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Cruising with HappyCat
Bova Marina IT

We left Taormina with intention of traveling through the night to Capo Rizzuto, but seeing that we were in no real hurry, anchored outside the beach resort of Bova Marina. We were alone in this endeavor, but holding was good, and early next day sailed the rough ride to Capo Rizzoli

Taormina, Sicily IT

Taormina is well worth the visit with its easy anchorage. The well preserved stately homes and grand hotels perched on the cliff face, the beautiful stone pavers, and grand balconies. And yes, a few very nice shops.

Also a good base for the airport of C as we experienced when driving Felicity to the airport, though we would recommend that you leave an extra half hour to your journey in case you miss the turnings as we did in several occasions, can one say the road markings are not Sicilians forte?

Taormina, Sicilly

We headed for Taormina, passing through the Messina Strait with calm seas & no winds. One instantly felt the force of the current, even in these conditions. We were impressed by the large mountainous landscape of Southern Italy, & an impressive road contouring the sides via bridges and tunnels, as only the Italians can do.

Night fell as we passed Messina, and it was before mid night that we arrived to Taormina, and we got ready for our first venture at anchoring at night. But George, from 'Yacht Hotel' talked us into taking up a mooring. Was it his fluent English kindly giving us tips as to how to get Felicity safely to the airport at Ciababina that made us feel obliged.? Well George has now taken over an area under the Northern cliff face with 20 moorings, and charges far too much for his offerings. The next day we dropped out mooring and anchored along with other boats, in the large bay.

A strong NW made us stay in Taormina before making our way around the 'Boot'. Not a bad place to be hunkered down. On our first day we beached the dingy on Lido Puerto Rico, a stony beach and rather than wait for the bus, proceed to walk up the hill! It was around 17:00 and about 34. Not a good idea! We were totally soaked and flushed by the time we got to the top. Mercifully we cooled our wrist with the fresh water at the entrance to the gardens. ( as we descended with our rental car later that evening, and descended and descended, we realized just how much we had climbed!)

Lipari, Aeolian Islands

We took in a good viewing of Salinas I was straining to see the crops of capers, and carried on around to Lipari. We were hoping to try anchoring, even though we knew the waters were deep, but we were lured into taking a berth in one of the various floating finger pontoons. Which was just as well, seeing that a bit of a wind picked up through the night. We were amazed at the amount of fruit and produce that was available from little shops to carts, selling succulent summer stone fruit. Our visit to the Aeolian Islands was fleeting, but the beauty of the dramatic volcanic Islands, with vegetation adamant on making its presence, along with clusters of communities wherever viable was unique. On our exit we stopped alongside deep Vulcano for a dip in the warm deep waters.

Sail across to Sicily

A good start to the ~260nm sail, with positive winds, but within a couple of hours it was on with the motors, and a combination of both through out the rest of the journey. At one point through the crossing the sea became a mirage. So flat, not a drop of wind. What a difference to do a night sail in the middle of summer, the extra hours of day light, the warm air, the calmer seas!

Villasimious, Sardinia IT

A quick gentle sail to Villasimius, our final stop in Sardinia. We anchored in probably the most pristine water we have and will ever see! Fine white sandy bottom, through out the whole bay. 10mts. deep and you could see the ripples in the sand below.
We spent 3 days here, said good bye to Bailey, and with Felicity, at mid day on the 19th. headed East to Lavezzii, Sicily.

Cagliari, Sardinia IT

After a few nights at Carlo Forte and a night at Malfatano, we arrived at Cagliari, where we fueled up in the tiny marina Picola di Pieta. Unknown to us, a large beer festival took place that night, with hordes of people descending upon Poeta beach. We were happy to have chosen to stay in the marina, a little quieter than the bay, and HC was some what a novelty to the onlookers. For once we were the big fish in the pond!
Amazingly, the next morning as we ran the coast before 8, the beaches were spotless, cleared from the nights festivities, and families were arriving staking out their place on the beach.

Carlo Forte, Sardinia

We carried on South, mostly motor sailing, stopping at Golfo di Oristano for a night, before heading to Carlo Forte. A quick anchor for lunch and swim along the beautiful unspoilt coast line of Costa Verde, well worth it.

Isola Piani & Stintino

We inevitably did a lot of motor sailing particularly as we headed down S. stopping as before in the beautiful anchorage of Isola Piani,
Sardinia is a great place to have friends and family on board. You can always buy beautiful Italian produce, and especially delicious ready made pasta parcels, which we seemed to have quite often!

Bonifacio, Corsica

Once again in Bonifacio, our final visit. We at last got smart and anchored and tied off in the last inlet on your left. There are even steel loops for you to tie off on. Its free, and a lot quieter!

Felicity & Friends

Felicity, James's daughter and her 3 friends were our last visitors to be picked up from OLBIA, and once again we headed N than W to Piani, and down the W. coast of Sardinia, with our final spring off towards Sicily from Viallasimius. We kept monitoring the weather, hoping for SOME wind.
Summer had finally decided to kick in what a vengeance, and within a week, had gone from 24- hot 34! With no wind and flat warm 28-31 seas.

Olbia, Sardinia

As we headed towards our final anchorage, we stopped into Porto Cervo. I wanted to show Kimberly, an interior designer, this gorgeous interiors shop. We were warned by another sailor, that just picking up a mooring bouy could cost us a couple of hundred Euros. We made sure our visit was quick! Saw lots of huge super yachts, unbelievable!
We anchored the following night near the ferry terminal to main land Italy. A nice quiet anchorage, and a fitting farewell sunset..

Golfo di Arzachena, Sardinia

As we approached our anchorage in the golf we spotted a Kiwi flag on a Lagoon 440! Our first Lagoon and our first Kiwi sailors in the whole time sailing! Whilst I went ashore with Kimberly and Bill, James had a good catch

Bonifacio, Corsica

On our way to Bonifacio, we experienced a close encounter with a ~55' motor yacht, the yacht obviously on auto pilot, and the skipper intent on filming the approach to Bonifacio missed side swiping us by less than a meter as we swerved sharply away! We had thought it was an official rapidly making its way towards us. Another lesson learnt!

Lavezzi, Corsica
Jul/02/2010, Kimberly and Bill

A few hours after the departure of Andrew and the girls, we picked up Kimberly and Bill from the ferry. How fun to see my dear girl friend all the way from Denver!

The next day we sailed down to Lavezzi. A bare group of rocky islands, part of the National Park.
We anchored for the night and saw a beautiful sunset amongst the weathered granite boulders, protruding from the crystal deep water. A great anchorage. Next day we had a lovely walk around the island. It is really worth it.

Porto Vecchio, Corsica

A nice gentle sail, back to Porto Vecchio. This time the marina was full, so we chose to anchor one night in the Baie de Stagnolu, for a night and than just out side the marina. The marina was kind to let us use a jetty for our dyngy, which made it convenient to make trips into Porto Vecchio.

Summer weather at last has started to set in, it was finally possible to sail with a togs on, and throw off the blankets at night! The water is also finally warming up, and swimming is at last a daily occurrence.

Bonifacio, Corsica
Warm, Sunny

I think everyone enjoyed wondering around Bonifacio, a little shopping, a good session of pictures, and just wondering in and around the alleys, and steps, that form this amazing ancient city on the cliff, defying gravity.

Stintino, Sardinia

Christina, James's sisters' flights was cancelled due to air traffic control stike, so we were to meet them in Stintino, Sardinia, so back we went. Great to see them all come off the bus, and after a nice lunch at Lavinia's, and a purchase of a few provisions, we anchored off Piani once again, to enjoy that beautiful bay, and sunset.


Cagliari, Sardinia


Berthed in the marina right in front of the ancient city. Noisy but worth the proximity to the city. Francesco met us there and gave us a wonderful tour of the ancient walled city that rises steeply from the water front. Heavily bombed during WWII, though the castle town was barely damaged. Tall narrow buildings, with wrought iron balconies and marble slab balconies.

Francesco steered us to a typical Sardininan restaurant, which was absolutely delicious, one street back from the water front.

Villasimius, Sardinia

Good sail next day to Villasimius. Beautiful port and bay, would like to have had time to explore more. Not easy to find supplies though if on the Western side. Little store in the camp ground. Stayed in the marina, waste of time and money, but a jovial bunch of friends enjoying the late afternoon, surrounded us.

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Who: James Joll & Marina Jackson
Port: Napier, New Zealand
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