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Date: 20 Aug 2006 13:09:59
Title: Porto Vecchio

Dear Friends
 
We're in a very sheltered anchorage in the Golfe de Porto Vecchio on the SE coast of Corsica: an excellent natural harbour that has been used for thousands of years. Apparently the Toreens invaded and took over from the megalithic culture around 1500 BC - so quite a while ago - and of course the Romans and Genoese made good use of the site, the present town dating from the Genoese.
 
We have the benefit of complimentary WiFi from the Casadelmar hotel just by us. so we managed our preferred Sunday morning routine of coffee and Sunday papers on the laptops.
 
 
(Casadelmar just over George's right shoulder.)
 
The marinas in the south seem a little busy and the word "complet" rings in our ears: I think this is partly as it's a busy area and partly because of the Sardinian tax bringing even more boats to Corsica. As we're self sufficient, we save plenty of money in berthing fees and the sea here was mirror-smooth last night and completetly silent, so much more pleasant than the marina anyway.
 
Since Campomoro, we spent a comfortable night in a tiny anchorage on the west coast and I decided to take the time to fix a stern line ashore to a rock, to keep us bows-on to the slight swell in the night. (The wind drops in the night and as Blue Sky swings at her anchor, she is part of the time beam-on to the swell, causing an uncomfortable rolling. If she is tied bows-on to the swell, the light pitching is much more comfortable and just rocks you to sleep.)
 
We did have a look at Bonifacio, an extraordinary port best viewed from an aerial photo I borrowed from the internet. South is top right of photo, the marina in the far left edge and our mooring arrowed.
 
 
Bonifacio is possibly the busiest habour we've ever seen (or hope to again!) and even though we arrived at midday there was no chance of getting a berth in the marina. You could virtually walk across the harbour by jumping between the boats, but fortunately we managed a complete tour without any bumps, though I couldn't say it was relaxing. We managed to moor stern-to the cliff as shown by the arrow, but as other yachts were coming and going all the time, often tripping each others anchors in the process, we decided not to go ashore and leave Blue Sky. The best strategy would be to anchor safely nearby and take a taxi to Bonifacio I think.
 
Here's another borrowed photo showing the harbour entrance, town beyond and the amazing limestone cliffs
 
 
We then came round the narrow channel on the southern tip of Corsica, making full use of our excellent nav systems and had a good night tucked in to a sheltered bay near some fish farms while a 4-5 wind kept blowing all night. The lesson in the morning was that you need to give the watermaker a sporting chance with some reasonably clean water - it didn't like the fish farm water at all and refused to make, but as soon as we got out into clear water it was fine.
 
In the coming week we plan to make our way back round the west coast to pick up Becky at Ile Rousse on the Bank Holiday Monday and then Barny 2 days later. We hope they manage the travel arrangements OK !
 
I'll sign off for now with the message that a french yacht has just anchored nearby, which as she went past us, showed the comforting name on the stern "Le Bar est Ouvert" - what good company!
 
Best Wishes
 
George and Michael
 

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