Friday, June 19th: To Sardinia, and beyond!
Thursday night was a short sleep for me—I stayed up late having tea with Andrea, talking about travelling, Rome & Italian culture, and life in the United Arab Emirates. But I had to get some sleep as I had a very early start scheduled for Friday morning. I got to bed around 01:15 then was up again four hours later to pack my things and walk down to the nearby piazza to catch a taxi to Ciampino airport. The taxi cost me €30 which I thought was a bit steep but I really couldn’t argue it. The driver got me there in decent time and then I had a couple of hours to spend before my Ryanair flight to Sardinia. The sandwiches and snacks being offered by the vendors looked about as stale as the small airport itself so I opted to skip breakfast. My flight was only around 45 minutes and I slept for most of it. Upon collecting my backpack I found a nicer looking sandwich to fill the gap with as I walked to the train terminal. I caught the next train into Cagliari. It was a relatively short train ride and subsequently a relatively long walk to the Marina di Sant'Elmo. There I finally met Ross (in person), the owner/skipper of Bliss of Wight the 36’ sailboat from the UK, which I’m helping him sail from Italy to Greece.
I made Ross’s contact via a website called crewseekers.net. Boaters can post ads looking for crew to help them sail to destinations all over the world. Prior to the trip we spoke on Skype a couple of times to make sure it would work out for the journey. Ross is semi-retired and enjoys sailing when he can. With the help of friends and other crew he set sail last August from the UK and brought the boat down to Sardinia. We’ll take it from Sardinia, across to Sicily, then cross the Ionian Sea to Greece. His plan is to have some work done on the boat while he goes home to continue his business at home, then return to Greece in the winter and continue exploring islands.
Within a couple hours of my arrival we were ready to depart Cagliari. At 12:30 we were on our way, sailing eastward toward Sicily, with a plan of landing at a small island just to the west called Marettimo.