Cruising the Tuscan Islands

On Thursday morning, we departed Porto Ferraio on Mercier to make our way to Porto Azzuro.  We almost feel guilty, once again stating the skies were a brilliant blue, the sun was shining, as we know it has been cold in Oz, but you will eventually see the photos anyway.

As Porto Azzurro came into view we saw the buildings were of every shade of gelato and there was a big fortress on the hill overlooking the harbour. As we entered, we were stopped by the Carabinieri in a motor launch.  He asked for our papers, listing what was necessary and handed out a fishing net so that James could drop in over water: insurance documents,  passports, boat registration and ownership papers and Jame’s Certificate for his ICC qualilfication.  We waited, staying close to their stern, until they handed us back all the documents again with the fish net over water a mere 90 metres deep.

Carabinieri examine our papers

We decided to anchor in the the harbour, so we could have a bbq in the evening. The bay is protected from three sides so it is a very comfortable anchorage, clean enough to swim and room for quite a few boats. We also had the added entertainment of a team rowing something like a surf boat around the harbour with a very vocal Cox, exhorting them to greater efforts. They were very practiced, each oar working inline with their teammates’.

Backstreet of Porto Azzuro

We took the tender into the town and wandered around, looking at buildings and shops, buying a few items for the BBQ and of course, enjoying a gelato.

mmmm Gelato

There is a great deal of pride taken all over Italy by local makers of artigianale gelato; some use honey and cream and flavours are quite diverse.  Gelato seems to be the reward we have for climbing stairs or taking a long walk or having a long sail. We took a photo of our Porto Azzurro’s gelato- scrumptious.

Our next stop was to be Isola del Giglio, an email from April, reminded us that the Costa Concordia would be there. We wondered if it was still there and if we would see it. Sadly you couldn’t miss it and sailing by you think of the 32 poor souls that weren’t expecting to perish, so close to shore on a pleasure cruise.


Costa Concordia
Note the rock still in the gash

As it turned out the harbour didn’t have room for us at Giglio, which was a pity because it looked really interesting from the sea, so we motored on to Isola di Giannutri, an almost empty island with an anchorage  surrounded on two sides by sea gull breeding grounds.  It wasn’t possible to eat on the stern, because we would have had to many uninvited guests.

Porto di Giglio

Now we are going back to the mainland of Italy. Ciao Bella