Palmarola

One of the Pontine islands, and one of the most isolated in the Mediterranean.  It is said that only one person lives here year-round, but we saw no-one on land as we kayaked around.

The Romans called this island Palmaria, and that was its name when General Belisarius forced Pope Silverius to abdicate in November 537 and sent him here to die a month later.

Anchoring Peregrinus at Palmaria: as usual, the Admiral drives while the Seaman goes forward on deck to control the windlass.  4 September 2016, iPhone 6 Plus.

Anchoring Peregrinus at Palmaria: as usual, the Admiral drives while the Seaman goes forward on deck to control the windlass.  4 September 2016, iPhone 6 Plus.

Rambler 88 across the Atlantic

Sailing around, Peregrinus comes across things.

On January 15, 2015, this boat passed us on starboard, as fast as if we were standing still, as we approached the Fort Lauderdale inlet, on the final leg of our trip from Nova Scotia.  They were rushing for the starting line of the race to Key West, which started about 15 minutes after they reached the staging area, just as we turned into the channel.  Talk about cutting it close.  Rambler 88 went on to win 2nd place.

Forward a year-and-half later, September 3, 2016.  As we departed the Costa Smeralda en route to Ponza, the whole fleet of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 was coming out of Porto Cervo for training just ahead of the regatta that ran 4 to 10 September.  Rambler 88 again passed our starboard, only this time, in the opposite direction.  They didn't do all that well this time; so Peregrinus is probably not their lucky charm.

Click the bar at the bottom for more photos, including one of Lionhearted.

The fleet

Rare photo showing most of the Peregrinus micro-fleet: the stand-up paddle board, the kayak, the sailboat, and, in the foreground, the 2.85-meter Zodiac tender.  Not shown: the Achilles LT-2 2.2-meter tender.

At Isola Budelli, La Maddalena Archipelago, Sardinia.  31 August 2016.

At Isola Budelli, La Maddalena Archipelago, Sardinia.  31 August 2016.

The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!

We were shadowed.  The 20th of August, they were the boat looming immediately next to us, at anchor, in Golfo Pevero.  The 21st, as Peregrinus sat unsuspecting at Porto Liccia, they passed us by.  Not once, but twice.  The 22nd, we anchored at Cala di Volpe and after dinner at Baretto, what did we find as we tendered back aboard in the dark night?  The Russians again, this time anchored not a mile away.  The 23rd, we thought we had gotten away, as there was no sign of Russkies at Golfo Aranci.  Free at last!

Not so.  As we steamed up the canal into Olbia on the 24th, there they were, right on our tail, and gaining on us.  Full speed ahead!  We only lost them by heading to the old fishing port, too shallow for them.  They went into the commercial port, and stayed in town for the next couple of days.

Dilbar, the Russian boat, is the largest yacht in the world by volume, and the fourth by length.  Maybe next time someone shadows us they'll use a more subtle vehicle.

Objects in rearview mirror are closer than they appear.  Dilbar hot on the heels of Peregrinus, and gaining!  Port of Olbia access canal, Sardinia, 25 August 2016.  iPhone 6 Plus.

Objects in rearview mirror are closer than they appear.  Dilbar hot on the heels of Peregrinus, and gaining!  Port of Olbia access canal, Sardinia, 25 August 2016.  iPhone 6 Plus.

Rush hour in Porto Cervo

August in Porto Cervo.   Rush hour happens twice a day: half-past noon, and six o'clock in the afternoon.  At six o'clock, there is a mad rush to return to the docks, and get ready for cocktails, dinner, and parties.  

Of course this means getting up in the morning is best left to the yacht crews and other hired help, who are seen running around from soon after sunrise, cleaning decks, polishing windows, and provisioning fresh delicacies at the mini-market by the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club clubhouse.  Their employers only start to roll-out of their cabins by late morning, so it takes until after high noon for the mad yacht cavalcade out of port to start.

On this rather random photo, almost a dozen yachts are gunning their engines on their way out and Peregrinus' Zodiac tender pretty much had to get out of the way, or get run over.

Porto Cervo, 12:27 PM, 19 August 2016.  iPhone 6 Plus.

Porto Cervo, 12:27 PM, 19 August 2016.  iPhone 6 Plus.

How it's done

We saw this guy sailing in front of San Marco, across the entrance to the Gran Canal, right by the Punta de la Dogana, and carry on all along the Dorsoduro fondamentas.

Full sail, course steady, and let the vaporettos and the sightseeing boats get out of the way.

Venezia, 4:14pm, 19 February 2017.  Leica Typ 114.

Venezia, 4:14pm, 19 February 2017.  Leica Typ 114.

The race to Nelson Bay

As sunset approaches, all sorts of vessels coming from the Lavezzi islands (France, near Bonifacio), and from the northwestern La Maddalena archipelago (Italy) race south to Nelson Bay and points east, to seek overnight shelter; and no wonder, as Lord Nelson himself proposed the Admiralty should base its Med fleet here.

Peregrinus anchored on Nelson Bay, in Porto Rafael's waterfront.  This Porto was founded in the late 1950's by the fifth Count of Berlanga del Duero, who managed to get himself kicked out of his native Spain by writing the Governor of Málaga as follows: «I, Rafael Neville Rubio Argüelles, Count of Berlanga del Duero and by God's Grace, faggot, am honored to invite you home for a party.»

The entrance to Nelson Bay.  In the background, La Maddalena island; on the right, the town of La Maddalena proper.  iPhone 6 Plus, 5:50 PM, 16 August 2017.

The entrance to Nelson Bay.  In the background, La Maddalena island; on the right, the town of La Maddalena proper.  iPhone 6 Plus, 5:50 PM, 16 August 2017.

Bonifacio by day

Boniface II of Lucca founded the city in 828 as a defensive outpost against Saracen attacks on Tuscany;  the fortifications held inviolate for 725 years, when the Moslems under Turgut Reis penetrated the city and massacred all 298 Genoese soldiers.

An idyllic and peaceful place now, we spent the better part of a week in Bonifacio and surroundings.  It is one of the most spectacular locations we have visited.

15 August 2016, iPhone 6 Plus

15 August 2016, iPhone 6 Plus

Bonifacio at night

In your limestone carcass
what memories are contained
that waft between the arches?
———Michel Auzet,

Far Away Love

Bonifacio in the middle of August: party town.  We left Peregrinus at its anchorage in Cala di Paragnanu, a mile-and-half west, and arrived by tender.  Beyond the port, what looks like clouds is, in fact, limestone cliffs.  10:48pm, 14 August 2016, iPhone 6 Plus.

Bonifacio in the middle of August: party town.  We left Peregrinus at its anchorage in Cala di Paragnanu, a mile-and-half west, and arrived by tender.  Beyond the port, what looks like clouds is, in fact, limestone cliffs.  10:48pm, 14 August 2016, iPhone 6 Plus.

Daredevils

In the bays of Beaulieu-sur-Mer and of Ajaccio the charts have markings for "zone for alighting of hydroplanes".  No-one seems to much care about them, and  boats of all sorts cross these rather centrally located zones and even (illegally) anchor in them.

It is only when one hears the propeller noise —when these fire-fighting airplanes execute a warning flyby— that one realizes the French are not kidding.  In other countries, one might think a coast guard or police boat might come by and clear the field in advance.  Not in France.  Here, these fearless pilots just plunge in.

Bay of Ajaccio, 10 and 11 August, 2016.  Click for more photos.  In the last photo, two pick up water at the same time, side-by-side, one a bit ahead of the other.