Sardinia 2007/8

Chia

I’ve done quite well today, I think. I’m in Chia, having rounded Punto Cala di Piombo, Capo Teulada, Capo Malfatato e Capo Spartivento. In all I’ve done 53km in about 8 hours.

My primary task today was to round Capo Teulada with the military shooting range. They’ll be shooting all week, so Sunday was my only option to pass there.

The forecast was for force 4 NW (maestrale), which would push me along, but also give me some decent following waves of 1m and more, at least until I rounded Capo Teulada.

To avoid having waves and maestrale all the way to Capo Teulada, I started at 7 in the morning. One thing I have learnt here in Sardinia is that there is rarely any wind at all in the early morning. The winds come with the sun. By launching early I had at least 2 hours paddling on calm water with almost no wind, which got me to Punto Manga a few km before Punto di Cala di Piombo.

At around 9 the maestrale started to make itself felt, and soon I had the promised waves. They were a bit different from what I had expected. The regular waves were mostly WNW and 0.5-1m, but every once in a while I would get a handful of swells of 1.5-2m from the SW.

After playing with that for a couple of hours, it was rather welcome rounding Capo Teulada at 11, after 28km, and find a bit of rest in the shelter of the cape.

I decided to have my lunch break at Porto Teulada, which was another 6-7km, but on the way I got the full force of the wind as it passed over the hills behind the two capes I had rounded. I paddled at a few hundred metres from the shore, and even at that short distance the wind made waves of about 0.5m.

At one point a motorboat headed straight for me, as if to cut me off, but when they got closer, they just wanted to hear if I was ok. Everything was fine, but I thanked them anyway. I’m not sure, but I think I have heard of yet another kayaking related death in this area recently, so people might be more alert when they see kayaks out in wind and waves.

I had a nice break, slept a bit on the beach, before launching again at around 4 in the afternoon. I had been studying the beach maps I have with me, and there were plenty to chose from, so I just headed for Capo Malfatano knowing there were two beaches on the other side and one just before. I had the same conditions as at the other capes that day, force 3-4 NW with following waves and some swells from SW.

As I rounded that cape, the Capo Spartivento seemed so close, so I headed for that too. I didn’t look too much on the maps, though, because the waves kept me occupied, so I was a bit surprised that it took so long to get around, but afterwards I could see that it is quite wide. There was a beautiful beach in the middle, but I had spotted a Spanish tower ahead, and wanted to got there.

There was a whole series of beaches just after Capo Spartivento, but I had decided on the tower, which was on the very last.

It was a good choice. Its a beautiful beach, with the tower illuminated by night, with a stagno behind with flamingoes, and some very nice people running the beach bar.

They have let me charge my stuff, and they even left me an electric cord outside when they closed, so I could charge some more. I also got permission to pitch my tent under their palm branch umbrellas, but I have chosen to bivy on their veranda instead.

From here there are circa 45km to Cagliari. The forecast promises some headwind, and there are also some petro-chemical industries with long bridges running into the sea, so I don’t know if I will make it to Cagliari tomorrow, but if not tomorrow then the day after.

The end is near 🙂

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