Well it’s going to be May next week and we are still in lockdown on the boat here in Alghero, Sardinia. We have had some encouraging updates from the Italian government this week, that they are easing some restrictions and this is to be ongoing throughout May. This is urgently needed, especially here in Alghero. The town is like a ghost town, with all bars, shops and restaurants closed. This is obviously hitting the our economy hard. We too are very worried about our future here. If tourism is slowed then our business becomes questionable as it is solely reliant on the summer tourist trade (as are most businesses here in Sardinia). Northern Europeans are our main customers like Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and France. If they stop coming to Sardinia, we will be in deep trouble financially. We always try to look on the bright-side but this is very difficult with Covis-19.
Well, its now July and we are no. 2 on Trip Advisor thanks to our lovely guests who have given us rave reviews this year, after experiencing a day out at sea on Andrea Jensen. We have had my cousin Christine and her husband Paul as well as Colin’s uncle John and cousin on board recently. The fact that they all have said that our boat trip in Alghero, Sardinia is a magical experience is just amazing. We look forward to a great summer here in Alghero with more fantastic guests on board. But don’t take their word for it, come and experience it yourself. The Best Boat Trip in Alghero by far. If you want exclusivity, relaxation, great service, fun, great food and local wine, look no further than a Day Trip on Andrea Jensen. Well I am a bit biased I suppose.
May Day celebrations kicked off on Wednesday with a Latina Boat Regatta and the port was filled with market stalls from all over Northern Sardinia. It was a lovely day weather wise too and Andrea Jensen had her first ‘Mini Cruise’, evening trip. We attracted an audience as we hoisted the Mizzen sail in the marina and followed this with the main sail going up soon after. We raised 4 sails in total and sailed slowly and elegantly past the old town wall. There were on-lookers all along the wall and out past Villa Las Tronas. We clearly looked impressive! We popped the cork on a few bottles of Akenta and shared this out among our delighted guests. Aah the start of summer at last, such a great feeling.
These lovely traditional boats are along side us for the next few days in Alghero Marina. Tomorrow they will take part in a May Day Regatta. We will hopefully watch it all happening out on the water in Alghero Bay. The sails on these boats are not easy to master, so it takes well practiced sailors to skipper them. All adds to the fun I’m sure.
We have had some nice trips out on the water over the Easter holiday and great guests on board, who have all been from Germany to date. The new crew are settling in very well, we are pleased that they have enjoyed the work so far, having been here only a week and a half! The weather has been mixed in between the trips, some rainy and windy days, but that does not seem to have deterred their enthusiasm. They are very keen to help which is just what we need.
The work on the boat continues between trips and Andrea Jensen really is looking spectacular with her new bright hull colours and varnished brightworks. We think she looks the best ever. It’s amazing what another pair of hands allows us to achieve. The maintenance list is definitely getting shorter by the day.
Alghero is starting to come alive with bars and market stalls popping up all over. Many locals have had a long Easter holiday with Labour Day bank holiday all rolled into one long break for them to spend with their families. The Ramparts around the Old Town have been buzzing with buskers and street entertainers all trying to make a few euros! But we are getting a bit tired of the same songs being sung over and over. Please learn a new tune, that’s our request!
We are very excited to offer an EVENING SAIL on Andrea Jensen. We will sail from Alghero port at 17.00 and return around 19.00. On offer is a FREE glass of Akenta, (with additional glasses for sale at 4 euros). The Evening Sail tour is available from 19th April.
See our website for more details www.ajsailing .com
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.
Go to https://youtu.be/w1RSReIT3MQ
To catch up on our previous blogs, see below.
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!