Making like a motorboat in the flat calm and two days of driving had us down to the Bay of Naples. In a recurring theme we would have liked to spend more time at Isola Di Ponza with its incredible caves but were on a limited time scale.
Arriving in the recommended Porto Miseno on the edge of the Bay of Naples late afternoon it was like rush hour! Powerboats racing each other on the way back into Bay of Naples was chaos and not what we were used to causing some anxious moments. Later we discovered the reason why. It appears the thing to do in Naples is to get on your flashy powerboat mid-morning and head out to a bay somewhere to bask and be seen basking and watch others basking in the sun. Until 4.30pm when everyone suddenly gets up and goes home. By 6pm we are alone in the bay at anchor.
Full bay in the middle of the afternoon.
Same bay, same day, empty at 6pm…
And this happened every day, being only slightly more crazy in the weekends. It provided much entertainment with large rafts ups of entire “factions” with clear hierarchy complete with occasional anchor dramas. Thankfully no horse heads were involved, although I did get concerned that we were wearing out the welcome of the Godfathers from the beach marina as we only half jokingly nicknamed them. They were very happy to see and help us on the first day. Not so much after a few days of using their bins and dock…
Why another rush to get somewhere? We had 23kgs of boat parts being air freighted in with our good friends Nelson, Kate, Piper and Lexi. Better not be late to collect them after they carted so much stuff for us. Thank you! Yay, besties are here!
First order of the day was fix the toilet, again, this time with new parts so there we didn’t need to use the guest hull…
Second order of the day is water sports! Nelson, aren’t you supposed to be supervising the kids…?
Because Amelia is already kayaking off round the corner towing the biscuit loaded with two kids. First time ever in a kayak. Must be in the genes or something.
Amelia then jumped in my ski and promptly paddled around the boat with ease much to my amazement. Definitely in the genes!
Boston not to be outdone then go straight onto the inflatable kayak and was off like an expert on his first time as well!
Phew its hard work watching those kids…
One of the many pressies the Finan’s delivered was a bosun’s chair. What to do on the night before but calm the height nerves with beer while getting comfortable in it and gain as much weight as possible with a good barbie.
No too sure what I would find up the rig but with some chance of show stoppers even a cursory examination of pre climb pics showed some serious concentration and a few stress lines on my face. Quite a few less on Nelsons for some reason?
Thankfully the couple of minor details that should have been up there but weren’t were easily corrected and the stuff that shouldn’t be up there was not present so a nice pass. I even managed to relax some and enjoy the view towards the end.
We had a great time catching up with our friends. So good to have them on board.
Ran down to the island of Capri with a much derided forecast from Nelson’s phone of waterspouts, only to spot one in the distance over the island! What to do with waterspouts and some nice waves? Over the side I went with the ski. Pretty pleased they had to run both engines to keep up with me! Although a large lunch of pizza and red wine was not the best downwind prep…
Dramatic cove we spent the night in. Winds not really doing what the forecast suggested so a little uncomfortable overnight with captains’ anchor anxiety. Good excuse to test out the Man Torch from the load of pressies. 1,100 lumen 300m beam claim was substantiated with a few torch wars from the jealous neighbouring boat. The Man Torch was deemed critical after a worrying midnight squall and poor visibility in a little Maddalena cove complete with rocks behind us. Very happy with the Xtar D26 dive torch from http://www.torchdirect.co.uk Worth the GBP 64.95!
Restless night was made up for by discovering we were next to the Grotto Blanco. We took family turns exploring the sketchy and actually closed access way caved up the cliff to the cave. It seems impossible to get a photo of the China Doll without the photobombing tongue monster expression that is her current favourite. Family albums may be tarnished for this period even with Drakkar sneaking accidentally into the background again.
By mid-morning tour boats started arriving in droves and queuing up to look at the cave.
So we thought we might as well follow them and joined the herd charging on around the next corner to some dramatic pinnacles and caves lead by a slightly less elegant Kate Winslet impersonator.
A nice day of DIY followed. We explored some of the electrical sins on board while the kids were treated to a movie between swims. Teak was oiled and assorted other jobs jobbed. Appreciate the help Nelson!
Dead battery in the cordless drill was circumvented by wiring the drill straight to an accessory socket and the house battery bank for the mother of all batteries…
We managed to time our arrival back at Porto Misno in a good thunderstorm and torrential downpour. For some reason everyone else seemed happy to observe it from inside? It was pretty amazing to watch the end of the rain deluge come slowly across the bay as a line of flat mirror calm like the rain had been turned off by switch. The next day was a stunner so big daddy 15hp come out of the closet to play and teach the kids about equal and opposite reaction off waves and centrifugal force on corners with much hilarity.
After which the finer points of how best to dismount the kids and any adult silly/brave enough to get on was discussed over suitable refreshments.
We ventured into Naples downtown to get the connecting train out to Pompeii. Pretty run down chaotic sort of a place and seemed to deserve its shady reputation. Some of the sights out of the train and bus were eye opening of us kiwis, ruined new and old buildings as a few proper slumming shanty towns along with the expected run down districts. Some people don’t know how lucky we are in NZ…
We chose the Herculaneum site as smaller, better preserved and quieter than the main site at Pompeii and it turned out to be a good choice with the bonus that it was free for some unknown reason that morning and even better the kids loved exploring it. It was pretty odd walking down the modern city street and all of a sudden there is a huge excavated area amongst the houses and an almost complete town from 79AD 70 feet down. There were even organic materials preserved unlike Pompeii.
And just like that a week was over too fast and it was time to say goodbye to our good friends. It turned out to be a bit of a challenge finding a bus back to Bacoli. Easy to get from the small town to the big city as that is where all the busses go. Not so easy to find our way home in the maze of public transport throughout the big city and were getting a little worried we may be trapped in the not so nice Naples with dusk coming on… But we made it back to our comfort zone on board thankfully for a glass of wine to celebrate a great week (any excuse really…). Pretty cool to see Mt Vesuvius hovering over Naples and Pompeii in the distance too. Now we just needed to get to Croatia, a mere hop skip and several jumps around the corner.