|It was fantastic to have Steve and Trish on board Alcheringa as guests. |
We have such great memories of crewing on their fabulous Oyster 56 Curious.
|Photos all round to make sure no one missed out.|
|The cliffs of Bonifacio are an amazing sight to sail past|
|Bonifacio to Porto Palma – 22.4 nautical miles – 3 hours 51 minutes |
Average speed 5.8 knots – maximum 7.9 knots and a ton of fun
gybing our way down through the islands.
|Porto Palma was a nice, calm anchorage.|
|Fortifications on the islands are evidence of the archipelago’s strategic importance over the centuries.|
|We could definitely understand why Steve recommended the anchorage of Cala Lunga|
|Porto Palma to Cala Lunga – 16.4 nautical miles – 3 hours 20 minutes |
Average speed 4.9 knots – Maximum 5.8 knots. Motored all the way but still very pleasant.
|The work of mother nature sculpting the granite into amazing shapes has to be seen to be understood.|
|Our neighbours in Cala Lunga|
|When you carry too much mainsail in strong winds you’re heading where you want to go one minute…..|
|…and laid flat then rounded up ninety degrees the next. Time to put a reef in.|
|Cala Lunga to Maddalena – 8.3 nautical miles – 2 hours 41 minutes |
Average speed 3.2 knots – Maximum 7.8 knots
|Porto Mercantile at Maddelena is a very attractive little harbour.|
|Karen believes the wind is NEVER too strong to prevent wandering around the shops|
We were definitely saying ‘Better them than us’ as we watched the crews of about half a dozen chartered yachts that had been sheltering beside us make their preparations to leave harbour on Friday. Their boats had to be back at the various charter headquarters that day so they had no choice but to take on the 35-45 knots blowing outside. Fortunately most had reasonably short runs down the east coast and with the wind blowing offshore at least there was only a reasonably mild sea state to worry about however we certainly didn’t envy their trips back to base in the cold, blasting wind. You could see some of the teenage girls rugging up in wet weather gear and lifejackets, staring accusingly at their Fathers with that ‘You said this holiday would be fun’ look in their eyes.
|We were quite pleased it wasn’t us who had to head out into 35-45 knots |
blowing between the islands. That’s NOT fun.
We also took the opportunity to get on top of a couple of boat jobs while we were staying still. The spray dodger and bimini top came off and went to a sail maker to have some restitching done. For a very reasonable Fifty Euro each both came back looking much better and ready for duty again.
|Nice and calm in the sheltered bay at Palau|
By Saturday the forecasts indicated that things should finally settle down over night on Sunday so we planned a Monday run back up to Corsica. By Sunday we decided we’d probably discovered all there was to discover in Maddalena and decided to catch the ferry over to the town of Palau on the Sardinian mainland for something to do. The guide book described Palau as ‘a pleasant but unremarkable town’ and it lived up to its review. It was pleasant and we enjoyed a fantastic lunch with Steve and Trish at one of the many restaurants in there. It was entertaining watching the big ferries crabbing very sideways in the blustering winds as they plied their trade across the channel to and from Maddalena.
|Still pretty wild out in the channel though|
The weather guru’s got it right for a change and we finally got out of the marina on Monday morning and headed for Corsica. We had a moderate westerly blowing through the strait which provided us with a nice sail up towards Porto Vecchio on the east coast. As forecast, a big change did come through about lunchtime which saw a much milder wind coming from the north-east which left us to motor-sail the last ninety minutes or so up the coast.
|Approaching the marina at Porto Vecchio overlooked by yet another old walled town|
We went into the marina at Porto Vecchio where Steve and Trish were able to get a bus back to Bonifacio to pick up their car and return for a last night on board. They then treated the Alcheringa crew to a slap up dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants that evening and we all had a great time. Thanks guys. It wasn’t necessary but was certainly very much appreciated. We loved having you on board and hope we can do it again sometime.
Cost per night for our 43 foot (13.2m) yacht – 30.00 Euro (including VAT, water and power. WiFi was not provided but available free in many of the restaurants near the waterfront.
The harbour office responded promptly to our VHF radio call and we were met at the harbour entrance by two mariners in a rib and guided to our berth. Most of the marina pontoon berths appear to be permanent bookings or privately owned. Visitors are generally moored bow or stern to against the town wall on the southern side. The mariners provided friendly and very competent assistance. They will happily use their rib to push a bow into place if you have no thruster and need a shove. The small harbour provides excellent protection in virtually all weather. We experienced 40+knots in the marina with no problems at all.