Sunday 24 August - Pontine Islands. 40:54.954N 12:57.981E

Charles & Maggie Bevis
Sun 24 Aug 2014 18:32
We escaped from Rome this morning! After 10 days in port we were itching for a change; we said farewell to Max on Saturday evening and were up early to get the 08:00 bridge lift.

The weather was forecast to be a NW 3-4 so, trusting chap that he is, our skipper we set off only to find a brisk SW 4-5! Plus a significant swell from the NW.
So not a comfortable passage after all and no sunshine - but we cracked along, easily bettering our required average speed of 6knots. The boat motion was uncomfortable and the skipper’s popularity fell exponentially as the passage progressed. That, and we took two big seas on board.

As we approached the main island in the chain I feared the anchorage on the south side would be too rough (ropy-poly). However, all was well except that there must be upwards of 200 boats at anchor. The number of yachts was a real surprise as we had seen only a handful of yachts on the 9 hour sea passage; I guess they all sail up from the Naples area. This is the last week of the Italian summer holidays so with any luck the density of cruising yachts encountered (and the harbour dues?) should start to diminish.

For those of a nautical bent we have anchored in the second bay from town (Cala D’Inferno). The bay adjacent to the town is a no-go area reserved for ferries and the very rich. The next bay to the east was full and finding a clear spot proved impractical. The second bay was less heavily populated and we have anchored on sand quite close inshore in 3.7m of crystal clear water. I swam down to look at the anchor and found the sea bed to be really fine sand; probably not good holding in a real blow but quite good enough for our purposes. I got all excited thinking I could see two conch shells near the anchor but sadly, on close inspection, these turned out to be white plastic bags!