On the 23rd August we left Sardinia and headed back across to catch up with Steve, Jo & Freddie in Roccapina, Corsica. We had a great sail and 4 hrs later anchored alongside Moana. The first time Moana & Money Penny had ‘met’!!! For the next two days & nights we spent ‘family time’, kayaking, swimming & walking.
Arriving in Roccapina Moana anchored alongside Money Penny
BBQ onboard Moana
An early morning walk to the Old Tower overlooking the anchorage.
Kayaking with FreddieSteve & Freddie in ‘relax’ mode!
During our stay at Roccapina, Risi, Alex, Lexy, & Emil joined us. They had travelled from the UK in their vintage VW Campervan to meet up with Steve, Jo & Freddie. We had a lovely evening in Roccapina with them and then on the 25th August both boats continued along the coast of Corsica towards Rodinara on the East Coast. Risi drove the Campervan while Alex, Lexy & Emil joined Moana’s crew.
On route to Rodinara we noticed smoke in the distance. As we drew near we realised it was a large motor yacht on fire. There were safety vessels standing off at a safe distance but they were just leaving it to burn away! Unfortunately we were unable to get close enough to get a clear photograph!
Moana sailing alongside Money Penny
We had anchored in Rodinara in July and it had been extremely busy but this time we found there was plenty of room in this beautiful bay. Risi had taken the Campervan to a nearby campsite and joined us all as soon as we had anchored. Everyone enjoyed swimming & diving off the boats and we finished the evening with a wonderful meal onboard Moana, cooked by Lexi & Emil. The wine flowed and the Campervan spent a night alone in the campsite whilst everyone remained onboard!
After two nights in Rodinara it was time to once again say goodbye to Steve, Jo & Freddie. They were to meet friends from home in Sardinia before Jo & Freddie flew home for the new term and Steve returned Moana to her new winter berth in Gibraltar.
As we were heading North (in the same direction as the Campervan!) Lexi & Emil accepted our invitation to crew to our next ‘stop’, Solenzara. During the passage we stopped for a swim and some lunch and Emil enjoyed diving off the bow of Money Penny. We all took turns to ‘drag’ behind the boat as she sailed along at 3 knots. It certainly feels a lot faster when you are in the water!!
‘Hold on tight!!’ Lexi Emil in Solenzara Marina
After saying goodbye to our crew and a night in Solenzara, followed by a night in Marina Taverna (31 miles north of Solenzara),we left for the 45 mile crossing to the Island of Elba. Elba is the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago and is within the Arcipelago Toscano National Park. It is the third largest Island in Italy after Sicily & Sardinia. Napoleon was exiled to Elba. He arrived in Portoferraio in 1814 and during his stay of almost 10 months he carried out a number of economic and social reforms to improve quality of life on the Island. He escaped to France in February of 1815.
Whilst sailing around the coast of the Island of Elba the evidence of the mining industry on the Island is still obvious, with a number of mines visible from the sea. The ores in Elba are among the oldest iron deposits in the world. Under Etruscan rule, Elba was called “The Island of a thousand Fires” due to the pureness of its minerals. Mining continued on the Island until the final mine closed down in 1981.
The Mines on Elba
We spent the first night on Elba in the bay off Marina del Campo and went ashore to look around the village before moving to an anchorage in Golfo Lacona and finally Porto Azzuro. The anchorage was well a well sheltered inlet with easy dinghy access to the town. We sent a few days exploring and also caught the bus to Portoferraio.
Porto Azzuro Anchorage at Porto Azzuro
Napoleon’s House Fort & wall in Portoferraio
Walking through the streets of Portoferraio towards the harbour
Portoferraio originally had three forts and a massive line of walls which are still visible today built by Grand Duke Gastone de Medici. It was contended by France, Great Britain and Austria before being handed over to Napoleon in 1814 as the seat of his first exile. It was the main shipping port for the ore towards the mainland (Portoferraio means iron port). During the Second World War Elba was occupied by the German forces before being liberated by mainly French troops in June of 1944 during a battle that lasted two days. We visited the Napoleonic Mills House where Napoleon lived in exile with its beautiful views over the entrance to the natural harbour of Portoferraio. This is now a museum and is well worth a visit.
On 2nd September we departed Elba and made our way across to mainland Italy and on to Rome where we were to fly to Marseille to collect our car before driving back to the UK for grandparent duties!