Ischia and Salermo

Rob and Jacky Black
Sat 11 Jul 2009 07:42
40 49.1N 13 57.7E
We motor-sailed again to get to Ischia but as the wind picked up we had the full headsail out and managed to sail for an hour. We approached the island on the N.W corner and then sailed along this coast checking out various bays for a suitable spot to anchor for the night. It was very busy everywhere being a Saturday but eventually we arrived off the old Castle where there are two options either north side or south side. The wind was NW so we tried to find a spot on the south side but it was packed with numerous small ribs and day boats plus several large super cruisers. the only space was in 20 plus metres depth so we went back to the north side by which time the wind was dying anyway. This bay was fine apart for wash from all the day boats at the end of the day returning back to their moorings in the bay off Ischia town. Once they had all left we had a super quiet evening with little to disturb us - just some 'pop' music from somewhere ashore and the bells of the very ancient church which seemed to chime the hour and half hour rather intermittantly. The water temperature here was 27.2 degrees and it was very warm with little wind so even Rob had a couple of swims!
The castle was beautifully lit at night and with the full moon rising behind it the setting was wonderful! The following day we set off round the south of the island and then across to Capri hoping to find a bay to stop for lunch. Unfortunately this was not to be - everywhere was again so packed we decided to head on for the mainland coast. On our passage from Ischia we saw at long last some evidence of life in the sea! First of all we witnessed masses of fish which seemed to be jumping - disturbing the surface of the water all over the place and quite randomly. Then we had a pod of dolphins come to play around the boat and soon after they had left the fish were again jumping - we concluded that the dolphins were chasing the fish!
Capri was interesting in that there were some very impressive cliffs and off lying 'piton' type structures something like the Needles but granite; it was also very green with trees and shrubs growing down to sea level on the rocky slopes. There were some stunning villas and hotels to see too.
We left there and motored across the straights to the mainland and then along the coast with a detour to a small group of islets which are part of a Marine Protection area. In the Pilot book it told us we could anchor or pick up 'park' buoys and we were hopeful this would prove a good stopping place for us. On arrival we found two tiny islets and an allmost enclosed stretch of water between them where the depths were suitable to stop. However everyone and their grandmother had the same idea and again there was no room on either side of the larger islet Galli to stop in a suitable depth for us and there were no buoys to be seen! Some of the larger boats were anchored in 60 metres!
Interestingly we witnessed the arrival of the coastguard vessel and instantly all the boats in the small enclosed cove up anchored and disappeared! So again the pilot book was wrong.
We gave up and headed across to the mainland where we eventually found a spot off the high cliffs a slight bay where we were able to anchor in 8 metres. There were about 10 other boats here when we arrived at 1600. Some 800 feet above us the famous Amalphi road wound along and at night we could see the headlights of the cars - quite weird! By 2000 all the other boats had gone so we had a lovely quiet night with the bay to ourselves.
The following morning we motored along the coast taking photographs of Positano and Amalphi before arriveing in Salermo.