Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Amalfi Coast to Procida ... June 2010

18-22 June 2010

***Capri looking somewhat gloomy and not so appealing so we passed it by*** The anchorage at Positano on a calm day with no swell***Positano from sea level with the housing clinging to the hillside***Procida's colourful waterfront*** 

Stocked up with Lemoncello, Creme Lemoncello and an abundance of free lemons, it was time to move westwards along theAmalfi Coast.
This time though we were at sea level looking up at the houses clinging to the cliff and could see the road tettering on the edge. Having done the bus trip this certainly felt like the safer option - not nearly as far to fall!! We had light winds again so motored along the coast passing Positano which looked as spectacular from the sea as it had from land. We left the mainland coastline and headed across to the island of Capri, known for all the rich and famous who holiday or own exclusive property there. We had heard on our cruisers net that a night in the marina was 800€ so we decided to give that a miss, we looked at anchoring but there wasn't much room and there were lots of tripper boats coming and going from the famous "Blue Grotto", plus it was Friday afternoon - it would only get busier.

The skies were clouding over, the weather was at last changing after our great run of clear skies and light winds, so we decided to save Capri for another time and head for an anchorage we could sit out the expected low that was coming our way. We put the sails up and headed north across the Bay of Naples to the offshore island of Procida. We were just one of 7 yachts in the Corricella Bay overnight on the southern side of Isola di Procida. Ashore looked like a movie set, a dominating stone fort sitting proud on top of the headland, higgledy-piggledy terraced houses falling over each other down the hillside in an array of pastel colours, the local fishing fleet tied up along the quiet harbourside and the scene completed with the church and belltower.

Saturday morning dawned clear and sunny, the low due through late in the evening. By late morning we estimate we had around 200 boats in the anchorage, most of them small power boats out for the day from Naples, picnicing, swimming, sunbathing, posing (well we are in Italy!!!!) and just generally having fun. By evening just 10 of us remained, amazing. The predicted wind and rain came through, it was the first clean rain we had had in months and it washed layer upon layer of Maltese dust out of the rigging and down the mast until at last Balvenie was clean again. Unfortunately the wind also kicked up quite a swell, life onboard got quite rolly from time to time, good excuse to spend more time ashore.

It was time for New Zealand to play Italy in the qualifing round of the Football World Cup, unfortunately the skies opened about 1/2 hour before kickoff so our arrival in the low key local bar was delayed. We just couldn't surpress our amazement when, on arrival, we discovered the All Whites were 1 goal up over Italy. We didn't make too many instant friends, but they were very tolerant of us and happily found us somewhere to sit in the packed out little cafe, their mood certainly improved when Italy scored, drawing the match. At the end they all wanted to know why New Zealanders were visiting their little island, and thought we had done very well sailing all that way. We got to be regulars there over our few nights at anchor, watching many a football game!

We had a good look around this little island, ashore it was pretty ramshackle nearly every house in desperate need of a 'do up' but its just got that feel of a functional lived in place with a laid back lifestyle, why stress about a new paint job!!!! Over the north of the island, all of 10 minutes walk, it was more orderly, there is a large new marina, tidy promenade and regular ferry services to Naples, quite a different feel to it completely.

Cruising Info for Procida:-
Anchorages - Corricella 40 45.322N 14 01.460E 9.5m sand and weed
Communications - WIND dongle ok, TIM and Vodafone on phone ok
Money - ATM's over in northern town
Provisions - small minimarket and bakery up hill by church, better provisions over in northern bay
Formalities - of course not!

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