After visiting the beautiful Portofino and Cinque Terre, we continued our sailjourney along the Ligurian Coast.
First we sailed into the bay of La Spezia, it is a beautiful sheltered area.
And I always check the Navily app to read about good anchoring areas or moorings or harbors. I read about a special quay just for catamarans. There was no electricity, but we could fill up our watertanks and it was a good price in this high season at this Italian Riviera. It turned out to be a great place, after a lot of anchoring, we liked the fact that we could take our bike and e-step and explore this old city.
We also had a great dinner at the Osteria Antica which means the tavern with authentic food from the region. It was simple, but very tasty food, recipes from 1700, when people worked in the land or at sea and needed a nutritious meal.
When we continued our sailtrip, we noticed the ‘Parco Nazionale dell’Appennino’, the Apennines, an elongated mountain range, which starts here close to La Spezia and goes all the way down to Calabria in the South of Italy. This rugged mountain range is know for it’s wild bears and production of fresh Parmesan cheese.
Anchoring 6 miles of coast
Our plan was to go to Pisa, we made a reservation in the harbor there, but because the wind was in our favor, we were there a bit early. We decided to anchor in front of the coast and we found an interesting place on the map in front of Livorno. There was an undeep area about 6 seamiles (which is about 10 kilometers) of the coast. There was a reef, with 2 little islands. And we could anchor there in 3 meters of water. Other boats did the same, but we were the only one to stay there during the evening and night. It was pitch-black, no sounds but the waves and a sky full of stars. Really special to be here!
The Marina of Pisa
We then sailed up the river Arno, to go to the Marina close to the city of Pisa where we made a reservation. This was actually the region Tuscany, so after having been in Liguria for the last weeks, this was our second region in Italy.
The trip up the river Arno was interesting, because the blue water turned into brown/green water and there were little fishermen’s houses along the embankments.
The boat would be here 2 weeks, because we would go to the Netherlands to be at the boatshow Hiswa, visit family and friends and give training. The harbor we choose was a small family harbor, really nice, the owner and his father took good care of the boat while we were away.
A lot of people worked on there boats, so we met Mario, Giovanni, Michael and other nice sailormen who we had nice talks with.
We cycled to the city of Pisa, which was about 10 kilometers away from the harbor. But it was a nice cycle path. And it was so warm, that the water fountains that were placed next to the paths, were very welcome.
We have seen the tower of Pisa before on a roadtrip through Italy, but it is always special to see how crooked this tower really is. And how old! Because construction began in 1173, and after the third floor was built in 1178 the tower began to lean. After this, work stopped for about a hundred years. This was mainly because the inhabitants of Pisa were involved in a war with Genoa and Florence. Construction resumed in 1272 by Giovanni di Simone. Because it had already been noticed that the tower was leaning, it was decided to neutralize the crookedness by using more mortar (fine concrete type) on one side of the tower than on the other side. In 1284, construction came to a standstill again.
The Tower of Pisa was finally completed in 1372. Then the top and last floor was built. The tower was already leaning strongly at that time. It is known that the famous Italian scientist Galileo Galilei gave a demonstration of the operation of the telescope on the Tower of Pisa in 1609, Galileo was professor in Pisa.
Changing the led batteries of the catamaran
At the start of our stay in the harbor of Pisa, we talked to the harbormaster about the fact that our led batteries that are in the ship started to become old. Maybe he knew a company where we could buy new batteries. The batteries are in the ship for 4 years now, and normally after 3 years, they start to malfunction. And 1 of the 4 batteries did now, which took a lot of our energy storage the last weeks. The harbormaster advised us to order new batteries only. Quicker and cheaper. Gilles ordered 4 new batteries. They were delivered in the marina while we were in the Netherlands.
And when we got back on the ship, we also noticed how happy we were to be back home, because that is how it feels like after 2,5 years! The ship is a tiny house, but a house that keeps you busy, whether you are on board or on land. It is on your mind: how is the ship doing, is there not too much wind in the harbor, is the shore power still on, are the batteries delivered in the harbor of Pisa?
When we got back after 2 weeks, we had 2 days left in the marina and Gilles started to take out the old batteries (blue) and put in the new ones (grey).
The new ones were a bit bigger, so the plastic box that they were in, was too small. Michael from the boat behind our boat, helped us with an electric grinder to take out a side plate of the plastic box. Very thankful for his help!