Scario via Amalfi
40:03.239N 15:29.725E Wed 22nd Jun 2016
It was not far to our next destination of Amalfi and we decided that we could cope with motoring the 20 miles or so in zero wind. The scenery of the Amalfi coast is quite spectacular and we really enjoyed the views from seaward. There are pretty old watchtowers on almost every outcrop or (barely) accessible steep slope from the days when attack by sea was an ever present threat. We nosed into lovely Positano for a closer look and then reached Amalfi by 11.30 am. We anchored first around the corner from the main bay but decided it was a bit dull as well as surprisingly rolly there, so after a quick swim, we chose a great spot in the main bay - empty of other boats at this early time. The town has a slightly shabby air to it these days but a thousand years ago it was a very important republic with strong links to Byzantium and the Arab world and had a large trading fleet. In the afternoon we did manage to find a spot for our dinghy in the little marina and then walked up through the winding lanes to the massive duomo (cathedral) in the main square. It has an amazing frontage which is quite a mixture of Byzantine and Moorish styles complete with bronze doors made in Constantinople around 1066! In the crypt are the supposed remains of St. Andrew housed in an ornate baroque setting and elsewhere there are 11th and 12th century frescoes and a lovely Arab style cloister. It was the definite highlight of a visit to the town which has its own rather lovely flag in a vivid blue with a Maltese type white cross in the middle. We returned later to eat in one of the restaurants tucked up an atmospheric alleyway, but the food was indifferent and expensive. Guess this is only to be expected in such a popular tourist destination.
Amalfi & backdrop:
The next morning we left in still, quite misty conditions and managed some slow sailing to windward for a while. We then motored along another stretch of dramatic coast and around Cape Palinuro, passing numerous large caves, gorges and frequent watchtowers again. It was a strange, overcast day with no other boats about and when we arrived in Scario around 6pm we anchored outside the little harbour all on our own. We looked forward to another visit here as we loved it when we came in “Red Panda”. It is a very pretty little spot and popular with the more discerning Italian holiday makers and is beautifully kept with no litter or graffiti. It has this wonderful bell tower which chimes every quarter of an hour so you never need a watch! During our night at anchor, there was very impressive thunderstorm and the weather has continued to be close and still with overcast afternoons and frequent thunder since then. As a result we are spending some time here and moved into the harbour from the anchorage to be more comfortable for a while. It has also allowed David to get out his hookah compressor and dive under the boat to do some maintenance and clean the hull. It is very physically demanding exercise and the water quality in the harbour is not brilliant, but it badly needed doing. We hope he has improved the power of the bowthrusters which were clogged up with lots of growth including several mussels. Eating out here is a much better bet as less touristy and last night we had excellent pizzas at only €6 each! So it isn’t a bad place to be waiting for some wind, but that is not in any forecast yet, so we may have to be very patient or do some significant motoring passages soon.