After bareboat chartering in the Gulf of Naples, a client reports back
At Sail Connections we are always pleased to get client debriefs. We are particularly delighted to receive positive reports on a sailing vacation thoroughly enjoyed, especially ones sharing useful information. If considering the Gulf of Naples/Amalfi Coast area as a sailing charter destination, this report (unedited) is well worth a read.
We undocked at 3:30pm on Saturday. The boat was very clean and in good shape when we boarded. We did discover some very minor issues with the boat, like one of the cabin fans not working, and one of the GPS units (the port helm one) constantly restarting itself. But overall it was in great condition given that it is three years old already. The dinghy was tiny, but that seems to be the standard for that size boats all over the Med. One thing that was disappointing was that they gave us no gasoline beyond what was in the outboard tank already, citing “fire hazard”, so we had to buy gasoline in ports.
My fears of inability to find a protected space to spend the night were mostly unfounded. The exceptions were Positano, where we had booked a buoy ahead of time, and I saw zero options to anchor anywhere, and Sorrento, where the options were very limited and while possible, it would not have been fun (we got a marina berth at Piano di Sorrento). The owner of the Cassano marina at Piano di Sorrento gave us tomatoes and basil from his garden as a gift as we were leaving. We made epic bruschetta with them at Capri later that day.
Amalfi has decent anchoring options, but shore seems to be poorly accessible by dinghy, so the marina was the right choice (and we got to experience Giulio’s skillful parking). We found a good anchorage at Capri near Marina Piccola, but getting to shore by dinghy was a challenge which we resolved eventually. We anchored at Procida supposedly in an area where a permit is required, but no one checked. Also anchored off of Castello Aragonese at Ischia, and used a water taxi to get to shore. At Positano the water taxi was included with the buoy.
One tip for the marinas is to call them, and keep calling in the days before intended stays there, and to text them and WhatsApp them in Italian (I used google translate).
Our itinerary was not very ambitious, but we still covered a lot. We skipped going out towards Ventotene as it would have involved motoring straight into the wind. We preferred to maximize good sailing on the reliable westerly afternoon breeze and swim stops. So the itinerary was: Positano (first night, after early checkout), Procida, Ischia, Sorrento, Capri, Amalfi, Salerno. Only one day (Ischia to Sorrento) had zero sailing, we got some good time under sail all other days. We hit great weather, no storms or rain, warm water, and predictable breeze. I found Sailflow (paid version) to be pretty good at predicting the wind for that area.
Some good swim stops were Grotta Verde on Capri (near Marina Piccola) and Grotta Verde on Ischia, you can swim into both for free. We gave up on Blue Grotto on Capri which we heard was overrated anyway, and the price to go in went from 60eur that enticed us to grab a buoy to 100+eur a few minutes later when we decided to leave as a matter of principle.
Needless to say, food was amazing everywhere. There were stores open in all towns late in the evening, so we could get any supplies we needed at any time.
Our thanks for the time taken by one satisfied bareboat charter client.