In the 1960s, the fishing port in Solenzara was expanded with a marina. Today there are only a few fishing boats left. The rest are yachts. The Solenzara River has its expiration a few hundred meters north of the harbor, landscaped on a long white sandy beach. After 40 kilometers of gorges and waterfalls, the crystal clear mountain water ends in a lagoon from which it cuts through the sand and into the Mediterranean. Ten kilometers north of the city is an air base. It was built by the Americans during 2. World War. After the war, the base was given to France and it was from here NATO carried out bombings against Libya during the Arab Spring in 2011.
We stayed in Solenzara for a few days. Bathed from the beach and rinsed the salt of the body in the lagoon with the fresh water. Enjoyed the laid-back after-feel mood. Had a birthday dinner and talked to the Danish lady who was about to finish her nineteenth summer on the sailboat, which she and her husband had sailed here for 1999.
"Nice place. Torquise waters. It's like being in the Seychelles "one of the many 5 star reviews of the bay of Santa Giulia on Navily (Navily is an app where you can review and read reviews of ports and anchor bays)
After a one night stay in Porto-Vecchio, we headed for Santa Giulia the next morning.
After a short 2 hour sailing we reached the bay. As we sailed between the first of the many anchor buoys , a girl in a red rubber dinghy with an outboard engine sailed toward us.
«Welcome» she shouted and continued "Do you want to pay now or later? »
«Can I pay with a card? » Pia asked amazed
«Yes, but then we will have to go the motorboat “ the girl answered promptly, pointing at a white motorboat that lay at an anchor buoy a few hundred meters from us and added smiling. « It is my office, and I live on the blue sailng boat right over there ».
When Heron had been moored and the girl had been paid in cash, she gave the engine throttle and shouted « You just call me when you want to go to the pier on the beach. We open at 9: 00 and close at 5.30 pm. »
At the end of the bay was a long and straight sandy beach. On both sides it was screened by a rocky coast, which was perpendicular to the beach. To the north were houses overlooking the bay. To the south it was completely desolate, probably because the rocks were so steep that there could not be built there.
There was low water several hundred meters from the shore and the white sand bottom gave the low water a particularly light turquoise color, which got darker farther out into the bay where it was deeper,
It was afternoon, but there was only 6 boats at the anchor buoys. Everybody, apart from the girl's office boat and blue sailboat, seemed to be unmanned.
Our anchor buoy was next to the bay's only hotel that fell so well into the surroundings that only beach chairs and a logo at the end of the narrow wooden pier revealed that the large one-plane house between the palms was a hotel called Moby Dick.
The beach was crowded with people. Moby Dick's guests relaxed in the beach chairs in the shade under the umbrellas. Further ahead people sat under their own umbrellas and furthest away was a rental of jet skis and paragliding from high-speed motorboats.
We called the girl on the VHF. Soon after, we boarded her red dinghy and were sailed to the wooden pier next to Moby Dick.
« Last trip back is five thirty “she said before she dropped us off on the wooden pier and headed back to her office boat.
We walked on the waterfront along the one kilometer long beach. Found a cafe at the end of the beach, walked back to the wooden pier at Moby Dick and bathed in the crystal clear, warm and light turquoise water before the girl came and picked us up in her red rubber dinghy.
When we got back on the boat, we sat in the cockpit and watched the beach where people were leaving.
After sunset the beach was completely desolate and only an anchor light on one of the other boats and the girl's blue sailboat testified that we were not alone on the water. During the night the strong west wind stopped and we got a quiet night.
The next morning we jumped into the water, swam around Heron and had breakfast in the cockpit while watching a new day begin on the beach.
We stayed on our anchor buoy for one more night and then headed for Bonifacio.
Bonifacio is located at the southern tip of Corsica. Here, the islands granite mountains are replaced by the mountains of limestone falling 70 meters vertically into the Mediterranean Sea. The old town has a panoramic view of the Bonifacio Strait, with a width of barely 7 miles separating Corsica from Sardinia. Over time, the wind has hollowed the limestone wall under the outermost houses, which now almost float freely in the air over the Mediterranean.
The entrance to the harbor, as Troels Kløvedal has described as one of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean, will only be visible when you almost reach her by a red and green mark on land. From there, it stretches with a width of 150 meters between 70 meter tall vertical limestone walls to the harbor, almost adjacent to the 1 nautical miles from the opening. Not only the nicest entry, but probably also the best protected harbor in the Mediterranean.
Some historians believe this was where Odysseus met the cannibal and giant-populated Laestrygonians who left Odysseus with only one ship with crew after having lowered the other 11 ships and eaten the crew. Others claim the Laestrygonians were living in western Sicily and others have found evidence that the scary creatures lived on Mount Prama in western Sardinia.
We could feel it was late in the season. There were plenty of vacancies in the harbor and the port fee was reduced by almost a third. But the tourists were still in line to get out on one of the many boat trips and the many restaurants were frequented from dinner to evening.
«They are charter boats and started in Olbia two days ago» explained our Australian neighbor with an experienced attitude when a lot of boats suddenly entered and created a hectic high season atmosphere.
The harbor maneuvers demonstrated that crew had only two days' experience of handling the 45 to 55 foot sailboats.
Typically, a captain with fear painted in the face tried to dock accompanied by crew members shouting at him and each other and a couple of clever guys, who in safety on land knew everything about just this docking should be done.
But the boats came to the dock and in the evening the harbor was full.
Bonifacio is a nice city.
We walked in the old town and saw the view of the Mediterranean and to Sardinia, found a bay where you could swim, talked a little with the neighbors, provisiined, washed clothes and just enjoyed the life around the harbor.
After a couple of days we left Bonifacio, sailed out through the spectacular entrance and headed for Santa Teresa in Sardinia.