There and Back Again – An Unexpected Journey
28 July 2012 | Various - Elba
I’ve been planning this adventure for quite a long time so the decision to change our plans was unusual. In fact, this was the first substantial deviation of the whole trip but it turned out to be wonderful. The reason for the change was that Jeanne, Elaina, and Tom were flying back to the States from Rome and Stephen Nemethy, Stosh’s son, was flying into Rome two days later. Our plan was to sail to Ponza, then Ischia, Capri, and end in Portofino. I would rent a car, drive the group to Rome and Stephen was going to catch a train down to Naples and we would pick him up there. After reviewing the logistics I realized this was going to be very difficult on us all and that we needed to bring Palarran to Rome.
So, while we anchored in Olbia, I reviewed the options with the crew. They really didn’t care as long as pizza, pasta, and swimming was provided. What I decided was to head back to Corsica, then go to a fairly large island named Elba, then hit (not literally) Giglio and see the Costa Concordia, then head to Rome. It turned out to be a fantastic decision which really no one should be surprised by ;) .
We left Olbia heading to a large harbor on the Southeast coast of Corsica named Porto Vecchio. The Bonafacio Straights had different plans for us though and threw some gale force winds at us so we ducked into a bay on one of the Maddalena Archipelago. The next morning we again got hit with super strong winds but made it across the straights. You know it’s pretty nasty out when there isn’t anyone else joining you. Porto Vicchio was nice with an excellent shopping area in an old village. I should mention that it became hot- very hot – and has stayed that way since this day. This was just a stopover though so we refueled and headed to Elba.
What can I say about Elba? Too often in these posts I feel like a broken record. It’s wonderful, beautiful, stunning, etc. After a while it probably gets boring hearing that so I’ll try this out – Elba is the Real Deal!! I could go on and on about the Citadel, perched villages, quaint harbors, shopping, eating, forested hills, wild flowers, crystal clear water, huge sandy beaches, super friendly people, great fellow boaters, but I won’t. All I can say is that if anyone considering visiting Italy and desires to see “The Real Deal” go here and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I felt very comfortable there and it had been a while since I could say that. Jeanne and I vowed that we will return someday as 4 days can’t give true justice to this gem.
It was special for Nick also as he made his big purchase of the trip. He had been working for Tim Housler and saved enough money to buy a watch. He specifically said at the beginning of the trip “I want an Italian styled watch” and he found on Elba. As it turns out it was also made right there on Elba. It is a Locman Montechristo professional diver watch and is pretty sweet. I didn’t realize this but Tom Scanlan has a watch fetish and needed to restrain himself. It was funny to do the shopping for this lifelong purchase and I’m excited for Nick. He is also and hasn’t taken it off since buying it.