The trip to Elba was 67 miles and with a forecast
of Force 4 southerlies it promised to be a great sail. Unfortunately the
forecast again let us down and we ended up having to motor almost the whole
way. The highlight of the trip turned out to be a remarkable salad nicoise
that Greg made for lunch.
We ended up at Marina di Campo, a bay on the south
of the island with a beautiful white sandy beach. It is Elba's main
tourist town but the old fishing village still maintains much of its
charm. We anchored in the bay and in the evening took the dinghy to the
shore for cocktails and a very nice meal.
That night the wind got up. We had seen that
there were gales in the Ligurian sea to the north and assumed that this was
just the edge. However the wind did not seem that strong and was forecast
to die down later in the day, so at lunchtime we decided to head round to the
north of the island and anchor within a short distance of the capital
Portoferraio - in anticipation of the arrival of Mark and Stacy on 9th.
Shortly after leaving the shelter of Golfe di Campo
we realised that we may have been a bit premature. The wind was not too
bad at first but the sea was pretty rough with white horses everywhere. As
we rounded the west coast of Elba and started along the north coast the wind
rose to 26+ knots and the sea was very steep with white horses everywhere.
Eventually we arrived at the bay we had hoped to anchor in. Once in
the bay, Ben had another spell on the helm, managing to stay on his feet
and helm with ease despite the rough conditions. But, as we came close to
the coast it was obvious that there was no way we could try and stay there
for the night and so made the decision to carry on to Portoferraio.
Portoferraio is a picture perfect town in a well
sheltered bay. After the very rolly trip it was a relief to drop the
anchor in calm water and relax.