30 June, 2010

Rock and Roll in Bonifacio

The straits of Bonifacio are famous for bad weather and rough seas, so any marina who attempts to cross them does so with care.  We were due to be in Ajaccio 60 nm north of Bonificia so we set off at first light about 4:30 am with little breeze, of couse on the nose.  The went well and we made good progress along the coast past the first then the second cape.  As we sailed north we noticed other vessel heading north.  They all looked as if they had a purpose.  We had decided to call it a day in a large bay of Propriano and pick up a mooring buoy or drop the anchor in the Bay of Porto Pollo. Well before the sun set we picked up the second last mooring buoy and snuggled down for the night.  The wind had risen to 20 knots as predicted.  The swell was slightly on the beam so it started to roll early on in the night.
By midday the following day the swell had risen the wind dropped and we were rolling from side to side.  We went ashore to try and get some stability and normality.  What a relief to sit under a tree.
Returning to the boat we settled down for the night on the floor of the cabin - the only place that had little movement and was safe.
The following morning could not dawn quick enough.  While we slept it was not comfortable.  We set sail for Ajaccio and rounded the Cape Muro with swell at least 15 meters.  The wind was on the beam so we sailed in to the bay and dropped the anchor near the gas terminal buoys.
What a passage through the straits of Bonificia which lived up to its name.

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