Friday, February 02, 2007

Cagliari, Jan. 2007

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Back in Cagliari, Sardinia, after a hectic five weeks in Canada. We are trying to upgrade the faded tans we left with so we can merge in with the Sardis, recovering in the mornings from insane socializing with the other live-aboard cruisers in Marina Del Sole, brushing up on our forgotten Italiano and of course, working on Chinook doing those "put-off" jobs we left in December.

There and Back Again: Our Christmas trip to Canada was great. We thoroughly caught up with family and friends, over ate, over spent and over exerted. One highlight was a ten-day trip to Victoria, Vancouver Island where we stayed with Andy and Kristin (Deborah's son and partner) and went skiing for three days in Sun Peakes (near Kamloops) with them and Kristin’s parents. Good weather and good conditions. Brian's first time on a snowboard for six years, but it all seemed to come back - slowly. From there, Debby flew to Edmonton to watch Andy's home opener lacrosse game while Brian spent a few more days on the island with his old friends Paul and Deanna Shaw

Debby's mum, Frances, spent Christmas and the couple of weeks after in hospital, unfortunately, but is now home and doing very well - threatening to drive again, so she must be well. As you may recall, Frances and Debby's father lived aboard their Rival 34 sailboat in Europe for four years and crossed the Atlantic in the 1980's, so she gives us full support in our lifestyle.


It was really good to see olde friends and family members again (it has been two years for Brian), but even better to be back aboard Chinook! We did miss Herself, or perhaps it was the weather, or maybe the friendly Sards, the quieter pace of life, good caffe lattes, or maybe it was just having time to and for ourselves again. Back to swimming, biking and jogging, and for Deborah, learning more Italian with a couple of ladies who want to brush up their English.

Photo: Cormorants feeding on mullet at dawn (photo courtesy of Full Flight)
A new phenomenon to us since returning has been the sounds (and sights if we get up at daybreak) of hundreds and hundreds of cormorants feeding on the mullet in the marina. Such a din, some of the birds striking our hull under the water as they chase the fish and the flapping of wings when they take off to another area. They do not cry though and the sight of them congregated near us is quite amazing.
Messing About on the Boat: Chinook has just had her V-berth renovated; involved was taking off the wall covering material and replacing it with an "easy-clean" formica as well as new shelves on either side. Bit of a messy job but not too complicated - the usual cutting, drilling , sanding, varnishing and an equal amount of time cleaning up. When any interior work is involved, the small inside of Chinook is a disaster zone. Everything in a boat has its "place" and there is never any room for anything else. So when a whole "room" is being worked on, all the "stuff" goes into the "other room", and there are only two "rooms"! We seem to manage.
Photo: the waterfront of Cagliari

The primary diesel filter system was revamped (with a Racor 500 series) and many replacement elements were "smuggled" back form Canada, being less than half the European price there. As was the "prize" - the new 22 Kg. "Bulwagga" anchor - which was huffed and puffed through four airports and allowed through as (maximum) checked baggage weight (it was actually seven Kg over on the Ryan Air flight) Although Brian had spent an afternoon at the Toronto Boat Show two days before leaving, he only spent $10 on some velcro ties - a record.

The next main project is the sole (cabin floor, landlubbers) - sanding and re-oiling the teak in an attempt to restore its former beauty. Some rigging replacement may be necessary, a sail change, and a haul-out is planned for March to clean the bottom and generally prepare her for the season's sailing.

Much to see yet: Until the sailing begins again we will continue to enjoy the country and being in Europe generally. An overnight bus trip to a traditional mask festival this month (February) in the northern mountain town of Tempio will be a highlight for us. The busy social life with the marina yotties seems to take up an inordinate amount of time, but you will never hear us complain too loudly about that.

Ciao for now, Brian and Deborah.

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The Bulwagga anchor - a "new generation" design anchor with excellent reviews