To Ischia

As the wind was forecast to come up in the afternoon we made an eight thirty start, with a cup of tea and the promise of breakfast en-route. I felt the lurch of the swell on rounding the harbour wall and decided to settle for an apple. Emma made delicious looking bruschetta with tomatoes and peanut butter or Philadelphia cheese, but I was not tempted. There was no wind, so we motored straight there, but of course it takes over four hours at seven knots and the sea continued to be lumpy. After two hours both Katie and Emma were struggling and after three even Johnsey was feeling off colour. They lay on deck at my recommendation. There was little to see Vesuvius was sulking behind a curtain of cloud. Scamp proved to be a good sailor and needed to stay in his harness to keep him from exploring. As we neared the channel between Ischia and Procida we had to negotiate a regatta. Everyone sat up to watch the bright spinnakers as the small yachts raced past us towards the ruined castle. The marinera at Casamicciola appeared promptly on the pontoon, but changed his mind as to which berth and moved us along a space at the last minute. I felt glad we had a full crew to cope with this on our first outing. We lowered the passerelle and with only a little bit of persuasion Scamp ran along it to the pontoon and Emma and Johnsey took him for a run along the harbour. John went off to register and the rest of us saw to shore power and putting the instruments to bed. Everything is much quicker with so many helpers and we were all soon heading off for a drink at The Hotel Calise, which looked just as we had left it. The sun came out, Scamp sat like king of the castle on the grass behind our table and life was good.

After lunch John and I relaxed on board while the others explored. Eventually we could see them sat high above us on the terrace of a smart red hotel, currently closed due to earthquake damage. When they arrived back they were keen to go to the small beach, so we took the towels and had a paddle. Scamp had a great time running along the shoreline after various sticks and Katie was brave enough to swim.

That evening we walked along the front to the pretty seaside resort of Lacco Ameno. Once inside the pedestrian zone Johnsey considered letting Scamp off his lead. At this point a large local dog transferred his attentions from a Labrador, whose owner said the dog had been following him for two miles, to Scamp. He looked like a larger version of Scamp, but being stalked along the front by him was not at all sweet. Eventually we reached the end of the parade and sat on the street opposite Le Petite Bar at which point the appearance of the waitress sent our unwelcome companion off to pester another small dog. We conferred as to which restaurant we fancied trying and found Scamp was more than welcome at the lovely one overlooking the bay. He sat under Johnsey’s chair and was very good with our quiet waiter, but gave a low growl to the major domo who made a big show of bringing some water for him. After Johnsey rebuked Scamp and he settled back down, John announced the man made him feel the same way to much shushing all round.

Although the sea was a bit challenging today it feels as though we have done a lot already and it is only our first full day.


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