Sailing South

6/20

The sail to Calvi was spectacular! Dolphins hung on our bows for almost an hour, and we saw whales on the horizon. The boat handled it well, and so did our new guests who are seasoned sailors. 

Upon arrival a young man zoomed up asking us if we wanted a mooring and we said YES!

We got front row seats for the Citadel and once again were struck with awe on how old and beautiful Europe is.

The young man also told us in broken English the Jelly Fish had just arrived and when we looked overboard we were shocked at massive quantities of jellies swarming El Gato.

Eric found a way to avoid them and check the mooring and no stings! No one else dared. He is, as Helena says, a “baddass”!

We had a very nice dinner of moules (mussels) and pizza on shore overlooking the port viewing our yacht in the background. A perfect ending to a very long day.

The next day we hiked around the point and saw where the Corsicans claim Christopher Columbus was born. Napoleon Bonaparte was born here too.DSC_4025

Photo taken from our bathroom (head) window!!

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Next stop was Girolata. After 5 hours of superb sailing we rounded a corner and were blessed with huge red rock formations reminding us of Moab – just add water.

Day Trippers were weaving in and out of the rocks and Platt was snapping away with his nice camera. Wishing Christy was here to take photos too!

A French couple invited us onboard for fresh caught tuna and a special rum drink. Michelle had a garden down below on their 32’ Beneteau named Clipper. They joined us later for dinner on El Gato and it was fun evening sharing stories and ideas of where to go next.

We sailed to the Isles de Sanguinaires, close to Ajaccio, the capitol, dropping anchor next to a big blue trimaran. Ajaccio is a typical big Euro city. Not as charming as others, but the fresh  market was great with dried meats and cheeses and vendors giving us rose vin and laughing at my “OMG!” exclamations on the size and flavors of the fruits. We lunched in a back alley with the owner showing us photos of his family in his 400 year old section of a building that was a bit cave like.

The French desserts are the best. No contest.  We sometimes have them before our meals they are so ridiculously tasty.

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This market was small and abundant in the heart of Calvi. We bought some wine for our new cellar (clean and dry bilge) and it has my name on it. One bottle for each special port when we can.

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Michelle and Jean Marie sharing their fresh catch with us.

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The Eat Sail Love flag flies for the first time in the Med!
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The best part of our lunch.

Early evening we motored to what we called Santa Barbara (Sainte-Barbe) and typical of our California city, some young adults who were inebriated paddled over on a funny boat with a slide, and boarded us for more wine. Corsicana pirates! 

Porto Pollo was all about hiking to Filatosa, the prehistoric capitol of Corsica. The Menhirs, mysterious carved granite monoliths are dated back to 1800BC. They were like Stonehenge. 

Next morning was Father’s Day and we cooked the men a champagne breakfast and gave them their new shorts we bought in Ajaccio. Nice legs! 

Bonifacio. We were warned of it’s beauty upon entering. The photos almost do it justice…  Mooring at rush hour was a new challenge. And mooring in a calanque, a narrow fiord, with a catamaran in a side wind, and trying to find a mooring line that actually had an anchor attached was not easy. Thankful we had seasoned sailors onboard to help and not panic as we needed all hands on deck except for Eric’s as he jumped in the dinghy to tie us to rocks. All worth it in the end. Our elder neighbors were not so lucky. They blew right onto us. Nancy and I fended them off with every fender we had and the boys ran lines to them with El Raton. 

As for the city, it was great!  It was our one year anniversary evening so we all dressed up and went to town. There were live bands and Dj’s along the waterfront, a regatta of Bordeaux’s in sizes ranging from 52-65’ celebrating, and super yachts showing off front and center. But the best part was the sky. Looking up and seeing pink streaks between the fiord, the castle lit up with changing colors.

A delicious dinner of thon (tuna) and home by 1AM. Yep, when you arrive at 4 and have put off your late lunch so you can see the entrance, then struggle with finding then implementing a mooring, you have lunch at 6PM and dinner at 11PM.

So far it’s my favorite venue.

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Never too many Moules!

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Corsican mascot.

Sardinia has same guy times four on their flag.

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A sea of cairns.

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Helping our elders.

On to Sardinia!

We sailed past Lavezzi to Santa Maria. Mostly rocky islands and beautiful blue waters.  Then we anchored in Liscia, right across from a big windsurf and kiting beach, and close to 2 superyachts owned by same person who clearly loved toys. Every water toy imaginable was seen including the kind that shoot you out of the water. We rented sailboards and played together and it felt good to use some old muscles.

Now as we sail south towards Cagliari to meet friends, we are catching fish and eating it raw and cooked. The Johnson’s are very good chefs and eaters so there is no chance of losing weight or being hungry and everyone is enjoying the different meals that Platt loves to prepare.  Shopping is a trip on it’s own and we are slowly trying to remember to say things in Italian and not French.

The cruising life is taking over slowly but surely and Eric is even testing out facial hair. He’s never gone this long without shaving so it’s fun watching the transformation! The other night we went to Phi Beach and I swear he looked like Richard Branson but handsomer.P1050200

Leaving the French market in Antibes.  Now we look forward to fresh pasta!!!

4 thoughts on “Sailing South”

  1. I worked with Dave Bina and are reaching Gibraltar on June 30th in our Oyster 49, S/Y Unconditional. We are headed up to Barcelona, across Southern France (late July), down to Bonifacio & Sardinia (early August), etc. Where are headed?

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    1. We are leaving Sardinia tomorrow for Sicily, then on to the Greek Islands which everyone says we can’t miss, and back towards the Balearics in September.
      You will LOVE Corsica and Sardinia, so take your time here. Less crowds, super cool people, and as always great wine and food.
      We just left a small island called San Pietro on the SW coast of Sardinia. Try and go there! Bonifacio, well it is very special for sure.
      Our e mail is tradewindadventures@gmail.com and you know what El gato looks like so maybe we will cross paths! Ciao and safe travels.

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      1. We should try to cross paths! I am in Ibiza at the moment, and overnight to Valencia, then Barcelona before France. We land vacation in Sardinia every year, and of course love Corsica – Al & Sara

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