On the morning of Sept 21 we left Budelli island, the Maddalena archipelago and Sardinia, heading towards Corsic. Our first destination was Bonifiacio. None of us had ever been to Sardinia nor Corsica before, and Sardinia had been pleasant, so we were hoping for a positive experience! We had read that the approach to Bonifacio was spectacular with its chalk-white limestones and its unique entry by sea way at the end of a fjord-like bay with steep rocks on all sides.
We turned on the GoPro in time-lapse mode and attached it to the bow as we made our way into the bay. The old town is impressively situated at the rim of the cliffs enclosed by the citadel walls. We were shown to our berth in the heart of the port town, with its numerous restaurants and shops.
Later we made our way up the steps to the citadel and walked among its narrow alleys among restaurants and small shops, impressed by the charm of the place. In the old days the inhabitants collected rain water from the roofs and the aqueducts that led the water to an underground reservoir are still visible today (often mistaken as adornments). This place as so much to enjoy and was very pleasant – we decided to stay another night.
That evening we tried the local cuisine which was delicious and the next morning decided to walk along the cliffs. During the day we ran in to fellow rescuers and rescuees, so it is a popular and natural stop for most sailors. The place has a peacefulness and uniqueness to it that is hard to relay. When we did leave on day three it was with a sadness and a promise to return one day. It had been the most impressive place we visited so far on the Med-cruise!
In the evening we reached Cala de Roccapina and decided to anchor there for the night. There were not many boats, but a few dozen people on the beach in the end of the Cala. Instead of inflating the dinghy and lower the outboard, we decided to take the paddleboard in and explored the beach on foot. We bbq´d onboard in the evening.
Next morning we continued north along the coast to Ajaccio. There was no problem to get a space in the marina, although we had not reserved a space, but we were surprised when arriving as the marina was a combined fishing and leisure marina, with the smell to go with that. Next to the marina were cruise ships loaded with curious tourists who had no doubt come for the legacy of the place, being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte (the general himself did not seemingly like this town, because his family left when he was 9 and he himself only returned once in his lifetime).
It is evident that the town exploits this fact to the fullest, because it had no charm and was not attractive to us in any way. In addition the fish market by the harbour seemed to be a poorly construed tourist attraction. To top the disappointment the marina had the highest fees we had yet paid anywhere, although it was close to the end of the season. We left the next morning to look for an anchorage from which we could start our crossing to the French Riviera.