Sunday, 18 July 2010

The end of World Cup fever ..... July 2010

11 - 12 July 2010

***The French tricolour with the Corsican flag*** The anchorage at Porto Vecchio from behind bars***

When we left New Zealand in 2004 we purchased a set of country courtesy flags for the South Pacific. Amongst them was a French tricolour for New Caledonia. Well we never made it to New Caledonia, its still on the "to do" list, but we still had the flag. Never did I imagine that while crossing the Bonifacio Straits I would be putting up our "New Caledonia" courtesy flag, I'm not even sure if I knew where Corsica was then!

We had a great sail for 25 miles on a beam reach across the straits, as we started up the east coast of Corsica the wind eased right off and we motored the last hour to the small bay of Ciprianu just north of the entrance to Porto Vecchio. The Bonifacio straits had treated us well once again. Ciprianu was another lovely looking spot with a white sandy beach and small holiday town. We got ourselves settled, had an early dinner then ventured ashore along with Annie and Liam off Gone with the Wind.

It was the final of the Football World Cup (at last!!!) so it was most important that we found somewhere with a big screen tv to watch the action. There were a few very ritzy restaurants on the beach, with corresponding prices, we hoped this wasn't a fair indication of dining out in Corsica, or we wouldn't be partaking often. We finally found the small town just before kickoff time, the only cafe showing the football luckily had a cinema sized screen, it was packed but we somehow managed to squeeze in. People were bringing their own chairs, even some park benches got relocated from the footpath, in the end the road was unofficially closed so people could sit out there too!! The waiting staff were totally overwhelmed but did an great job of supplying excellent chilled drinks at reasonable prices. We had a good night, we didn't mind who won, just to see the game and partake in the atmosphere was great.

The next morning we left the white sandy beaches and clear water behind and backtracked 4 miles into the very sheltered inner harbour at Porto Vecchio.

Cruising info for Baie de Ban Ciprianu:-
Anchorage - 41 37.811N 09 21.201E 5.5m in sand patch, some weed. Tucked behind jutting rocks which provided a good breakwater. We nudged something hard very briefly on the bottom when leaving when our gauges were reading over 8m and chart showed clear water
Communications - no more Italian dongle and no free French wifi site picked up. Our GYMSIM phone worked with an SFR signal, as did our Maltese Vodafone which is on European roaming
Ashore - didn't look at what was in the small town but didn't look like much.  Cafes on beachfront very expensive (eg over 20Euro for mains)

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