ChaliGram 13-3: Sardinia, Corsica & Elba
15 July 2013
Dearest Family and Friends,
Since my last ChaliGram on June 6, we sailed up the East coast of the islands of Sardinia (Italy) and Corsica (France) and are now anchored in a lovely bay in the town of Marina di Campo on the south coast of the island of Elba, one of the Tuscan Islands near the Italian mainland.
We spent 2 weeks at different anchorages (which certainly helps with the harbour fees budget!); had to stay in some longer than desired because of ….. WEATHER! then we spent the next 2 weeks in marinas in Corsica. Now we're at anchor again. I'm always anxious to do one after doing the other. Change is good, right?
Last Monday, we bade farewell to our daughter Samantha and her boyfriend Brian, who came to visit us while we were in the town of Bastia, Corsica. We introduced Brian to sailing on a blissfully calm day with just the gentlest of breezes… but enough to move us! We also rented a car and explored the extraordinarily rugged and picturesque interior of Corsica as well as the north coast where Sam and Brian enjoyed a beach that wasn't TOO gravelly….. like the one near the Bastia marina! All in all, a very pleasant 4 days! On the social scene we also had a rendezvous in two different Sardinian harbors with our good buddies Albert & Ineke. Always FUN!
Before leaving French Corsica, we stocked up on our French Faves: Copa, pate de compagne, brie cheese and Casino brand Noir Menthe (mint dark chocolate bars) and Carte Noir coffee beans. Having a Géant Casino supermarket right across the street from the marina in Bastia was REALLY FABULOUS. We just love it when the essential things in life (food, laundromats) are conveniently located!!!
I'm also happy to report that we finally got to SAIL. Not motor, not motor-sail but pure quiet, blissful, peaceful sailing with all three sails up. Chuck had had our large genoa foresail cut back this year while in Sicily and had been VERY UNHAPPY with the results. But, in really light winds it works just great as long as the wind's not on our nose. Hoooray! In the meantime Chuck has ordered a REAL "Yankee" sail, which is being made in Hong Kong and will be delivered to us when we arrived in mainland France.
We've been enjoying really taking it easy here in lovely Marina di Campo. The anchorage is secure, and the town has pretty much everything we need….. however the bread leaves something to be desired…. 'specially after those yummy baguettes in Corsica! We are really just "chillin'" for the first time this season. The most ambitious thing we do is put the outboard motor on the dinghy and go into town. Yesterday, an Irish flagged Tayana 37 named "Nocturne" arrived and anchored right in front of us. They came over to chit chat. Lovely couple with a gorgeous siamese cat named Bailey. Wish I could remember Bailey's mom's name; his dad's name is James. For the cat lovers among you, you might be amused by following bailey's blog: baileyboatcat.com. Very cute. Zoey refused to make eye contact with Bailey. She hates admitting that she's really terrified of cats. Not pit bulls mind you, but cats are DEFINITELY the enemy! Not sure how long we're going to hang out here. We have about 3 weeks til we want to be in Menton, France to rendezvous with our friends from Luxembourg, Anna and Klaus (and pick up our new sail.)
We've made the decision. Finally. We ARE going to have ChaliVentures shipped to Germany in September so we can start exploring the Baltic starting in May 2014 for who knows how many years. Knowing that this really IS our last season cruising in the Mediterranean has us both a little wistful, but, it's time for some new adventures. So we'll do one last tour of our favorite French coastline and end up in Port Napoleon -- just west of Marseilles -- where ChaliVentures will have her mast taken down and where she'll be prepped for truck transport to the little town of Kropp in northern Germany where she'll spend the winter in a shed. All this means that we'll be back in the States more, and onboard ChaliVentures less starting in 2014 since the NICE sailing season is 3-4 months instead of 6 months in the Mediterranean. So, in all our free time right now, I find myself taking advantage of our great Italian internet access and reading about our destinations NEXT year, since this season's waters and destinations are all very familiar now. I guess I'm going to have to spend this winter learning German, at least!
oh well, back to researching. Hope you all are having a great Monday!
Love, Alison, Chuck and Zoey
Onboard ChaliVentures III in…. Elba, Italy
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