Tri cruising

Mediterranean and now Atlantic wandering in a Kelsall trimaran

Vessel Name: Aqua Blue
Vessel Make/Model: Kelsall 39 tri
Hailing Port: Originally Brighton UK
Crew: David Bains retired dental surgeon.
About: Family and a few friends.
Extra: Aqua Blue is currently moored at El Rompido SW Spain.
18 November 2017 | Portugal
04 September 2014 | SW Atlantic Spain
25 August 2012 | Ionian Marine, Aktio, Preveza, Greece
28 June 2011 | Nautec, Monfalcone, Italy
23 November 2010 | Adriatic
20 September 2009
30 March 2009 | Adriatic
29 March 2009 | Adriatic
28 March 2009 | Adriatic
27 March 2009 | Ionian/Adriatic
26 March 2009 | Ionian/Aegean
25 March 2009 | Ionian/Adriatic
24 March 2009 | Ionian/Aegean
23 March 2009 | Tyrrhenian/Ionian
22 March 2009 | Tyrrhenian
21 March 2009 | Tyrrhenian/Ionian
18 March 2009
16 March 2009
Recent Blog Posts
18 November 2017 | Portugal

Wild West Coast

I returned to Aqua Blue, wintering again in El Rompido, SW Spain, by late May 2017.

04 September 2014 | SW Atlantic Spain

Pushing through the Pillars.

Aqua Blue has escaped the Med after 25yrs!! Rather delayed this year, I returned to Cartagena on 1st July and worked on Aqua Blue in this attractive city for two weeks until my wife Stella joined me. The morning of the 15th brought a fresh northeasterly, nearly trapping AB in her winter berth, the fouled [...]

24 August 2013

Preveza Greece to Cartagena Spain

This June/July, Aqua Blue left Levkas Greece and crossed to Syracuse Sicily via Crotone. After an OCC meeting in this delightful anchorage and ancient city we rounded Sicily clockwise to Trapani. Then crossed to Cagliari Sardinia for a week.

Tyrrhenian Tour 94

22 March 2009 | Tyrrhenian
David
TYRRHENIAN TOUR 94.


After a week's solitary fitting out on AQUA BLUE, my Kelsall
39 tri, I collected Stella and our three year old daughter Louise
from Bastia airport. Following a substantial raid on the local
supermarket, they had two days on the beach adjacent to Campoloro
marina (on the east coast of Corsica), and I braved the murky
water to clean the prop and rudder.

With a good forecast of NW5to15kts on Wednesday the 20July
we started motoring south. Later in the morning clouds were
building in the northeast, and I kept an eye on them whilst
customisimg the new GPS display. By early afternoon we had
removed the sunshade and reefed the main and were running down
the coast in up to 26kts of wind against a southeasterly swell.
This produced quite an unusual motion and poor Louise was on her
hands and knees on the cabin floor with head in a bucket. I did
ponder on what I was prepared to put my family through to spend
every summer sailing!

Nevertheless we reached Solenzara in good time and put in to
spend the night on calm water. Recovery as always was quick and
complete although Louise delighted in describing her chundering
to anyone who would listen! We were on the outside wall right
next to the Sunsail fleet. The harbour moorings have all been
relaid following the disastrous flood the previous November when
the river had breached the wall and flushed the local caravan
site out to sea through the harbour. Restaurant PIC-NIC is good
and cheap.

The morning forecast was for up to 20 kts in the Bouches de
Bonifacio which you can expect for a few hours any fine day. But
in fact we motored all day, past Baie de Favone where we had
spent a stormbound night two years previously, and on to Cala
Spalmatore on the east side of Maddalena island where there were
only two yachts- and one of them a LAGOON 42 cat "VIRGINIA". The
evening sun nicely illuminated the unusual "melting ice cream"
rocks at the entrance. We had a cool slightly rolly night since a
NE4 blew into the entrance from the early hours, but it was hot
enough on the beach in the morning watching Louise run in and out
of the warm water wearing her buoyancy vest. We retreated to the
shade of the cockpit for lunch and then motored down to Porto
Cervo to anchor off the small beach near the smart yacht club.

The prices in restaurant La Regatta always seem very
reasonable bearing in mind the value of the surrounding property.
On our return to the boat I found the now correctly wired Navtex
printing messages, including one from Toulon forecasting the
return of anticyclonic weather. Good news since we were to cross
the Tyrrhenian sea to the Pontine islands. We spent the morning
in harbour restocking and I ferried water out to the boat whilst
the crew spent an hour on the beach. In harbour was the large
motor sailer "Monsoon" from Port Douglas, Queensland where the
owner had employed me as a deckhand on his charter ferry "Martin
Cash" for three months back in '79. In fact we both left together
at lunch time and headed due east.

A small swordfish jumped several times ahead as Monsoon
slowly pulled away. A northerly got up and I experimented
reaching with the cutter rig. Raising the staysail in the slot
requires adjustment of all three sails and can add about a knot,
but the staysail also acts as a windscoop directing air down the
forehatch. However steady force fours are not common during the
Tyrrhenian summer. Once the speed reaches five knots the
selective availability effect on the GPS display becomes less
noticeable. The wind died at dusk of course and we droned on into
the night. During my night watch I amused myself switching off
Navtex stations in Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, not to mention
Niton!!! The very bright full moon was illuminating the clouds
like a sun. During the following afternoon we were still chugging
across our own blue hemisphere with a very light following wind
and Louise was getting a bit bored. We all managed some siesta as
the air temp hit 93F. After dinner in the cockpit a warm dry
headwind suddenly arrived and the engine was silenced as we
sailed northeast over the smooth sea. At 3.00am the wind fell
light then reappeared from the northeast so I was able to reach
directly towards Pta della Guardia light now visible on Ponza.
Just after dawn I gave Isla Palmarola a good berth to avoid it's
many offlying rocks and at breakfast we anchored in the dramatic
volcanic bay of Chiai di Luna on the west side of Ponza. Quite a
lot of yachts were coming to life including a Privilige cat. I
caught up on sleep during a morning on the beach whilst Stella
supervised Louise. At midday we motored round the north tip of
the island to anchor off an impressive rock arch just north of
Cala Inferno, very popular with the Italian holidaymakers. We
spent the night anchored in busy Ponza harbour alongside the
Lagoon 47 "Oiseau des Isles".

The following afternoon we motored down to Ventotene and
anchored inside the other yachts off the small beach at the head
of Cala Rossana, which used to be open to the northeast but is
now protected by a new harbour wall extension. The tiny Porto
Vecchio was excavated out of the solid rock by the Romans and the
galley sheds are still used by the locals. We stayed an extra day
we were so impressed and had a good meal up in the town square.
Stella also visited Julia's villa.

After motoring past the imposing prison on Stefano island I
started experimenting with the new "multi purpose genoa" which is
a light weight sail set flying from the bow roller on it's wire
luff. It can be set surprisingly close hauled and carried in up
to 15 kts, but in this area is more commonly used when motor
sailing. We finally approached Ischia and entered Casamicciola in
pouring rain, to squeeze between two large motor yachts on the
town quay, where I was shortly relieved of 115,000 lira! We
needed supplies though and had a visit to the Banco di Napoli
where Stella and Louise had their problems with the security
door. Diesel and water were close to our berth and I even found
some flip-flops big enough for my feet.

In the morning we motored round Porto d'Ischia which was
originally a lake till it's short canal to the sea was cut, and
continued on to anchor south of the causeway to Castello d'Ischia
This Aragonese castle on it's own island can be reached by a
liftshaft cut through the solid rock to enjoy the great views of
the Bay of Naples from a cafe terrace. We watched a Swiss Prout
Quasar motor out to sea and descended the steps to follow them.

My additional crew were arriving in Naples and we had to
find somewhere to meet them. Rod Heikell suggests Torre del Greco
so we pointed the bow towards Vesuvius and the MPG pulled us
there by early evening. The harbour was very crowded and various
piratical types beckoned us towards the western wall. I was a bit
dubious about the run down appearance of the place but we had to
stop somewhere, so eventually we were helped to moor to the wall
alongside an ancient hydrofoil. We certainly couldn't leave the
boat unattended here. Leaving Stella and Louise on board I went
looking for the harbour office. When I found it round the other
side of the harbour it displayed a sign informing visitors that
the moorings were administered by ormegiatori. I wandered back to
the boat and it eventually dawned on me that there was an
"office" on the wall in a disused toilet and here I payed the
staggering sum 150,000 lira to a young man wearing a gold
necklace, expensive sunglasses and a dirty pair of shorts. He was
very friendly and assured me of water and a night watchman. I
reckoned his fee included about 35,000 lira protection money!!!
I'm afraid southern Italy can deserve it's reputation sometimes
and Torre del Greco is definitely not the place to change crew,
especially with a 40ft trimaran. Although we were on the end of a
long and dirty wall, Humphrey and Nicola found us by 11.15pm, and
we drank and reminisced in the cockpit into the early hours.

We went ashore in the morning but couldn't find any open
shops and bought bread from a man in the street. There was
nothing to keep us here after Stella decided it was too hot to
visit Herculaneum. We topped up with water and had a good sail
back to Procida stopping to swim in the flooded volcano of Vivara
before entering Chiaiolella, where we backed up to the wall
alongside a French yacht whose crew remembered us from Ponza and
even Corsica.

I rang home whilst the crew shopped in the little harbour
town in the morning. We then ran down to Capri, and round the
east side to anchor off the steps up to Grotto Bianco. Humphrey
volunteered anchor watch whilst the rest of us rowed and climbed
up to a slippery rock balcony inside the huge cave. Nearby is the
striking modern red villa designed by Adalberto Libero in 1940,
and Nicola, a student of architecture, was keen to capture the
setting on film. Soon after we dropped the hook at Marina Piccolo
for dinner on board, but we couldn't identify Gracie Fields
villa. Later I stayed on board with Louise, whilst Stella
frogmarched the others up to Capri town.

We all returned in the morning and took two buses up to
Anacapri to view Axel Munthe's villa in its magnificent setting,
above the vertical cliffs on the north coast. We completed our
circumnavigation of the island and paused off the entrance to the
Blue Grotto. It was too rough for the tripper boats to enter the
cave, and too deep to anchor, so we took turns to dive in and
swim through the sloshing narrow entrance, where I managed to
collect some sea urchin spines in my toes. Surprisingly they
didn't bother me. The main harbour Marina Grande was too crowded
so we spent the night at the rather rolly anchorage off the
beach. After a good meal in a port restaurant we rode the
funicular railway for Louise's benefit and all got wet on the
dinghy ride back.

The Cunard pocket liner Sea Goddess was anchored nearby in
the morning and daytrippers were pouring off the ferries from the
mainland. We were at the Galli islands for a late lunch with no
sound of the Sirens, but good snorkelling. Rudolph Nureyev's
villa is for sale if you're interested. We motored and sailed
around Capo Corbo to Sorrento by the late evening and anchored
immediately east of the moorings below the large Edwardian hotels
on the cliffs.

The P&O Pacific Princess was disgorging passengers nearby
as we arose, and we followed them ashore to ascend by bus to the
town, it being already too hot to climb the steps alongside the
road, cut deep into the cliff. After coffee and croissants we
toured the town by pony and trap to amuse Louise and then visited
the magnificent Cathedral, rightly famous for it's inlaid wood
and marble. Back on the boat we set sail northwest on the wind
and had a very pleasant sail back to Procida, to anchor in Cala
Corricella this time, for a nice meal in restaurant Gorgonia on
the very quiet waterfront.

We had a lengthy walk ashore in the morning, over the
sadddle and down to the port on the north coast, which is a good
fuel and watering point with plenty of room on the east quay.
There is a fast catamaran ferry to Naples from here, and it may
be better to leave the yacht here and use this method for
sightseeing or crew collection in Naples. Back on board for lunch
the temp was 94F and we spent an hour on the beach before
motoring and sailing to Port Sannazaro in the western suburbs of
Naples. At "only" 86,000 lira this was much cleaner and better in
every way. The harbourmaster even apologised for the multihull
surcharge in good English. There was even a small funicular
railway to amuse Louise again.

I took Stella and Louise to the airport by taxi in the
morning (25,000lira), seeing something of Naples on the way. I
returned by the same route and was asked for 40,000lira by the
less scrupulous driver despite the meter showing only 19,000lira.
I refused to pay and offered him 25,000lira whereupon he called
over a group of motor bike cops who instructed me firmly to pay
up or complain in person at the taxi headquarters. So much for
Napoli-City of Art. We left the marina as soon as Humphrey and
Nicola returned from the shops, before we were asked to pay for
another day in port, since the midday deadline had arrived. A
pleasant afternoon sail took us back to Sorrento where the P@O
Sea Princess was now moored. After a meal in an "english pub" I
rang Stella. She got home OK.

After rowing to the fuel barge for more essential diesel, we
set off south and had a long day motorsailing across the Gulf of
Salerno ( across which we'd had to beat north in a rising
Tramontana the year before), to close the coast at Pta Licosa and
enter Acciaroli as dusk fell. The quay was full with Italian
yachts but we squeezed onto the shallow end. At the market stalls
Humphrey was very pleased with a crate of 15 large
bottles of beer for 15,000lira, although it was hot work carrying
everything back to our position chosen the night before.

By midday we were motoring away south again and very clear
fax was coming through from Hamburg although as usual the
captions were too small to read. I was using a good French
chart(7292) of the central Med., although strangely the paper
virtually rejects pencil while soaking up ink like blotting
paper. The VHF forecast was loud and clear. Rome and Naples seem
to be combined and more powerful on CH27. We chugged on through a
moonless night with great views of the Milky Way, the Tyrrhenian
sea like a lake. At 2.30am it was still a dry and very warm 84F
and I found Nicola asleep starkers in the cockpit. At 8.00am the
GPS insisted we were only 10mls from Stromboli but the only
evidence was a solitary yacht motoring north. The island volcano
emerged from the haze at 6mls range and we anchored off the black
beach at San Bartolomeo alongside about a dozen other yachts,
including a large bright yellow French tri named "Karukera". The
main hull was just a tube with high arching beams to the floats
and it's dinghy was a scale model of itself! With a wing mast it
looked fast but I wondered where all the crew were sleeping.
Humphrey said he could smell burning and ther was a wisp of smoke
curling from the summit. Ashore the black volcanic sand was so
hot I feared for the dinghy, and walking without shoes was
impossible. Nevertheless the beach had attracted some keen
sunbathers. A short walk brought us to a cool bar for a light
lunch thankfully, otherwise we might have expired. The anchorage
is so exposed I didn't care to spend the night, so we recovered
the anchor from where it was visibly lying on the black bottom
and motored past the 'Sciara del Fuogo", the lava flow from the
summit direct to the sea, where amazingly several boats were
anchored.

In the evening we joined many other boats at San Pietro on
Panaria. This is no longer the quiet anchorage depicted by Rod
Heikell, with much wash from powerboats, and an active night life
ashore, although we stayed on board. I paused for an hour's hull
cleaning on the plateau east of Panaria, and we then continued to
Porto di Levante at Vulcano. Ashore people were washing mud off
themselves in the sea which was bubbling with hydrogen sulphide
gas as the smell confirmed. In the binos I could see people
standing on the rim of the crater and even running down the
scree. Needless to say we soon joined the others in the mud pool
which was almost too hot to enter. We were now at our furthest
point from Corsica and certainly the strangest. When the wind and
smell dropped we had a good meal in Il Castello and I rang Stella
with no trouble. Despite the infernal scenes ashore Porto di
Levante is a fairly pleasant reasonably sheltered anchorage with
wooded promontorys. Nicola's earings turned black overnight!!

It was quite cool in the early hours, I suppose cold air
falls off the mountain. We motored back to Lipari town and
anchored in 68ft off the beach, the shallowest I could find.
After some time in the air conditioned supermarket, we staggered
back to the boat in the heat to find the cabin temperature 106F-
a record! We continued north and then motorsailed through the
popply Canal de Salina and sailed on slowly to Filicudi,
anchoring in the large bay which reminded me of Alderney. A
really nice spot although again we didn't go ashore, but the
water was very clean and refreshing.

We awoke to a SW4 after a slightly rolly night in an onshore
breeze. Still a great anchorage though. Sicily beckoned so we
headed south over some swell at a good speed in the welcome fresh
breeze. The BBC world service was playing Jimi Hendrix and Jeff
Beck as the wind gradually veered and lightened, and we were able
to lay Cefalu. Suddenly the old spinny halyard parted and dropped
the light genoa in the sea. We recovered it with the swivel thank
God. By 6.00pm the hook was down in Cefalu harbour after a
reasonably fast passage across from Filicudi. There was a thin
film of oil on the surface which deterred swimming, but we had a
good meal ashore, before falling asleep in the cockpit as usual.

I rowed down the shallow harbour for diesel and panini in
the calm morning. Outside a light Northeasterly made us put up
the spinny for the first time on this trip. We ran west all day
with very little shade on deck. The east wind made our original
destination of Mondello unsuitable,so we continued to
Sferrocavallo where some young men in a speed boat seemed very
interested in the tri, but I decided against letting them all on
board. A strong southerly blew early in the night although it was
flat calm in the morning again. I funked passing inside Isla
Femmine as the depth fell to 6ft. We again ran under spinny to
Pta Raisi where the jets were landing at Palermo airport. Shortly
after the wind came ahead and blew strongly out of Golfo
Castellomare, oven hot. We beat and then reached to Capo san Vito
where we had to anchor outside the full harbour in a fresh
onshore breeze. By eight the sea breeze was dying so we rowed
ashore for a meal. Capo san Vito is a booming holiday resort with
a great beach and good snorkelling apparently, popular with young
people. There is also a an imposing Arab/Spanish fort This area
does seem to be fairly breezy even during settled summer weather,
with the wind fairly boxing the compass round the coastal
mountains.

We awoke to a hot dry southerly. Humphrey and Nicola went
ashore for supplies whilst I stayed on board for the VHF
forecast, which was good SW3 to W3 for the Sardinia channel.
Abeam of Capo san Vito however the wind was N16kts and soon
became SW15-20kts, and we were speeding along on a close port
reach. It didn't last of course and fell gradually to a light
northerly. The forecasts here were on so many different channels
that I started listening on CH16 up to 15mins early to learn the
current one in use. At dusk the wind fell even lighter and we
were slowly overhauled by a Spanish yacht whilst Humphrey was
cooking dinner. They wanted to check our forecast and were
nervous about thunderstorms. I told them they'd probably have to
motor all the way to Cagliari. Thunderstorms are given special
mention by the Italian forecasters but they seem to be more
prevalent on the mainland coast. However if you do manage to sail
through one it may contain a violent squall. Waterspouts are not
unknown in the Tyrrhenian sea and Hammond Innes gave an account
of one he described as a mini tornado in a log published by the
Royal Cruising Club journal. I have never seen one thank God.

The following day it was cloudy offering rare relief from
the burning sun and the wind was constantly up and down. We were
now sailing at 6kts in 16kts of wind. Aqua Blue used to be able
to sail at apprximately half wind speed but has fallen below this
in recent years with her heavy cruising load and generally dirty
bottom. We were being constantly pulled to the right on this
passage from Sicily to Sardinia and I wondered if there was a
current going northeast. A good forecast came through from
Cagliari, on CH04 this time, at the impressive range of 86 mls.
The fax though showed a trough over N.Italy -hence the cloud no
doubt. You have to be very wary of any fall in pressure in the
Ligurian sea as it can produce a very strong Mistral, sometimes
followed by a Tramontana as it moves away. However the wind was
so light that I went up the mast to reeve a new spinny halyard,
and we shortly stopped for a very welcome swim. Later we were
buzzed by a military looking helicopter with MARINA written on
the side. Soon we had the flying Genoa back up and drawing in a
light southerly and as dusk arrived we could see the light on
Capo Carbonara. As it came abeam in the early hours we started
turning into the Golfo di Cagliari, and Toulon sent out a Navtex
warning of an expected Mistral in Corsica. At 4.00am we drifted
into Carbonara bay and anchored just north of Villasimius. It was
very calm in the sheltered bay.

Morning revealed ten other yachts including two cats, not to
mention a few rocks if we'd gone much further in! We slept in
after two nights at sea. Carbonara really is a beautiful
undeveloped place, although completely open to the south. I
hauled the Seagull out of the starboard float and with Humphrey's
help removed the flywheel cover and replaced the points with a
chip made in New Zealand. To our amazement it roared into life
again. During the afternoon we motorsailed along the south coast
in baking heat to enter Cagliari harbour at dusk. After a cooler
windy night we stocked up in the "cash and carry" not far from
the harbour gates. Water was more difficult, although I
eventually found a tap at the IP garage nearby. The wind picked
up later and we spent the afternoon pinned to the wall by up to
30kts with a nice "cigar" cloud over the hills inland. I used the
time to replace the damaged ignition switch. Although the harbour
is very dirty Cagliari is a pleasant town with it's colonnaded
front and many bars and restaurants.

The following midday we backed off the wall without
frightening the crew on the gin palace in front. There was still
a fresh northwesterly but the forecast was much improved. We
reefed the main and the roller genoa outside the harbour and
charged south on a beam reach. At Pta Zavorra just past the
Sarruch oil terminal we went through a turbulent patch and tha
wind swung through 180 degrees so that we had to start beating.
We passed Pula where you can anchor off the Punic ruins and the
wind veered somewhat so that we were close reaching along the
coast at good speed. We saw several yachts anchored just east of
Capo Spartivento as we continued for Malfatano. However as we
passed the cape the wind really piped up off the land to
eventually 34kts on the nose with the sea building so we returned
and joined the others off the beautiful sands.

The wind dropped later of course and the temp fell to 70F
during the calm night although a slight swell rolled into the
open anchorage. Anchor alarm on! I swam in the warm clean water
in the morning and we had to motor across to impressive Capo
Teulada, the most southerly point of Sardinia. It was then a long
slow beat around San Antioco island and up to Carloforte on San
Pietro island where we just squeezed in bows to the wall for a
late and welcome pizza ashore. I like picturesque Carloforte,
especially with its free wall and water, so we had a "day off"
for R&R. The boat became a laundry with a hose on board and
various useful jobs were done. Since the town quay is too shallow
for use, the broad tree shaded promenade gives the town a very
pleasant open aspect, ideal for enkjoying the restaurant terraces
in front of the pastel coloured houses. It could be a quiet place
to winter.

We now had the long west coast of Sardinia ahead of us and
left early heading north. After reaching for a while in a short
offshore blast the engine came on again as we past Sugarloaf
island one of the few anchorages on this coast. We can't help
bawdy jokes as we pass Buggeru with it,s great beach and tiny
harbour. The coast thereafter is named Costa Verde and has long
beaches and huge sand dunes eithr side of the river Piscina.
There is almost no development although every track to the beach
has a few campervans visible in the binos. After nearly 12hrs we
anchored just inside Capo San Marco off the few villas south of
Tharros. This Punic town is worth a visit and you can land by
dinghy. I was awoken by the boats motion in the early hours,
since a F4 was blowing out of Golfo di Oristano straight into
our anchorage and we had to move over to Torre Grande for the
rest of the night.

A late start mean't it was midday before we were back at San
Marco where we photographed the quite large trawler firmly on the
rocks under the lighthouse. We actually carried the spinny in a
light southerly up to Capo Mannu, where we dropped it and started
motoring just as the Navtex from Toulon printed warning of a
possible "Genoa Cyclone" later in the week, as a shallow low over
the Balearics moved northeast. I sat on the starboard float
leaning on the dinghy and spent several hours reading Alan Clarks
diaries, whilst we chugged on past Bosa Marina open anchorage
which I had originally wanted to visit, and on into the night.
The southerly returned at dusk and we made Alghero just before
midnight, tying to the outside of the rebuilt wall which shelters
the yacht club. The clouds above were racing past the waning moon
and there was a loud and brightly lit fair on the front.

In the morning we were hailed by Jim of the Crowther
Spindrift "FELIX" who was moored further in on the town quay. I
had first met him in Cyprus several years ago since when he has
completed the North Atlantic circuit and visited Washington no
less. We visited his 45ft cat which is built in ?inch Airex. The
cabin roof is lined with thick polystyrene foam covered in
wallpaper to improve the insulation, which combined with
extra ventilators keeps the temp down inside. I made more
progress with A.C.'s dry wit in the afternoon, during which a
large monohull run firmly aground in this shallow part of the
harbour. I treated the crew to a very good fish dinner in
restaurant La Lepanto which is also famous for it's homemade
"assortimento de dolce del casa'. The wind had't increased much
but the Italian forecasts were starting to agree with the French
navtex.

A fresh westerly met us outside the harbour after a morning
forecast of W8-NW6 and we tacked out to Capo Caccia sailing fast
over the increasing swell. It was great fun but I judged the
conditions at our destination of the narrow and shallow Fornelli
passage might be rather difficult if not dangerous. Porto Conte
is a huge sheltered bay inside Capo Caccia so our last tack took
us straight in to anchor in Cala Tramariglio at midday. We later
dragged and reanchored with the 45lber (Big Bertha) as well.
During the howling night a French yacht dragged right out of the
bay before the crew awoke. I don't know how they sleep so deeply.
I was up and down several times with our sheering about, despite
two anchors set at an angle. Although the morning forecast was
promising the beginning of a let up it was obvious we'd have to
wait another day. We walked for an hour to the headland
overlooking Foradada islet and stood buffeted by the wind, whilst
the storm waves boomed against the cliff base below, in the aptly
named Cala Inferno. In fact Cala Tramariglio has a small beach,
and a good fish rerstaurant La Nuvola. Just south at Pta del
Bollo one can board a ferry from Alghero which visits Neptune's
Grotto although not surprisingly it was'nt running during our
enforced stay.

I was again comparing French and Italian forecasts in the
morning with the French promising the sooner return of light
winds. We slowly recovered our by now three anchors. I had tossed
the light kedge off the bow as well to reduce sheering.Humphrey
had to dive to release Big Bertha from under a rock and we made
our way down to Capo Caccia again where the wind was indeed NW3-4
but the sea was being reflected by the cliffs making it quite
rough. I used the engine to push us up the wave faces and Nicola
wisely remained horizontal. A lone Scandinavian yacht running
south waved enthusiastically. I suspect we surprised them,
appearing elevator like over the swells. As we reached Capo del
Argentiera, the conditions improved so much, Humphrey and I
staggered to the foredeck and raised the light genoa. In the
early evening we identified the leading marks through the
Fornelli passage between Asinara and Piana islands. The
shallowest reading was 13ft. A monohull amazed me by transiting
south of Piana island despite there being broken water right
across the entrance. We anchored in Cala Yacca just west of
Ancora yacht club. It's a great beach but there are e few rocky
outcrops.

We had visitors by dinghy just before midnight. I told them
to clear off, but had no real way of knowing whether they were
intent on pilfering or just curious. They woke me up by rowing
under the beams! Up at 7.00am the deck was cool with dew
underfoot but the anchor chain was warm from the sea. We motored
and then ran all day northeast back to Bonifacio, where we tied
to the new pontoon in Calanque de la Catena, alonside a Fidgi
cat. It was noticeably quieter despite only being the 28th
August. There was a huge three masted sailing cruise ship in
harbour and another one outside in the morning. Bonifacio is
always worth a visit although it can be hard to find a spot to
moor a multihull in season. We climbed up to the old town for a
spot of sightseeing and some fresh provisions, which we enjoyed
back on board. Pears and nectarines after fresh bread with ham
and cheese.

After photographing the town perched above the cliffs from
on board, we ran down to Cap Pertusato the most southeasterly
point of Corsica. There we turned north inside Isle Cavallo with
me nervously holding the hand bearing compass as though we were
back in Britanny. I wanted to spend the night in beautiful almost
land-locked Rondinara with it's lovely beach and clean water. We
devoured Poulet roti after much swimming, and had a very quiet
night. Cows appeared on the beach!

There are some great anchorages on this section of the east
coast. We visited Porto Novo where we found the large Canadian
cat "Agape". In Golfe de Santa Giulia there was a Catana 37
coming out distinctive by it's angled hulls, just like Aqua
Blue's floats. It makes sense to me but isn't that common.
Tacking north we passed through the Iles Cerbicales which are a
nature reserve although that doesn't seem to stop people going
ashore. The wind fell light in the early evening and we motored
the last few miles back to Solenzara, to join the Sunsail fleet
again. I can see why they're based here. The islands of the
Straits and northern Sardinia are a great cruising ground. Two
young lads cycled up who were living with their parents on a
Solaris cat in harbour.

Pasing Solenzara airfield in the morning the delta winged
fighters were practising formation flying and mock attacking
their own base. We had a great show to ourselves for an hour. The
wind freed slightly off the mouth of the Tavignano river and we
were able to sail slowly north with the flying genoa. Although
the luff sags off up to two feet over its 47ft length it is still
effective in pulling the boat to windward in light airs. We had a
few drops of rain off Alistro light with 100% cloud cover. Most
untypical! I reclaimed our winter berth in Campoloro, and the
next day Mike Butterfield on Super Rose came in. Why don't you
join us!
Comments
Aqua Blue's Photos - Main
Alvor to Setubal.
8 Photos
Created 19 November 2017
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Created 9 November 2014
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1 Photo
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3 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
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Motoring to Monfalcone
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Adriatic cruising
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