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Luxury Sailing Holidays: Italy, a Yacht, and a 60th Birthday.

June 23, 2012

Saturday 23rd June
We’ve had another fabulous week on the Ligurian Coast. Having had a shaky start to the week with a slightly delayed flight and a lost bag (which arrived a day later), we set off on our week of adventure. On Monday we saw dolphins just outside Genoa in the Gulfo di Paradiso and later pulled into San Fruttuoso and picked up a buoy over lunch. A trip ashore and a look around the amazing monastery where the Doria family tombs are was very interesting. Having spent the night in Santa Margarita we were up early and heading for the Cinque Terre. We stopped for lunch at a delightful seaside town called Levanto, had a quick dip and then sailed on past the beautiful Cinque Terre.

Arriving into Portovenere is certainly one of the most spectacular entrances as we squeeze between a rocky outcrop with a church and a castle perched on the end and a tall island on the other side. The harbour is a shabby-chic version of Portofino and has some fabulous restaurants and cafes. Having done our bit to support England in the football and Portovenere’s local economy, we retired to the boat.

Wednesday saw us sailing around La Spezia bay, dodging mussel beds and the occasional war ship! We anchored up at Isola Palmaria for lunch and then made our way back up past the Cinque Terre. We picked up a buoy at the last village, Monterosso and a delicious dinner onboard of local Trofie pasta and pesto Genovese, salmon and fresh seasonal vegetables, and a pavlova with peaches poached in white wine, honey and vanilla.

During the night the swell came and went (as did the singing fishermen!) but by 6am there was a long rolling swell and as we were sitting side on and rolling all over the place I put the engine on and cast off the buoy and headed to Levanto which thankfully was out of the south-east swell! The guests took it all in their stride and appeared dressed and life-jacketed ready for the day! After a more calm and relaxing breakfast at anchor and with the sun shining we headed off across to Portofino. We even got a good sail on the way!

This was a much anticipated stop and it certainly didn’t disappoint! After lunch onboard it was time to explore and a visit to the Basilica where St George’s remains are said to be was top of the list. A chilled out evening with drinks and aperitivi on the harbour’s edge finished the day nicely. Friday dawned and with it came one of our guests 60th birthday. Of course we celebrated in style: not only were we in Portofino, we had bunting, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and Prosecco to start the day! Once we left the harbour some dolphins did a fly-by and we were off back to Genoa for chocolate birthday cake and a very special celebratory meal.

20120623-171238.jpgWe’ve had a fabulous week with great guests and have definitely put on a few pounds with all the amazing Italian Aperitivi!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 24, 2012 3:19 pm

    Fantastic week , very well looked after , the cake & all the food was to die for . i might have left to Fifties behind but in style & there could be no better location or better company to do it . well done Essential Sailing. J&P

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