sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Boats for Sale MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Racing Cruising Int Magnetic Is RW Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Sail-World.com : Sailing Sardinia and Corsica- An enticing mix of French and Italian
Sailing Sardinia and Corsica- An enticing mix of French and Italian


'Another tough day on the Med'    Trevor Joyce    Click Here to view large photo

An enticing mix of French and Italian culture and cuisine but with a mysterious third dimension that sets them apart from each other and from their mother countries.

My first day-time vision of Sardinia was when I opened the shutters of my hotel room in Portisco, having arrived the previous evening. At anchor in front of my room was a 35 metre motor yacht with two fully rigged Farr 40’s on davits on either side and a helicopter pad on the stern. One of the Farrs was being lowered into the custody of a sizeable RIB before setting off for nearby Porto Cervo and the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda to compete in the World Farr 40 championships. It soon became evident that such vessels are the norm rather than the exception along this the Emerald Coast.

I was in Portisco to participate in the somewhat less prestigious Bonifacio Yacht Rally, but I hasten to add, somewhat less expensive as well. The rally yachts, all less than 16 meters long, had been chartered for a modest fee while the numbers for the Farr 40 exercise did not bear thinking about; mother ship, helicopter, chase boat, racing yachts, crews etc.

The north coast of Sardinia between Tavolara and Santa Teresa Gallura is stark, rocky and the sea a distinctive emerald green but commanding of respect by navigators. It is also important to sail this coast at the right time of the year because when the Mistral is on during high summer 50 knots of wind is not uncommon. We were there in early September when the prevailing westerly winds were in a comfortable 10 – 15 knot range. Day temperatures were in the high 20’s and the sun shone for an average 8.5 hours a day.

Coincident with the Farr regatta was the world maxi championship and on one of our lay days we took the rally RIB and became spectators on the race course; fourteen super maxis all approaching the start at better than 12 knots close hauled! This was breathtaking stuff but more especially so when one of them had to bail out at the last second or clean up the committee boat.

The old town of Bonifacio -  Trevor Joyce  
The islands of the Maddalena Archipelago in the straits between Sardinia and nearby Corsica are all included in a national park and the efforts to protect them from the vagaries of mass tourism are impeccable. Anchoring is forbidden but mooring buoys are provided while barbeques are not allowed in case a fire breaks loose and damages the delicately balanced environment. There is only one town so population pressure is fortunately minimal.

At the western end of our meander along this coast is Porto Longonsardo, which huddles beneath the protective bastion of Santa Teresa Gallura, whose lookouts gazed across the straits to Bonifacio to warn of impending Corsican invasions.

Interestingly the origins of both Sardinia and Corsica have the Moors from North Africa and Spain in common, manifested in the Sardo/Corso language and in the flags of the two countries. Sardinia has four Moorish heads and Corsica only one but the symbol is the same. The Sardinians will tell you that the four Moors on their flag represent the fact that it took four Moorish invasions to conquer Sardinia but only one to conquer Corsica. Needless to say this assertion is hotly disputed.

Sardinian cuisine has Italian influences but it is distinctive because it uses lamb, goat and suckling pig to a greater extent than on the mainland. You need to go to Pilu at Freshwater to really experience Sardinian food here in Sydney.

After Porto Longonsardo our rally set off across the nine mile strait to the port city of Bonifacio, perched high above the sea and dripping precariously over the edges of its bleached limestone cliffs. The entrance to the harbour really takes some finding until you are right on top of it. The harbour as a spectacle has no equal in the world in my opinion and it was an easy place for us to spend two days as set out in our rally program. The waterfront and the town above were truly vibrant and the precipitous cobbled road between the two physically demanding for even the fittest of we senior sailors.

The Lavezzi island group, south and east of Bonifacio is the Corsican equivalent of the Maddalenas and while there is a marina we chose to hide behind the granite boulders on the headland of the curiously named Greko Bay. Ashore the landscape has been artistically sculpted over millions of years by the wind so there was plenty to contemplate as we supped on sun downers.

The highly indulgent cruising on this rally was interspersed with the occasional race to keep the adrenalin going and the compliant westerly breezes made the passage races in company with the other nine boats in the fleet the subject of energetic debate about what might have been at the post race dinners. In reality though there was nothing more serious than a twilight race and nothing longer than a couple of hours. On the rare occasions when the wind did not oblige the racing was called off and we would make the passage using the iron genoa.

On the east coast of Corsica is Port Vecchio, with its full service marina; the town above the port offered a challenge similar to Bonifacio and with similar rewards at the top. More interesting though was the excursion the following day into the mountains to Zonza, better than 2,000 meters above sea level and only 20 kilometres from the coast. Here even the conifers defer to the prevailing Mistral by pointing down-wind in exposed locations. The nearby peaks, even higher, are jagged and inviting to rock climbers who dotted the face above the pass on our way back to the coast. No thanks, there’s plenty of room down here for me.

All through the two weeks we had with us the excitable Sergio from the charter company who apart from driving his RIB around as if in a formula one grand prix, helped us with his local knowledge and got us into marinas and harbours where there were no berths available! He also kept an eye on the workings of our yachts, which meant we didn’t have to do it.

This rally is on again in September, 2014. For more information or go to the website.


by Trevor Joyce

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=111090

2:49 PM Fri 21 Jun 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World



Pacific Circuit Rally - 2015 by Island Cruising Association New Zealand,






World ARC 2014 reaches Australia by World Cruising Club,


A Mooring in Iceberg Alley by Rebecca Jackson,








Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,






















4.8 million Legos all at sea by Adam Clark Estes,












In search of the Duroc by Jack Binder, Coral Sea






Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,




Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),


Dangerous conditions for boating on entire NSW Coast by Transport Roads and Maritme Services,


Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors
Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature
Dangerous conditions for boaters Byron Bay to Eden
PredictWind's Weather Routing opens your navigation options - try it!
Auckland on the Water Boat Show: Two new Bavaria yachts on display
AYSS PacificNet/Tahiti voted a success!
Sail-World Cruising Founding Editor Nancy Knudsen says farewell
Book review: Weather - you like it or not
Research shows marinas tops for economic, social benefit
Vaavud launches generation 2 wind meter
The drama begins - North West Passage sailors rescued from ice
Entering an unfamiliar bay - decision time
Baby Nemos finding their way home
High Latitude Sailing - Book of the Week
Will the Olympics make a difference to Rio pollution? *Feature
Blue Planet Odyssey, around world rally, begins
Africa Europe Cruising Challenge now open for entries
The real ‘Supermoon’ story
Warm and noisy welcome for Oceans of Hope in La Rochelle
Sailor rescued after Facebook call for rescue
Solo sailing star's passion = busy environmental schedule   
El Niño (Part 2). Effects on the Pacific Ocean   
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 1)   
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, photos   
The Galley Guys' favourite shrimp recipe   
Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters   
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon   
Rescued sailors reach shore after dramatic ocean rescue   
Yacht abandoned 170nm north of New Zealand, navigation warning out   
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards   
Abell Point Marina looking shipshape   
Dangerous conditions for NSW coastal boaters from Thursday   
Oceanis 48 at the Sydney International Boat Show   
Eco-Sailboat of the future - Catherine Chabaud at work   
Calling yachts in the South Pacific - rally to New Zealand   
The final touch - which wax should I use on my boat?   
ARC Baltic sets sail to discover Europe's 'east sea'   
Auckland On Water Boat Show to hold world record attempt   
Another boom death. Australian sailor dies, hit by swinging boom   
Galley Guru vital to the life of the cruising sailor   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru SH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT