On to France!


We started today by dropping into the large marina of Imperia to get a running fix for the broken davit – thanks to the marina staff for their help! (They were very impressed that I had a cordless rope cutter on board!)

Then it was on to Villefranche Sur Mer, just east of Nice. We were last here in 2008 (when we lost a kedge anchor overnight – not again, please). Again, a lovely spot but with lockdown in France we’re on the anchor again and staying on board.


We stayed three nights in Elba, the first at anchor on the south coast and then two nights in Portoferraio, the capital. The girls explored some of the town while I found an electrician to get our USB sockets working again – thanks Carlo



After much googling, we discovered that free covid tests are carried out at Elmas Airport when international flights arrive. So we grabbed a cab to the airport and got there just as the medical staff were setting up. All over in 5 minutes, results in a couple of days. We’ve decided we’re now released from isolation on the boat… Letter of the law and all that.

Tuesday. No results but the spare part for the shower pump arrived today from Germany so this will be our last night in Cagliari!

That’s a mixed grill…

Passage to Cagliari, Sardinia

Our first overnight passage on Mistral. 250 nm so at least a night and a half at sea. I downloaded and subscribed to an app called Weather4D Routing and Navigation which downloads grib files and comes up with an optimum routing and departure time for your boat. Here’s what it came up with:

We set off for Cagliari, Sardinia, at 1430 local on Thursday 15 October. The first night went well. With a reef in the main and the genoa we made 7-7.5 kt most of the time. In the day the wind dropped off and we needed to go directly downwind so we motored.
We had quartering seas for most of the passage and were sailing on a broad reach. All great until the wind drops and the boat rolls more and the boom starts swinging. We eventually furled the main and ran on the huge genoa alone, but some damage was done – both boom lights fell off and the topping lift snapped.

By 9pm on the second night we were all pretty knackered and decided to drop anchor and complete the last 5 hours the next day. However, despite trying three times the anchor dropped into weed each time so we gave up and carried on to Marina Del Sole in Cagliari.

Got here at 6:30 am on Saturday morning, no reply on the radio so we dropped Shirley off so she could take our lines. Then the bloke from the marina arrived and said we couldn’t park there. Hmmm.

Totals for the passage : 261 nm in 40 hours, 25 at night.

One bacon sandwich and a cup of tea later we’re feeling refreshed. The boom lights were undamaged and were reinserted with some electrical tape to increase the sturdiness. The topping lift was also an easy fix, a replacement shackle of which we have many. All good. Now to find somewhere to get a covid test! Pics to follow once we’re released from isolation on the boat.


Mahon, Menorca

Passage: Cala d'Or - Mahon

We ended up spending almost a week in Mahon. We got the tender fixed (replacement fuel tank and fuel line), the chartplotter (loose connection) and the lazarette (new brackets made to support it). The weather between Menorca and Sardinia looked pretty challenging as well!

Ibiza and Palma

Wednesday: A short run to Santa Eulalia marina, a few miles north-east of Ibiza town. An excellent marina with lots of facilities, but pricey.

Thursday: A 10 hr/62 nm day today, so we left early at 0600 local. A good SW wind so running downwind all day. We used the preventer on the boom and also experimented with two foresails and no main. It worked, but one of the foresails needs to be poled out to stabilise it.
Jane left her hatch open a crack not realising that the sea wasn’t as calm as the day before – the bed got soaked…

There was a Mayday during the morning. We plotted the position but were too far away to assist.

We welcomed Shirley on board on Friday and said goodbye to Jane on Sunday. We’ll be sorting a problem with the generator (overheating and shutting down) in the morning then it’s off to Cala d’Or on the east coast of Mallorca.