We were four onboard of Gladan when we left Capo D’Orlando Marina for good. Our friends, Salvo and Patti, surprised us with a last minute decision: they would accompany us until we’d get to Sardinia.
The original plan was to go to Ustica and then cross from there to Cagliari. Having studied the weather forecast though, we realised that following that route would have meant having the wind on the nose most of the time, which would make our sailing very difficult and the long crossing quite uncomfortable.
Salvo then came up with a brilliant idea: ‘why don’t we go visit Capri and Ischia and then cross from there to Olbia?’
It took us five seconds to agree to the new plan. Personally, I had never been to any of those so renowned islands so I was thrilled at the idea of seeing them.
The morning after, we set off very early. The journey didn’t start very well. While attempting to leave the pontoon we encountered our first problem: the starboard engine, which was supposed to be our good engine, suddenly turned off. We soon realised that one of the lazy lines of the marina had got entangled in the propeller. Gc dived into the water to free it. Capo D’Orlando didn’t want for us to leave!
Finally out of the marina, we started to make our way to Filicudi, the last island of the Eolian archipelago we would see before adventuring into the open sea: hundred and fifty miles to go, before hitting the rocky shores of Capri.
Time passed by quickly with the four of us talking about navigation, astronavigation, fishing and travelling. Everyone’s favourite topic, though, seemed to be food, especially around meals time – which means roughly every two hours when sailing!
Snacks of all kind had been allowed onboard of Gladan for Gc’s joy, who normally claims to have a miserable life, being forced to hide any ‘unhealthy’ food in his secret cupboard and dispose of it away from my sight.
Throughout the day, the sea was calm and sailing was good, with an average speed of 7 knots on a close reach.
Night came and we all sat on the flybridge, chit chatting and looking at the stars.
The wind picked up, varying from 17 to 23 knots, so we decided to reef the main, which had been fully open until then. The sea became quite choppy as we progressed towards our destination, so the second part of the crossing was not very comfortable.
The core crew was made of 3 people, with one of us disappearing for couple of hours at a time to hit the bed before returning upstairs on hearing “wake up, a baby dolphin”, or “come, quick, it’s a bunch of them this time”.
There were storms with lighting ahead and behind of us but somehow we managed to avoid them all and got to Capri at 6 am, exhausted but excited at the idea of discovering the islands.
We dropped anchor in the large bay opposite the town of Capri, surrounded by humongous motor and sailing yachts. After a big breakfast we wished each other good night and went to sleep.
From Capri, we easily moved to Ischia, which is roughly 15 miles away, and spent the night at anchor by the Castello Aragonese, in a magical scenery.
Ponza and Palmarola were our next stops before the crossing to Sardinia.