Leaving Tunisia and completing all the very laborious formalities, we were rather pleased to be an EU yacht arriving in the EU with 3 x EU (currently – uuugh) citizens and hoping for a certain relaxation of the very petty and superficial regulations we have experienced since my departure from Venice, seemingly so long ago. I was hoping to be able to check the necessary formalities as we approached Sardinia but could not pick up any mobile signal. Successful connection required a ‘re-boot’ after having tried, unsuccessfully to connect to the phone systems in Tunisia. Too late to adjust our plans, we were committed to the marina at Villasimius at the SE tip of Sardinia from where we could scoot up the sheltered east coast as we need to ‘crack on’ to achieve our next rendezvous and crew change in Ajaccio, Corsica.

With a certain trepidation regarding formalities, we managed to check in for one night at a hefty €120 which didn’t include the showers which were an additional €2 (would you credit that) but at least in the following ports of call, we can now show that we were previously at Villasimius and brandish a receipt. We just HAD to run the air conditioning all night – after all, electricity was included.

Assuming that Carl regularly ‘cocked a deffun’ when being spoken to and it was just one his many idiosyncrasies, it would appear that ain’t the case, he is actually partially deaf. When challenged about it he readily admits to it. Why didn’t his parents warn him ‘it makes you deaf’!

Having slipped our berth soon after 06.00 at first light, we have a 60 mile passage today to Santa Maria Navaresse where we have a marina berth booked. The sea is flat, the wind is currently light but I am hoping for a little more later and from a favourable direction so we may be able to sail!

The attractive Sardinian coastline.

Carl writes:-

Ahoy there, Shipmates! Many of you will be aware of the common vernacular that an army marches on its belly and I can now confirm that a yacht’s crew are similarly predisposed. My job for the duration is to keep Hejira’s happy-campers in the style that they have grown accustomed to, and let me tell you it ain’t been easy.

Initially, I thought I had been chosen for the role due to my enviable skill with a paring knife, spatula and wooden-spoon, but no, it’s nothing to do with any of that. The only reason I got the gig was that I’m the only person, at a vertically challenged 5’2”, that fits in the galley. Thanks, boys. Needless to say it’s a bit tight in there, and I feel more like a hobbit in his hole with every passing nautical mile.

With both space and utility being at a premium, planning and preparation is certainly the name of the gastronomic game in this town. And, with Captain Fantastic having already demanded to know what was on the menu for later tonight, and it’s all of 9.15am currently, the planning and preparation starts early.

Mind, they are an appreciative crew and, so far, precious little has gone to the fishes. For the record, to-date we have enjoyed a hot & spicy chilli con carne, creamy spaghetti carbonara, a whole roast chicken with chick-pea & cannellini-bean curry, pasta puttanesca and last night’s tremendous (though I do say so myself) chorizo, tomato & cheese pasta bake, served with a fresh green salad. Tonight’s dish-of-day is currently envisaged as some form of spicy Cottage Pie concoction with mixed veg. Nice. Anyway, gotta dash as those spuds and carrots ain’t gonna peel themselves…

Tom correcting his fathers grammar.

Wee Tom writes:-

After a full day sailing (motoring), we entered the harbour of Villasimius. In the build up to entering said port, Captain America had been frantically getting his budgie smugglers in a twist about various customs arrangements. Our fun-filled fiesta with the Tunisian authorities had left us a little light on paperwork and Nick was already making his mental notes of how to conduct his defence in an Italian court of law. In contrast, his crew were busy dishing out vast quantities of blasé reassurance and talking up our powers of persuasion (we don’t speak a word of Italian between us), should any strange customs loopholes arise.

I also floated the idea of dodging the seemingly extortionate mooring fee of €120 (showers extra…naturally), embarking under cover of dark and becoming something akin to the Bonnie & Clyde of the central Mediterranean. This was frowned upon so I guess that clearly highlights the difference in moral stature between myself and our illustrious Nelson!

As it turned out, all the stress was misplaced (told you so), and questions regarding our previous adventures were notably absent. In his relief I was half expecting Nick to present a ‘Hejira sailing business card’, without which he never leaves house nor boat, from behind the administrator’s ear in a magic circle-esque flourish. This would have blown our cover out of the water but given the lengths he goes to spread his gospel, nothing would surprise me!

To round off proceedings and much to my dismay, we even paid for the berth. I need to ditch this lily-livered crew of mine and find a captain more in line with my swashbuckling ways – Somalia, here I come!

Tom returning from a foray ashore.