Very pretty – but very dear
12 September 2009 | Isola and Porto Capraia
The next island is Capraia. Most of it is a national park, and it has one port and one small settlement. This is the entrance to it. You can see that there are two apparent entrances, and you want the one on the right. (This is very obvious when you are actually there). Inside swing to the right, and you see the town quay, plus a couple of pontoons.
We had rung ahead, and were glad of it, as the harbour filled up completely overnight. This is the last weekend of the season, and there were what seemed to be several cruises in company. They put us behind one of the pontoons, requiring deft turning small spaces. Pip did some excellent boat handling and we came in very neatly.
Italian marinas seem to think we are all in modern boats with bow thrusters and easy management in reverse. Hah! Not us. But we managed anyway, and then watching the rather less dextrous performances by lighter boats with big crews on board was very entertaining.
It is well protected, though a strong north easterly blew in the night. We are not sure whether this often happens here in a northerly (when it would blow across the bay like the top of a bottle) or was a genuine, un-forecast, easterly belter. Either way, it was undoubtedly rolly for anyone anchored outside the harbour.
The pilot book says it is rolly out there. We found a reference to mooring buoys, but there aren't any now, as they are all being scrubbed off in the port!
There's lots of help coming in, with marina staff taking lines and even coming aboard to pick up the tails if you want them to. At least one spoke good English. Water and electricity on all the berths.
But - it's the most expensive place we've ever stopped, at â'¬60 for the night for 11.95m. Wow! Double wow, as you then also pay â'¬1 for the loo and a whopping â'¬4 for a shower! We're using our on-board facilities, and making sure everything is getting fully charged up.
Even so, the birthday girl (Pip) exercised her rights to choose, and we are staying two nights, leaving for Elba on Monday.