We set off for Salerno at just before 9 am on Saturday 29th April with a 280 mile, 56 hour passage across the Tyrrhenian Sea ahead of us. If we made 5 knots all the way we would be there by 5 pm on Monday 1st May. The weather forecast was consistently showing moderate north westerly winds for the entire weekend, which would mean having the wind behind us the whole way.
We’d spent our week in Cagliari in the Marina del Sole and by comparison to, I think, every other marina we’ve used this was by far the most run down and basic. The pontoons had all seen better days and there were a host of abandoned boats rotting at their moorings , some even growing plants from their decks! The pontoons lead onto a very tatty rotting wood ‘board walk’ and the marina office was a plastic table in a corner of the ‘bar housed in a tent! Having said that, the marina staff were friendly and helpful, there was water and electricity on the pontoons and the price was very reasonable. As a stop over to wait for the weather it was just what we needed.
Our route was simple, only about 2 courses, one from Cagliari down to Cabo Carbonara and Isla del Cavoli and the other from there to Salerno. As soon as we got away from the harbour we got the sails up and were roaring along at 7 knots, but that didn’t last unfortunately. Although as the voyage progressed the wind settled down to come from the north west is was not quite enough to allow us to sail throughout and a lot of the time we were motoring. But every now and then the wind would pick up and we could fly the big Code Zero and even reached a cracking 8 knots at one point!
We saw dolphins twice, or they came to play with us. Valeria saw what turned out to be a turtle, although thought it was a lump of drift wood until we were right on top of it and we had guests for both nights.
At sun set on Saturday we found ourselves being ‘buzzed’ by 4 swallows, 2 of which settled down for the night on board and on Sunday we found ourselves hosting about a half dozen perching themselves around the deck. Come sun rise they were off again, but each left us a little thank you!
Approaching the main land we were due to make landfall at Capri and all through Sunday night into Monday morning we could make out the glow of Naples over the horizon.
We actually got to Capri as the Sun rose and were treated to some magnificent views of the south side of the island as we cruised east towards the Amalfi Coast. It is a place I’d heard of but wasn’t really prepared for how pretty it looked. It is very mountainous and rugged right to the coast with numerous houses and villages clinging to the mountainsides and ports such a Amalfi, Positano crammed into the mouths of valleys. In the morning sun it is easy to see how it became so popular!
Although planned to take us 56 hours we did it in just over 50 and by mid day we were tied up to the jetty in the Marina d’Arechi; this is a brand new marina, or rather an aspiring ‘marina village’. No ‘gardens’ on any of the boats here, and the only tents in sight are the gazebos along the jetty behind us for the 2nd Arechi Boat Show!
In all an almost perfect crossing, 280 miles and 2 days of fair winds and a following seas.