22 August 2016 | Marine Service Yacht Carloforte (position: 39 08.423'N 08 18.735'E)
It wasn't long before we met our friendly neighbours moored opposite. An Italian couple who annually cruise from the French/Italian border down to Carloforte. They recommended a traditional restaurant near to the marina and kindly shared their evening meal with us. A speciality of Carloforte, 'Spaghetti alla Carlofortina'
, comprising of fresh tuna, pesto and cherry tomatoes.
A short walk along a path took us into the centre and along the waterfront lined with several bars, restaurants, shops, ferry terminal and car park. Just beyond the front are narrow streets lined with old buildings in varying shades of pink, yellow and pale green. Wrought iron balconies are edged with flowerpots together with lines strung with washing and/or flags!
a street just off the tourist strip
Just behind the town is a disused salt lagoon, now a nature reserve and the home to pink flamingos. A path follows the perimeter of the lagoon where we passed a selection of very old and rusty machinery. It appears that once upon a time salt was big business here on the island along with tuna fishing which was caught and canned here too. The canning process is done elsewhere but they still catch tuna annually as part of a celebratory festival.
The path ended at the main road and we couldn't see if it continued around the lagoon so retraced our steps back into town where we stopped for an ice cream whilst sat in the shade under one of four massive fig trees.
A lovely evening was spent in 'La Nave' restaurant where we had fun and games translating the bewildering menu structure and meals that started with Aperitivo before moving onto Antipasto, Primo, Secondo, Contorno (side dish)... the list goes on. The waitress made every effort to speak to us in English but it was on a level with our Italian - almost nil so we all resorted to our Italian phrase book on more than one occasion.
We are the first one's there - the Italians don't eat until later but by 9pm 'La Nave' was full!
The pizzas were huge! We couldn't finish them and wondered if we could ask for a doggy bag... try finding that in an Italian phrase book! Then we wondered if they would understand the terminology so we decided to play it safe and ask for a box - that's tomorrow's lunch sorted :-).
Our last few days were spent waiting for yet another Mistral (gale) to pass. Based on a quick calculation it's averaging out at one gale a week!
GRIB weather file. It's coloured coded. The bolder and deeper the colour, the stronger the wind.
After seeing the above forecast we needed to be prepared so we decided to replace our existing ropes with our heavy ones, complete with coil springs attached. We shackled the coil directly to the hoop on the pontoon. To prevent chafe, the rope was then threaded through a short length of hosepipe before being lead back through the fairlead and tied off onboard. It's the first time we've used them and they worked really well in taking the snatch out of the ropes as the gusty wind and chop came across the port.
The marina exceeded all our expectations and more importantly the pontoon didn't break free in the wind and we stayed attached to the hoops! ;-). 'La Nave' restaurant was perfect to experience authentic Italian cuisine - both are gems on this beautiful island.