Our first stop after Genoa was Portofino. I was very lucky to secure a mooring reservation here. They only have 8 guest spaces and really only about 5 for boats of our size. The rest is for monster yachts. Making reservations is now a key part of the cruising experience. We're getting towards summer in the Med and harbors are getting very full. I now have an Italian cellphone (+39-34-5811-6902) which makes making reservations a lot easier. The phone numbers of the harbors are in our cruising guide, which is a book that describes and has pictures all harbors and anchorages suitable for yachts (and some others). Surprisingly, most everyone in the harbor offices speaks English - which could not be said for the French. Getting the cellphone also was a matter of 10 minutes (that includes getting the separate date card for my router) versus 2 hours in France. The phone will also work on my Euro 10 plan when I get Corsica and Greece. All in all a very favorable experience.

If you have seen pictures of Portofino, you will think it's picture perfect. It is better than that! I could have stayed a week just sitting on the aft deck on a deck chair and watch what goes on in the harbor. The harbor staff races around in a rib, always at full throttle. Obviously, the guy manning the boat is young, dressed sharply, has a clean shaven head and is always standing in the boat, outboard handle in hand - no center console here. There is a steady flow of boats and genuine YACHTS going in and out, which are all directed expertly by the staff. Drop the anchor HERE. Now slow throttle backwards on the port engine only. Keep it up. Let the chain out. Faster. Good. Etc, etc. The shops are Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive all the way, just smaller. But you can also buy good food at reasonable prices.

Thanks to Diane, we found a great restaurant right at the harbor run by a nice local couple. Looking for ice in the restaurant for his broken toe, Bill saw a bunch of sailing trophies on the mantel. The man is a long time racing sailor - so obviously we had something to talk about ..... Our second day we took a trip with the dinghy all the way up the coast to Rapallo and Santa Margherita Ligure - both nice places but no comparison to Portofino in my view.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published