Isola di Giannutri
26 September 2009 | Giannutri
This is the smallest visitable island, and the furthest south. The picture shows the northern tip, where there is a small anchorage. We went round it, trying to keep outside the protected Zone 1 area, where navigation is prohibited. Our target was Cala Spalmatoi, shown as a well-protected inlet in the eastern coast.
The Cala is indeed well protected, but has not only mooring buoys but a ferry dock. Not much room for bigger boats, though a small yacht could pick up one of the buoys. Outside the inlet itself, the water is very deep, almost all over 25m and in many areas over 30m. Although quite a few boats were there when we arrived, many left, presumably with only enough scope for a lunchtime stopover. Despite our 80m of chain, we struggled to find a good spot where it was shallow enough to anchor but we felt far enough off the rocks, particularly given a forecast north easterly. In the end the best place was in the south of the bay, at a spot marked in the pilot book at Cala Volo di Motte. Here we found a ridge of less depth, about 20m, which was much more manageable. Along with six other yachts we had a pleasant, still evening in a gentle north westerly.
Shortly after dark, the wind came round towards the east. So long as it stayed far enough north that our bows pointed not more than 035 degrees, we were comfortable. Any further and the swell came round the point, and the boat started pitching. With memories of our CQR dragging very quickly in pitching waves at Villefranche last year, we were both a bit nervous as the bows rocked up and down. But the new anchor held absolutely solid although the night. The wind never got above a force four (about 18knots), but the pitching swell made everything less than relaxing.
When the dawn came, we saw the three of our companions had gone: the big superyacht had left about 2300. The two smaller boats (both less than 27 foot, who had been our neighbours in Giglio) had wisely retreated into the Cala itself. By 0900 everyone was yawning on deck, pulling up anchors and scattering to look for more restful places.