Our trusted weather sources zyGrib
didn't pick up on the winds at all whilst we were in Calvi. We only became aware of the change in weather by talking to the marine assistant who advised us that he referenced Lamma
, an Italian weather forecasting site. We took at brief look at the site but decided to check an old favourite Marine Meteo Consult
which we referred to extensively whilst working our way down the French coastline but found it not so accurate along the Spanish and Portuguese coast. It would seem that now once again Meteo Consult has a place in our favourite list as it is accurately forecasting strong winds in this area - we probably should have referred to it at Porto Pollo too! Whether it takes into account local topography we don't know but looking ahead it predicts several days of unsettled conditions with winds gusting to 50 knots in 48 hours time. We definitely want to be in a sheltered place. If we don't move within the next 48 hours we'll be stuck in Calvi for another week so we've decided to push on to Macinaggio on the north-east tip of Cap Corse before continuing on to Port Toga near Bastia the following morning.
With another early start and little wind we motored along. We can't say that we actually 'rounded' the northernmost point of Corsica as we motored in between the island of Giraglia that lies just off Cap Corse where the seas were really confused.
Isle de la Giraglia
Cap Corse seems to have its own weather as the light winds played games with us rotating a full 360 degrees before finally settling right on our nose and gusting to 20 knots. The winds remained 'on our nose' for the duration. Our journey was briefly interrupted by a visit from the 'douane' (customs) whilst we were still at sea. We sighted a customs ship heading off after a motor boat in the opposite direction and didn't think anything of it until a red RIB appeared next to Flirtie with three men onboard. We were asked to "maintain our course and speed" whilst two of them climbed onboard... armed with guns ;-(. Details of our ships paperwork and our passport information were exchanged before a few questions were asked. Within 15 minutes they disappeared back to the mother ship that was loitering in the distance.
After all that excitement all we wanted to do was get moored up in the marina but that wasn't as straightforward as it should have been thanks to a grumpy marina assistant that took delight in asking us to move after we'd already tied up! The English speaking Frenchman moored next door to us said "this is France, they have their own way of doing things... give him a few minutes and there'll be a counter-command and you'll be able to stay where you are". This may ring true any other day but clearly not today as we duly moved... twice as it happened because the slime line was missing on the first berth we were allocated! On a positive note we managed to moor up bows first med-style on our own!! Whilst talking of med mooring... it's such a messy job so give us a traditional pontoon mooring in a well sheltered marina any day!
Macinaggio is the first port of call for the Italians coming from mainland Italy. The town even has the boulangerie called a panetaria especially for their Italian customers. It's a small village with just a single road in and out, lined with rustic buildings and flaking paintwork. It felt old fashioned but is changing to cater for the demand of visitors with some modern restaurant and bars lining the waterfront.
Total distance this season: 391.36 nautical miles