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Cruising with HappyCat
Cala Sta Maria, La Maddalena

We had arranged to meet up with Peter Johnson and his family, who had chartered a yacht for a week. We found them anchored in the sheltered bay of Arzahena. (where we had also spent the last 2 nights protected from the small mistral blowing)
Really nice to catch up and meet the Johnston family, over drinks on their boat!
The following day Lavezzi was out of the question, so we proceeded back to Bonifaccio. What a changed in the strait!
On the way we pocked our nose into Cala S. Maria. Finally we were seeing what all the hype of the Maddalena's is all about. Its worth a visit to this little spot, perhaps not in the height of summer though.

Bonifacio, Corsica

We have been spending the days going over old grounds, and of course a visit to Bonifacio is a must! And after our morning walk, coffee and cinnamon twirls goes with out saying..... at our favorite little spot at in the old town.

Golfo di Aranci

After a night anchored at I. Tavorala, we motored in to Olbia and had our boat serviced. It was a very nice hassle free service center, but at what a price!!! Double what we paid in Northern Italy near Venice!
Thought my friend Rosa, who was flying in from London to visit for a week, was due tomorrow, but as we were having our siesta, I get a text saying she is having a cappuccino at the airport waiting for us!!! Oops! Fortunately we were only 45 min. away! Had her meet us at the Olbia marina, while we fueled up. Diesel seams cheaper here than in Greece.
Next morning we picked a bucket full of mussels growing on the ropes surrounding the fish farm off I. Figarola near Golfo Aranci

Sardinia, Tavolara

Our sail to Sardinia was so calm, a constant breeze of B 2-3. We set the sails to the angle of 42 degrees and cruised along. Only the last 7 of the 38 hours did we have to motor. (Had a minor detour in Ponza to refuel, delaying us 2 hours as we stood in the boat line! )
Since we arrived at night, we chose to comfortably anchor just S of Ottiolu in the large bay, which we had to ourselves.
Now anchored in Pta Spalmatore, having met up, just by chance with our friend Francesco, who happened to be skippering a yacht here!


Lets keep sailing towards Sardinia, so we uped out anchor after a great wonder around quirky Procida, and tacked our way up to Ventotene. Lots of room to anchor, especially sltightly South of the old Roman port. Quick dinghy visit to the port, but too many boats to really appreciate the marvel. Did not even go ashore.
-part of the wall cut from solid rock to create harbor-


We thought we would have a night anchored in front of marina Grande, North side of Capri, but the amount of tripper boats around us, causing constant boat wake, and the hordes of people milling around the port, made us make a quick change of mind, even though we did manage easily to dock our dinghy in the marina. We raised our sails, wind at last, and sailed, we headed North to Procida.
Anchored nicely in the quiet bay. What a quirky town! The water front colorful houses stacked on top of each other was really impressive.
Had a 'different, nice' dining experience, -much more thought placed on the dishes-, on the water front restaurant. Fun place to visit and explore, especially the steps up to the upper town, and closed prison.


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-

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