We're at anchor here outside the port in a very protected bay. Good choice because we're away from the tourists and noise of the port. This is not to say that Portovenere is not charming and picturesque - it is. There is even an old church built from black and white marble. And a generous supply of pastel colored houses, cafes, restaurants and bars. We went to a cute bar last night and Diane got to try out her Italian.

Yesterday we put the sails up for the first time in the last three days. We were never going less than 2 knots and I think we were flirting with 6 knots..... Otherwise, we've not seen any wind to speak of which was good because we were in Cinque Terre National Park on a mooring. Those moorings are totally unprotected off the sheer cliffs of Cinque Terre. There was always a little swell running if only from the many tripper boats but we discovered a new weapon against the swell. Putting the mizzen out, sheeted hard to midships, really stabilizes the boat even if there's no wind and the boat is lying sideways to the swell. Enough for Nicki to do her aft deck yoga routine at least ....

CT is a series of quaint little villages that cling to very steep slopes. They grow wine here in places that are very hard to get at. They give away the land on those steeps so it gets cultivated and not swept away by the winter rain. The villages are full of tourists that arrive by train, car or boat from Genoa or La Spezia. It's hard to believe that one can get there by train or car at all. They've literally drilled out the mountains to get the trains to those villages. You can see the trains for a few meters every few hundred where there are little openings in the mountain. One of those, just South of Riomaggiore really befuddled us. You could see the North going train go by but it never seemed to come out at the next opening North of Riomaggiore, yet trains going the other way went in and came out!!

Our favorite village was definitely Vernazza where we celebrated Nicki's birthday with a nice dinner on the market place. We also tried out the paddle boards. Some work was needed to glue together some nuts and washers to affix the fin on one of them but no problem -

that's why we have all those spare parts and tools on Kincsem! Nicki got to give it a try for the first time and did not fall into the drink. All is good in Italy!


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