Isola del Giglio to Civitavecchia, Italy
09 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
Bruce & Caroline
We've found out the hard way that Cala Canelle anchorage is pretty exposed, not only to the wind and swell but also to the wash from distant passing ships that transit the area. We also didn't appreciate that any wave motion would hit us then hit the vertical rock face adjacent to us and bounce back, so lucky us, a double dose of rolling! Unfortunately during the night the wind increased slightly sending small waves into the anchorage which made life even more uncomfortable. Everyone in the anchorage was awake and it didn't take long before engines were on and anchors aweigh, including us - we were the third to leave.
Once we'd settled down we obtained the latest forecast to find that our next planned anchorage at Isola del Giannutri would probably be untenable. We considered anchoring off Marina Cala di Galera on the mainland but with the current (and forecast) wind direction concluded that it too would be untenable. We decided to head for Porto Turistico Riva di Traiano near Civitavecchia on the mainland, passing Isola del Giannutri closely to starboard where yachts in all three calas (Spalmatoi, Schiavone and Volo di Motte) were rolling around wildly so our suspicions were correct.
We had a clear view of Isola di Montecristo a high conical island on our starboard side (now a national park where access, navigation, anchoring, fishing and swimming are prohibited). It is here that Alexandre Dumas based his 19th century thriller "The Count of Montecristo" which apparently has left an aura that can still be felt - it is rumoured to be infested with adders too so we wouldn't wish to stop here anyway!
A few miles before Riva di Traiano we passed Civitavecchia harbour, the large commercial harbour that serves Rome and home to many ferry companies that serve the islands. Lucky for us there was little commercial traffic as we passed but three large cruise ships were in port, their guests no doubt on excursions to Rome and Naples.
Frustratingly, we ended up motoring all of the 45 nautical miles with the wind on our nose. We are beginning to support the view of other cruisers that there is either too much wind, too little or wind on the nose in this part of the Mediterranean. We've left Ligurian waters, home of the Tuscan Islands and are now in the Tyrrhenian sea where we can expect frequent days of calms and light summer winds with sea and land breezes producing the most predictable winds coming from the SW to SE F2-5 by later afternoons.
Total distance this season: 544.99 nautical miles