The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

24 August 2011 | Plymouth - Torpoint (position 50 21.575'N 04 07.323'W)
21 August 2011 | River Yealm (position 50 18.970'N 04 03.297'W)
15 August 2011 | Salcombe (position 50 14.797'N 03 45.369'W)
14 August 2011 | Dittisham (position 50 23.015'N 03 35.608'W)
12 August 2011 | Dartmouth (position 50 21.029'N 03 34.246'W)
09 August 2011 | Dartmouth (position 50 21.029'N 03 34.246'W)
02 August 2011 | Dartmouth (position 50 21.029'N 03 34.246'W)

Ponza

15 August 2017 | Cala Inferno, Ponza (position: 41 27.107'N 12 38.853'E)
Bruce & Caroline
the colourful town of Ponza

Cala Inferno cove is a few miles NNE of Ponza harbour. It's surrounded by white cliffs from which it takes its name given the intense reflection of the sun. It's certainly a beautiful anchorage with crystal clear waters and sandy bottom. It's been a joy to be able to swim whenever we want in sea that's the temperature of bath water.

Sheer vertical cliffs and rock pinnacles plunge straight into the sea.


a rock pinnacle!

The rock formations are spectacular as the sun moves overhead, comprising of all shades of browns and creams in a twisted marble effect and reminiscent of the beautiful coastline of the Algarve.


stunning rock colourings at sunrise

The anchorage is huge but lively (read choppy) with constant vessel movements including jet bikes as they weave in between those at anchor, treating us like an obstacle course. At times it became a nuisance but by late afternoon conditions eventually settled.

The islands fuel and water is supplied by a ship that resides at anchor for much of the day until it has to refuel. Watching the antics of the ship as it arrives has kept us totally bemused as port authorities whiz around the surrounding area asking yachts, ribs, motor boats to vacate the area. Similarly as it returns the same schedule of events take place. There are no marker buoys or any notices to suggest that a ship resides here which could be of benefit to everyone given the amount of time it takes to clear the area. We were fortunate as the ship happened to be departing just as we arrived so we consciously anchored just out of its way. Its return is fascinating to watch as it drops anchor whilst motoring forward to the cliffs before dropping a second anchor, still motoring forward before finally turning 180 and reversing back to the cliffs to tie off.


ship tied to the shore

To park the dinghy cost us €5 for the day, watched over by an attendant who "will stand vigil over the raft of dinghies and dory's all day" - although he wasn't there when we returned!

The pretty town is a jumble of pastel coloured, flat roofed houses heaped above a pink semicircle promenade that curls around a busy harbour full of small craft and fishing boats adding additional splashes of bright colour on the waterfront. Most shops are boutiques with high prices to match. It's a lovely place and well worth the visit if weather permits.

Civitavecchia to Ponza log

14 August 2017 | Cala Inferno, Ponza (position: 41 27.107'N 12 38.853'E)
Bruce & Caroline
With the mistral out of the way we're once again left with settled weather. By settled we mean the lightest of breezes! No good for sailing, but perfect for a visit to the island of Ponza some 93 miles away.

We could have motored through the night but chose to follow the coastline southwards to anchor off Anzio before hopping over to Ponza the following day.

Ponza belongs to a chain of five islands which make up the Pontine islands that are scattered between Rome and Naples. The islands are the crests of volcanic craters of two different chains. Ponza, Zannone and Palmarola (the NW group) belong to a volcanic chain that extends over to Anzio, while Ventotene and Santo Stefano are linked geologically to the volcanic area in the Bay of Naples.

South of Rome the coastline is really shallow and exposed. We wouldn't want to be here in an onshore blow. We had a useful 0.5 knot of current going with us but with several hours of motoring still ahead of us we passed the time with hourly log updates and 'tasty treats'. :-) Hourly treats of melon, cake, biscuits etc. makes the time pass far quicker and gives us something to look forward to.

The coastline seemed to flatten out and was lined with small apartment blocks and several long stretches of beaches. Some were noticeably empty which we thought was strange until we worked out that these empty beaches were the ones where you pay to sit on a sun lounger and underneath a parasol. We eventually spotted the locals all crammed on the next beach.

Meanwhile out at sea we passed several fishing buoys, a fleet of fishing trawlers, a fish farm and something that looked like an oil platform.

We anchored just to the NE of Anzio harbour on sand and slept well considering that this coastline is quite exposed to swell. :-).


anchored off Anzio

An early start followed in mirror calm conditions as a hydrofoil passed us heading in the same direction.


at the speed they travel (clocked at 33 knots an hour), Ponza is barely an hour away!

With 37 miles ahead of us we decided to deploy the mackerel line - the odds should have been in our favour... apparently not!

Isola Ponza is the largest of the Pontine Islands, a long jagged crescent, fringed with above and below water rocks. This made for an hour of interesting navigation before we finally arrived at the anchorage of 'Cala Inferno' just as a small commercial ship was leaving.

It's great to be at anchor again.

Total distance this season: 637.89 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?