Sunday, 29 August 2010

Porto Vecchio harbour
Green with matching helicopter Squeezy helipad This guy has his own sailing coach
Hi from Clare, Elba to Corsica August 28, 2010 RISKY BUSINESS We stayed in Portoferraio, Elba for eight days. I think this would be the longest we have stayed in one place this season. It’s great going into the various harbours to do some land travel but swimming is a bit risky there. Quite often the water is oily and muddy due to the ferry traffic and some boats at anchor don’t have holding tanks; would you swim here? After eight days we were itching to escape. DON’T YOU LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER Sunday 22nd August as planned, we left Portoferraio Elba at 2am and traveled 80 miles to Porto Vecchio on the east coast of Corsica. We estimate our ETA by planning on 5 knots. This allows for both fast and slow sailing and if there is no wind we also motor at five knots. So for 80 miles we expected to arrive around 6pm in time for a swim and a cold drink before dinner. Our 2am start was perfect timing and with the forecast northerly winds behind us we did as much as 8.8 knots arriving at 3pm. The wind dropped out mid afternoon and we motored for the last five miles. The sailing conditions were very pleasant and we lay in the sun reading and enjoying the day. We saw a green power boat with a matching helicopter. We were close enough to get an appreciation for the amount of room available and degree of difficulty in landing a helicopter on the boat. (Photos 1&2) TIME TO OURSELVES We anchored in a bay 6 miles north of Porto Vecchio to swim in clean 28 degree water. The next two days was spent reading (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – fantastic), watching DVD’s, catching up on emails and relaxing in the sun. This year, our two additional solar panels have made it possible to stay at anchor indefinitely without having to start the engine to charge batteries or make water. This is very pleasing but without the engine running we can’t get hot water. At times it would be nice to have a hot shower and boiling the kettle to wash the dishes is a pain. Throughout the season I have been looking for a camp shower (the black plastic bag) without any luck. But much to my delight I found one in a ship chandlery in Porto Azzuro, Elba. It is currently on deck full of lovely hot water ready for our evening shower. I wonder if I could throw the dishes in the bottom of the shower recess; just joking. BACK TO THE LAND Tuesday 24th we sailed into Porto Vecchio (Photo 3) to do some shopping in one of those huge French supermarkets about the size of a Bunning’s store. Once again I stood there thinking “Where the heck do I start”? I tried to buy the things exclusive to Corsica, even then the selection was huge. For example I believe there were 70-100 types of cheese. I ended up buying the ones I knew - not very adventurous hey! Andrew was happy as he found the beer he was looking for almost straight away. FRIENDS ON BOARD The following night we invited fellow cruises Janine and Terry from ‘Cristata’ over to ‘Eye Candy’ for drinks and a chat. Janine and Terry have been cruising for twenty years and so have a wealth of experience to share. We had a very pleasant and informative few hours which continued the following morning with the guys getting together to discuss HF radios. AU REVOIR CORSICA Thursday 26th we escaped Porto Vecchio Corsica around lunchtime and sailed 7 miles south to another clear water bay (Golfe De Porto Novo) for the rest of the day. Strong wind was forecast for Saturday and we wanted to get down to Sardinia. So Friday morning we left to sail 25 miles to Porto Cevo in the north east corner of Sardinia. We sailed on a beam reach doing a maximum of 8.4 knots. There was no reading on this trip, but the guys sailing next to us had some fun with one in the dinghy skiing behind the boat. (Photo 4) BON JOURNO SARDINIA Saturday 28th and we are now in the big bay next to the entrance to Porto Cervo Sardinia. Last time we were here we shared the bay with lots of huge power boats. This time there is only a handful of cruising yachts. I think the large power boats have gone home and it is too windy for the smaller weekend boats. The forecast strong wind has arrived and we have seen a gust of 35 knots. We are comfortable and Andrew swam out and checked our anchor. It is well and truly buried in the sand so all is well. SO WHAT NOW We will stay here until the weather settles. We are due to pick Matthew and Mim and Sarah and Brad up in Oblia next Friday for a week or so. Olbia is only 25 miles away so we will have plenty of time to wait for the right weather pattern to sail. The most immediate ‘so what now’ is – shower time - woo hoo! Love Candy xx