Oct 29, 2014

Sailing in Italy - legs 4 & 5: Ischia – Procida

We had two more days to go, but as we were less than ten nautical miles from the charter company's base in Procida, we decided to take a relaxed schedule and sail around the island of Ischia counterclockwise. We overnighted in Marina Casamicciola, in which we were planning to stay already the day before, but decided to pass the harbour then due to the sudden increase in the wind speed.

The wind increased again in the afternoon, but not as much as the day before. When arriving to Casamicciola, I contacted harbour master with VHF and he showed us a berth in a pier, which is normally reserved for a bit larger yachts. However, as it was an off-season, there were plenty of vacant berths and this pier was the closest to the harbour master's office. The mooring lines were double as thick as normally, and it was a bit difficult to tie the rope to the small cleat. As usual we were the smallest boat in the pier.

Coffee and swimming break on an anchorage near Castello Aragonese

Marina Casamicciola

On the last sailing day, we had only a short leg to Procida left, so we were not in a hurry and took a bus to the Ischia Porto. 

In the afternoon it was time to say arrividerci to Ischia, and start the final leg. The wind was light, but we did not mind the relaxed sailing conditions. The boat (Beneteau Oceanis 37) logged the total of 100 nautical miles during the week.
/Antti & Minna

Back in Procida 

Amazing Marina Corricella was a filming location for the movie 'Talented Mr. Ripley' 

Oct 25, 2014

Sailing in Italy – leg 3: Positano – Capri – Ischia

After a badly slept night in a rolling mooring outside Positano, we continued early in the morning towards Capri. Last year, when visiting Capri, we stayed in a hotel overlooking the Marina Piccola, which is a beautiful popular anchorage on the southern side of the island. Thus, we were planning to anchor there for one night this year, but the conditions in Marina Piccola appeared to be even more bumpy than in Positano. As another night in a rolling boat did not seem like a tempting option, we decided to continue to Ischia island for the night. However, we took about half an hour swimming break in Marina Piccola and also lifted the dinghy on the deck for the leg to Ischia, as towing the dinghy appeared to be slowing us down a bit too much and we did not also want to risk capsizing the dinghy as there was quite a lot of swell. The dinghy had a rigid V-bottom, which made it much more stable under motor than our Plastimo, but it was also much more heavier to handle. Thus, lifting the dinghy on the deck in large swell turned out to be surprisingly difficult, although the large bathing platform helped a lot especially when handling the outboard engine.

Last glimpse of Positano

Approaching Marina Piccola

The wind picked up around noon, so our longest leg (40 nm) turned out to be also the best one in terms of sailing, although the wind slightly eased in the afternoon. However, we could keep on sailing all the way to Ischia.

Just a couple of miles from the port, the wind started to increase again and after about 10 minutes, the gusts had increased to about 30 knots (15 m/s). This sudden increase in the wind was totally unexpected. The wind was blowing over the island, so the sea remained almost flat. However, I did not feel comfortable with maneuvering this boat in an unknown port in such a wind, so we decided to continue to the next port on the other side of the island. I guess that the high mountains on Ischia accelerated the wind since the wind speed dropped to about half when arriving to Marina di Forio on the western side of the island.

S/Y Femme Fatale at Marina di Forio


 A wildfire broke out on a nearby mountain in the evening. 

Oct 21, 2014

Sailing in Italy – leg 2: Positano

On the second day, we continued towards Amalfi Coast which is located on the southern shore of the mountainous Sorrentine Peninsula. The shores are steep and the highest peaks reach up to over 1000 metres, so the scenery is dramatic. We decided to stop by at Positano, which is said to be the most beautiful village on the area. Consequently, it was also the most crowded and the most expensive place that we visited during the week. Nevertheless, the village and the surroundings were also breathtakingly beautiful.

Positano does not have a port so boats are anchoring or mooring about a couple of hundred meters from the shore. When arriving there, a marinero came to us with a RIB and showed a mooring buoy that we could use. The price for one night on the buoy was a bit on the high side – 60 euros. Although we could negotiate the price down to 50 euros, it is still by far the most that we have ever paid for a mooring without any services!

Positano is open to the sea so the anchorage can only be used in settled weather. The wind was calm during the day, but there was some southerly swell remaining. However, the number of passenger boats which drove almost at full speed to Positano were mostly responsible for the awkward cross-swell.

Like often seems to be the case, the swell worsened during the night and the boat started to roll uncomfortably on the mooring. First I tried sleeping in the fore peak without success, then in the aft cabin, but the most comfortable (and the quietest) place was eventually found from the cockpit. Luckily the night was warm...

Passing the island of Capri on the way to Positano 

Approaching Positano 

Swimming with the GoPro 

Oct 19, 2014

Sailing in Italy, Leg 1: Procida - Piano di Sorrento

A year ago we visited Naples and Capri, but we did not have a chance to go sailing then. This year we wanted to come back and explore the area with a sailing boat. As the distance from Finland is quite long, renting a boat from the spot seemed like a more attainable solution. Furthermore, as our time schedule was limited to five active sailing days, Gulf of Naples seemed to be a good choice as the area is not too large and at least some of the places were already familiar to us from our last year's trip. However, this time we wanted to see more original side of the area and spend less time on the polished and tourist-crowded streets of Capri.

The charter company's base is located on Procida, which is a small island close to the mainland Italy. The main village turned out to be one of the most beautiful and original villages that we visited during the week.

On Sunday, we opened up with about 18 nm leg across the Gulf of Naples towards Piano di Sorrento/Marina di Cassano. The wind was mostly light, but it increased during the afternoon to about 8-10 knots, so we had a chance to sail for an hour or so.

I did not mind the light wind conditions on the first day as the harbour maneuveres with a modern 37 foot boat and shorthanded crew and the Mediterranean mooring style in general required some practicing. However, in Italy it seems to be a custom, that a marinero from the harbour shows the vacant berth and helps with the lines. In Marina di Cassano, there were actually two of them and the other marinero jumped onboard from a neighboring boat to tie the mooring line to the bow. That was a very nice welcome and helps a lot, if you are sailing with a small crew.

Marina di Cassano is a beautiful small village by the steep hills. As it is not a famous tourist destination, a three-course menu in the waterfront restaurant cost about 10 euros. However, the harbour fee for someone who is used to sail in the Baltics, was quite high – 70 € per night in the off-season. However, we later learned that given the services of the harbour, it was actually one of the most reasonbly priced harbours in the area. But more about this in the next chapter.
/Antti & Minna

Oct 16, 2014

Greetings from Italy!

This year we decided to extend the sailing season in the warmer climate by chartering a boat from Italy. During the week we have been cruising in the Gulf of Naples and Amalfi Coast and our cruise ended today in the charter company's base on Procida island.

During the week, the weather was favorable and we even got wind everyday for sailing and the boat logged about 100 nautical miles during the five days' cruise. Here are a couple of photos from the cruise. Some of you might have already seen some of those pics in our Instagram or Facebook page.

Hi res photos and stories coming later when we get back to home.
/Antti & Minna

Porto di Pozzuoli, Napoli

#sailing in #Italy: Day 2. Passed #Capri #island on way to #Positano. #Beneteau #Oceanis37 #charter #Sunsail #instaboat #sail #sailingyacht #sailinstagram

Sunny #sailing day!

#Positano #anchorage #Amalfi #coast #sailing #Beneteau #Oceanis37 #charter #Sunsail #sea #mare #sailinstagram #instaboat #instatravel #Italy

Today we sailed around the #Isola D'Ischia.