12 July 2016 Son - Alister, Dils & Grandchildren - Hannah, Meadow & Hobie joined us in Bastia to cruise Corsica.
It was a wonderful day for Jenny and I to meet up with family this far from home. We had a stormy night in the marina and decided that it was too windy to leave the next day so a day of settling family in to 45 ft was in order and probably a good idea anyway.
16 Juy 2016 0800 Slipped mooring in Marina and headed north for Cap Corse which looked good on approaches and not at all living up to it's reputation as the most violent cape in the Mediterranean. Well I got that wrong just when we past the point of no return around the top the wind came howling in and the seas built to rough and then to violent. Seasickness hit most and I was not feeling like the prudent father/grandfather at that time but soon came to the conclusion that sympathy for the seasick must take a back seat to safety of the boat and rig. Ali and I reduced the sail to practically nothing and had no qualms about using the motor in an effort to go faster than the tidal currents. Thus we proceeded southward down the western side of the Cap Corse peninsular for several long hours with nowhere to get out for shelter. 1600 Arrived feeling bedraggled in St Florent Marina after a 50 mile sail in some of the worst conditions, at least over the last 25 miles that we have had to put up with for a long time. There was so many yachts holed up in that marina that they had no room for us so out we had to go and find a anchorage on the other side of the bay that offered shelter of sorts. A bumpy night of fitful sleeps ensued.
15 July 2016 1600 We decided that another night at St Florent was not going to cut it so we up anchor and left sailing westward along the top of Corsica and arriving at Rousse at midnight. Rousse is ferry port of sorts for ships going to and from Mainland France and it was a flat as a millpond. We dropped anchor on the edge of the ferry turning area and declared that should a ferry arrive then we would have to move. We slept soundly though and all felt better for the calm conditions.
16 July 2016 0700 Bailed out of the ferry port without disturbing anyone and headed further west to Calvi arriving at 1100 and booked straight into a marina.
Calvi is a beautiful small town with lots of tourist appeal so the shops were modern as were the copious small restaurants. There was even a Rugby Shop selling Allblack Gear but being careful not to upset the branding copyrights by the look of it.
17 July 0800 Pulled out of Calvi where all had decided that it had been a really good and welcome respite stop.
We headed south further down the west coast to a small group of islands and inlets that have National Park protection to a tiny anchorage called Baie d' Elbo where we stopped for swims and lunch before moving on.
Every good navigator could use an assistant.. in this instance the assistant is steeering Elixir while the Navigator plots the course.
1500 Picked up a mooring in Girolata in a sort of Mooring bouy type marina with no pontoons so all getting to a fro from shore needed to be by dingy, a point that nobody had any grizzels with as it was an opportunity for our younger crew to mix with other boating families and to understand that there are a lot of people out there enjoying these types of facilities. As for Grandpa, well he just loves messing around in boats!
18 July 2016 0800 Sailed 36 miles close to shore down the coast to arrive at a normal type marina at Ajaccio, arriving around 1400. We all did the touristy thing and went for a looksee in a bus where we had a commentary all the history of this place that I for one had never heard of before this.
19 July 2016 0500 Left for Sardinia sailing down around the rest of Corsica's west coast and half way along it southern end before crossing the Gulf - Bocche Di Bonifacio to and anchorage in a bay in Golfo Saline for the night at the end of a really nice 30 mile sail.
20 July 2016 0600 Sailed out of the bay and around Capo Ferro and down a couple the east coast of miles to call in for a look for an hour or so at Porto Cervo where Ted had to stay with Elixir and to keep her out of the way as there was no anchoring permitted and we didn't have the overall affordability to take a mooring!
1600 Entered and took a marina birth in Olbia right in City Central. Here we must say goodbye to our Grandchildren and Ali and Dils in the knowledge that we will not be with them gain again for another year or more. Jenny and I were very sad and pensive that night. I was mainly disappointed because the weather had not been kind and that their holiday was spoiled because of it. Weather, unfortunately, is not something that I can control, I can but hope however that the Grandchildren at least had a holiday that they should remember for a very long time and perhaps time will put a rosy tint in their memory glasses.