South Corsica with Eelke & Willem

After the hangry mooring manoeuvre in Ajaccio we swapped crew again. This time my parents arrived, got settled on board and we prepared the boat to sail away the next day.

We are getting into a routine when new people arrive: we try to clean, do the laundry and make the beds before the guests arrive. We take our crew grocery shopping and make a meal plan together for at least a week. This way everyone knows what’s on board and can give an input on what he or she wants to eat and cook. We’ve also seen a lot of remote anchorages the past weeks and were happy we stocked up on food! As we tend to run out of water after a week with 4 persons on board we go into a harbour once a week where we can do some more provisioning.

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In Ajaccio, provisioning was quite easy because the grocery store delivered to the marina! Nico and Kathrin were also still in town and helped us prepare to leave as well. We said goodbye and were off to explore the south of Corsica!

Over the first few days we had a lot of wind, high waves and rolly anchorages. This wasn’t very easy for my father, who gets motion sickness and headaches from the ocean swell. It was such an unlucky coincidence that the waves got higher just as he got aboard!

For Thomas on the other hand, the increasing winds were just what he had been waiting for and he finally got to use his kitesurfing gear – for the first time since we left. The beach of Porto Pollo is perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing, and we could anchor right around the corner.

The south Corsican landscape is amazing, the water is crystal blue and there are many nice sandy anchorages. We daysailed from one amazing beach to the next and had sunshine and wind all the way. As we got to the southernmost tip of the west coast we were excited to get on land in Bonifacio but that didn’t go according to plan..

As we sailed into the Bonifacio Strait the winds picked up to gale force and were turning exactly against us. After tacking a while we decided to just motor against it and seek shelter in the city harbour. The coast around Bonifacio consists of very high cliffs and the city is built on a peninsula which shapes a perfectly sheltered natural harbour. It is a very popular place in summer, and especially with the strong winds it was filled up completely.. So we had to turn around in the narrow channel towards the harbour and found unexpectedly good shelter in the Cala di Paragnanu – a pretty bay around the corner. We were a bit bummed not to be in Bonifacio, but when we saw the amazing ‘bathtub’ we were anchored in we forgot all about the drawback.

The bay had two small footpaths, one leading to Bonifacio and one towards the main road. We decided to split in groups: while my parents tried to get to Bonifacio, Thomas and I took the other road in search of a trash bin. We didn’t want to leave the boat for too long since the wind was still very strong and we don’t always trust our anchor. But somehow Thomas and I ended up in the city (walking kilometers along a busy main road until we found a bin in Bonifacio) and my parents got lost, turned back and were back on the boat hours before we were..

The wind continued to blow strongly and we kept an eye on our anchor alarm the whole time. In the morning, Thomas prevented a catamaran from drifting into the ocean (karma points, check) because their anchor got blown loose. He jumped in the dinghy, caught up with the catamaran and woke the crew up, on which a very chill British man came out, obviously interrupted while showering: ‘Oh, you worrying about me?’. He had noticed the boat move but since there was nothing to hit on the way he had decided to continue his morning routine.

That day we gave the harbour another try and we were up for yet another chaotic mooring experience. The berth we were supposed to park Scehawk was tiny and our neighbouring boat was tied up weird so it was taking half of our berth as well. Tour boats were everywhere and we got into the narrow harbour just as all the boats were trying to get out. Not the best timing. I don’t want to brag but here we go: we handled it like pro’s and only a little bit of paint of the neighbouring boat was flying around. He has himself to blame for parking like an idiot, no?

It’s always such a luxury to be moored in the middle of a city. We just park our house in a spectacular city and we can get on and off the boat whenever we want which gives everyone a lot more freedom. It’s such a nice change after anchoring for a longer period of time! Plus there is unlimited water, wifi, restaurants, ship chandlers and laundry machines..

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