1st Blog of the season
06 June 2014 | Corsica
A very dear friend of ours said it was “terrible” that we hadn’t done a blog update…..so I thought I had better get to work on our first update of this season – not much to report…..
We arrived back very pleased to see Tarian looking good and no problems except a couple of mouldy pillows. The first week was spent anti fouling her bottom (a job we had never had to do before, as baleout had copperbott), polishing and doing various other maintenance jobs. We had booked our lift in for 7 days after our arrival…..however this is manyana territory and there was nothing in the diary, so we had to wait a little longer living on the hardstanding having to pee in a bucket at night….living the dream We were finally lifted back in 14 days after our arrival, so you can imagine, we were very happy to be back on the water with a working loo!
We were not in a rush to set sail, as we were paid upto the end of the month and the wind was in the wrong direction, so we continued with the many many jobs that need to be done on a boat.
We are now in Bonifacio, having stopped in a marina for the night, anchored up in Porto Vecchio and one of our favorite anchoring spots Rondinara bay which has turquoise blue water and a beautiful sandy beach. In Bonifacio there is a marina, however we choose to moor in the clanque which is a narrow inlet with rock faces either side, which has rings with ropes attached that you pick up to moor you boat – as per post picture. So far no one has arrived to take our money….
Along the way, we have (well i) lost my phone in the sea….what a heart stopping moment actually seeing your phone plop into the drink and there not a thing you can do about it! We have incurred more vets bills – for those of you who adore our little monkey….you will know she was diagnosed with underactive thyroid, however she was showing signs of over active thyroid, so had her bloods checked and sure enough she now has too much thyroxin…so we have stopped her meds and will re test again in a few weeks to see what her own thyroid gland is up to…..that will please the Capt’n….another vet bill to come.
The weather was quiet changeable in the 1st couple of weeks, however it is currently hot and sunny and the outlook looks good. Tomorrow we are off to get the car and in a few days we will be taking it on the ferry to Sardinia. In the meantime we will use the car to see some more sights inland on the south of this beautiful island.
Sitting out a gale - forecast Force 12!!!!!
12 September 2013
Well we got our wish of a westerly......thankfully, we made our move earlier last week and got around Cap Corse under engine, as it was flat calm - we have had nothing but westerly since arriving 5 days ago.....happily tucked up in a marina, we have all managed to sleep through the howling winds. Macinaggio is a small village with the best Patisserie ever....the cakes are fabulous....Mits loves the beach - not a beach for families, as its covered in washed up sea grass - perfect for her, as she loves a good role in mucky ground! We have done a couple of really good walks into the woods and up on the coastal path and chilled out. So, just a couple of weeks until we arrive in our winter destination, where Tarian will be lifted out and we come home to earn some extra cash....Gerry....I'm sure mits would earn more than me & Stu.....as she is as adorable as ever...lol
Waiting for a westerly!
05 September 2013
As our season is nearing an end we have slowed right down, as we don’t have very far to go to our winter storage destination. We are currently in Saint Florent, anchored just outside the marina, this give us most of the advantages of being inside a marina without the €40 per night which is mid- season price now we are in September(In August it would have been €65).
Saint Florent is right at the south-western edge of the infamous cap corse. We didn’t know Cap corse was infamous until we did some research. It is a long finger of rock about 30nm long, 10nm wide at the top end of Corsica – by all accounts it needs treating with extra respect as wind gets pushed up around the top. The upshot of all of this means, as we are not short of time at the moment, we can afford to wait for good conditions before we move. We have to consider not only the wind & weather on the day of moving, but also the ongoing wind direction, as we will not want anything with a Easterly when we arrive at the anchorage on the east side. The bay here at Saint Florent is lovely, nestled at the foot of some very pretty mountains’. Great dog walking beaches and all the facilities required to keep Stel happy – Launderette, big supermarket, good WIFI & plenty of bars….
We have both started the search for jobs which is strangely exciting after over a year of being part of the great unwashed. Lets hope Stel can find a nice well paid job so I can continue to be a lazy kept man! That said if anyone wants any odd jobs done I can be hired at very reasonable rates
Fire fighting planes, a village with no roads in/out & a naked card shuffler!
24 August 2013
Since leaving Ajaccio we have stopped in some beautiful spots. Sagone, on 1st arriving seemed to be just a beach and some bars/restaurants’ on the sea front, but it had a great little village behind the beach with everything you could ever need….not that we needed anything, Sagone will definitely be on our list to stop again if we come this way again – the beach was fab. Whilst there we had the pleasure of watching a sea plane land momentarily, suck up water, take off and dump it out. If you look carefully you can see the plane in the pics, coming into land, going overhead really close to the boats and dumping the water out the other side. Other than that it was a nice 4 days chilling and walking on the beach with mits.
Next was Cargese, where we had promised ourselves a night or two in the marina….they didn’t take catamarans, so that pissed on our fireworks, however Cargese is an interesting town with greeks’ settling back in the 17th century, some of the buildings’ where unusual for these parts, the Greek church was beautiful.
Girolata had been advised by 2 people to be a “must see” – how right they were. Girolata is only accessible by sea, however has a village with many houses, bars, restaurants’ & farm animals. It is a very sheltered bay except from a SW wind. Here we picked up a bouy….so still no marina for us……the walks here are just magnificent, the red rocked mountains’ and stunning sea cliffs are amazing. We had planned on staying a few days, but the weather forecast for Saturday night (SW6-8) was such we decided to move today to Calvi and finally book into a marina for a few days….. no such luck, as Calvi were expecting a regatta today, so were not taking in any more arrivals, so we are here on a bouy waiting for the big blow to come tonight and tomorrow….at least we are not at anchor…lol……we haven’t yet explored Calvi, but Stu tells me its where Nelson lost his eye……..if your interested!
Ooh, cute pics of mits in Girolata folder and a naked card shuffler in a silly hat!!!
20 August 2013
hey peeps, just loaded some pics of Rocapina. They are mainly a 360' snapshot of the bay from Tarian.
Back in boar country!
10 August 2013
Leaving Sardinia was sad, as you know we have become Italian fans, however Corsica is a beautiful Island. We bumped into “the Italian job” in Bonifacio. It was great to see them again and look forward to meeting up next year. We have spent the last 2 weeks very slowly heading around the south west coast from Bonifacio and we are now in Ajaccio spending a few days in the Corsican capital. Along the way, we have seen some gorgeous places, Rocapina being my favourite, where we again saw wild boar on the beach just after the sun had set and all the people had gone..….later when I took Mits for her last go on the beech it was nearly dark and I could see 3 or 4 scurrying away as they heard the engine coming towards the beach. They look really cute and seem to be scared of humans, dogs & engines…thankfully…. as I’m sure if they were cornered they could be dangerous. The rock formations are really weird here, in Rocapina one called the lion ‘cos it looks like a lion sitting up on the top cliffs watching over the bay.
We decided to anchor near Ajaccio for a couple of nights before coming into the town. The weather forecast was OK for anchoring, although possible thunder & lightning was in the area. Sure enough in the evening we could see the lighting in the mountains, it went on for some hours, however it was calm at anchor, so decided to go to bed – we stood on deck for a while watching the light show, it was amazing. Just as I was going off to sleep (12am) the wind started to get up, so as a precaution we decided to do an anchor watch, I said I would do the 1st hour. After around a minute, the wind was howling and Stu appeared. I decided to get some clothes on, just incase we needed to move. By the time I slipped on some trousers and a top the wind was now pretty nasty and the anchor started to drag, within 30 seconds we were nearly on the beach! (Ooh…this living the dream, can sometimes be a nightmare lol). We were anchored near to another boat – who’s anchor had also dragged and where about to collide with us, but managed to motor away. Stu was fantastic, he took control, gave me clear concise instructions to get the wet weather gear out, life jackets on, grab bag & life raft on deck. We then reversed off and got the anchor up. The marina’s of Ajaccio are round 3nm’s away, so we headed in that direction. As we left the anchorage is was pitch black with a howling gale in our faces. It was like something out of a movie – the electrical storm gave brief glimpses of the sea and the far shore, both scarey and exhilarating. The Thunder & lightning continued to flash & roar the whole way, the heavens opened up and we looked like drowned rats. Out in the bay, we could see several other boats nav lights heading from various anchorages around the gulf towards Ajaccio. Upon arriving the marina was chocker block, but luckily the commercial quay had space, however it was a very high wall, higher than i could jump onto and the bollards where too far away to lasso. Fortunately 1 other yacht (flying a French flag) was already on the quay, I shouted “excusez-moir” as load as I could and managed to rouse a sleepy French man who got dressed donned his wet weather gear & helped us get along side and tie up. Over the next hour or so, Stu & the French chap help other yachts to tie up whilst I continued to get Tarian’s ropes secure. Last to arrive was the coastguard with a big catamaran (60-70ft) – they had dragged and ended up on rocks, luckily the captain had woken up and managed to get off the rocks, but lost his starboard prop & rudder and was taking on water. With only 1 engine, he didn’t have good control of the boat, the wind was still howling, it took maybe 5-6 goes to get in, each time having to go out of the marina and back in again to line up to moor behind us. The space was tight and on the last go, he hit Tarian’s port stern quarter….DOH! With the help of many rescue people, Stu and other boaters they finally got the cat into the space. You could see the bilge working as it spurted out water continually. The rescue team got a big pump on board and for the rest of the night, it was on, keeping the boat a float. We finally went to bed at 3am and was woken at 7am by the harbour master asking us to leave, as a big ferry was coming in to dock in an hour. The shock of this was softened by a nice lady in a dutch boat who Stu had helped the night before, who turned up with croissants as a thank you to Stu for helping. We had a quick chat, they had a worse experience than us, as they had to let their anchor go & cut off the chain, as it got stuck in the rocks…they agreed that the wind came from nowhere, which I guess is why so many anchors failed….they also said they saw 40knt on the wind gauge. As we were getting ready to go, the captain of the other Cat apologised for hitting us and asked what damage there was….I gotta say, our little sail boat is as tough as old boots, there were 2 really small scuffs to the gelcoat, but they were so small we couldn’t see them at first, so no big deal. An emergency lift out had been arranged for the catamaran and it is now looking sad on the quay. The paying guests onboard all dis-embarked in the morning, no doubt to finish their holiday in a hotel.
So…the lesson learned…..if we see thunder & lightning on the forecast as a “possible” – get our arse’s into or next to a marina! Although I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone it was comforting to know, that we were not the only one’s out there.
Living the dream….
p.s cant up load pics, as wifi connection wont allow
Ooh Mits has now used the swim platform into deep water….