Italia di continuo Brindisi to Lavagna
Italia di continuo
Toad didn’t want Rat & Mole to have all the fun!
Last missive saw us tied up at the town wall at
Funny when we checked out of
Interestingly, communication was easier in
The position reports are so the pins go in the map in the correct places so that our journey is plotted around the coast line. Hope it wasn’t too confusing?
harbour. That’s the big screen in the back ground, part of the festival.
After two days in
From here it was a succession of days, with over night stops. First was Capo Rizzuto then to the nearly abandoned marina at Ionica Roccella. I think it was built to use lots of European money and even more mafia concrete. The water only worked after I had done some running repairs, no electricity, 1 in 4 of the dock lights worked, grass and weeds forcing the way up through the very sub-standard concrete and no charges. No one to collect any. Did get a reasonable pizza though, it was about a foot wide and three feet long!
The weeds have taken over! Just liked the name!
Kept heading west and refuelled at Reggio Calabria before pushing on through the Straits of Messina and over night anchorage at Marina Grande di Scilla. No marina that is the town’s name. Lots of restaurants on rickety wharfs and docks and we dinghy ashore for a fish meal. Lovely!
This is a sword fishing boat. Apparently the fish sleep on the surface and the guy on the top
of the tower spots the slumbering fish and they sneak up with a harpooner
at the end of the extremely long bowsprit who plunges a harpoon
into the poor unsuspecting fish!
The 10th of July saw us motor sail again all day and once again tie up at a mafia type marina, no charges again, at Cetraro. A very helpful Franco helped us tie up and then put his hand out for a tip. Was upset I only gave him €25. However he did own the local restaurant and with the aid of an Italian off the yacht, Casse Noisette II, docked beside us (Valerio and his girlfriend Wendy) we managed to have a good meal at a reasonable price. I hate to think what it might have cost if we had been on our own! We had a bugger of a night here, with a heavy sea running outside, a nasty swell was rolling into the harbour and Southern Princess worried the dock all night. Thought we would pull out a cleat and I woke at 02:00, stayed on deck semi-awake until 05:00 and we departed. It was too rough outside to go anywhere so we anchored under the lee of the groin and rolled all day. Irene and I slept and pottered around while the yacht rolled her scuppers under. Doesn’t look good for tomorrow!
12th July the wind had moderated a little so we decided to go for it. Motored all day with the staysail up as a steadying sail and at one stage we had 27 knots over the deck. On arrival at Porto di Agropoli we managed to fluke a berth at one of the yacht club pontoons and with the assistance of a very helpful Pedro made tight to the dock and plugged into water and electricity. At Pedro’s recommendation we made a booking at il Cormorano restaurant and had the best meal of 2007.
Antipasto; consisted of 10 small individual plates one of savoury beans, & chickpeas, then one each of soused sardines, eggplant & aubergines, octopus, sautéed potatoes, tuna & peppers, grilled peppers & tomatoes, grilled peeled prawns and finally stuffed mussels on the half shell.
Prima Patti; Langoustine, small local crayfish cut in half and grilled with butter & garlic.
Secondi Patti; Irene had Trigoli, 3 small red mullet grilled with the scales on and the guts in, I had oven baked local fish with clean white meat, boned at the table and surrounded by roasted cherry tomatoes.
The wine was a Greco di Tufo, by Fratelli Urciuilo a fine dry white with honey and fruit overtones.
We weren’t surprised that it had two Michelin crossed “fork & knife” classification. What ever that means but they were proud of it! Don’t know how they made money though, they had a maître’d, two waiters, a chef and kitchen staff and a cash register girl: we arrived at 21:00 and departed at 22:30 and apart from one other couple that was it unless they expected some late arrivals.
The next day we had the Yanmar main motor serviced, shopped in town and went back to il Cormorano for some more of the same. Great food.
From there we headed to Amalfi but without a reservation couldn’t stay so we overnighted in a small bay called Marina de Nerano. Then it was the Isola di Ponzo where we anchored out in a bay close by the town and dinghy'd ashore. Ponzo is a delightful town painted onto the hillside in delicate pastels. The inner harbour was a school of fishing boats all huddled together for protection behind a small stone wall.
On the 16th we departed at 05:00 for Santa Marinella and the
whole day the sea was glassy calm with nary a whisper of breeze. The
July 17th was a red letter day. We arrived at Isola del Giglio and a planned meeting with Terry & Christine Moran off Sedna. We were at their wedding in Whale Beach Sydney last March. Great to see them again. Chrissie & I climbed up to the Castle on the hill. It was 6 klms by road and we reckoned about 2 or 3ks straight up the hill so we took the short route. Bloody hell trying to keep up with a 40 year old and I had sore legs for a couple of days!
We have been travelling with them now for 12 days and during
that time we have been to Porto Azzuro on
Both these pics
Then on to Capraia the last island in this group apart from one other which is used as a prison farm and has a 3 nm safety zone around it, read about this one before hand! Harbour was full so anchored out and had BBQ pork on board.
Got back to the boat to find that the storm at sea was pushing a huge swell into the harbour and Southern Princess was grinding against the wall. I spent the rest of the night on deck trying to keep the fenders in place but in the end the covers were ripped off the fenders and the grit from the town wall transferred to the hull and we now have some relatively expensive cutting and polishing to do. So the town wall was not free after all.
As soon as we could in the morning we got off the wall and
Around 11:00 up anchor and motored slowly north along the Cinque Terra and arrived at Marina Lavagna with 1600 berths. It is so large that we don’t walk the docks, we dinghy across to the office. The marinara who tied us up (not much English) recommended the restaurant on the marina which he insisted was called the Aussie Restaurant and he made a reservation for 21:00. Had a bit of trouble finding it until we realised that he meant the Oasis! Main course was black and white spaghetti. Half the spaghetti was died with squid ink and the other not. This was mixed together and then had mussels, clams, prawns and fish piled on top. Beautiful presentation and great tastes.
Lavagna is a superb town. In its infancy there were a number of exquisite walled town homes built, with detailed ornate fenestration, however most of the population could not afford this and the houses were just plastered, however they are now beautifully painted in a manner, similar to tromp l'oiel, which mimics the houses with the detailed fenestration. The effect is so good that it took quite a while before we understood what we were looking at.
Apart from the balconies, all the other fenestration is paint!
Met Roberto & his son Stephano of Di-Tech Sails and they altered the MPS and the light weight genoa so that they could be used effectively on roller furling.
It is now Sunday July 29th and we sadly leave Christine and
Terry. They are off to
That's all for this instalment,
John & Irene