The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

27 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
27 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
26 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
26 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
22 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
20 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
16 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
09 July 2017 | Civitavecchia (position: 42 03.892’N 11 48.684’E)
07 July 2017 | Cala Canelle (position: 42 21.159'N 10 55.348'E)
05 July 2017 | Porto Azzurro (position: 42 45.646'N 10 23.553'E)
04 July 2017 | Portoferraio, Elba (position: 42 48.339'N 10 19.334'E)
03 July 2017 | Portoferraio, Elba (position: 42 48.339'N 10 19.334'E)
02 July 2017 | Port Toga marina (position: 42 42.480'N 09 27.299'E)
29 June 2017 | Port Toga marina (position: 42 42.480'N 09 27.299'E)
27 June 2017 | Port Toga marina (position: 42 42.480'N 09 27.299'E)
26 June 2017 | Macinaggio marina (position: 42 57.506'N 09 27.294'E)
25 June 2017 | Calvi (position: 42 33.755'N 08 45.702'E)
22 June 2017 | Calvi (position: 42 33.755'N 08 45.702'E)
21 June 2017 | Calvi (position: 42 33.755'N 08 45.702'E)
20 June 2017 | Girolata (position: 42 20.926'N 08 36.879'E)

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

Porto Azzurro to Isola del Giglio (anchorage), Tuscan Islands

07 July 2017 | Cala Canelle (position: 42 21.159'N 10 55.348'E)
Bruce & Caroline
photo taken late evening after everyone left!

Before we write anything more, we are once again motoring! :-(

Island hopping... this time to Isola del Giglio, the next accessible island in the Tuscan archipelago, about 35 nautical miles south east of Elba.

The waters around Giglio are quite deep virtually all the way to the shore in most areas but with a couple of off lying shoals. We noted one, small rocky shoal on the chart plotter just off our route, a lone 5 meter shoal jutting up out of nowhere surrounded by deep water and wondered if it was this shoal that the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise liner hit causing it to capsize and sink. We had one of those sombre thought provoking moments. We could have motored right over given our draft but it could be easily missed.



As we rounded the tip of the island a couple of cranes and staging platforms came into view, with the harbour and village of Giglio behind. We were amazed to see that even now, several years later the authorities are still cleaning up the area after the disaster.



We continued south past the harbour to anchor in the bay of Cala Canelle. Despite its size those already at anchor were lying very close together with barely any swinging room between them. We quickly realised why because the water is extremely deep 100m or so from the shore - something that's not mentioned in the pilot book! The prime position was just off the beach but unfortunately that was taken by a number of other yachts. We struggled to find a good spot where it was shallow enough to anchor, far enough from the shore with good holding. Eventually we did find a sandy patch in about 10 meters away from the beach but far enough away from the vertical rock face. We carry 80 meters of chain and ideally like to pay out 5 times the depth but given the lack of room we ended up with barely 25 meters on the seabed. Our anchor was dug in well but should any strong gusts occur (they often do) we're likely to drag. Sadly, any ideas of walking up to the Castello were squashed so instead we spent our time snorkelling and swimming with the briefest visit ashore to grab a photo opportunity of the anchorage.

We must have timed our arrival perfectly because shortly afterwards we watched a number of boats spend up to an hour motoring around trying to find a depth suitable. Some took the approach of just dumping a lot of chain onto the seabed whilst others resorted to sailing onwards.

Total distance this season: 500.75 nautical miles

Porto Azzurro (anchorage), Isola d'Elba, Tuscan Islands

05 July 2017 | Porto Azzurro (position: 42 45.646'N 10 23.553'E)
Bruce & Caroline
Next stop, Porto Azzurro on the SE side of Elba.

Once again we're motoring in really light winds but did enjoy looking at the coastline and spotting a lone dolphin! Elba is really green but we couldn't help but notice that the cactus are suffering with droopy and sagging heads... suggesting lack of water?

The anchorage is a decent size and well protected and only open to the East but depths vary greatly. We anchored in 9m just off the village.

The village is backed by tall red mountains. It's small but really pretty with palm trees, flower filled troughs and hanging baskets everywhere. It's geared up for the tourist with several craft shops selling coral jewellery, ceramics, paintings, tapestry and souvenirs of Napoleon. The island even has it's own perfume Acqua dell'Elba, a fragrance inspired by the abundant wildflowers and ocean scents. Historically, the citadel was a prison for hardened criminals, both the political and mafioso type, and the original name of the fortress, Longone, has always been associated with criminals in Italy. The name of the village was changed to Porto Azzurro to break this association and attract tourists to this beautiful spot - judging by the numbers of tourists here the ploy has worked well.

The central square is elegant, with ample cafes and restaurants - some of which overhang the waterfront.



Total distance this season: 465.36 nautical miles
Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
About:
Welcome to Sailing Yacht Flirtie's blog.

Our blog serves as a personal record of our adventures and experiences since leaving the UK in 2012 whilst allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with our whereabouts. [...]
Extra: email us: bandc.trott@gmail.com
skype us: distant.drummer797
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Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

Where are we now?