We're in for another Mistral in about a week's time according to the forecast. This one is predicted to reach southern Italy where we can expect gusts up to 29 knots and swell up to 3m. The anchorages along this stretch of coast are described as 'calm weather anchorages' so over the next few days we plan to motor with no wind and burn fuel by the litre safe in the knowledge that we can at least find a suitable anchorage for an overnight stop or two before seeking shelter in a marina. If there is going to be no wind then we'd rather motor in calm seas and enjoy swell-free anchorages - now we can see why RIB's and day boats far outweigh sailing vessels here because it really is all or nothing on the wind front.
Today's passage took us straight across the Golfo di Salerno and around Point Licosa where there is a marine conservation zone. We stayed outside the zone because we were motoring but if we'd been sailing we would have been entitled to enter. We're actually finding the zones somewhat confusing as a Zone B in one area can have different restrictions to a Zone B in another area which makes it difficult to keep track of what is allowed where. It certainly sends out a confused message when it should be very clear! We don't believe that we've broken any rules so far but we can see why the locals get it wrong.
This stretch of coast is remarkably quiet with barely a yacht, rib or day boat to be seen. Summer can't be over just yet surely so we can only assume that this area hasn't yet succumbed to tourism like other areas.
Originally we were heading for an anchorage outside the marina of Acciaroli but as we moved off one paper chart and onto another (yes...we still refer to paper charts) we noticed a small anchor symbol slightly further on just off Capo Palinuro. It didn't stand out as a good anchorage in the pilot book but looking at the chart we could see it hidden, tucked behind the headland which looked ideal. We arrived just as the sun was setting and anchored in front of a small island (Scoglio Del Coniglio) with granite cliffs. Behind us two or three glorious sandy beaches were still busy with holiday makers but it wasn't long before they were deserted and we were left alone with just a couple of other yachts to enjoy the evening.
x marks the spot!
It really was a beautiful location and with perfectly flat seas we slept soundly with hardly any movement.
Total distance this season: 806.18 nautical miles