San Giovanni di Sinis

It has been an OK day today. I’ve paddled from the Is Arenas beach around Capo Mannu first to Putzu Idu, and then on to San Giovanni di Sinis at the entrance to the Gulf of Oristano.

I slept well in the night, with just a few interruptions due to wind and rain. It really makes a difference having slept well. I only unload the basic necessities, so even if I’m a slow starter in the morning, it only takes about an hour to pack and launch.

During packing the wind was E, but it turned to NW (maestrale) before I was on the water at 9.

I therefore had a bit of headwind for the first hour, until I was around Capo Mannu. The last stretch to Putzu Idu was very easy, as I was sheltered from the NW waves and the wind pushed me inesorably towards a bar on the beach for an early lunch (I had almost but not entirely, completely skipped breakfast).

The sun was shining from an almost cloudless sky, so I stayed at Putzu Idu until 2, to avoid paddling under the midday sun.

Wind and waves remained in NW, so I had mostly following waves and a tailwind. Paddling in following waves is something I still have to work on. I’m sure that I’m working way too hard keeping my course, and that there must be a better way. I’m completely dependent on the skeg for assistance, and would have been in difficulty without it. I’ve been experimenting with various ways of edging into and out of the waves, but I still need the skeg to keep on course.

It might be related to the weight distribution of my gear. If I haven’t packed it balanced, it might increase weathercocking, but I have no way of checking that until I’m back and can weigh everything. There are probably a handful of lessons to be learnt here too.

Anyways, I had a skeg and used it, so I arrived at the last cape before San Giovanni di Sinis in good shape, and continued, now with some rather big but also long following waves, which gave me a very good speed.

The beaches of San Giovanni di Sinis must be popular with kite surfers, because they were all over. I tried to surf a bit on arrival, with mixed results. It didn’t quite work, but I got up in speed as I approached the beach. Unfortunately, I lost control just as I was about to land, and capsized in the surf less than 10m from the beach.

As usual my roll failed me when its not planned. I tried once, but the paddle got hold of nothing, it felt like it was moving through air, which it might very well have done as I was in the middle of the surf. I set up for a second try, but hit bottom and bailed out almost instinctively. I was maybe 5m out in 1m of water, so I waded in not very content with the end of the day.

I’m parked on a beach just south of San Giovanni at the Tharros ruins. I went up there, but they were closing for the day. You can see a good bit from the road, though.

I’ve just had a great plate of spaghetti con bottarga, which is just as delicious as it is simple. I’m not quite sure, but I think bottarga are smoked tuna eggs.

The locals have killed off my dream of paddling with flamingos. There are currently none or very few in the local stagni, and you can’t paddlein anyway, as the entrance of the stagni are blocked by fisheries. I will skip that part, and try to return another time just for that, so we can launch directly in a stagno where we know there are flamingos.

Tomorrow I will cross over to Capo Frasca. It’s about 8-10km, so it will be the longest crossing I have made. Weather should be just like today, and I managed that well enough (except for the surf landing), so I’m not worried about that.

I’ve paddled 32km today. My current position is 40,066515, 8,475475 (its a restaurant 🙂 ).

Posted in Sardinia 2007/8

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