Monday, September 16, 2013

Napoli to Alghero

As usual weather deteriorated when my old sailing friends Gerhard Rothfuss and Gerhard Westphal came on board to sail along the last leg of our cruise to Alghero.  So August 25th 2013, when we sailed to Capri, we had a heavy thunderstorm with strong hail and 8 Bft gale. We ran for shelter east of Faraglioni rocks and then anchored near Marina Piccola.

Next day in high waves, nice weather and nice wind we rounded Capri and sailed to our usual anchor place in Ischia Ponte, where we enjoyed again a  nice dinner at Da Ciccio. Next morning we sailed north to Gaeta, where we moored at Base Nautica Flavio Gioia in heavy rains and had a four course fish dinner economically priced at Trattoria la Cianciola.

Next day we bunkered food and gasoil and sailed tacking north to Anzio, where we arrived late at night and anchored between Anzio Harbor and Nettuno. Early next morning we proceeded via Ostia and Fiumiccino to Santa Marinella, where we anchored in front of the harbor. On August 30th we sailed further northwest via Civitavecchia to Porto Ercole where we moored at Pontili Albatros  and had a fine dinner at Il Gambero Rosso.

Next morning we sailed first to Isola Gianutria, where we anchored in Cala Schiavone and enjoyed swimming in clear turquoise waters. Then we continued north to Isola Giglio, where we found the wreck of MS Costa Concordia in front of the harbor, the works for righting her up in full progress. We anchored near Punta Smeralda and ate pancakes with the inimitable apricot jam cooked by Mrs. Westphal.
Next day we sailed further north to Elba, visited various bays and anchored finally east of Marina di Campo.

On September 2nd we left Elba and headed west to Corsica, where we were lucky to find a mooring place in Bastia Vieux-Port. We bunkered some food and had a good dinner at A Casarella. Early next morning we took the small train to Corte, where we visited the old town and its castle. In the afternoon we sailed south during the night and anchored at 5am east of Porto Vecchio in Baie di Stagnolu.

After getting some sleep we explored the large bay round Porto Vecchio and continued southwest thru the famous Piantarella Passage to Bonifacio, where we moored near the Capitanerie. We climbed up to the old town and had dinner at Cantina Doria. Next day we explored the impressive surroundings of Bonifacio, had lunch at La Poudrière and dinner at Kissing Pigs.

On September 6th we rounded the Maddalena Archipel and encountered a lot of Maxi Yachts racing for the Rolex Cup. Finally we anchored in quiet Liscia Bay and Dr. Westphal cooked his famous "Erdäpfelgulasch".

Next morning we rounded Capo Testa and after some nice sailing we moored in the harbor of Isola Rossa.

Next day we sailed west passing CastelSardo, tacking in Golfo Asinara and finally moored in Stintino , where we were in the middle of a Processione a Mare for la Beata Vergine della Difesa  and enjoyed long fireworks with music. On September 9th we rounded Isola Asinara in very nice winds, speeding us up to 9 knots and had a delicious fish dinner back in Stintino at Da Antonio.

Early next morning against a rather heavy northwest wind we ventured the famous Fornelli Passage. Once through we turned south and sailed along the commanding west coast of Sardinia, passing Capo Argentiera and Isola Plana on our rainy way to Alghero, where we moored at our final destination in Marina Aquatica  in Alghero.

The next days we explored the beautiful city and surroundings of Alghero  with our resident friends Ilse, Francesco, Willy and Milly. On September 14th we took our friends for a nice sailing trip from Lazaretto, Capo Galera, Porto Conte, Capo Caccia back to Alghero.

We enjoyed a lot of good restaurants:
Mabrouk for a fabulous fish feast,
La Botteghina for real pizza,
Trattoria Maristella for honest traditional food,
Angedras Restaurant for delicous seafood with a nice view and
Al Refettorio for best traditional food and very good wines.

We sailed 678sm in 130 hours. You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sailing Highlights near Napoli

My next crew consisting of four competent and well-trained ladies arrived in Marina di Stabia on August 17th 2013. We celebrated the start of our cruise with a delicious fish dinner at Piazetta Milu. Next day we sailed via Golfo di Sorrento to Capri, where we anchored south of Marina Piccola and I cooked my well-tried Risotto al Limone.

Next day we sailed east via Positano to Amalfi, where we again moored at Aniello Esposito's place and had dinner at Ristorante Il Mulino.
In the morning, after a good breakfast at the traditional Pasticceria Pansa and some shopping we sailed northwest to the small harbor of Marina di Chiaiolella. We enjoyed a good dinner at Ristorante Crescenzo.

Next morning we went to Procida town by bus and visited the castle and the old churches. After a swim we tacked northwest to Ventotene, where we anchored east of the harbor. Because of high waves and a lot of northeasterly wind it was not advisable to use the dinghi for landing, so we stayed onboard. Next morning the wind decreased and we sailed back to the south coast of Ischia, where we stopped for a nice swim at Maronti Beach.

In the evening we sailed further east to Ischia Ponte and anchored again south of Castello Aragonese, where we savoured a nice local dinner at Da Ciccio. On August 23rd we sailed back to Marina di Stabia for the last crew change, where we celebrated this nice cruise with my crew at Ristorante President  with a delicious menu accompanied by a local tenor, who gave a concert in nearby Piazza Schettini in Pompei.

We sailed 168sm in 39 hours. You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cruising the islands round Napoli

On August 5th my daughter Sophie and I set sail to Sorrento. With nearly no wind we motored to Marina del Cantone, where we booked a boy. In the evening we walked up to Nerano and then had a nice dinner at Maria Gracia.  Next day we sailed via Positano to Amalfi, where we again moored at Aniello Esposito's place. After a detailed visit to Sant'Andrea Cathedral, Chiostro Paradiso and the Crypt we had very good pasta at Ristorante Il Mulino.

After some exploration of Amalfi's picturesque coast we sailed back via Isole Galli to Capri and anchored near Faraglioni rocks. Sophie climbed up to Via Krupp and hiked up to the Piazetta in Capri town and back via Giardini di Augusto while I cooked Risotto al Limone. Early morning we found a lot of jellyfish surrounding our boat. We changed our anchor place nearer to Marina Piccola and tried to go onshore by dinghi, but everywhere we were turned away by avaricious lifeguards.

Next morning we proceeded to Grotta Azzurra, where a lot of boats waited for entry. Sophie was able to get in by swimming to the next hotel and climbing down the steps to the entry. Then it was time for us to leave loud and inhospitable Capri and we sailed to Ischia Ponte, where we anchored south of Castello Aragonese.

Next day we explored Procida and moored in the small harbor of Marina di Chiaiolella. We enjoyed a good dinner at Ristorante Crescenzo and did a lot of walking round Procida. After a visit to the closed bird-sanctuary Isola di Vivara next day we sailed with nice westerly winds tacking to Ventotene, where we anchored in front of the harbor.

On August 12th we explored the nice Island of Ventotene, where emperor Augustus banished his daughter Julia the Elder in 2 BC, and which used to be a prison camp until 1950. In the afternoon we sailed further west to the Island of Ponza, where we anchored in impressive Cala di Inferno in the middle of some hundred Italian boats.

We enjoyed the clear waters for some days, visited Cala di Luna and Ponza harbor, where we had good fish dinner at Ristorante Il Timone. On Ferragosto August 15th, we rounded Ponza in the north and sailed back to Ischia Ponte, where we again anchored south of Castello Aragonese surrounded by Ferragosto fireworks until 3AM. At noon next day we sailed back via the coast of Napoli to Marina di Stabia for the next crew change. In the evening we had an interesting dinner in Taverna Mascalzone. Sophie's flight back to Vienna was delayed for 18 hours due to an engine breakdown.

We sailed 232sm in 54 hours. You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Licata to Napoli

After more than two years in Sicilian waters we decided to move on to Sardinia. After a glorious farewell dinner at Pino Cuttaia's famous restaurant La Madia  my wife Ilse and I left our friends at Marina Cale del Sole in Licata and sailed to Marina Ragusa on Monday 8th, July 2013. Early next day with nice westerly wind we sailed to Syracusa and had dinner at our favorite restaurant Sicilia in Tavola. We continued our well-known route to Catania, were we again enjoyed our wunderful fish-menu at Le Tre Bocce. On July 11th we continued with some southerly winds to Taormina, where we anchored in front of the railway station.

Next day we were lucky tacking against nice notherly winds through Messina Strait and anchored east of Scilla. Early next morning we continued north to Tropea, where we anchored for a nice swim and finally moored in Marina Stella Sud in Vibo Valentia, where we had dinner at Sapori di Mare. After bunkering food and fuel we sailed next day until midnight to Cetraro, where we anchored east of the harbor. Early on July 15th we sailed with two bathing stops at Isola Cirella and Isola Dino via Marathea to Sapri, where we anchored in the large north bay.

Next day we enjoyed the most picturesque Golfo di Policastro and finally moored at Albatros in Porto Scario, where we savoured a nice dinner at Vini..Le. We motored next morning with no wind to Acciaroli, were we moored in the nice harbour.

Routinely checking the level of motor-oil I found a lot of water in the bilge. After pumping it out I found, that a hose from the seawater-pump was chafed. Checking the seawater-pump I also found, that the impeller was broken and the housing was ripped. But soon we found the good in the bad, when we got help from Giovanni from Chantieri Schiavone, who mounted new hoses and ordered a new seawater-pump.

So our boat had to stay in Acciaroli for six days until the pump was finally replaced.
We were happy to use those days visiting Cilento, beautiful Vallo di Diano National Park, and swimming in those magnificent sandy beaches. We enjoyed the local restaurants, especially 'a Tartana and Boccaccio. We rented a car and visited Paestum, the Amalfi Coast, Caserta, Napoli, and Vesuvio.

Finally on Wednesday , July 24th we were able to continue sailing directly to Salerno, where we had a marvelous dinner at Ristorante Cicirinella. Next day we sailed along the admirable Amalfi Coast and were happy to find a free mooring place at Aniello Esposito in Amalfi harbor. We visited the impressive church of San Andrea and spent a wonderful evening with an exquisite dinner at Michelin-stared La Caravella.
Next morning we continued via Isole Galli to Capri, where we anchored in front of the Faraglioni Rocks near Marina Piccola next to Roman Abramovich's Eclipse and Larry Ellison's Rising Sun. Hoping for more peaceful surroundings we sailed north to Porto Miseno next noon, where we anchored near quiet Lago Miseno. Next morning we rounded Acquamorta and anchored for swimming in front of anchient Cumae. At noon we sailed north of Procida to Ischia Porto, where we moored at Porto Salvo Marina and visited the city and Castello Aragonese. Next day we rounded Ischia and finally anchored south of Ischia Ponte. Tuesday we sailed along the coast of Golfo di Napoli via Procida, Pozzuoli, Nisida, San Nazzaro, Napoli, Torre del Greco, Torre Annunziata to Marina di Stabia west of Castellamare di Stabia, where we had our outboard engine repaired and enjoyed a very good fish dinner at Piazetta Milu.

Wednesday 31st July we sailed back via Sorrento to Capri, where we got hold of a bumpy mooring place in Marina Grande for 235 Eur wandering around the island round Giardini Augusto, Via Krupp, and Marina Piccola. Finally we climbed the
clocktower at the Piazetta in Capri centro and relished a nice local dinner at Pulalli Wine Bar. Next morning we shifted to our old anchor place south of Marina Piccola. In the afternoon of August 2nd we sailed back to Marina di Stabia for my first change of crew there. My wife and I celebrated her awesome cruise from Licata to Castellamare di Stabia with a gorgeous dinner in Boccareale at La Locanda da Alfonso.

We sailed 607sm in 139 hours. You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sail, Savour & Sightseeing

Many years ago I had some very important trainings in systemic consulting and coaching. So now it was a great pleasure for me to have my former teachers Hella and Axel Exner on board of Sea of Joy. They arrived on Saturday 8th of June 2013 and we had an exceptional dinner at Hosteria L'Oste e il Sacrestano. On Sunday morning we had fog, but at noon we were able to start with no wind motoring to San Leone, where we moored at Mediteraneo Yacht Club and had dinner with a lot of antipasto di mare at Il Pescatore.

Next day we started with a forecast of 4 Bft from northwest, but we had to motor until 13:00 local time. Then the wind got very strong and we had to tack until we reached Sciacca at 7 Bft with very high waves, so that some of my crew had to use the bucket onroute. In Sciacca we recovered at Lega Navale and walked around the city next day and had dinner at AlFaro.

On Wednesday 12th we rented a car and went to Caltabellotta, where we had a wonderful lunch at Petra Relais Ristorante in beautiful surroundings. Then we went to Eraclea Minoa and visited the Greek settlement.

Last we visited Castello Incantato, where Filippo Bentivegna created his magic world of 3000 stone heads.

Thursday we motored with no wind to San Leone, where we visited Agrigento and had a fine dinner at Expanificio. Friday we motored again with no wind back to Licata and enjoyed a simple, but very good pizza at LaBriglia. Saturday 15th we went by rental car to Modica and Ragusa, where we had lunch at IlBarocco and attended a wedding ceremony in Cattedrale di San Giorgo. We closed our trip worthily with another exceptional dinner at Hosteria L'Oste e il Sacrestano.

We sailed 113sm in 20 hours. You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps.

Short Trip to Tunisia

Weather was not so good - a lot of waves and wind, but with my experienced long-time crew Gusti and Richard Stastny we took advantage of a small weather window with north easterly winds Force 5. We started at 22:15 local time on Sunday 26th April 2013 and sailed directly to Port Yasmine / Hammamet, where we declared entry and moored at 08:00 on Tuesday 28th. It was rather cold, wind was good and we were lucky, because the wind turned and got stronger after our arrival. In the evening we went to Hammamet by Taxi, visited the Medina and had diner at La BelleVue restaurant with very good briq.

Next day we went to Karthago by Bus and visited there all important sites, finally proceeding to Sidi Bou Said, where we went up to the lighthouse and down to the marina. A very good fish dinner we enjoyed again in Hammamet at Chez Anchour.

Thursday 30th we went by bus again to Tunis to visit the famous Bardo museum with its beautiful Roman mosaics and the large Medina.

On Friday we sailed with some wind from south east to Monastir, where we moored and met Anne and Willi from S/K Leev Linda and Heidi and Herbert from S/Y Albatros.

Next day we took a taxi to Souuse, where we visited the new museum (even better than Bardo) and the beautiful Medina with its ribat and mosque. Back to Monastir we mixed with local people and took the train.

Sunday we visited Monastir, got some provisions and had a good, halal and very atmospheric dinner at DarChakra near the mosque.

Monday, June 3rd, good wind conditions opened for the next 30 hours, so we bunkerd diesel (0,5 Eur per litre), declared exit and set sail for Marsala, where we moored after 26 hours of cold, but easy and enjoyable sailing, right in time for a tasting session of Marsala wines at Cantine Florio.
Next day we sailed to Sciacca and had a very good fish dinner at AlFaro.

On Thursday 6th we sailed from Sciacca to San Leone. When the wind got very strong from east, we decided to take shelter at Porto Empedocle. But the transit pontoon inside the harbor was fully occupied. We were able to go alongside an old fishing boat and nice fishermen sold us very fresh shrimp, which we cooked in olive oil with garlic and savoured on board during the storm.

Friday, June 7th we reached our destination and moored again securely in Marina Cala del Sole in Licata, where we shared the rest of our shrimps with Erika and Manfred from S/Y Motu in the evening.
For the season it was much to cold and windy, but We enjoyed this challenging cruise very much.

We sailed 483 sm in 84 hours. You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on Google Maps.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Easter Refurbishment

Starting Easter Sunday March 31st, Sea of Joy enjoyed two weeks of intensive maintenance, a lot of refurbishment work was done mostly with friendly help from Guiseppe Incorvaia and his crew from Oceania Shipyard in Licata, Sicily:

  • she got fresh antifouling Trilux 33
  • her Maxprop was cleaned and fully greased
  • new anodes for protection were installed
  • new waterpump for her watercooled fridge
  • new navigation, anchor and deck lights based on LED
  • new firmware was installed on most of her electronic devices
  • a new ultrasonic log was installed (Airmar CS 4500)
  • active Automatic Identification System (AIS) for additional safety with CPA alarm and SAR function including additional GPS-Antenna, 
  • a new Navtex-antenna was installed
  • new seacock and blackwater Y-Valve were installed
  • both toilets were serviced
  • a new propeller shaft seal was installed
  • motor oil, oil filter and diesel filter were changed
  • and finally: a new deck paint!
  • the UV-protection of her genua was repaired in Trapani by Mr. Lombardo

On route to Trapani I visited Marsala, the Phoenician settlement at Morzia, and the beautiful temples of Segesta and Selinunte.

In Licata I met a lot of nice and helpful people:

  • Gaby and Gerald from S/Y VivaMare
  • Erika and Manfred from S/Y Motu
  • Anne und Willi from S/K Leev Linda
  • Heidi and Herbert from S/Y Albatros
  • Gaby and Willi from S/Y Capella
  • and last not least Maria Sitibondo, who celebrated her 30th birthday with a nice party

A short sea-trial proved S/Y Sea of Joy ready for her cruises in 2013!