Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Once Elba and back

The bay Biodola is located west of Portoferraio and is on the north coast of Elba. We anchored quiet and safe at 7m. The ground was good. The entry into the bay was no problem at night. Of course, caution is necessary at night and to pay attention to other anchors. There is still enough space at the beginning of the season. The bay and the town of Biodola do not offer too many attractions, it consists mainly of hotel facilities. On the west side of the bay, a small trail leads along the coast to a cave. We used the day to clear the ship and to rest. At night, the wind turned west, but the sea still remained calm. The next morning I wanted to test the water and climbed down the bathing ladder carefully. The water had a maximum of 18 ° C and was much too cold for me. Nevertheless, I overcame myself and swam around our Kat Katinka once. Gaby could not be persuaded, which was completely understandable for me at these temperatures. So we did not stay longer and hoist anchor for the way home. The wind did not come as announced from the south but from north-west, so we could not set direct course to Loano. We headed for the Italian mainland in the hope that the wind would turn a bit to the north or even better to the south-east. Unfortunately, the weather did not do us the favor, so we had to tack.

In addition, the problem with the charging of the batteries made itself felt again, so that more and more the cause could be limited to the alternator. Unfortunately, the whole thing was not to fix with on-board resources, so we went slowly down with the power. To stay supplied for as long as possible, all superfluous consumers were switched off. The VHF radio said goodbye first, followed by the plotter. What surprised me most was that the position lights served until the early hours of the morning. The position are dead reckon, we held course 310 °. In the late morning the wind freshened to 18-20 knots in gusts to 25 and turned to the north. The current set south-east, making that an unpleasant crosswave was created. Our cat Katinka was difficult to keep on course and partly the course of 310 ° was not durable. We kept reaching 6 to 8 knots and were then slowed down by the waves again. All in all, 6 hours of hard work, because the lack of power, of course, no autopilot was available. When the Ligurian coast came into view in the evening, the stream had shifted us eastward by 6 Nm and we arrived at the Marina di Loano one hour later than planned. A few helping hands at the pier made it easier for us to moor and so we got into the shower in time and in the evening we were able to eat a pizza with a glass of red wine in the "Buon Vento". But ultimately, the day still took its toll and we sank tired in our bunks. With the thoughts of Elba and back we fell asleep quite fast and are already looking forward to the next trip.