Back in full health, we decided to rent a car for the weekend to do some final exploring inland before our departure from Gaeta. The Campi Flegrei (Flegrean Fields) near Naples continued to exert a strong pull on us, and since it is actually easier to leave the boat here to visit there, off we went on Friday.
With views like this (see photo above), we are having a hard time tearing ourselves away from Gaeta. It doesn’t help that we are both just recovering from a cold/cough which has slowed progress on our pre-departure preparations. The list is progressively getting shorter, and we are planning to depart here by the end of the month. The first trickle of cruising sailboats have been passing through the area, reminding us of all the places we would like to visit this season: Southern Italy and Sicily (May-June), Tunisia and Malta (July-August), Greece (Sept) and Turkey (Oct).
Last Friday, we attended the annual general meeting of the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) in Southampton, England, an event where we were also awarded the “Qualifier’s Mug” for the “most arduous qualifying sail as written up in the club’s Flying Fish journal.” After joining the OCC last year, we submitted an article about our transatlantic voyage in 2007, which was published in the Flying Fish in 2008.
While in England, we took the opportunity to visit friends from s/v Bobo in Emsworth and land-loving friends Tony and Sallie of Coombe Cottage in Shepton Mallet (Somerset). We also visited London, Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Brighton before returning to Rome and Gaeta.