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Old 08-29-2008
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Bareboat Chartering to Corsica

I would love to hear comments and recommendations from SailNet members about bareboat chartering opportunities and experiences from France's mainland to Corsica (and back).

Our group is two couples, experienced in sailing, looking to take a week on a boat from the Mediterranean coast to Corsica this coming April.

We did a catamaran charter this past January in Belize and loved it. We're not hooked on cats, though -- monohulls would be fine, given adequate creature comforts.
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Old 08-29-2008
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It has been some time since I cruised those waters, so my info may be dated. But the west coast of Corsica was particularly rugged, remote and beautiful to explore by boat. There are loads of remote craggy coves and calanques to tuck into, interspersed with the occasional cities and larger towns for replenishment. Calvi is very pretty, as is Bonifacio -- both are well worth a visit. Ajjacio is a bit more commercial feeling, although it's historic as the birthplace of Napolean Bonaparte. Also, from Ajjacio you can take a train inland to explore the mountainous interior.

We generally had a fair bit of wind and fetch from the West, which can make for challenging but fun sailing around the headlands.

Crossing from mainland France can be another story, and I wonder if a charter company would let you do that? If you leave from the right spot, it's only about 100 n.m., so it makes for a nice overnighter. But watch your weather window carefully. On our crossing, we got thumped by a Force 8/9 Mistral that generated the severest seastate conditions I've ever experienced. And we were in a much heavier design than the typical charter boat. Even if the weather's fair, the Ligurian Sea is a very busy patch of water -- keep a careful watch for ships and ferries.

Good luck to you!

Edit: P.S. If you only have a week, consider chartering in Corsica and skipping the crossing from France.
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Old 08-30-2008
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Thanks for the comments, John.

You're right to be doubtful about the crossing. I had misread our draft itinerary -- we'll cross to Corsica on a commercial carrier.

Does anyone else have recent experience sailing or even chartering around Corsica?
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Old 08-30-2008
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crossing to Corsica?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Crossing from mainland France can be another story, and I wonder if a charter company would let you do that? If you leave from the right spot, it's only about 100 n.m., so it makes for a nice overnighter. But watch your weather window carefully. On our crossing, we got thumped by a Force 8/9 Mistral that generated the severest seastate conditions I've ever experienced. And we were in a much heavier design than the typical charter boat. Even if the weather's fair, the Ligurian Sea is a very busy patch of water -- keep a careful watch for ships and ferries.

Good luck to you!

Edit: P.S. If you only have a week, consider chartering in Corsica and skipping the crossing from France.
It certainly IS possible to charter in one of the Mediterranean ports and cross to Corsica. But I heartily agree with John's last recommendation. I have never done it, but friends who have crossed from the Cote d'Azur have been hammered going or returning. It is a long crossing and the weather can be violent.

We chartered out of Ajaccio and visited the west coast as far north as Calvi. I have visited Bonifaccio on a crossing from Sardinia. Bonifaccio is a
one-of-a kind port.

Another option is to charter in Sardinia and cross to Corsica. Porto Rotondo is very well developed for chartering, and northern Sardinia makes for great cruising.
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