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2006 sailing season

Outline

We left our berth in Almerimar on 12th April, and immediately headed for Melilla, the Spanish enclave in Morocco. We spent Easter there, and visited Morocco for a day before heading back to Spain, and up towards the Mar Menor. From there we headed across to the Balearics, and took in Formentera and Espalmador, Ibiza, Majorca, and Menorca. We then crossed to Alghero, on the north west coast of Sardinia, and went around the north side of the island to the Madalenas and Costa Smeralda. Going south, we reached La Caletta before turning back and heading in due course for Corsica. We had a lot of high winds that delayed our progress, both in Sardinia, and now in Corsica. We spent more time than we had hoped in Rondinara and Porto Vecchio as a result, then again back on the north coast of Sardinia. Returning to Corsica, we cruised west until it was time to return via the island of Assinara to Porto Torres, and so back to Alghero. Finally we came down the west coast, and crossed over the gulf of Cagliari to Villasimius, before going back to Cagliari to find a berth for the winter, arriving here on 3rd October.

During the season we have covered (just over - the log did not work for a while) 2037 nautical miles. In 174 days, we spent just 40 days in a marina or port, at a total cost of 760 plus 78 for National Park fees. We have used proportionately less engine, at 239 hours, having enjoyed some good sails with plenty of wind, but there have been no rivers to explore as in 2004.

Some brief notes on our experiences of Sardinian ports can be found here.

Highs and Lows

Yesterday we sat and thought about the highlights of our sailing this season. Unlike our first full year out, in 2004, the year has not been so eventful in terms of crises, but perhaps also not as rewarding. On the down side of the scales, maybe we are getting better at handling the boat and anticipating problems. Maybe it was just luck. Yet on the up side it seemed perhaps less exciting too.

We came up with the following list:

Highs

Lows

There were others that we came up with, dragging the anchor on several occasions, particularly in the middle of the night, for instance, and our experience at Oristano, that we decided were par for the course. If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen!

Regrets

Perhaps not exploring places sufficiently. We rushed past Ibiza in order to get our inverter fixed in Majorca. We should have spent more time in Menorca, but (I'll admit it, Mo) we were pressing on to rendesvous with K8 in Sardinia. We planned to circumnavigate Corsica, but the weather put paid to that. While cash is tight, we are reluctant to go into marinas in high season, and unless the weather is very settled reluctant also to leave the boat at anchor unattended. Having said that, we have gone past much slower than many of our fellow cruisers.

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