Report & Photos by Ken & Carmel Kavanagh Cruises Index >>

We return to Safari in Alghero, Sardinia
March 2011
Posted: 24/04/11

Map Sardinia-Italy >>
My Italian is coming along nicely - when I now try out my Italian on unsuspecting victims, they don't stare at me with incomprehension as if I had just addressed them in some obscure dialect of a long forgotten Indo European language - but rather reply with a blast of Italian that I can just about decipher. I am working on it regularly in between re-caulking sessions on the deck.

We returned to the boat in Alghero on March 29 via Wiesbaden in Germany where we had a wonderful interlude with our friend Antje and all our other friends in that beautiful city.
The one thing we needed on our return was a long spell of dry, not too hot weather so that we could complete the re-caulking of our very large deck area and that is exactly what we got up to yesterday.

Recaulking of starboard side nearly completed. Ken hard at work
So we have nearly completed the job - just about 3 more sessions to go when the rain eases and the wood dries out again. Unfortunately, there is rain forecast for the next 10 days - not too much but even small amounts prevent any further work. As we are so near the end, we don't actually mind and are glad of the break because it is very, very tough work - spending the entire day on all fours, scraping out the existing caulking, cleaning, sanding and re-caulking. It sounds like a straightforward procedure just written like that but it is far from being so!

We have also cleaned and polished the entire interior of the boat. By the end of that job, I felt I would qualify for a job as a (Granny) contortionist in Fossett's circus!

Locals enjoy a coffee overlooking the marina
With each passing year, the task of getting into all the nooks and crannies of the boat becomes an ever greater challenge as the joints stiffen - all part of the retirement package!

We are not going to haul the boat out of the water this season to antifoul the bottom but have engaged the services of a local diver to scrape off the growth on the hull. We put a really expensive antifoul paint on in the States and hope to get at least another season out of it.

Day Tripper boats stand in readiness for the avalanche of Easter tourists
Our diver, Marco Busraghi here in Alghero has become a friend. Apart from his diving school, he is working on designing a boat for wheelchair- bound people and has been over to Dublin to consult with a company there who design equipment for the disabled. He will be returning again in November and we have invited him to stay with us in Sutton thus cutting down on hotel expenses.

We have lots of things to do on the boat in preparation for the upcoming sailing season.
The toolbox and drill are always out and the Varnish brushes are kept nice and moist- ready for use at all times!

Early-bird tourists enjoy a drink and a view along the wall of the Old Town
Our plan is to remain here in Alghero until mid-May, then set out on a mini-cruise to Mainland Italy and base ourselves in a good-value marina in Fiumicino outside Rome for the month of June.

Then we will head south and possibly through the Straits of Messina out to the Greek islands. Ken particularly wants to visit Crete. We would like to be somewhere cheap and cheerful for July and August which definitely will not include Italy as marinas there are horrendously expensive during the high season so we want to be well away from them and enjoying some anchorages on the Greek islands or the less expensive marinas of Turkey.

We have been collecting information on overwintering in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Malta from all our Irish Cruising Club and Ocean Cruising Club friends and contacts. We have taken delivery of the Cruising Guides for the Greek Islands, Turkey and Cyprus.

We already have the Guide for Italian Waters and Malta. We are currently awaiting delivery of the latest update of C-Map - a digital chart of the entire Med. We have emailed countless marinas in the above mentioned countries and are compiling a list of prices, approximity to airports, cost of getting to and from the location and then we will make a decision!!

We will be getting the house back in Sutton in August but don't expect to come home until the end of September. Our plan is to try doing the 6 months of winter at home and the summer months cruising the Med. It will all depend on finances and health at the end of the day.

But even if we are unable to pursue the plan for very much longer, we won't be too upset because in spite of all the challenges of the last 5 years, it has been an absolutely fantastic experience. It has been worth every cent we have spent and every second of hassle we have had!

It was on Easter Tuesday 5 years ago that Safari fueled up in Howth marina and sailed quietly down the Irish sea to our first overnight stay in Arklow and what a 5 years it has been.!

It just remains for me to wish you all a really Happy Easter and great sailing in the upcoming season.

Carmel & Ken
Safari of Howth