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Cruising with HappyCat

The sea around Sorrento did not appeal to us to swim, so we cut our visit short, and headed for the Southern coast of Capri. As we arrived late afternoon, the day trippers were starting to leave. We secured a good anchorage just near the Faraglioni rocks, surrounded by super yachts and large sailing vessels. Fabulous background for our evening meal on board.
Tried to take dinghy ashore next day, but there is no where to leave the dinghy! Only to drop off passengers. Of course, that works for all the super yachts surrounding us, but what about us?


It's a beautiful trip carrying along the coastline from Amalfi, to Sorrento. Being August, it was alive with power boats, everyone enjoying themselves. We had no idea that Capri was so close, with its prominent jagged rocks.
We anchored just beyond Marina Picola. Very few other overnighters around us, strange for August we thought. The rocky face of the city above us.
What a treat to once again, spontaneously meet up with Peter and Gernot for dinner!


At last we are on the Amalfi coast! I was particularly impressed by the steep dramatic mountains in the background. Not what I had expected. And the terracing of the lemon trees, was really impressive.
The town embraces a ravine, literally, a small road covers a pouring river, is, as can be expected, touristy. Next morning, we went for a walk up into the valley above, on a stone and later dirt path, along a gushing river, where you get a different perspective. Worth doing.
Anchored out right in front of Amalfi town.

Maltese Falcon

As we approached Amalfi village, we were treated by the proximity of the splendid Maltese Falcon!
She is available for charter for a mere 350,000 Euro's a week!!!!
6 cabins, 12 guests: 29,000 each.....


Very settled weather now, means we motor, but it also means we are free to anchor outside all these villages as we make our way N. It is always quite rolly from the wake, but usually settles for a calm sleep.
Large town, had more character than Acciaroli, with narrow streets beyond the castle gates.
-The beach below the town, which is right in the middle of the marina. Seams to be the norm. around here!-


30n.m. North to Acciaroli, apparently Hemingways 'town'. I am sure much has changed since, today, on our quick visit in with dinghy for a bite, we did not get too much of a feel of the charm, other than lots of tourist wondering along the pedestrian street.
Anchored, but quite rolly, mainly from wake of other boats.


We knew that Gernot and Peter, our friends from Napier, were due to be traveling North along this coastline on holiday, and what a bonus to have coincidentally timed it such that we would be here on the same dates!
Since it was quite rolly anchored out, we thought we best go into a marina, and they very kindly managed to squeeze HC into Sapri marina in time to meet our friends. We managed a nice gentle sail, before a jovial evening, sharing stories over proseco and smoked mozzarella, (and sausage from Lefkas, which Gernot and Peter thoroughly enjoyed!) A short, spontaneous and lovely visit!

Aug/17/2011 | Gernot
We are back home. Without our beautiful Italian sausages. MAF threw them in the bin. Sniff, sniff. Bad luck for our housesitters.
9 degrees in Auckland. What a chilly welcome.

Long journey North, mostly motoring 83n.m. finished by nice bonus 2 hours sailing at end.
Anchored in nice sandy bottom of the outside of village. In time to see the patron saint escorted by boats go up and down the coastline.
Quite rolly here.

Tropea, West coast Italy

We decided to head North and along the West coast of Italy. I was reluctant to chose that route, fearing the Italian August mad rush to the sea. But it was James's birthday request, and he usually gets these things right, so off we went. Spent a night at anchor in Taormina.
The strait, though a little choppy on our nose, was kind to us, with a 3.5kt. current in our favor! Saw about 4 sword fishing boats. Impressiv We arrived at Tropea at dusk and anchored just outside the harbor in beautiful clear sandy waters.

Siracusa, Sicily

We anchored in the large bay of the Grand Harbor in front of Ortiga, the old town. Lots of room. Mud, at times the water looks brown, and later clears.
Siracusa reminded me of Alghero. Some impressive old buildings in desperate need of t.l.c. The narrow streets with the old 4 story buildings are lined with narrow balconies and ornate console plinths. All mainly in poor conditions.
Wonderful market, so good to see the variety of produce again.
Its worth the walk, or bus ride, to the Neopolis Archeological Park. We were particularly intrigued by the Ear of Dionysius, part of the remains of the quarry whose limestone built the old town. A large beautifully carved cavern, like a giant sculpture.

Sail: Lefkas to Siracusa, Sicily

Weather was forecast to give us a good run, so we went for it!
Always sad to leave a country you have become fond of. Last minute stock up on Lefkas salami, Greek fresh ground beef and fresh sausage, (they do know how to make sausages here,) & honey, followed by an easy check out. We exited through the bridge at 14:00.
Slow start leaving the Greek waters, but in a few hours we were well on our way.
Had our first real nice 24 hour run of 163 n.m. Moving average of 6.8. Max. speed 10.1! It took us 48:30hrs. of which we sailed 42:15, not bad!
It feels nice to be back in Italy, everything immediately seams just a little more organized.

Port Athina, Meganisi

We tried the West bay's of Itaca, Ay Koutaria, they were full of tripper boats, and we were not keen on overnighting here, so we headed North.
Great sail, as we tacked our way up to Meganisi.
We anchored just South East of the reef that is in the middle of bay. The bay was full.
Great spot, surrounded by a nice walk all around the bay, or up to the village of Katomeri. Beautiful clear waters.
Met up with Sandra and Chris whom we met last fall in Vathi. Nice to see them again They are full time cruisers, and always an inspiration.

Vathi, Ithaca

At sunrise we take off, the Golf was a beautiful calm. No wind, so motored gently along. After Mesalonghi, we attempted to tack our way through, but it was getting us no where.
15hrs. later we arrive at Vathi. It was dusk, and the bay was being whipped around by strong winds. We ditched the idea to go ashore to our favorite taverna, and stayed safe on board.
Not the best place for shelter in the summer, we have discovered!


We are really beginning our journey West now.
Thought we would shave off some miles in the Golf, and head for Trizonia. Unfortunately the wind was still whipping up in the mid 20's and on our nose. Amazing how choppy the sea can get with such little wind!
The little bay was packed, but we managed to anchor nicely.
-Early morning motoring out through the Golf of Corinth-


A combination of sailing and motoring, with a finale of a good sail for Daniel, brought us into Galaxydia. Still blowing quite strong, but we managed to get a spot at the town quey. Tried to rent a car from a local, to drive Daniel back via Delphi, but at 150 Euros, we thought it a bit steep!

Corinth, via Athens

Yes, we had to go back to Zea, who were kind enough to let us moor up for a couple of hours for free, to sort out a tax on our travel log, which had expired. Everything went smoothly, and 220Euros and 2 hours later, we headed WEST to Corinth canal.
The sail up to Zea from Poros was wonderful, tight reach 20 knots of T wind, averaging 7-8 knots for ~5 hours.
Had to motor the 30 miles W to the canal. Arrived just before 18:00, tieing off on the large wharf. Paid our 220 Euros, and within 5 min. we started heading through the canal! Once through, we headed straight for the Corinth harbor, the wind in the golf had been fierce all day, and was still gusting in the harbor pushing us on to the concrete wharf. We were well prepared with lots of fenders, but not so for 2 other boats that came in! We were there to help them with our fenders!


Strong NW predicted, so back to Poros which is such a wonderful safe water way. Had one of those nice gentle slow, slow sails.
A bit of grilled octopus and ouzo, before heading up to Karavolos for dinner


The winds were favorable to sail us the 39nm to Hydra, still one of my favorite. What a change, now that summer was full on. Certainly attracting more of the 'beautiful' people of Athens. More galleries open and shops. Nice to see for a change. (For a quick visit).
Anchored in Mandraki, which had plenty of room.

Zea Marina, Athens

We checked in and gave HC a good long wash. The ancient walls that make up the basin of the harbor still remain. It was a better experience than we anticipated, surrounded by apartment blocks, and bustling city life.
Found our that our tranxit log tax, called a Recipricol Tax, had expired 2 weeks ago. It needs renewing every 3 months. This was news to us! Of course, tax office was shut on Fridays, so we had to do it on Monday. And we were not to go any where until we paid! Well James did a very good job in pleading for an exception, since his son was visiting for the first time, just for 4 days! The officer was kind to let us go, as long as we returned on Monday!
Met Daniel, who had flown in from Madrid, at the bus station, past midnight.

Ayia Marina, Aegina

Nice bay with beautiful clear water, and sandy areas. But what a sad sight ashore. Apparently since they opened the new airport, these sort of areas really suffered. The big charter flights find it too expensive. A whole block of retail space, was shut, and empty houses, half built buildings were everywere. The huge hotel/flat unfinished block South side of bay, is another story. Political issues in the '70's!
Worth the walk up to the Temple of Aphaia.

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