marina’s bowline wrapped around our bow thruster….