Monday, 16 May 2011

West Coast of Italy to Ponza

Hi from Clare                                                             Sunday 15th May 2011   

So when I last wrote we were attached to a mooring buoy in a small bay 60 miles south of Sorrento on the Italian west coast. We stayed there for a couple of days moving from one side of the bay to the other sheltering from the roll of the sea.  The weather was cold and raining and so we sat below and weaved some more cones on to our sea drogue. The tally is now 82 cones attached and 34 to go. We are feeling a lot happier now.

On Wednesday we sailed 30 miles north into the wind to Agropioli and we got a fair beating in the process. The sea was rough and the wind gusty and changeable. We were thrown around like a cork on the ocean. The cupboard doors flew open (even though they were locked) and things fell out.  One of the toilet sea cocks was accidentally left open and sea water came back up the toilet outlet and flooded the aft bathroom and ran into the bilge. We cleaned up the water we could reach but when we tacked (tipping the boat over in the opposite direction) the water we couldn’t get to ran out from under the cupboards and across the saloon floor. Just to add to the mayhem, not   expecting the trip to be so rough, I started to do the washing in the forward bathroom. I had filled the shower area with water and washing powder and intended to soak the sheets and towels during the trip. Once at sea I had washing water running out the door and so I canned that idea and drained the water out.  By the time we got to Agropoli we were worn out from sailing but it took a further two hours to complete the washing and sort the boat out. We think “Poseidon” has given us yet another clip under the ear to remind us - not to sail to windward.

       Entrance to Agropoli                                                  View of Agropoli from Castle

Agopoli Town Mall

We love the Italian town of Agrolopi.  It has a marvellous town mall where the locals and tourists enjoy coffee shops, outdoor restaurants and boutique shopping.  It has a very relaxed and family orientated feel to it and the locals are friendly and helpful. I was really looking forward to having a quiet meal there and once again enjoying the atmosphere. Unfortunately the mall was in a state of disarray as the paving was being replaced. There was fencing erected along the length of the mall catering for men with picks and shovels and an excavator to work around the clock. – Oh well it just wasn’t meant to be!

We stayed in the harbour with and an English couple Colin and Jane on their Oyster 39, “Hydaway” on one side and an Italian ex policeman on the other side of us.
We all got on very well together stopping for lots of chats and drinks in the evening. We sat on the wharf behind our boats in the shade of the sea wall. Yes, you read correctly “shade” we actually had a first hot summer’s day in Agropoli. It was magnificent and since then we have had a few more sunny days too.
Friday we sailed another 50 miles to the Island of Ischia on the north side of the bay of Naples. Once again the wind wasn’t playing ball and we spent most of the day adjusting sails, putting the spinnaker up and down, turning the engine on and off and adjusting sails etc. However it was a lovely sunny day.
We had arranged on HF radio to meet up with some friends in the evening. Alan and Sally on “Artemis” were travelling south arriving at Ischia at 5.30pm we were travelling north arriving at Ischia at 7.30pm. We haven’t seen Alan and Sally since 2008 when we did the EMYR rally together. We dropped anchor off the Ischia Castle (in photo) and they very kindly hosted drinks and nibbles on their boat. We spent a few very enjoyable hours with them that evening before going our separate ways in the morning.

Yesterday we had a fabulous 45 mile spinnaker sail to the Italian island of Ponza. It was a beautiful sunny day and once we had the spinnaker up we didn’t have to do much until we arrived at Ponza in the early evening.  We lay in the sun and read for most of the trip.

Ponza main street
Today it is cooler with a little rain. We will stay in Ponza and wait for Colin and Denise to arrive on Wednesday for a couple of weeks. We are expecting strong winds tonight which will last for the next day or so. I will be glad when the wind starts blowing for at present we are rolling rather badly.  At least we have plenty of room in the anchorage as there is only a handful of visiting boats here.  I think most Italian boats have gone back to their marinas due to the strong wind warning.

Once Colin and Denise arrive we will probably go to the Italian Island of Elba and then onto the mainland and the Cinque Terre area.

Love CANDY xx