Sailing to Sorrento

And so on to Sorrento, sailing as on a single breath of wind across the bay, its towering volcanic landmark still masked in cloud. The ships dog was very calm under sail, a fast learner.

There was a new marinera at Sorrento, but the same process of taking the lazy line from a dinghy. Docking was easy with so many crew. The marina was quieter than we expected, given Capri was out of the picture, just us, a Sunsail yacht on our inside and the couple of motor boats that stay here. Scamp had a run on the little beach and then we had lunch in the café overlooking the boats.

After lunch we headed up to the cliff top in the lifts and explored the old town. Johnsey and I took Scamp along to our favourite restaurant to see if we could book a table that evening and take him along. The garden space was empty and vast but just as magical in daylight, a grove of lemon trees and bright flowers. Inside the conservatory a woman sat at a laptop chatting to a moustached gentleman with a genial smile. We asked about the dog and the woman spoke English with a refined accent. Yes the dog was welcome, so long as he didn’t bark, as this would upset other diners. At this point Scamp gave a loud yap, which reverberated in the empty space. “Like that” said Johnsey, smiling. “Yes”, not smiling. “He won’t do that tonight.” We made a reservation for six people and beat a hasty retreat lest Scamp give vent to any further opinions. We rejoined the others and told them the good news and the immaculate timing of our usually quiet hound. We wandered along to the art shop, stopping to by gelato ices en route. Lara had pistachio, which she said was the best she had tasted and I tried the liquorice, which was amazing. We then doubled back to the nice biscuit shop, where the girl insisted we bring the dog in and all sample the various wares.

When we returned from the shopping Johnsey took Scamp for a prolonged play on the beach, throwing his new snubber toy for him to fetch. Unfortunately it does not float and in retrieving it Scamp swallowed rather a lot of seawater. Back on Lyra he was sick down Johnsey’s leg, thoughtfully avoiding the nice clean deck. Johnsey took him below for a joint shower, in which Scamp took all the hot water. It worked though, Scamp’s behaviour in the restaurant that evening was exemplary. They had arranged a table for us away from the main bustle and our waiter was very gentle and clearly good with dogs, using Scamp’s name a lot and bringing him a bowl of water along with our drinks. After a grateful lapping Scamp curled up under Johnsey’s chair and went to sleep, not even disturbed by the outbursts of shouting and whistles from a wedding party on the far side of the conservatory. A splendid time was had by one and all in the fairyland of string lights and candles amongst the lemon trees.

The following day Johnsey and Emma took Scamp a walk and the rest of us went to the lido. It was quite breezy on the loungers, but pleasant. Each bed had a piece that tilted overhead to provide shade, great for reading, but a bit of a head banger till you were used to it. The sea was rather cool to climb into from the steps, but once in a bit of brisk swimming brought relief. John and I swam over to the free beach, where Emma was swimming and the water was warmer there in the shallows. We took turns throwing Scamp’s toy, so Johnsey could swim, being careful not to let it go underwater. They came and joined us for lunch on the loungers, where Scamp allowed himself to be petted by the couple sat in front of us.

Later Emma and Johnsey set off to walk into the pretty harbour of Marina Grande, confusingly a much smaller harbour than Marina Piccola, where we are tied. They planned to book a restaurant and meet us over there. John went back for a shower and Katie and I braved another swim. In the event the restaurant recommended to Emma and Johns could only fit us in the following evening, so they booked a shore side restaurant and found a very dog friendly bar behind it. By the time the rest of us arrived Scamp was off the lead and clearly at home. The lady running the bar delightedly was making much of him.

At around eight we moved on to the restaurant, which had a much more varied choice for veggies. We have found another enchanting place to eat in Sorrento; all in all it was an spellbound evening, sitting in the gloaming hearing the gentle rush of sea on shore. For sweet they had zabaglione. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

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