Diana Naindenel

Author's posts

Another Piece in our Jigsaw

A bit more than a year ago we wrote about our plan to refit Luna Azzurras’s salon.

Instead of the bench, which we never use, we wanted to replace it with a cupboard. Back then we had the self-made blueprint and were looking for a carpenter.

Well, we successfully accomplished this project!

A friend of us works as a carpenter and he’d made reasonable offer for this custom-made piece of furniture.

Our only request was that it had to be a European type of wood. And it needed to be dismountable so we could transport it in our car. In the end, we settled for European Larch. We had no deadline for it, so he had all the time he needed.

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The cupboard was finished a few days before our summer vacation started. That was a bit of a too short notice to take it with us to Italy, so we agreed to pick it up after our vacation. He sent us some pictures, though, as a little appetizer 😉 VERY BEAUTIFUL!

Meanwhile, the cupboard sits in our cellar, mounted and looking gorgeous! In my mind I’ve organized and re-organized it at least a dozen times. Gosh, do I suddenly have too much space in the galley??   *haha*   Na, just kidding! 🤣

But it feels incredibly good, to tick another task off our to-do list!

 

 

A Sustainable Cell Phone

I URGENTLY needed a new cell phone!

The one I had so far is an iPhone 6, which I inherited from Patrik several years ago. And this summer it simply shattered… 🥴

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It still took me some time to accept that I do need a new cell phone (“but, it still works…”). Erm… no, there was simply no way around it! *grumble*

Luckily, I stumbled over “Revendo”, though.

https://revendo.ch/#

This Swiss company has been founded in 2013 and their philosophy is to reduce electronic waste and preserve resources. So they recycle/upcycle used devices, such as screens, laptops, smartphones, accessories….. The gadgets will be updated, cleaned, emptied (of course) and sold for a lower price as a brand-new one. Exactly, what I was looking for 😄

OK, you might have to be flexible with the colour, but usually a cell phone sits in a trendy case anyway.

And – ta-daaa – I found the perfect “new” cell for me, it’s an iPhone 11, as good as new, with a one- year warranty! There, my demand to purchase as sustainable as possible has been fulfilled!

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I know that soon one day I’ll need a new laptop…. The one I have now is – surprise – Patrik’s old one.

However, when the day comes, I already know where to look 😎

High – Higher – Highfield

Voilà!

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This is our new dinghy, a brand-new Highfield CL 260! Boy, are we proud 🤗

Since our old one gave up this summer (R.I.P.), it was clear we needed to buy a new one. The brand didn’t matter so much, but it had to have an aluminium bottom. Plus the price should be reasonable. Plus it had to be mint-green…haha, just kidding (would have been nice, though…). Even a good second hand one would have been OK. But no luck there, as it turned out.

Anyway, after searching for a while and trying to get offers from different distributors in Europa (mainly from Italy), we were positively surprised to find a company in Switzerland, Kohler Nautec in Riazzino.

Apparently, they are the exclusive importer for Highfield, so we hit the right place! ⚓

I wrote to them, asking if they had a CL 260 in white on stock. If not, how long the lead time would be. And if they could ship it to us.

The answer came immediately: They had a new Highfield CL260 in light grey from 2018 on stock, and we would get a discount of 15%! And yes, it could be shipped through a freight forwarder for a fair price.

Well, light grey or white………. so what! The brand is well-known and it convinced us totally. Not cheap, but high quality! So we placed the order and a week later we had it in our garage!

Cool, it is a great dinghy indeed, with even a bow locker. Four metal loops to hang it on the davits are placed in the aluminium bottom, which is perfect! No weight on the rubber hulls.

So, Summer 2022, we’re more than ready for you 😎

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Summer Sailing 2021 (Episode 5)

It’s Saturday, 7th August, 09.00 a.m., and we’re more than ready to switch Portoferraio for Rosignano Solvay! Arrivederci, Elba!

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The sun was shining and the waves were finally comfortable enough for a smooth passage. Even the winds were well-disposed to us, so we hoisted the genoa. Around eleven o’clock we were passing the canal between Elba, heading to the mainland, with waves no more than 1.20m high. It was really nice down-wind sailing! ⛵

At around 3 p.m. we were close to the Marina Cala di Medici and we started the engine and reefed-in the genoa. Half an hour later we were safely moored in the marina.

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After the usual registration procedure, we had a look around the shops (still the same ones 😉, haha) and enjoyed an aperitif beside the pontoons with all the yachts lying there.

Tonight, we planned to have dinner at a small pizzeria we knew from our earlier visit in 2019. So we didn’t have to rush, but took it easy. Later we had a shower and soon were ready to go out. It took us about 15 minutes to get there.

We were seated at the tiny patio and again, we weren’t disappointed from the food and friendly service. No too much to choose from, but very tasty! And once again we noticed that we were the only non-Italians. An almost endless stream of locals also showed up, obviously to pick-up their ordered pizzas. It truly must be THE insider tip, by the looks of it!

However, it must have been around midnight when we returned to Luna Azzurra. Since we had quite a long journey ahead of us tomorrow, we went to bed directly – good night darling!

The next day (8th August) was a bit cloudy but nothing to worry about. And sure enough, after a while the sun was shining again. WOBBLE was done and after 10 a.m. we left the marina, heading for the Canale di Portovenere. The journey should take us about eight hours.

Sadly the wind was too poor for a successful sailing. We hoisted both sails anyway though, in order to safe some fuel.

At around four o’clock we passed Viareggio. ETA is still scheduled for +/- 6 p.m. and the sun was still beautifully laughing at us! 🌞

And so it happened, at approx. 6.30 we dropped anchor. It wasn’t easy to find a suitable spot, since there were many boats scattered around the canale. But we were lucky again and after taking the bearings we happily enjoyed our well-earned aperitif, while the evening sun shone on us!

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A bit later I prepared a new dough for the next day and we cooked dinner! *yum-yum*

Afterwards we discussed the plan for the next day. It would be a non-stop/over-night sailing to Loano, arriving on the 10th of August. Finger’s crossed!

Certainly, we would have preferred following the coast line for a bit longer, perhaps add another night or two anchoring. But unfortunately, we were a bit under time pressure, since we planned to be home in Switzerland latest on Thursday, 12th August. On the 13th we needed to pick-up Odin 🐾

As usual, before heading home we wanted to do as much laundry as possible, plus Luna Azzurra had to be cleaned as well.

Anyway, we knew the trip to Loano would take about 12 hours. And since we weren’t keen on arriving in the middle of the night, we settled to leave Portovenere tomorrow evening, around 6 p.m. would be perfect!

Cool, that meant we could have a good long sleep-in the next day!

Said and done! The sun woke us around 9 and we took our time to get up, reading a bit (me a bit longer) and later preparing coffee (Patrik). Later I baked the bread (fantastico again 😄) and Patrik prepared a tomato sauce for our dinner, which would be gnocchi, salad, accompanied by freshly baked bread *mmhhh*

Faster than we thought, the day passed and suddenly it was time to leave. Bye everyone!

It was so incredibly kitschy, we literally sailed into the marvellous sunset, towards the open sea!

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At around 7.30 we ate dinner – which was very tasty – made some coffee afterwards and just admired the beautiful surrounding. To top it all, dolphins suddenly showed up and stayed with us for a while 🐬

On we went and soon we sat in the dark, deciding who’s turn it was to sleep first. It was mine, from midnight until 03 a.m. *hehe*

 When it was my turn for the three hours night watch, we had a short briefing, but apparently nothing unusual had happened. ETA was meanwhile approx. 7.30 a.m., since we’d reduced the speed a bit.

Allrighty then, sleep well, älskling!

Of course, my watch wasn’t boring at all (I wish it was). We were in the middle of the fairway from/to Genoa (and later Savona) with loads of ferries and the odd cruiser or containership. In between were also small(-er) fishing boats. I was praying that all of them had their lights on…..

Also, this time we didn’t have a radar, only the AIS. (For me it would be the last night sailing without a radar, that’s for sure!).

I also had to wake up Patrik twice, since the plotter shut down (it was his with HIS fingerprint code on the tablet – smart).

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Anyway, we made it to Loano in the end and at 8.15 we switched off the engine. The sun was already up and a bright day was awaiting us!

Some people also were already up and busy, some waving to us their greetings! Ciao amici!

Well, the remaining time we spent with cleaning, washing and packing our stuff!

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On the 12th August, 10 a.m., we were ready to head home. Most of all we looked forward to see our Odin again 💕! Hopefully everything went well at the cat hotel, and he was still the same!                                            Little did we know….. 😿

Summary

Altogether, we experienced once again fantastic summer holidays and enjoyed the Med and our Luna Azzurra very much!

What worries us increasingly, though, is the (plastic) pollution. Since we started sailing, we are much more sensibilized and shocked over and over, at how littered the sea is. And how little people care!

As we haven’t sailed the “big oceans” yet, we only know from the media, what dramas are happening around the world. Massive destroying and killing – be it for profit or ignorance – and daily precious live is silently disappearing……..

I’m more than stunned about how little is still being done to protect our oceans! How much longer can we wait? When do we finally react? When do we realize that everyone needs to do their part to safe our planet?

We hope very soon – for the oceans  🦈🦞🐳🦀🐬

Summer Sailing 2021 (Episode 4)

The next day (Wednesday, 04th August) was a little cloudy and the weather forecast advised sailors to search shelter. Bad weather was expected!

It was around 9.30 a.m. when we left the Golfo della Lacona and headed for Portoferraio!

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Soon we could hoist the sails and switched off the engine. Even the sun had come forward and joined us!

Patrik had also contacted the Marina Marciano as an alternative and asked if they had room for us. Sadly they didn’t, so we concentrated on Portoferraio and hoped to get a positive answer soon.

Around lunch the wind died and more and more clouds were showing. Suitable to that scenery, we saw a dead sea turtle floating on her back in the water…. I think that was one of the saddest views I have ever seen! We finally were lucky enough to see a sea turtle and it was dead – it was so incredibly sad 😢

Around three o’clock we approached Portoferraio and headed directly towards the fuel station. Annoyingly, it was still closed and some other boats were already waiting. So we turned around and headed for the opposite site, in order to anchor and wait. We still hadn’t received an answer from the marina office and Patrik tried to contact them again…and again!

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Finally, it was almost 5 p.m., Patrik reached someone, just to be told the marina was fully booked, tonight and tomorrow. Apparently, it wasn’t even possible to just get inside to fill up the water tanks! Damn…..!

Well, at least we had a safe spot for the night and the bay filled up with more boats. All looking for shelter and/or tried to get a mooring in the marina, like us.

We had an aperitif and enjoyed a nice dinner later. And soon it was bedtime –  buona notte 🌘

During the night we had some rain and a little thunderstorm passed by, but the sun greeted us in the morning, so that was a highlight.

We left our spot after 9 o’clock and went to the fuel station to at least fill up diesel (118l). That went smoothly and due to the nice weather, we decided to leave Portoferraio and sail to Porto Baratti – the nice bay we anchored a few nights ago.

We were aware that our water supply became critical, so evening showers were off the list and the odd “sponge bath” would come into action 😳 Luckily, drinking water was no problem – our storage was still full!

The waves were quite high (ca 70cm) outside the protected bay, but that didn’t bother us much (yet). Determined we were motoring towards the mainland. Other boats (bigger and smaller ones) were also out sailing or heading somewhere.

The waves became higher and after another hour or so we had to understand that leaving Elba was impossible. I must admit, for me it was the first time on a boat that I became worried!

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In the end we had to turn around (grudgingly) and return to Portoferraio, where we would be anchoring for at least another night. What a nonsense, for almost two hours we tried to get away and wasted diesel for nothing! 💩

At least we got a good anchor spot again and after we took the bearings, Patrik tried to contact two small marinas nearby. Esaom Cesa and Edilnautica Marina. Both actually industrial marinas but at least we could get water…..

Erm…No, we couldn’t, since both marinas also were fully booked! Mamma Mia, what shall we do?

The Marina Cala di Medici – in Rosignano – called and told us they had a berth for us. Before we left this morning, Patrik tried even to contact them and asked for a spot. That would have been a trip of 32 NM, but we would at least be in a safe marina.

However, since we couldn’t leave the island, we had to decline their offer. Plus it probably was for the best, because the weather forecast had changed and wasn’t very promising for the next day either.

It was 6 p.m. when suddenly the marina office from Portoferraio called and told us they had a berth for us for one night. We could enter the port in about an hour! HURRAYYYY – we were unbelievably relieved and waited gladly for the hour to pass 🥳

Around 7.30 p.m. we were finally moored, squeezed in between a 48 foot sailing boat and a 70 meter super yacht! We couldn’t be happier and started immediately to fill our water tanks. And hey, we could have a shower tonight, cool 🚿

I also prepared a dough for another bread I wanted to bake the next day. Later in the evening we strolled around town and made plans for the next day.

Since we only were allowed to stay one night and the weather still wouldn’t be better, we had to anchor outside once more and spend another night there. But before we would leave the marina, we had to go grocery shopping, though!

So the next morning (06th August) we found a big COOP and a lovely market with fresh veggies and fruits.

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The deadline to leave the marina was twelve o’clock and at 12.15 we were already anchored outside, not too deep either. At least the sun was shining, but the sea was too unpredictable to leave Elba….

So we spent the day with reading and preparing a bit for dinner. I also baked the bread which turned out very tasty again! Plus Patrik changed the instruments.

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After checking the weather forecast, Patrik called the Marina di Medici again and asked for a berth for the next night. Luckily, they still had some available 🍀 So, finally, tomorrow we would leave Elba! *yeah*

Summer Sailing 2021 (Episode 3)

Saturday, 31st July, 5 a.m., time to get up! Porto Baratti – our next anchor spot – is calling, chop chop!

At 6.30 a.m. I steered Luna Azzurra out of the marina and into a beautiful sunset. The sea was calm, but sadly no wind, so we were motoring.

Two hours later we passed Isola Gorgona. We also met a couple of cargo ships on our way. Patrik was enjoying his new toy, AIS. Writing down the names of the big vessels, their speed and where they were heading to.

Around lunch we were still motoring due to lack of wind. Then finally in the afternoon we hoisted the mainsail and could reduce the engine to 1400 rpm. But only for a short while, bummer!

It was around 3.15 p.m. when we dropped the anchor at Porto Baratti – finally successfully – for the third time. Attempt one and two failed due to poor holding and the – suddenly existing – wind (force 8-10).

Well, hopefully the night would be calmer (it was indeed 😉). The bay itself is a beauty and many other yachts were around, with people swimming and enjoying the sun. Most of them left late in the afternoon, though, probably heading home. For most who stayed for the night – like us – it was probably the last stop before heading to Elba.

I decided to join the galley and prepare the dough for our bread I wanted to bake tomorrow. But first we enjoyed an aperitive and watched our surroundings.

After dinner and some more planning about what to see and visit in Elba, we went to bed. It was a calm night and we slept peacefully!

 

The next day, it was Sunday 01 August, we woke to a beautiful day. The sun was shining and since there were no waves, we saw many fishies in the clear water 🐟

At ten o’clock WOBBLE was completed and we were ready to leave. Next stop would be Porto Azzurro / Elba, anchoring again. Since the weather was changing, some thunder and rain was expected, we assumed that many boats would be there, searching shelter.

The journey itself was not too long. ETA was scheduled for 2 p.m. We did some sailing, motor sailing (due to unstable winds), but all in all we had a nice sailing trip. Around one we passed the little island Palmaiola.

Luckily, the bad weather only grazed us. The sky was pretty dark and we felt a few drops but that was all.

Our assumption became true when we entered the bay of Porto Azzurro: It was crowded! It took us two shots (due to poor holding) and at least 45 minutes, until we were safely moored! Unpleasant memories of last time popped up, when it took us 2 hours until we were safely anchored….. Well, this time we had a new and better anchor at least!

However, this place will never be our favourite spot. Although, our Waters Pilot book says the bay offers good holding, somehow, we haven’t found that “secret” spot yet! 😉

Nevertheless, we were there – safe and sound – and planned to stay until the bad weather had passed 😅

That afternoon I also changed the bedlinen and towels and did some handwashing (not the bedlinen of course, but some bikinis and small stuff). And, last but not least, I baked our bread, which turned out really yummy!

Surprisingly, the next day (02nd August) looked calm and sunny. After we checked the weather forecast, we decided to leave and head for the Golfo della Lacona, on the southern side of Elba. We had lovely memories of this bay (and a, say, funny one….), so we looked forward anchoring there for two days and hopefully would be able to enjoy the water ⚓

It would be a short trip, only about three hours or so, so we took our time, enjoyed our morning coffee and getting slowly ready. At 11 a.m. we started the engine and off we were, towards our new destination!

We entered the gulf at 1.30 p.m., with only two other boats present. So we could choose whatever spot suited us best – sweet 😊 Half an hour later we were settled and clinked our glasses to a successful day so far! It was a bit cloudy and small waves played around, so none of us felt like for a swim. It didn’t matter, we enjoyed our “dolce far niente”. I lay in my hammock – which is by the way one of the best gadgets on board – and Patrik was reading.

 

Once again, we wished we had a dinghy. The bars and restaurants at the beach looked very inviting.

Of course, we could have taken the SUP’s and paddle to the shore, but we didn’t want to take the risk of leaving them unattended lying there. The beach was buzzing with people.

At least we still had enough provision with us, plus some veggies and salad. But we knew that we needed to fill up the diesel and water tanks, as soon as would we get to Portoferraio – which would be our next stop.

The next day was marvellous: Sunshine and the sea was quite calm. That meant time to go swimming and paddling 🌞

Patrik also tried to contact the marina office at Portoferraio during the day, in order to book a mooring for the next night. Annoyingly, he couldn’t reach anyone, either by telephone, or email.

We weren’t worried yet and thought that in the worst case, we just fill up diesel and water and anchor outside the harbour. We have done that two years ago, so we knew how the surrounding looks like. Also, the bay there has a good holding and is pretty good protected from bad weather.

Eventually, evening came. We did some dinner and had a quick shower. Since we were sure to fill up the tanks tomorrow, we weren’t particularly worried about the water supply (yet).

Little did we know that this would change soon…. 💧

Summer Sailing 2021 (Episode 2)

It was the 27th July and at 9.30 a.m. when we left, heading for Levanto.

Since it was sailing weather, our mainsail and genoa were out from 10 a.m. until 1.30 p.m. Sadly, motor sailing was necessary afterwards. The auto pilot was working, which was a good thing. At 4 p.m. we dropped anchor at Levanto bay. It was cloudy and windy (8 knots), but the waves were OK.

 

We had a comfy evening, cooked a nice dinner which we enjoyed with a glass or two of wine and went to bed quite early.

The next day – 28th July – we were ready after ten o’clock and left Levanto bay. Our next aim was the Canale di Portovenere, which lies south of La Spezia.

The sea gate – known as Le Bocche – is another well-known and good protected anchor spot (not too well known, we hoped….). Just opposite the village of Porto Venere lies the largest of the three islands in the Gulf of La Spezia and all of Liguria: Isola Palmaria, with its smaller companions Tino and Tinetto. It forms the archipelago called Arcipelago Spezzino.

Since 1997 Palmaria, together with Tino and Tinetto, as well as Porto Venere and the Cinque Terre, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Source: Wikipedia)

However, we had to get there first. The weather was clear and sunny, so we would be able to fully relish the famous Cinque Terre. It consists of the pretty and old fishing villages called Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

It was around 1.30 p.m. when we dropped anchor. The Canale di Portovenere actually WAS very crowded. So it took us a while to find a suitable spot, which was on the Isola Palmaria side.

The passage itself is also quite busy with vessels, driving tourist back and forth between the mainland to the island.

Some clouds had appeared but otherwise the weather was fine, and we watched the action happening around us.

Once again, we wished we had a tender. Particularly in the evening, when we saw the beautifully illuminated village of Porto Venere. What a shame we weren’t able to visit!

The sun greeted us the next morning and around 8.30 we were ready and left the Canale di Portovenere. We’ll probably spend a night here again on our way back.

Next stop was Pisa. Patrik had prebooked a place at the Marina di Pisa for two nights. Tomorrow we wanted to take the bus into the city of Pisa and make sure, the famous Leaning Tower was still leaning 😉

Unfortunately, there was no wind at all (between 1 and 3 knots….), so we were motoring the whole way. Also, the sea was very calm and looked “oily”. It was a hot and sunny summer day!

It was 2 p.m., when we were moored and ready to go to the marina office for registering.

Afterwards we swabbed the deck, since Luna Azzurra was incredibly dirty and dried saltwater made the whole surface sticky and yucky!

The Marina di Pisa is quite new, finished in 2013 (I think) and very modern! The restaurant and bar sit in the middle, with yachts – mostly visitors – parked around. Our spot was just beside the bar and restaurant, very handy 🥂

So, while Luna Azzurra was drying, we allowed ourselves a prosecco in the stylish outside bar.

 

We cooked dinner on board that evening and looked forward to our trip the next day! 🗺

After ten o’clock we were at the bus stop waiting, armed with water bottles and a map of Pisa. It was already hot and the temperatures should rise over 30 deg. C during the day 🌡.

The bus ride took about 30 minutes to the city. With the help of our little map we finally found the correct street and direction to the tower. Well, actually we could have just followed the signs (which we didn’t see first), or the other tourists….. Easy to detect, with their white (or sunburnt) skin and all kind of different languages.

It was a bit difficult to get through the entrance gate to the area with the tower, churches and other buildings. There were so many Africans who – almost aggressively – wanted to sell their “souvenirs” from their home country.

Once inside we mingled with the other tourists, took photos (no we didn’t do THE posing with the Leaning Tower!) and I bought two magnets. That’s usually my only souvenir I buy when I travel.

On our way back to the bus station, we enjoyed a cool drink. The shops were sadly (Patrik’s luck) all closed for the afternoon “siesta”.

We were back at the marina after five o’clock. Our beautiful, clean Luna Azzurra was gleaming in the sun and we saw many swallows flying around or sitting on the boats.

We decided another prosecco wouldn’t hurt so we opened a bottle and sat in our cockpit. Since we planned to have dinner in a restaurant, we studied the internet to find one. There were a few and we didn’t think it would be necessary to book a table…. BIG mistake as we found out later…. 😯

If I remember correctly it was almost nine o’clock till we sat at a table and were ordering. It wasn’t our first-choice restaurant, but the service very friendly and the food good.

Around midnight we were back at our boat, Patrik had a last grappa and I went to bed directly, I was dog tired. Plus, we had to get up early the next day. Our next destination was a bay called Porto Baratti, just north of Piombino, with its ferries, serving Elba and Pianosa, a little island south of Elba.

So, Buona Notte!

Stop the Bloodbath

http://stopthebloodbath.afd.org.au/petition

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