|Friday 24 May
Left Sardinia and headed for a group of islands off the south east coast of Corsica. These islands, including Cavallo, where we anchored, where a very unique landscape – many contorted and weather rocks just stacked up reaching out of water.
Saturday 25 – Monday 27 May
As the weather is changing it’s time to push on so we headed further north and anchored near Porto Vecchio which will be home for the next couple of days.
Had to re-anchor a couple of times – dragged in soft mud. Took diesel which was a bit stressful as the wind was blowing us off the pontoon making it very difficult to latch on to the bollards – but we got there in the end. The station was closed so no assistance for getting on. Needed to wait 1 ½ hours until it reopened.
Tuesday 28 May
Left the anchorage just before midday and headed for Elba which would be a night passage.
Wednesday 29 May
Anchored in one of the large bays on the south side of the island. Very nice but unfortunately there was a swell rolling in so made it a tadd uncomfortable when trying to catch up on some sleep.
Thursday 30 May
Moved around the island to Porto Azzurro which is just delightful. As our outboard is still out of action Gen rowed us to the shore where we had lunch and were able to complete some provisioning.
(The municipality of Porto Azzurro is in the central-eastern part of the Island of Elba. Visitors arriving in the town by sea or by land will immediately notice the massive San Giacomo Fort, built in the early 17th Century atop the promontory that dominates the town by the Spanish, who wished to control and defend the surrounding area. In the late XIX Century the fort became a civilian prison, and it was for this reason that in 1947, when Elba’s tourist industry was in its infancy, the decision was taken to change the village’s name from Porto Longone to the more appealing Porto Azzurro.)
Friday 31 May – Monday 3 June
Moved further around the island and anchored off Portoferraio – the view of the town is amazing. Only downside is the constant movement of ferries which creates a bit of a wobble.
Got the outboard working on Saturday so headed off to the harbour and wandered around the town. Visited Napoleon’s house, which was great, and just enjoyed this wonderful town. On Sunday we went to the international/european food festival which was very atmospheric especially as there various market stalls selling great produce.
(Arriving by sea, visitors to Portoferraio, capital of Elba, are welcomed by the view of its lovely, safe Darsena Medicea, or Medici Harbour, protected by the massive fortifications built by Cosimo I de’Medici, who renamed the town Cosmopoli in the XVI Century. Today, the remains of this impressive defensive project can be seen in the Forte Falcone and Forte Stella, the two forts which, with their connecting bastions, overlook the sea and are linked to the Martello Tower, the first defensive structure encountered when entering the semicircular old harbour. The XVIII Century Forte Inglese or English Fort, originally the San Giovanni Battista Fort, to the west of the old town, was the last part of Portoferraio’s defences to be built.
Portoferraio is therefore very rich in history, with many thrilling and fascinating reminders of past times. Although the town’s urban structure virtually all dates from the late Renaissance, first the Ligurian tribes, then the Greeks and after them the Romans all appreciated the strategic importance of a settlement in this location, and have left us wonderful traces of their presence, such as the ruins of the Grotte and Linguella Villas. Napoleon Bonaparte‘s period of exile on the island also left a lasting impression on Elba, and especially in its capital. The Palazzina dei Mulini with its panoramic cliff-top gardens and the outlying Villa di San Martino, the Maison Rustique with the adjoining Demidoff Gallery, are only a part of the Emperor’s priceless cultural heritage.)
Monday 3 June
Time to push on and we are in desperate need of water (our watermaker is on No.2). Went to Mariciara marina on Elba and basically spent the whole afternoon and next morning doing laundry.
The little down is a delight with some very good wine bars and restaurants.