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We flew back to Rome Airport (Fiumicino) early April, expecting to be rafted up in the river Fiumara Grande at Nautilus Marina for about two weeks before we set forth on our summer cruise. This turned out to be a month, as Barrie needed some parts for the mast to be flown in from the UK, and life was so comfortable it made sense to get as many jobs done as possible whilst we had shore power and easy access to water, all at a very reasonable rate.
Sailmakers, rigging shops and chandlers were found a short bike ride away, but unfortunately not the supermarkets, so every other day I pedaled forth and came back with full panniers and we eventually had a well provisioned boat. It was good to be paying local rates, not tourist rates. I put the sewing machine to good use mending the bimini. I plan to add a "Sewing for Yachties" section soon to the Technical pages as someone might be interested!
The weather was glorious even if the evenings chilly, but Easter was surprisingly quiet both in the marina and on the river. The Italians appear to be warm weather sailors.
Stepping the mast-
We made time for some sightseeing. Rome was overwhelming, but Ostia Antica was only a death defying 4k cycle ride away, and we had a gentle day there exploring the extensive ruins. It was the ancient port for Rome, before the river silted up, and had obviously been a most civilised place to live.
Early May, and it was great to set off. We headed north up the mainland coast to the Argentario peninsula. We motored with the wind on the nose for four hours, until a slight wind shift allowed us to sail close hauled, and we anchored off a sand spit just as the sun set.
This photo of another yacht in the same spot was taken the next day. By then we had moved into the harbour of Porte Ercole as we had spent a rather uncomfortable night at anchor. The anchorage was wide open to the South and West, and quite a large swell came in.
The Marina in Porte Ercole was surprisingly quiet, but having tied up we found out why-
Our next sail was a gentle beam reach across to Giglio, where we spent a couple of nights in the harbour, bows to on the breakwater. The harbour was tiny, and not the easiest to manoeuvre in and out of. From here we headed north to Elba.
More to come soon!