So, having decided to leave Formia, we had a 7 hour sail to Sant’Angelo on the south side of Ischia. This island is just off the Gulf of Naples so we figured we could then spend the day on Thursday exploring the place and have a day sail to Castellamare di Stabia – Nimmie’s home for the next 12 months. The sail was fantastic with the wind on the quarter but the sea was very lumpy with waves anything between one and three metres high. Nimmie, as usual, took it in her stride. Then around 2130 the wind suddenly, moves round to the east where it stayed for the rest of the evening.
Ischia is another volcanic island that’s about 4 miles long. We decided to go to the south of the island as there was an anchorage there just outside the marina. When we got there the swell had moved round and was coming from the south so anchoring would not have been pleasant. Instead, we went into the marina and found ourselves to be the only visitor again! After a whisky nightcap, we fell into bed around 0130 tired but pleased.
The next morning the port authority turned up at 1000 and we paid for one night. €65 for water and electricity but no showers or toilets as it was a new marina – well, probably two years ago but things seem to move slowly out here! We then had a delightful day exploring the charming and picturesque town and surrounding area. It is renowned for its thermal springs that have been used since Roman times and has quite a Greek feel to the place with its whitewashed buildings and holiday atmosphere. One of the thermal springs, Terme Cavascura, was set in a gorge several kilometres from the town and it was a bit of an obstacle course to get there, going past refuse, old tyres and other household items that had been dumped. Not very appealing and the baths themselves looked in need of a good clean. Luckily, the staff were on their lunch break so we had a quick look round and went on our way. The town is sort of pedestrianised with only scooters and golf buggies allowed on the narrow, windy and hilly streets. These, though, suddenly appear out of nowhere, scattering the tourists as if it’s a local pastime.
We then walked back to the black, volcanic beach to have a beer and find the thermal sauna. This was being dismantled despite the large number of tourists – obviously, things are taken down for the winter irrespective of whether there is any money to be made! We then walked west out of town for about an hour to some natural springs that were in Sorgeto Bay down a steep cliff that had steps built down to it. It was pretty packed but free so we had a good soak before catching a water taxi back to the harbour and Nimmie. After a shower on board we ventured back into town to find somewhere to eat. Lee had spotted a nice looking pizzeria down a side street. We had very good pizzas washed down with a litre of the local vino and fell into bed by 2100! We had planned to leave around midday on the Friday but another port authority official came by at 1030 demanding another night’s money as, apparently, the day before was only for the night we arrived despite us saying that we had arrived at 0600. You would have thought they would have cut us some slack in the off season. Eventually, we got her down to €50 for the second night but it somewhat soured our experience. The trick is to follow the Italian way and leave before 1000 as this seems to be when the authorities come round for their money! We didn’t want to run off without paying as we might want to come back and also because they could easily report us to the coastguard. It did seem very officious and not very accommodating. Apparently, they charge €200 per night in high season! Welcome to the Amalfi Coast!
Pictures below of Sant’Angelo and the thermal springs. Oh and Lee, Jase and Liz having a well earnt beer!