Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Last Legs in Corsica

From the Lavezzi and Cavallo islands south of Corsica, we made our way ever-so slowly up the coast to Rondianra, Porto Vecchio, San Ciprianu, Pinarellu, Solenzara and, for the last leg of the season, a 30-mile sail mostly under genakker to our winter port of Taverna.


San Ciprianu
The ports were crowded because everyone was already hunkered down for the winter and the ports had rented out their usual visitor’s berths. That, and the increasing condensation at night with raindrops in our cabin, told us it was time to wind down the season. In many of the anchorages we were completely alone with miles of beach and turquoise waters to ourselves.

We were impressed with the Port of Taverna and feel comfortable leaving Mareda there for the winter. The port is in the middle of nowhere, but well-protected from winds. The week we were there packing up, a gale moved through and we prepared ourselves for high winds (got the sails down just in time!). Bastia, just 20 miles north of us, saw 47 knots. We only got 15 in gusts. The surrounding mountains protect Taverna from the predominant W to NW winds in the winter. The hard-standing area seemed well-sheltered, with good materials, security, and professional staff.

Taverna :  the calm blue patch...

The perched village of Cervione overlooking Taverna

Taverna in the well-protected middle of nowhere...
We took the bus to Bastia and the plane from Bastia to our home in Brittany. We had not expected to enjoy Bastia so much … what a gorgeous town ! We took the time to visit the port area and check out prices for next season. The daily price for the port in town is high (50 euros) but the harbor master said he could give us a berth for the week at 200 euros, making it reasonable for the Med.

Port of Bastia

Visitor's berths, Bastia

Charming Bastia
From Taverna we could see the island of Montecristo and as we moved up the coast to Bastia, the other Tuscan islands came into view. We hadn’t thought much about cruising the Tuscan islands but after seeing them so close and talking to other sailors in the area, they will definitely be on our schedule for next year. It’s a wonderful thing to close down a season and to be so enthusiastic to start up again next year.

One of the Tuscan islands peeking out behind Bastia's old town.
And now, back to land life and cool, grey, rainy months of hibernation (...and cruise planning!)  

Happy Halloween !