|Europeans love their tiny dinghies!|
|Typical Saturday crowded anchorage|
|Nope--those boats are not rafted up. They are|
'anchored' in the usual Italian way -- way overcrowded!
|Captain of the big boat did know how to anchor. The|
others did not. Owner was screaming at 2 boats that
were tangled up and dragging down on him.
|This little boat wanted to anchor that close to us. After|
seeing my face they moved farther away.
Boats dragged all day long both days that we were are Corricella. These people either do not know how to anchor or they simply do not care if they drag. Many of the boats would motor into the anchorage, flip their fenders over each side, and then drop the anchor...with just enough chain for the anchor to reach the bottom--no scope at all. Then they would drag back against another boat; partially lift their anchor; motor forward again; drop the anchor once again (again with no scope); and repeat this process. We watched one boat drag and repeat this process 5 times! Hey...wouldn't it be more enjoyable to just put out some more chain and stick in one place without having to worry about hitting another boat as you dragged through the anchorage? What a novel idea. Did not seem to bother any of them, though.
|Argonese castle at Ischia |
as viewed from southeast
|Argonese castle as viewed|
|Cala di Inferno on Isola Ponza|
Ponza turned out to be our favorite place (anchorage-wise) in all of Italy thus far. The island is beautiful. It reminded both of us very much of some places in Venezuela, like Mochima and some of the islands -- places that are gorgeous and no longer safe to visit. Ponza was so nice that we stayed longer than planned.
|Cala di Inferno on Isola Ponza|
The water delivery ship arrived and we had to move to a different spot in the Cala di Inferno anchorage. We never really figured out that water delivery ship. It would dock stern-to against a limestone cliff which had steps carved up to a very nice home on top. And there were doorways cut out of the limestone down near the sea level. Where were they off-loading and storing all that water which was delivered daily while we were anchored there?
|Cala di Inferno on Isola Ponza. Water ship docked at lower right area. Steps carved all the way up.|
What a view must be from that home on top.
|78-meter super yacht Ilona|
Note the helicopter on top rear.
|Red Sails in the sunset|
|93-meter super sailing yacht Eos|
|93-meter Eos on left|
78-meter Ilona on right
at Ponza -- a popular place for super yachts
On our final day anchored at Ponza an acquaintance arrived whom we had last seen in 2011 when our boats were transported aboard the cargo ship BBC Everest from Male, Maldives, to Marmaris, Turkey. He had worked as crew on one of the yachts transported, and now he crewed on a luxury yacht that visited Ponza. Wish I could say more about this yacht but I will respect privacy of the very wealthy and very well-known celebrity owner and leave it at that. It was nice having the opportunity to once again say hello to this crew member. Nice guy.
|Totally flat calm sea|
Early the following morning we departed for the overnight motor-sail to Sardinia. After watching the weather for weeks and seeing how nasty it can get in that area of the Med when the wind kicks up, we felt just fine with motoring in no wind at all over a flat calm sea. Listening the drone of the engine is not enjoyable for us any more than it is for any sailors, but that is preferable to bashing into 25 to 35-kt wind directly on the nose with seas breaking over the bow.
|Our gift from the sea -- one HUGE fender!|
|Tuna fighting at surface.|
Shortly after picking up the huge fender, the fishing line played out. Yay! A fish! It was a nice sized tuna, what we know as a big-eye tuna. This one did not fight like they usually do. It dove deep and swam right up to the stern of our boat. And then it decided to fight. I think Bill had a bit of fun bringing it in and Elisabeth got a kick out of it too. It took all 3 of us to get that fish on board.
|Tuna finally giving up the fight -- mostly.|
Bill ran a line through the gills and mouth and hung it on the stern arch. We handle fish a little differently than most of the sailors we know. This line through the gills and mouth is Bill's favorite thing to do with most fish. And always with tuna. Then he cuts off the tail and lets the fish bleed out while hanging out there. This takes no more than 10 - 15 minutes and the blood drips into the sea rather than on our boat. And tuna, in particular, does need to be bled out before cutting it up. He does this with all fish to reduce the mess onto the boat.
|Awww -- the gaff got him in the chest.|
A big-eye tuna.
This tuna netted more than 10-lbs of thick fillets. This is far more than we can eat while still fresh. I boiled about half of it in salted water in the pressure cooker; drained; then placed into vacuum sealed bags with a generous splash of olive oil. These went into the freezer as I do not have canning jars with rings and lids, but we do have a large freezer locker. Those will become tuna salad for sandwiches. Better than commercially canned tuna. We do enjoy freshly caught tuna and big-eye is one of our favorite types of tuna, second only to yellow-fin.
|Porpoises chasing our bow|
Also on the passage Elisabeth enjoyed being visited by pods of porpoises. Not just once, but 3 times! One pod had at least 30 dolphin! Wow! That was the largest pod of porpoises that we have seen in the Med. Only one pod came to play with our bow.
|Porpoises playing with our bow|
|Dolphin rolling in our bow wake.|
Moving too fast to get clear photos.
Sunset was especially pretty on this day. With the sea so calm and the cloudless sky. The barometric pressure was high at 1020.9 and this contributed to the lack of clouds and the clear sky. Conditions were perfect to see the green flash but neither Elisabeth nor I saw it as the sun dropped below the horizon. Maybe we blinked.
|Sunset on the Tyrrenhian Sea on 01 July 2015|
|Sunrise on Tyrrhenian Sea on 02 July 2015|
|Moon setting over Sardinia at sunrise on 02 July 2015|
It was a full moon on the night of this passage. This enabled Elisabeth to see something that she did not know happens -- the sun and moon both visible in the sky at the same time, both at sunset and at sunrise.
There just is something special about this experience at sea.
We arrived at Sardinia shortly after sunrise on the southern side of Isola Tavolara. This is an unusually shaped island, quite prettily shaped topography with the spiked high hill. We motored over to the large anchorage at Porto della Taverna. This area is part of the Isola Tavolara and Capo Coda Cavallo Marine Reserve and is zoned C.
|More shade for my DS|
in the shade of the cockpit.
Calm passages are boring.
Nothing to do but play games.
When not retrieving gifts from the
sea like fenders or catching tuna.
Zone C restrictions for this marine reserve states: "Navigation is not subject to any regulations, but mooring is restricted to authorised (sic) mooring buoys. Diving and sport fishing with static lines and rods permitted." Well...that sounds just fine. Except that there are no mooring buoys in any of the first 3 anchorages that we checked, whether authorized mooring buoys or non-authorized mooring buoys. Boats were anchored in all 3 of the first anchorages we checked, so we also anchored.
|Isola Tavolara on ENE coast of Sardinia.|
Viewed from our anchored boat in Porto della Taverna.
Seeing this first-hand explains some of the verbiage in the sailing guidebook that had confused me. Often the author states for a particular bay or cove that zoning is in place and restrictions apply. And then in the very next sentence he proceeds to state that one should anchor at such-and-such a location in such-and-such depth, etc. I could not figure out why he tells boats to anchor if there are no-anchoring restrictions for the area.
The answer is clear now.
Because there are no freakin' mooring buoys and boats have no other option other than to anchor when visiting this region of coast of Sardinia.
(Until we find some marinas.)
By the way, most of us think of the Mediterranean Sea as simply one sea. However, thus far we have crossed the Aegean Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea -- all of which are in the Mediterranean Sea. This leaves only the Alboran Sea for us to cross to complete the total width of the Med.