We awoke on Thursday morning to brilliant sunshine in Rondinara so we had a champagne breakfast to celebrate Graham’s birthday before heading off for lunch to the Cavallo island in the Straits of Bonifacio. There are a number of very low lying islands around there but they should only be entered in fine, settled weather. There was very little wind so we motored the whole way and then, of course, the wind picked up. Even so, it was a delightful lunch stop – if a little crowded. The bay we anchored in is full of millionaires’ homes, which made for an interesting backdrop. They even have a private runway there for them!
After lunch we picked our way through the Passage de la Piantarella, which allowed us to shorten the journey time to Bonifacio by several miles but care needs to be taken as it is strewn with rocks. Once through we were able to take advantage of the afternoon sea breeze to have a great sail to Bonifacio. We first saw Bonifacio last October when the season was drawing to a close. In late June it was alive and buzzing, not least because the Tour de France is due to pass through it on Saturday! For such a small harbour, it is amazing how many superyachts it can find room for with some over 60m long and over 8m wide. They had to drop their anchor near us, some 200m from the quay. Quite a feat in manoeuvring such large boats. As you can imagine, the marina was very nearly full but we managed to find a spot after refuelling (at 60 cents a litre less than in Sardinia). We decided to eat out and found a lovely restaurant on the north side of the harbour attached to the hotel club nautique. We each had the fixed price menu at €25 with a couple of bottles of local wine – delicious. We then had a walk up into the old town to have a drink but the place was very nearly deserted. It seems everyone was down by the harbour so it was back to the boat for a digestif.
This morning, Michael and Graham went off to explore the old town and walk the 187 steps of King Aragon down the sea facing side of the cliff face. Liz and I spent the time doing chores on the boat including fitting an inline fuse onto the new water pump. You do wonder why manufacturers don’t include them if they are required.
Around 2pm we set off to make our way back to Sardinia as our holiday is starting to come to a close. Before crossing the Straits we detoured to the Bay of Figuri that was supposed to be quite pretty. It was blowing quite hard and the sun was hidden behind dark clouds so it didn’t look as picturesque as we had imagined but we anchored in a quiet bay for a few hours before starting our night sail to the NW tip of Sardinia, Asinara, where there is a national park to spend the last day of our holiday before returning to Alghero.
Pictures below of Bonifacio citadel from the marina, the birthday meal and some of the superyachts.