Category: Story

Our Vacation Has Started

Yesterday, Saturday 24th August, our vacation has finally started! *smile*

Although, not very gentle, since we got up four (4!!) o’clock in the morning, in order to leave home at five! *biiig yawn*

But it was worth it, because we arrived in Loano just before lunchtime, which was perfect! This time we brought our provisions and water from home, since we didn’t wanted to waste time, with grocery shopping in Italy. Plus, we won’t need much, since we’re sailing non-stop only to Rosignano Solvay and leave Luna Azzurra at the wharf, for her “make over”.

So yesterday we left Loano soon after our arrival and on our way to Tuscany, passed the Gulf of Genoa. We hoped the trip wouldn’t take much longer than 20 hours and that the Weather Gods would be on our side!

Today, Sunday morning, we arrived at the Marina Cala de’ Medici, where we’ll stay for one night. On Monday, before 8 a.m. we’ll sail our boat over to the wharf, which is  just around the corner, were we’ll hand her over to the staff.

After that we’ll get our rental car and head for Naples! We decided to drive southwards, instead of exploring Tuscany. Mainly since I have never been in Naples, although it’s my father’s home town – and therefore a little bit mine as well. So, it’s well overdue that I finally visit this lively city!

Patrik has been there a couple of times, due to his work….and he liked it a lot! Very promising!

Anyway, last week I’ve booked a hotel room at the “Hotel Miramare”, from 27th to 30th August and we hope it is as nice as described. On the way to Naples we’ll spend the night in a hotel which we’ll choose spontaneously.

Sadly, we won’t have a lot of time in Naples, and we want to see so many things there: Pompeji and Herculaneum is a MUST of course! If we’ll climb on top the Vesuvius…we’ll see. The Amalfi coast with its picturesque city Positano would be lovely to see, as also the island of Capri – with the famous “Grotta Azzurra”!

Naples and it’s old city also offers a lot, worth to visit: The different museums, countless churches, the Duomo Di San Gennaro of course, catacombs and – last but not least the Castello Reale. Not for nothing belongs the old part of the city to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, since 1955!

Naturally we’ll need to try the real Pizza Napoletana – apparently from here the tasty dough-cake started its triumphal procession in the year 1889.

Well, well, we’ll see if the saying is true: „Vedi Napoli e poi muori“, means “If you have seen Naples, you can die calmly”  .

I haven’t mentioned that I even have an auntie who lives in Naples. I haven’t seen her in – hmm…I believe – over 30 years! We keep a casual contact and last week I tried to called her to ask, if we could meet. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach her…maybe the phone number has changed, who knows? What a pity, really!

We hope to get Luna Azzurra back on Saturday, 31st August, that’s why we’re leaving Naples on the 30th and head North again.

We then just need to buy groceries and start the second part of our vacation – (almost) two weeks of sailing!

Our aim is sailing over to Elba and spend some days there, we also want visit the tiny island north of it, called Capraia Isola, and finally further to Corsica, where we also would like to spend some time.

Not too long though, since we also have to think about returning to Loano in good time. The trip will take about 17 hours.

We don’t know yet, how long we’ll be sailing around the islands and when exactly we’ll be back in Loano. Depends on the wind and weather of course! All we know for sure is that on the 13th or latest 14th September we’ll have to return to Switzerland, the week after we’ll start working again….

And before heading home we’ll need to clean Luna Azzurra thoroughly, which takes at least one day!

So let’s see what happens! We’ll try to keep you guys updated of course, but no guarantee is granted!          Yet, at the latest after our vacation you will read from us again!

Ciao Amici e a presto !

 

We hope for the best but plan for the worst.

It start to come close to our holiday and the planing start to become real … and.  …. Hhmmm soon some stress might come in  as well.

It is me as so called skippers to write a post. Even though Diana is as much skipper and have the same education.  Anyway it is quite an easy post only to show preliminary planed routes (fit to me perfect). Weather is will decide in the end and we are only human and have to follow suit and cannot do much more.

As Diana wrote some weeks ago we will leave home Saturday morning early (05:00): This to be able to arrive Loano before lunch. In Loano just take onboard all our gear and leave (OK we have a few small stuff to do before).

As we have seen it seems to be perfect winds and weather during our crossing of Gulf of Genoa. Winds between 10 and 15 knot with a temperature around. 25°C. We keep our fingers crossed that it stay like this. It would be wonderful to go under sail the complete voyage.

A overnight sailing is what we miss both Diana and I. It is hard to explain the feeling when you reach your goal one ore two days later. …

When Luna Azzurra is in Rosignano on the shipyard we will do some other traveling but this Diana will write about later on.

This is the preliminary route the we plan to sail.

We start of course in Loano and cross Gulf of Genoa to Rosignano. from there when Luna Azzurra is ready we will sail further south to the island of Elba where Napoleon was in prison during some years.

Our first leg from Rosignano will be approximately 37 NM to the bay of Procchio. this will take 5 -6 hours. Then finally we can jump in the warm Mediterranean sea for a nice swim in the late afternoon.

Second leg will be just around the corner to a city named Porto Ferrano if we can get some space in the marina. That might be hard as it is a tiny marina.

If no space we can sail a few nautical miles longer for an anchorage or we stay in the bay of Porto Ferrano and anchor there. We do have a dingy to drive in to town.

Third leg is to Porto Azzurro which was strongly recommended by Dianas brother. here we will for sure stay in the marina.

Next is over to a bay named marina di campo for a night on the hook and a swim in the bay. This is planned to be the last stop at Elba.

Next stop is planned to be on a little island named Capraia Island. Which is placed north west of Elba and east of the most northern part of Corse.

From Capraia we will head for Corse itself. Maybe for an anchorage on the east top of Corse. Or we sail all the way to Port Saint Florent. Depending of weather as usual.

Then comes the last Corse jump over to  a village named Calvi where we will fill up diesel and water. Maybe enjoy  a night or two before heading home.  The last leg is the 97 NM crossing of the Ligurian Sea. This will be the second over night sailing. The first was the 105 NM crossing off Gulf of Genoa.

This  route is approximately 400 Nautical miles in total. With two long legs of 100 NM each. The rest will be only a few hours jumps where we can just enjoy.

This is as everyone with some experience of the sea a preliminary planning. For those who follow us knows how we had it September 2018. Anyhow In the end the weather might force us to sail close to the cost of the Italian mainland home. Even so it will be a great holiday.

You should always think positive and enjoy life. Not be negative…. there is enough of those people around already.

We hope for the best but plan for the worst.

 

Stand Up Paddling & a Visit to the Theatre

Another week has gone (and our vacation is coming closer, hehe)!

Last Sunday Patrik and I tested our new stand up paddling boards. Around lunch time we drove to the Lake Constance and found our perfect parking spot! Half an hour later, our boards were inflated and we were ready to jump into the water!

The sun was shining and we had around 28 degrees C (the water was about 26 deg. C)! There were some small waves this time, which made it a bit tricky to stand up, so we were most of the time on our knees paddling, or just took a break sat on the boards, and enjoyed the view, sun and quietness!

After about two hours we slowly started to approach the shore again. Then, after the boards were dry we emptied them and packed everything together.

Since there was a very cozy bar just across the road, we decided to have a drink there, before driving home! It was a good decision and we declared this bar to one of our favorites!

It was almost five o’clock, when we came home – happy but pretty tired! Odin was there, greeting us with a huge yawn!  =^.^=

Nothing exciting happened during this week actually…..On Monday night and on Tuesday the weather had changed: It rained a lot with quite heavy thunderstorms! Thor was sending his regards, apparently J

Then, yesterday evening, Patrik and I met my family in Winterthur. Our aim was the “Sommertheater” and to see a play called “Schiff über Bord” (Ship Overboard). It was a while ago that we decided to have a reunion, so why not in the theater? And it’s not just “a” theatre, the “Sommertheater” was established 1865 and its extraordinariness is that the scene is outside. Surrounded by trees and a circus tent is built around the whole setup. Inside it feels like being back in time, it’s a cozy atmosphere, with simple chairs, little tables and a bar.

The tickets were already bought (thanks again, mum, for organizing) and seats booked – 16 of them – so we just had to meet in time. Which we did at 19.45h at the entrance. Yes, my closest family is quite big (and loud), my parents, my two brothers with their wives and two and four kids and Patrik and me.

Yesterday, even my aunt and uncle joined us, which was a real highlight, because we don’t see each other so often!

After saying hello to everyone, with hugs and kisses (which took some time naturally *smile*), we went inside and took our seats. At eight o’clock the play started – which was a comedy by the way – and we did have a few good laughs! There was a 20 minute pause and people could go to the toilet or buy a drink or/and snack at the bar. Around ten the play was finished and we decided to go to a restaurant/bar, in order to end the evening in a suitably way!

All in all we spent a lovely evening together and everyone enjoyed each others company! We’ll do it again, for sure!

We wish you all a wonderful weekend – cheers!

 

Happy Birthday Switzerland

This week was a short one – work related I mean!

The weather was nice and Patrik was lucky enough to capture some butterflies on camera!

On Thursday, 1st August was the Swiss National Day – which naturally is a holiday! And on Friday Patrik and I took the day off as well, as many others did!

Well, in the afternoon of 1st of August the sun was shining and my parents came for an aperitif and stayed until 4 p.m.  After they have left, Patrik and I slowly started to prepare our dinner, which was a raclette (real cheese for Patrik, vegan version for me).

It was around eight when we ate and later on the fireworks started. It looked nice of course, and with our wonderful view, we truly had VIP standards. On the other hand it felt wrong, knowing so many animals get scared and injured, when running away in sheer panic… At least we never bought firecrackers!

On Friday morning our stand up paddle boards were delivered – already!

Yes, yes, after testing these things last week, we were so hooked that we decided to have our own ones. After a few hours research about different brands and reading countless reviews, we decided that AZTRON might do the trick for us.

So after we pumped them up in our garage. We decided to drive to the Lake Constance to search for an ideal spot to  park our car and get into the water with our boards. Since it was quite cloudy we just wanted to have a look around. To be prepared for the big first day! It actually took us a while to find two or three places where it is legal to park and use the beach. Not easy here in Switzerland, since a lot of the waterfront is private and therefore trespassing signs are everywhere.

Friday evening was sunny again, and we decided to start our BBQ – mmhhh, yummy!

Today, Saturday, we are out, having our yearly reunion with my “old” boss and my former working colleague Susi. It was from 1994 until 2000 we worked in the same company. Although it was not always easy, somehow we kept in contact and try to meet once a year!

Tomorrow is Sunday and Patrik and I have planned to test our new stand up paddle boards! Let’s hope we don’t make to much of a fool of ourselves….

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

10th Wedding Anniversary

Congrats to us – on Wednesday, the 24th of July, Patrik and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary!

We, therefore, decided to take the week off (Patrik as from Wednesday) in order to enjoy a few days together! It was a wise choice, since the temperatures this week rose well over 30 deg. C! So, instead of being in a hot office, with people complaining about the heat, it was much nicer, to enjoy our garden and getting a few things done – celebrating our wedding day, for example!

Patrik had already booked a table at the restaurant at the Kartause Ittingen (an old monastery, which lies nearby) for the evening. So that part was settled.

For the day we wanted to do something special and drove to the Lake Constance. There we wanted to test/rent a stand up paddle board (SUP)! Why? Well, why not?! Lately, we became more and more interested in that kind of activity – not least did we fancy the idea, of having one in Italy, while sailing!

But first, after we arrived at the lake, we ate a small lunch in a lovely little restaurant by the waterfront, a fresh sallad suited us perfectly.

Afterwards, we strolled to the SUP shop close by, which sells and rents out all kind of boards and water sports equipment. The guy there was very helpful and answered patiently the many questions we had. Luckily, two boards were just available and after a short “dry introduction” on land, Patrik and I were off to the lake (100m from the shop).

Well, as mentioned, it was the first time for both of us and just getting into the water (without looking too silly) was a small challenge. But then we quickly adjusted to the new feeling and dared to stand up (aaahhh….therefore the name, haha!) – more or less successfully. The water temperature was around 23 deg. C and, compared to the air (approx 34 deg. C), it was a welcoming cooling down, voluntary or not!

We rented the boards for one hour only, so too soon the time was up and we had to return to the shop – together with a few more questions and a wide happy grin pinned on our faces!

All in all it was much more fun than we had expected and we came to the conclusion that we probably should buy our own ones….

But first, we had drink at the same little restaurant and discussed the new experience and how much fun we’ve had this afternoon!

Time went quick and suddenly we had to hurry, in order to get home and ourselves ready for the evening! With a delay of five minutes, we arrived at the restaurant and were seated at a table outside. It was a lovely spot, directly beside a little pond. Even a black cat visited – probably in the hope of getting some food.

 

Patrik and I spent a wonderful evening together, accompanied by a delicious dinner, nice wine and our mutual company!

The long day in the sun took it’s toll in the end and as soon as we were home again, yawning was unavoidable. We enjoyed a last glass of wine though, but then it was definitely bedtime…..

Good night, my darling, thanks for an amazing day and the 10 years being married!

 

About Sunshine, Moonshine and Never Forgotten Stars

Purrs everyone! Since my mum and dad were quite busy this week, I decided to take the reins in my paws and write this weeks post!

The summer is definitely back again, after a short break the week before. We are having between 27 – 32 deg. C again and it’s fine with me! I do enjoy the nice and sunny weather, as one can clearly see….my once black fur gets reddish brown. I’m bleached, bloody hell!

Well, others pay a lot of money for changing their hair color, I get it for free!

I was very busy lately with catching mice at the newly cut field across the street. My mum still doesn’t appreciate it, but at least she lets me eat my prey in peace. In return I promised not to take any of them inside (anymore) and that seems to work! My dad is still very proud of me, though, when he sees me with a big fat mouse between my teeth!

Of course, I also spend a huge amount of time sleeping under bushes, while listening to the birds around. Always ready to strike, in case one of them is a bit too cheeky!

The nights are different, naturally! Since I’m allowed to be outside (since a while), I have so much fun roaming Uesslingen by night….Although, nowadays I don’t go too far and always come home before dawn. Not least for my mums sake, otherwise she’s worried sick about me.

So usually, when she gets up in the morning she always starts looking for me first. Then she finds me sleeping deeply in my beloved basket – or another of my favorite places (just to keep the excitement up…hehe).

After she greeted me, we go inside, were I receive my goodies an my beloved oat milk *yummy* . A bit later dad also comes to the kitchen to get his coffee, so I also let him pet me but then it’s definitely time for my nap outside or in our winter garden, depending on the weather.

Hey, by the way, this week – on Tuesday night – the moon was disappearing!! Have you seen it? I even took some pics…..WOW, that was really exciting and I enjoyed it a lot!!

Last but not least, today is my brofur’s fourth day of death….Thor died on the 20th July 2015, by being hit by a car….I still miss him every day! My mum and dad also are still sad when they are talking about him. Sometimes they light a candle for him an Gulliver – the marvelous cat who was our predecessor.

Well, today there will definitely be some candles and maybe even some tears will be shared.

Nevertheless, life must go on…so in order to have some happy words for you at the end of this post: I wish you all a purrfect weekend and don’t forget to every now and then peek at the starry sky!    =^.^=

 

Planning Our Next Sailing Trip

Patrik and I have scheduled our big holidays for week 35-37! *YEAH*

Although, it still takes a while until then, Patrik (mostly him) has been looking for a suitable port for Luna Azzurra. We need to haul her out the water, in order to clean her hull and paint it with new antifouling.

So, sadly, we won’t have three joyous sailing weeks, but also some duty to fulfill.

At first we thought, we would sail her to Savona and do the job by ourselves. But since we have never done that before, we didn’t know exactly, how many days we needed to book. And every day on the dry dock costs money of course. Plus Savona itself (the harbour area at least) wasn’t very tempting to stay a week or so. There was no hotel nearby, nor a restaurant. Which means we would have needed a car there.

Therefore, we started to look around, which ports are offering to do this service and what does it cost. Loano itself would have been perfect, of course. We could have rented a lovely apartment or country house somewhere close, plus we would have our car.

The problem was that we didn’t get a clear reply about costs and the time they would need.

Meanwhile, we received an offer from the Marina di Scarlino, in Tuscany. A beautiful place and marina, which provides all kind of services – also the one we were looking for. It also lies very close to Elba, so even a trip to this island would have been possible (before or after the work done on Luna Azzurra).

But when we saw the prices, we quickly discarded this plan. Too expensive (for us at least)!

So in the end, we started to settle with the Marina Cala de’ Medici, in Rosignano Solvay, which also lies in Tuscany! The quotation is absolutely moderate and it specifies clearly the costs for each service. Another plus is that we always got a quick reply, when sending a question to the responsible person (and we had a few, believe me). Luckily, they still have capacity for our boat in week 35, which suits us perfectly.

The funny thing is that Patrik and I have been to this harbour in spring 2018, when we were looking for a sailing boat. We really much liked the marina with its wooden promenade, the nice little boutiques, cozy bars and nice restaurants. Not big, but comfy!

So this week we were checking the last details with the guy in Rosignano Solvay and figured out, what the costs for a rental car would be (absolutely OK).

So that’s our plan, so far: On Saturday, 24th August (when our vacation starts), we’ll drive to Loano. Then, on Sunday morning we shall leave the marina and head for Rosignano Solvay, the trip should take between 17-22 hours – depending on the weather of course. Naturally, we hope for fair winds and sunny summer weather (the average for this time of the year is around 30 deg. C and approx. 15 knots wind).

We agreed with the marina Cala de’ Medici, that on Monday morning (24th August) Luna Azzurra would be handed over. Patrik and I will grab our little bags, get our the rental car (a Fiat 500 maybe??) and head south, discovering the coast line, its surroundings and see how far we come. To see Naples would be nice of course…Or we stay in the area and travel around Tuscany. Visiting Florence and the Leaning Tower of Pisa….Well, we’ll see!

Hopefully our boat will be ready again until Saturday, 31st August. Then we need to buy all the needed groceries for our trip and enjoy (almost) two weeks of sailing, exploring Elba, maybe Corsica and heading back to Loano.

Well, that’s the plan so far….. We still have to find a competent cat sitter for our darling Odin. Sadly, Cony and her kids are moving away this summer, so she won’t be able to look after him. But we already have a possible successor.

We still have to plan some details and different possibilities about the sailing route, but so far it looks like a straight line from Loano to Rosignano Solvay. Wo-hoo, night sailing again J

For those who are having their vacation now or soon: Happy holidays everyone!

 

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