The pasticceria Dal Cavaliere is a friendly spot to wait for the incoming ferry from Naples. Bill and his family are due at 1530 which gave me time for a cool vino bianco while I completed my log notes from the prior week’s sail.
Bill joined us a few years ago for a family sail in Croatia. This time he was celebrating his and his older daughter Meghan’s birthdays. Bill’s younger daughter Shannon, cousin Barry and girlfriend Liz were along for the holiday. They planned a week sailing the Amalfi Coast and a week in a villa at nearby Praiano overlooking the sea. A good birthday!
Arriving overnight from various US east coast cities they looked tired upon disembarking the ferry. Fortunately, the ferry terminal is a short walk along Procida’s pretty waterfront to the marina where our
38 ft. Lagoon catamaran waited. Everyone except Bill collapsed for a nap in their queen cabins while Bill and I did a little provisioning at the small port shops.
Fresh tomatoes, olives, bread and cheeses are a perfect nap wake-up call. I go over safety procedures and give a few sailing tips while we enjoy our antipasto. We discuss possible itineraries and decide on rounding the north side of Ischia for our start.
Ischia is only a few miles NW so it is a good first day plan for a relatively inexperienced crew.
We can look into Sant Angelo half way for a late lunch stop.
It’s a clear day with 15 kn SE wind as we motor out of Procida heading WSW along the coast towards
Ischia. When clear of the ferry channel from Naples, we talk through raising the sails. Bill and Barryare keen to polish their rusted skills; the women are keen to get on the forward trampolines for sunbathing. We head to wind to raise the main, fall off a bit and unfurl the jib.
grey-green olive groves. The small village at Pto. Sant Angelo comes into view and we head on a beam reach towards its small harbor. Boats are anchored outside the harbor, off the sandy beach – tempting. But we’re interested in a couple hours ashore to wander a bit and have lunch so we drop sails and motor in.With the wind funnelling down the saddle of hills behind the village we take care with our med mooring. Bill cleats in the windward standing mooring line quickly. Once the stern is secure, we use the twin engines to fine tune the two bow standing lines for a tight mooring.
There’s a surprising number of interesting shops, winding little streets, picturesque doorways and inviting cafes in this small village. We find Meg, Shan and Liz at a small café with patio tables across the harbor from our mooring. Shan has tucked into what will
become her signature dish – caprese. I enjoy a more substantial risotto della mare for €15.The overnight mooring fee of €120 is too steep so we continue sailing around Ischia to the NE side bound for Casamicciola.
complements the appetizers with fresh cherry tomatoes and olives before heading to the marina shower facility.
Zurosta is an large open room with bustling waiters. We order several heaping plates of mussels followed by a pizza each. My gorgonzola with onion is too much to finish…almost!Wandering back towards Blue Island’s slip, Shan, Meg and I stop for a gelato and coffee at a quayside café. The others are tired from their first day and head for their cabins. It is a perfect, cool evening full of stars.
the wind picks up enough for a lazy sail across the Bay of Naples. It’s a warm, sunny day, perfect for lounging on the decks. We heave-to for a late morning swim off the boat when approaching Capri.The wind picks up a bit to 8-10 kn as we sail along the west side of Capri. Our lunch destination is Marina Piccola, a pretty harbor and village on the south coast. As we drop sails to look for a mooring the wind suddenly shoots up to 18+ kn and holds. The harbor skiff tells us we’re too big for a mooring ball in this wind; we should anchor. Although tempting, I decide not to test the anchor in 40+ ft and 20+ kn of wind so we circle out towards the Boca Piccola Passage between Capri and the mainland.
As we passed Marina de Cantone, the 10-12 kn wind sharply increases. We reefed both sails, Barry and Bill now handy with the lines. The wind steadily edges up to 25-30kn so we put Blue Island head to wind and dropped sails. With sails in, we motor the final 30 min past the Galli Islands to spectacular Positano.
A good deal at one of the most popular destinations! We’re low on aperitivi so after depleting our supply, we call Davide and he takes us in comfort to the pier. We split up to wander. I go straight to the Pergola café facing the water for a cool rosé. Soon, Bill and Barry join me, having exhausted their wandering interests in favor of a beer. The rest of the group shows up and we go upstairs to Bucca del Barco for a leisurely, delicious dinner.
Having skipped lunch to focus on the excellent sailing, Barry and I stopped at a quayside café for beer and pizza. The anchovy and mozzarella pizza was too good so we considered another. But, Barry reminded me it was his night for selecting a dinner spot so we held back.
His choice turned out to be worth the wait. Through the main gate, past the old church in the square astride its wide steps, up the winding street about 50 meters, we came to Trattoria dei Catari. Six of us had: veal steaks, scampi, pastas, large fish, 3 antipasto and 3 bottles of wine for €180!
many side streets yet to explore, inviting shops with huge yellow lemons piled outside next to bottles of olive oil, heaps of fruits and colorful clumps of hanging peppers. Meg asks: “Can we spend the morning here tomorrow?”
cappuccino and watch women stop for fresh bread and fruits at the small shops that line the square. Men saunter by with morning papers or sit at a cafes and munch pastries.
A few tourists snap photos of the church in the early light.Meg and Shannon appear to join the folks snapping photos. They disappear down a winding alley looking for rarer scenes. I amble about and find a nearly hidden courtyard with a 30 ft. slender blue and gold antique galleon on display in front of a barber shop. Nearly convinced me to get a hair cut!All aboard, we slip between the narrow floating docks to the outer harbor and follow the coast NW.
It came and it was outstanding…and huge. Artichoke wrapped cheese, soaked rice balls, sautéed peppers, lightly fried dough, anchovies and salmon….and a block of mozzarella the size of your head! We didn’t need the pastas!
The wind picks up to 7-9 kn as we enter the Bay of Naples. Head to wind, the now seasoned crew raises the main and lets the furling line out on the jib. We enjoy a three hour sail with a SW wind on a broad reach towards Procida. Its 16th-century Castello d’Avalos appears with time to spare so we take a last swim off Marina Corricella.