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D + 15: Not Costa Smeralda but still Emerald

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

Sunset yesterday over Stentino

After Castelsardo, we set sail for a choppy sea and headed towards the small fishing village of Stentino. As in Girolata, we were accompanied by dolphins who enjoyed bow surfing. It is so fascinating watching these big fish enjoying themselves. They stayed for more than 10 minutes

Three dolphins following us to Stentino - they love bow surfing

We arrived just at sun set and stayed in a bay nearby. Our choice of anchorage was rewarded the next morning when we woke up to an unimaginable beautiful view. There is no better word for it than Costa Smeralda or Emerald Coast. Geographically, the Costa Smeralda known by everyone is further to the east. But the sea is identical. With the waters relatively shallow, the crystal sand reflects the light like no other underwater surface does. It creates this stunning turquois blue color.

The Emerald Waters of Stentino

The small village of Stentino has no particular history. Its beaches were discovered with the rise of tourism in the early seventies. Larger ferries and cheap flights made the secluded north-west of Sardinia accessible for visitors from far away. Have not seen a hotel older than 40 years.

Asinara behind the AFAET

The island of Asinara to the north of Stintino is so remote, it once housed Sardinia’s quarantine quarters – yes that is where all the Covid-19 super-spreaders will have to go if they do not self-quarantine – just kidding!!!! But during the times of the Bubonic Plague such islands were important. It is here where ships from remote corners of the world were kept for 40 days to make sure they did not carry infectious diseases. In the 19th century, the island was then used as a prison and housed until a good 40 years ago a high security prison for terrorists. Now it is a national park with wild donkeys, lots of birds and a list of other animals longer than a full page in Wikipedia.

Saracen Watch Towers watching out for Turkish pirates

The Saracen Torre del Falcone watching over the Straight of Stention

The island of Asinara was also a perfect hiding place for Ottoman pirates thus there are as many Saracen watch towers as we have seen in Corsica – albeit they are a bit fatter and sometimes square due to their Spanish design.

The Bay of Porto Conte half an hour west to Alghero

We are now on the way to Alghero, one of the first towns the Aragon Kingdom conquered. 10% of the population still speaks Catalan. We are looking forward to its Spanish flavour!

We found another Saracen Tower in Porto Conte

As a Nota Bene: was asked about the Sardinian flag yesterday - whether the severed heads would wear the bandana over their eyes or as normal. Can’t really answer it since the Moors wear not wearing any bandanas at all on old flags!

The Sardinian Flag as we fly it on the AFAET

A more gruesome earlier version - could not date it

The Sardinian flag in the middle as per an old document on Wikipedia - no bandanas!

Arrived in Alghero a few minutes before 8 pm

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