The anchorage at Porto Azzuro
24 September 2009 | Elba
We had a very pleasant sail down the eastern coast till the wind dropped completely about three miles from the headland north of Porto Azzuro. Entrance is very easy, and, as the chart suggests, you simply keep going into the bay till you reach the top. There are various anchorages scattered around the indented coast, but it was noticeable that most boats had used those as a lunchtime stop, coming into the head of the rade for the night.
We got there ahead of most and secured a decent place in about 9m of water, just before the mooring buoys proliferated. As you can see, it's a dramatic and beautiful spot. On the south side is a big boat yard; off one of its moles, two wooden masts stick up from the water! A barge was moored next to them, and buoys marked them out, so we must hope that whatever elegant hull lies beneath them will soon be rescued.
Our night was very peaceful; even when the wind changed from a south westerly to a northerly, we felt no swell. However, in an easterly, we can imagine there is significant swell in here. Judging from the very heavy chains on boats permanently moored in the little harbour, they need some serious protection from the waves and surge.
Dinghying ashore here was very easy, with lots of places on the pontoons, and nobody seeming to take much notice. (There is a beach, but it has a very steep drop-off and quite a bit of surf in the swell.) This might be different in the high season, but certainly gave us a relaxed change from the exigencies of Portoferraio.