21 July 2011
The weather looked like the winds would come from the east making Porto Azzuro a bad place to be. They already started in the morning and the boat rolled around at anchor. Looking at the upcoming weather there would be strong winds to the north of Elba making the northern port not so nice again. So we abandoned Elba and headed to a marina on the mainland to the north. Marina Cala di Medici was the destination. The seas were large and grew more during the trip. Elba protected us from most of the swells while we headed north but later in the day the sea really grew. According to the pilot guide the entrance to the marina was usable in all weather and they were correct. But entering a shallow marina with 2-3 meter seas following is not nice. No issue and the marina staff was readily at hand once we entered. We were followed by a 58 foot powerboat that had a tough time entering. Following seas with powerboats is not good. The captain told me he had one engine in full reverse and the other forward to try and keep it pointed the right way. They were very unsettled once inside.
Once inside it seemed fine and we registered for two nights. Over the next few hours the seas continued to build and the surge in the marina became larger. A couple of very nice local yacht club guys came over and helped us pull the boat tighter get it further away from the concrete dock wall. It seems they are well acquainted with the surge in the marina. As it built we ripped apart one of the steel springs on the stern lines. The yacht club found another rubber spring that shattered within ten minutes. We ended up having six lines going to stern and two mooring lines up front. Still the boat yanked back and forth all night. Great fun for the surfers outside the marina but not for the boats inside. Very poor location for a marina. It is a very nice facility that is home to several hundred local yachts but I would not want to be located here.
In the morning the 58 foot powerboat guy and myself (we met already in Salina) talked it over and decide to leave and head to La Spezia where the protection is better and the weather less severe.
This is what was behind us entering the marina. Pictures do not do it justice.
Here are the surfers at the marina entrance. These waves are huge. Whoever said the Med is calm is crazy. I also think that the fact that these surfers are here every week tells you that this is a place not to keep your boat.
Inside it looks so calm but the surges are ripping and tearing lines on many boats.