Elba Repairs and Napoleon's Estate
20 June 2014 | Elba Italy
While enroute to Elba, because our refrigerator was now the same temperature as the outside, we emptied all biodegradable contents of our frig into the ocean and hoped the fish appreciated it.
Elba is a large island with many marinas and anchorages. We selected Porto Azzurro because with the wind , this one looked like a good open anchorage. There was also a boatyard and marina in the same bay. Naturally, after we anchored, the wind changed direction and we spent a rocky, rolling night sleeplessly thinking about how to get our frig repaired!
Early the next morning, we visited the boatyard and found the manager Raffaello to be very helpful. He had pretty good English which helped to communicate and he telephoned Antonio, a repairman who would come at 5 pm. We could pull up to the dock for the boatyard for free when Antonio came. When Antonio and his helper came,he tested the system and found a leak in the piping from the compressor to the evaporator in the frig. The part had to be ordered from the mainland and it was too late already to ship it. So the saga continued.
Tuesday morning - Raffaello found the part and had it shipped from the mainland. More canned spaghetti for dinner on board. We went into the marina by dinghy and took the bus to the main port of Portoferreira in the other side of the island. We toured the old town and saw the beautiful old port and visited Napoleon's house from the year 1814 when he was exiled here. Great location and view over the harbor. Beautiful house and gardens. Not too bad for exile! Elba is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's exile here. Back at anchor in Porto Azzurro. Less rocky this night
Weds - tired of canned food, we pulled the boat into the marina. Nice restaurants and fresh croissants were welcome! The part for the frig did not arrive.
Thurs - the part arrived mid-morning. Hurrah! We pulled out of the marina and over to the boatyard dock. Dave worked on forming the evaporator coil to fit our frig box. Antonio the repairman could not come until tomorrow. Dried stuffed tortellini for dinner.
Friday- Antonio showed up at 8:30 am and by 9:30 am he had finished the installation and filled the system with refrigerant. Hurrah for a refrigerator. After paying the bill, we set off for the old port of Portoferreira which we had seen by bus on Tuesday. What a beautiful location to be right in the middle of the ancient town with a Medici Tower and Fortress. We found a nearby grocery store which did free boat deliveries so we were able to restock our frig afresh after a week without cold food, and life looked good again. We took a local bus to the country house of Napoleon which was quite lavish and had beautiful view all the way back to the coast. Again, not bad for a defeated Emperor in exile!
It is said that cruising is really just learning how to repair your boat in exotic locations! We proved that to be true and added to that old saying: no parts, no tools and no English!
Next stop is the north side of the French island of Corsica, and then up to the French Rivera.