It felt like our departure from Porto Rotondo in the Costa Smeralda region of Sardinia was overdue, although we will always have fond memories of the friendly locals and the superb food and wine. We set sail for the east coast of Corsica, and as soon as we were out of the protected inlet in Sardinia we started to experience a moderate wind and ocean swell. Within minutes we could see the mountains of Corsica which were surprisingly covered with snow. It’s always a spectacular sight having the combination of snow, the ocean and sunny skies. For the rest of the day we sailed parallel to the east coast of Corsica with generally pleasant conditions. As soon as we had passed the northern most tip of Corsica, the signs of dark clouds on the horizon and a rapidly changing ocean were ominous in the least. By this time night had fallen and the moon shone on larger and more powerful swells. Our destination was the Portofino coast in Italy and although we were 80 nautical miles away, in the midst of heavy seas it seemed an endless journey. The French and Italian coast guard began to radio all boats instructing them to seek shelter. We experienced a night of heavy seas. Our arrival in Portofino was on schedule and we were relieved to anchor in the beautiful bay in Portofino. Within minutes we were however being screamed at by an irate Italian from the marina that our vessel was too large to anchor in Portofino. I felt it was rather a pity that the local Portofinians had been deprived by the local municipal bureaucracy of the site of Pangaea’s presence for at least a day. We immediately proceeded to the much larger marina of Santa Margharita and were granted mooring for a few hours only. We quickly disembarked and walked through the beautiful town of Santa Margharita looking for a place to have breakfast. The shops were beginning to open and some of the local women were on their morning errands as five ravenous, unshaven and probably a bit dirty seamen prowled the streets looking for a suitable cafe. Within an hour we were making our way back to the boat as we needed to press on to Genova, a much larger port where hopefully Pangaea would feel more welcome. We sailed a further 23 nautical miles through some large swells again into Marina Aeroporto in Genova.We are now in port with the ‘big dogs’ and its now gin palace boats on steroids here. Ironically these boats are built for show and would have been swallowed up in the seas we sailed through yesterday. An early dinner at the marina with a bottle of Chianti went down well and more so for some of us as we were served by an attractive African Italian lady…..
Ah Portofino, such an elite little town it is. Beautiful, but not very welcoming. I’m glad that you survived the rough seas on the last leg of your journey.
Thank you .really Portofino very small and death place this time of the year ,but I can say I have been seen worse places around world .jacek