I write this with a heavy heart. What is happening right now, across every continent, is truly frightening. The disaster here in Italy is particularly alarming and shocking to say the least. The daily numbers of Coronavirus cases and deaths continues to rise, almost uncontrollably it would seem. Sardinia, at the moment, is not as affected as mainland Italy and from what we can see from looking outside of the boat in Alghero Port, everyone here is sticking to the rules of social distancing and remaining indoors. This is particularly hard for us here, I can tell you!
Another observation is that the people here are very socially conscious. They are not going out to the supermarkets and filling their trolleys full. Panic buying does not seem to be the headline here, thank goodness. But what we all are, is scared, along with the rest of the World. Where will this pandemic lead us? Will it lead to a shrinking of the World economy and make countries and governments think more about self reliance and move countries to a more home grown economy? Out of these dark hours, days, weeks, months hopefully people are being made to think about humanity and how fragile life really is. We certainly are!
Good Friday 2019 and we went out on our 1st day trip of the season. We had a full boat thanks to Matt and his family choosing a day out with Andrea Jensen. Everyone onboard seemed to enjoy the great scenery along the way. Sorry there were no Dolphins today!
After working hard for the past four days we decided to take our 2 volunteers Ant and Ella, out for a wee tour of the stunning Alghero coast. Here they are in the net and loving their first experience out on the water. We were lucky enough to have two sightings of Dolphins on the way too! Great day
Yesterday we sailed back to Alghero from Bosa. We headed out of the marina at about 12.30pm, having just been put back into the water. The weather was just perfect. Slightly cloudy skies but the sun kept appearing through and that made it comfortably warm. The sea was exceptionally calm as there was little to no wind. Just perfect for spotting dolphins we thought and we were not wrong. As we approached Spiagga Poglina, with Alghero in our sights, Colin spotted them, slightly ahead of us, port side. I immediately grabbed the phone and went to the bow of the boat with the hope that the dolphins would join us for a play. They did exactly that, they headed straight for our boat to play in our bow wave. There were 4 and they were clearly having a great time, swimming together under the bow sprit net. I managed to get some great shots of them. Then to our surprise they chose to circle back behind us and began to jump and flip in and out of the water. Our own personal show that was clearly natural to them. To show off in front of a captive audience. Truly awesome for Colin and I.
Go to our Gallery for more fantastic photo’s from yesterday. You tube also has some fantastic videos to watch.
Well, we are more than a month into our annual boat maintenance program and finally we can cross a few jobs off the ‘to do’ list. We have painted the main sail and the stay sail this week, with specialist preservative, which will hopefully prolong their lives a few years. New sails are very expensive so the longer we can use the ones we have the better. We have painted the bits at the bow, metal work and bowsprit too, which has made a big difference. (We had some new strengthening metal work added to the bits at the bow before Christmas, as we were worried about old splits in the wooden bits which were clearly getting worse and these take all the strain from the bowsprit and bowsprit stays).
Colin tried twice this week to go up the mizzen mast to remove the blocks at the top, but he could not quite get to them, some repairs required to the ratlines and I wasn’t able to hoist him up by myself. We are going to need some help to get them down, any volunteers? We have started to remove the more accessible blocks to be serviced and re-varnished which is progress, only about 20 to go. Colin has nearly completed the rewiring down stairs too, after we finally got delivery of the new fuse box from the UK, the parcel seemed to get lost in Sardinia for a week before we got it! Everything gets here eventually, but you just cannot be sure how long you will have to wait!
On a slightly different note, today we started making inquiries about converting our UK driving licenses into Italian. This requires us to go to Sassari to the l’ufficcio di Motorizzazzione on Monday to apply. We are going with an English friend call Barbara who has lived in Sardinia for over 50 years and lives in Villanova. There is not much she does not know about the Italian bureaucracy and is a great help with the language barrier too! We also need to get our UK reg plates converted to Italian plates which will be the next challenge!
On a positive note, today we received our new registration ‘certificato’ from the Camera di Commercio di Sassari (Chamber of Commerce) which now correctly describes our boat charter business here. The previous certificate, which has been deemed acceptable for the last 3 years by the Guardia Costiera, was suddenly rejected last week as incorrect (we knew it was actually, long story), so our license to operate this year has not been signed yet. We are now officially ‘Trasporto Marittimo e Costiero di Passeggeri’. We are very happy about this as it brings us a step closer to being in the same category as the other tour boats in Alghero Port. Another trip is required next week however, to the Coast Guard’s office to hand this new document in for official approval. Hopefully then we will get our 2019 operating license approved. Something else crossed off the list, well nearly!
Next week we hope to head off to Bosa to get Andrea Jensen lifted out for anti-fouling etc, so lots more work coming up for us two. Can’t wait!