Tuatara

Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama

Bonifacio,Corsica

06 August 2011 | Le Grazie
Jean, Editor Alan
Bonifacio from our anchorage
See the gallery for more photos of Bonifacio

Bonifacio harbour on the SW corner of Corsica is an amazing place, scary and exhilarating to enter in the windy conditions we had. I still managed to take some photos as we motor sailed in towards a rock face, no opening visable. The pilot says it is " literally a slit in the chalk cliffs that is difficult to see until close up" (have a look on google earth). The westerly wind bending around the cliffs pushed us in quicker than we wished and we hoped there was no boat coming out. Suddenly we were at the turning point for the anchorage, no ropes ready, still looking at awe at our surroundings and the wind still finding its way up the harbor. The harbor is only .8 of a mile long , it is amazing watching large vessels come in turn around and wriggle into marina berths. We were still getting ourselves sorted, Alan in the dinghy trying to get a rope to the mooring rings ashore, me maneuvering Tuatara trying to back into the wall and the wind wanting us to do something completely different, when the marina boys arrived in their boat and helped tie us to the mooring lines. Mind you if the notice about calling the Marina on VHF channel 9 was where you could see it coming in... not going out, we could have had help a lot sooner. 20 euro a night, we could have three nights on the mooring backed into the chalk cliff for less than the price of one night on the marina. We were happy to be settled, the wind could blow for a few more days while we did some sightseeing in this historic amazing place.

Earlier in the morning we had decided to leave our anchorage at Cannigione. The forecast showed the winds dying to a respectable 20 knots then decreasing further so we decided it was time to cross the Bouches de Bonifacio to a new anchorage at Bonifacio. We motor sailed out past the Maddalena national park islands and decided to carry on motor sailing across the strait as the 20 knot wind was a bit more on the nose than we had expected. Just as we dipped our bow into the windy straight .... Oops the wheel spun around in my hands....no steering! After a few heart stopping moments we realized this was not the return of the hydraulic springs problem .... Different symptoms which meant....aaah yes the autopilot still worked, so we turned it on and tacked around to go back to a nice bay five miles away. Alan checked out the steering wheel shaft but it looked ok ...then he found a thingy on the floor of the engine room. That thingy had fallen out of the whosit so the wheel was freewheeling on the shaft. About the same time we realized our inside steering should still work, we haven't really had the need to use it, but it certainly came in handy that day. We anchored, had lunch, Alan returned the thingy back to its proper place and we headed for Bonifacio again.

The steering drama was on our mind as we careered through the chalk cliffs of the Bonifacio harbor entrance. What if .... Well it didn't bear thinking about , those people on the cliffs above would have had quite a holiday story to tell when they got home.

For a couple of days we wandered the old town, looked out over the windy cliffs, looked at the houses hanging out over the sea, perched on chalk cliffs eroded by the wind and sea. Toured the cemetery with the quietest town square we've ever been in, the inhabitants tucked away in their rooms with a view. Strolled the marina, watched crews polish and clean Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, Bad Girl, and Soulmate. I guess when you can afford boats like those you can call them anything you like. Used the self service laundry then had to baby sit the washing as it dried so it wouldn't fly away down the anchorage. The wind was still whistling around the cliffs when the marina man came to get our payment for another night. We asked him about the weather...local knowledge and all that. We worked out from the hand waving, his little English and our little French that 2 more days then the wind would be little but the sea would still be big.

"Ah zen allez" and with a wave he was off with our 40 Euro for another two nights. Sure enough on Monday morning we motored out into a nearly windless but lumpy Bouches de Bonifacio one last look back at the narrow little harbor that has been visited by mariners throughout the centuries. Odysseus, Greeks, Romans , the Genoese,, Napoleon ....well everyone... but the question we asked as we left was how did they all get their engineless ships in and out? The galley slaves must have worked hard lining up the entrance in windy conditions.




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Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ