Yesterday I arrived at Cagliari at around 18H. For practical reasons I didn’t return to the exact place of launch, but I crossed the course we followed last year, so now I can say I’ve been all the way around Sardinia in kayak.
I started from the beach of Chia at about 8, paddling along the coast. The weather was calm, almost not a wind stirring and no waves. Progress was fast even if I didn’t hurry, and I was at Capo di Pula in no time. As I managed to do good speed without much effort, I just continued instead of taking a break. The plan was to stop for lunch around the next headland, but I had forgot something.
As I turned the headland I was met with a beach or a village on the coast, but with an oil refinery.
I had to paddle further out to avoid the moored tankers, and passed under one of the pipeline bridges a bit out. The bridges extend a couple of kilometres into the sea. Not having a beautiful landscape to look at makes for boring paddling.
After the refinery there several kilometres to the next beach, but there was nothing there but beach so I ended up paddling to La Maddalena beach, where I found a pleasant place to stop for lunch, even if a few hours later than planned.
While I was approaching the beach a SE wind started blowing, the scirocco. It got stronger while I was on the beach, and when I left it was about force 3-4.
After a couple of kilometres along the beach I passed under gas pipeline bridge at Porto Nuovo, and crossed straight east towards the head of the first breakwater in front of Cagliari harbour.
The wind was now giving me some waves, about 1-1.5m, so progress was slower then I had hoped. At that point, with the goal so close, I just wanted to get into the harbour, and I was frankly annoyed with the wind and the waves for keeping me back.
I was heading for a small harbour near Sant’Elia, because my friends couldn’t bring the car into the ferry harbour to pick me up. I didn’t quite know where it was, and couldn’t readily see it, so when at the southern breakwater of the harbour, I had to chose if going south in search of a small harbour I didn’t really know where to find, or enter the sheltered larger harbour and find a place to land in there. I chose the latter.
Inside the breakwater it was nice and calm, and I started searching for a place to land. The first place I was turned away, members only I was told, but then I found the little bridge of the Società Canottieri Ichnusa and landed there without any problems.
I made a few phone calls to inform my friends of my whereabouts, and started emptying the kayak.
After a few minutes the reception commitee started showing up. Simona Biagini whom I’d met in Venice for the Vogalonga, was the first, followed by Francesco Ravasio whom I knew from last year, Francesco Muntoni, my host in Cardedu, and finally Stefano Diana of Diana Canoe, the local kayak manufacturer.
We had a nice time while packing and chatting, after which we went to Francesco Ravasio’s, where I had a long awaited shower. Such a marvellous thing getting the sand and seaweed out of the hair.
We then had dinner all together at a good local restaurant, Il Gatto, and at ten Francesco and I set off for Cardedu, where I am now.
Today I’ve been sleeping, eating and washing my gear. It is truly amazing how much seaweed I’ve been hauling around ever since those miserable surf launches at Marina di Arbus. Its appearing everywhere, inside pockets, in bags, under the seat, all over.
As for my return, I will either have to go to Porto Torres for a ferry to Genova tomorrow, or take the one from Arbatax on Thuesday. From Genova I will go by motorcycle to Venice, from where I can take a flight on Sunday for Copenhagen.