October 5, 2019 archive

Elba – Capraia – no Corsica – Loano – Part Three

The night was not very comfy and we woke up a few times. The patter of the rain could be heard all night long…

Morning came and the rain had gone at least.

While drinking our coffee, we decided to skip Corsica definitely and head “home” directly instead. It was a shame of course, but the risk was too high that we would get stuck in a marina there for several days and wouldn’t be able to leave the island.

So around 11h everything was packed and we were ready to leave Capraia. Our neighbour, by the way, left the same morning at 7 o’clock for La Spezia. We’d wished him good luck and a safe trip home the evening before.

We reckoned between 15 – 18 hours to Loano and hoped for fairly calm weather. Please, no thunderstorm and high waves! Rain wouldn’t be a problem, we had our bad weather gear with us.

Surprisingly, the weather became even better than we dared to hope for. Even the sun showed herself! The waves were a bit uncomfortable, though, and Luna Azzurra got thrown from one side to the other. So going to the toilet or having lunch was a bit of a challenge.

The day went and we even managed to cook dinner. A few bruises were the price to pay! Afterwards – it was already 22h – Patrik went to bed and I started my 2.5 hours night watch.

Not much happened during my watch, aside from some lightnings and far away thunder. And of course the lights from the big cruisers and merchant ships were visible.

At one a.m. it was my turn to sleep and I was grateful for that. According to our plotter, the ETA in Loano was 04.20h – perfect timing!

I woke up earlier than I had to, due to waves drumming on the boats hull…Apparently, the weather became worse. So I got dressed and went upstairs.

Patrik and a thunderstorm, roaring directly above us, greeted me when I entered the cockpit! GREAT!!

At least we could see the shore and its lights, but we were still 1.5 hours away from Loano. Boy, did we long for land!

It was time to place the fenders, which was my task. Just for a moment, a worrying thought crossed my mind, what if I fell overboard? Patrik wouldn’t have a chance to hear or see me in the water…. *gulp*

Anyway, I managed and returned safely to the cockpit. Only about 40 minutes left…

Finally, we were outside the marinas entrance and in the dark it looked a bit confusing at first, plus several yachts were anchoring outside. We just hoped that none of them had forgotten to switch on their night anchor lights…

As soon as we were inside the marina, the water was as calm as a pond, which helped that the approach to our mooring went super smooth. It was Sunday, 8th September, 04.20h, when Luna Azzurra was safely secured and Patrik opened a well deserved beer – cheers, darling, well done!

Meanwhile, I used the facilities on land to brush my teeth and went to bed. Patrik followed soon after and, dog tired but grateful, we fell asleep.

The next few days we were busy, removing the bimini and sprayhood. The bimini we wanted to take home, mostly, because we will be getting new covers for it. Annoyingly, the existing ones were damaged during the transport to Italy.

The factory in Germany demands the damaged ones, before replacing them by new ones. Bit of a hassle, frankly…

Since fall and winter is coming, so we decided to remove the whole bimini, in order to avoid any damage.

And the sprayhood was removed because we want to buy a new one and the existing one can be used as a sample.

We also went to the ship chandler in the marina and bought a new furling line. The old one was too scuffed. The new one fits beautifully with the genoa sheet, though. Colourwise, I mean :o) And YES, it’s important!

On Monday – it was a wonderful and sunny day – we drove to Albenga. Not for shopping this time, but we were invited for lunch by Igor and Donatella, some of our guests, who had chartered Luna Azzurra during the summer. Of course we followed the invitation and looked forward to finally meet him and his wife. Patrik had had quite a bit of whatsapp contact with him.

After a short search, we found the little, but very cosy restaurant called “Osteria N° 6” and were heartily greeted by the couple. Some other guests were seated at the table beside us.

 

We didn’t have to bother with the menu or wine list, everything was already prepared and we just had to sit down and enjoy.

The meal was absolutely fantastic, consisting of the classical Italian way, such as “antipasti” for a starter, then followed by “primi”, then “secondi”. Patrik got a tasty fish and for me everything was vegetarian (Patrik informed Igor earlier of course). The whole meal was accompanied by a bottle of prosecco, which fitted perfectly.

Some other guests from France came, ate and went again and finally we were the only ones and we could enjoy a glass of wine together and chat for a while. Donatella had to leave a bit earlier, since she was working at an office. So with a hug we said good by to her.

Time went very quick and twice I went to the car to pay for the parking.

After a stroll together through the beautiful old town of Albenga (Patrik and I had no idea what a history lies behind it) and Igor playing the tour guide, we returned to his restaurant.

The time was already 6 p.m., and Donatella meanwhile had returned again, when we finally said thank you and good bye. Of course we insisted to pay for the meal (at least partly).

With hugs and promises to meet again, we left and went to our car. It must have been almost seven when we arrived at our boat. Well, at least we didn’t have to bother with dinner.

We planned to drive home on Wednesday, 11th September. So on Tuesday afternoon we were cleaning and scrubbing Luna Azzurra thoroughly.

In the evening we had dinner at “Shardana Wine & Sea”, our favourite restaurant in Loano (so far). The pizza was fantastic as usual and the wine “Just Black”!

Wednesday came and after packing everything together and loading the car, we said good bye to Luna Azzurra. It’s always quite emotional, for me at least…

It was around 13.30h when we were on the road, heading for Switzerland!

There was unexpectedly much traffic and even some jams, so it was almost 8 o’clock when we finally arrived at home!

We unpacked only the most necessary and were looking for Odin. He was surely hearing us, but preferred to hide for a while….Yeah well, cat-like! He turned up around two hours later, meowing and purring!

He maybe, nonetheless, was a tiny little bit happy to see us again. We were, for sure!

Luckily, we still had the rest of the week off and had time for washing, shopping, calling our parents and let our friends know that we are back again!

We surely look forward to our next visit in Loano and to greet Luna Azzurra again.

It hopefully won’t take too long!

 

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