We had a great bareboat vacation
to the islands off of Naples in the summer of 2011. We went in early june. The weather
was perfect and the crowds were way down from what we were told they are like in July and August. We saw some big thunderstorms over the mainland but while out around the islands off of Naples it was blue sky with prevailing westerlies.
We flew to Naples then took a bus immediately to Solerno were we rented a flat for a few days. We did one day trip via train to Pompei and another via bus to Amalfi and Positono. We thought we might get back to either by boat but did not. Anchorages along the coast seemed rather exposed.
We picked up our boat in Naples. All marinas are med-style (naturally). You are stern-to the quay and pick up lines for the bow that run from the quay. Except for where we picked up our boat, the marinas have helpers in dinghies that will push you into place. The boat had a 2x12 (or maybe 10) plank for getting on and off the boat. It was quite exciting the first time or two, especially trying to bring gear
and groceries aboard. The particular marina we were at was a bit sketchy. A homeless guy used a hook to pull a boarding plank out from a vacant boat next to us, and crawled inside to go to sleep. I assume the cabin
had been left unlocked. We were there only for the night.
Our first day out we headed to Procida. Our plan was to anchor on the East side of the island. THere were a lot of day trippers out from Naples (it was Sunday) but we finally found a place to anchor. When we tried to connect the windlass
hand control, the corroded pins broke off. This was going to be a big problem as we weren't budgeting to be in a marina every night, and that isn't how we like to cruise
anyway. Fortunately, I reached the charter company in Naples and they said they could get me a replacement if I could get back to Naples. I took a ferry
from Procida, got the replacement remote
, and did a little site seeing in Naples while I waited for the return ferry
. The rest of the crew explored Procida and did some sunbathing.
The next day we headed to Iscia and anchored in Sant'angelo. It was a little rolly outside so we took the dinghy
in to explore and see if there were any slips. There was one, so after a quick walking tour we went back to the boat and moved into the slip. There weren't any officials to help or take our money
, but it was a quiet night so backing in went pretty well. Lots of fenders help to compensate too.
We left early the next morning to head
around the corner to a cove at Punta Chiarito where there is a hot spring. The bottom looked to be large to medium sized boulders so we dropped one group off to swim ashore for half an hour. Then the next group went. Our dinghy was on the deck
, so we didn't want to mess around with it. Also, as in many places, finding a place to tie up the dinghy is not easy.
From there we returned to Sant'Angelo and anchored for the morning until about 1:00. One group dinghied to the beach for a walk and to collect ceramic pieces like archeologists. The pieces came back with us and turned into art projects back home. We pulled up anchor around 1:00 and headed for Capri with a wonderful broad reach in 12-15 kts. As we approached Capri, we thought we might try another night in the marina, until we asked the nightly rate. It was something like 300 USD. No thanks. We continued around to Marina Piccola on the south side. Anchoring
was pretty easy. Again though, getting ashore was tough. One of the beach resorts let us pull our dinghy up on their beach, probably because they didn't have a lot of guests and it was nearly 6PM.
We stayed two nights. At one point, we had to move because bonehead anchored so close that as the boats swung we sure to collide. Naturally they had already left their boat. We took that opportunity to take the boat to the white grotto. We anchored off of there and took the dinghy in to explore. Definitely worth a stop. It was a little rolly, so we headed back to marina piccola. We wanted to spend the next day ashore so we anchored as close as we could and swam ashore, climbing out and scaling a small wall. In truth there was a path, but it was a bit of an adventure. We took the bus to the town of Capri, then Anacapri. In Anacapri there is a chair lift
that takes you up to the highest point on the island. Of course you can walk, but we chose ride up and walk back down. Go early before the clouds build up. The thermals can cause clouds to form at the top of the island, like a little hat.
We left, heading back towards Iscia and stopped at the Blue Grotto en route
. Not everyone wanted to go inside, so one party was dropped ashore by dinghy, then the dinghy returned to the mother ship to wait. We walked from the drop-off point to the line for those coming by land. We probably could have put the dinghy in line with the other non-commercial boats.
After the brief stop at the Grotto, we continued on to Iscia and anchored under the Castello Aragonese. It was a beautiful place to stop. We had dinner ashore that night. The next day we did a walking tour of the castle and learned about the nuns that were placed on seats after they died until they rotted away and were buried.
The next morning we headed back to Naples for our last night aboard. We had a brief encounter with an Italian Navy
ship. We did not pick up on the exclusion zone and a RIB
with machine guns
came out to greet us. They were very friendly about it and escorted us around their ship. The final bit of excitement was coming into the inner harbor in Naples. There are quite a few cruise
ships docked there. I noticed that an especially large one did not seem to be tied to the shore. It then became apparent that they were heading to sea directly towards us. We quickly maneuvered to the side of the channel as they slipped by. Since we had checked in with Naples harbor control as required, I assumed that they would have mentioned that the ship might be leaving as we were headed in.
One other note is that there a quite a few environmental zones around the islands that have restrictions on anchorage. They should be marked on your charts
or in the Italian Waters Pilot.