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