Here are some navigation insights from our 1 week charter bareboat sailing vacation around the east and southern coasts of Elba with passages to Corsica and the Italian Island of Capraia. More detail can be found in the Commented Map and Detailed Trip Log.
Weather – Weather was fantastic, not a single day of rain during our 1 week bareboat charter. The wind blew steadily out of the NE between 15-20kn for all, but, two days making for some fantastic sailing. Getting the forecasts was simple with our palm devices as coverage was constant everywhere. We used eurometeo.it as well as windfinder, picking up the forecasts of the center of Elba as well off Cap Corse.
Passages – Navigating was straightforward with the biggest care needed leaving and returning to the marina in Portoferraio just because of the heavy traffic and ferry lanes. Unfortunately, our 42M passage to Corsica was done under power due to the lack of wind that day. Capraia has substantial restrictions approaching from the north so it is best to approach the west and east side coasts from the south. The multi-colored cliffs on the south part of the island are amazingly beautiful and are dotted with interesting tower ruins.
Anchorages – All anchorages had excellent holding in sand though many were open to sea lane traffic (although distant) so we experienced bounce or roll some evenings. The worse roll was experienced where the anchorage was most exposed to major shipping lanes: Fetovaia in Elba and off the Iles Finocchiera in Corsica.
Barbarossa – Perhaps this was the most beautiful anchorage of the entire trip and certainly the most calm.
Lancona – This very pretty bay is said to be very busy with day trippers and water sports though we didn’t experience this so late in the season, not with the winds that were pretty constant at 25 knots that day. It was a blustery night and the anchor held very well on the sandy bottom.
Fetovaia – It’s one of the most beautiful on the island but is a very busy anchorage as a staging point for passages to Corsica and the Southern Tuscan Islands. It also has a fair amount of bounce most likely from wave action caused by the major shipping lanes to the west and south of Elba wrapping around the southwester peninsula.
Cap Corse – Great sea urchin beds, but, subject to quite a bit of current and from what we were told can be treacherous in bad weather as well as subject to very quick weather changes. It was an absolutely spectacular evening sky.