Submitted by jono on 28 Jul 2018.

Arrived yesterday on the island of Elba. A sensible target on the mainland is 14nm away, so need a bit more than today's feeble breeze to make the next hop. Napoleon was exiled here and escaped after 300 days. Reckon he could have made it off quicker than that, but the ice-cream and pizza really is good.

Corsica visible on the sail over. A pirate ship thing in the distance. Very Master and Commander.

Also hooked up a huge plastic bag on the fin. Everything happens for a reason - the reason we give it - so best not ignore stuff like that - so I fished this bit out to stop it ending up in a whale.

Mostly beaches, but the occasional obstacle to get past too, such as the Port of Livorno.

Some nice stops. After a sunset arrival at Marina di Bibbona, a pair of holidaying Austrian families invited me to join them for pizza and Tuscan wine on the beach. And then breakfast the next morning. After which they kind of broke the record for number of people on the expedition Phantom, if we ignore the support at the bow end...

I'd more than sniffed the Tuscan wine, so was soon feeling in need of additional caffeine, and stopped at a collection of sails that turned out to be the Circolo Nautico Donoratico. Nice break there and interesting chat about what the Black Sea might be like. Cold, apparently.

20nm later I was in exile. I mean Elba. Just getting used to the idea. I mean ice-cream.


Elba is a nice island, but the seas of the Med are not the untouched paradises that the tourist pamphlets advertise and proud locals claim. In the case of the Mediterranean, that - sadly - is laughable, in a tragic way. A recent analysis has concluded that there is now no ocean in relative proximity to human population that remains in a wild state. We exploit the seas and a direct result is less life, less biodiversity, less planetary health and resilience. Just 13% of the world's oceans remain undamaged.

My last dolphin sighting, by the way, was of a pair being chased - literally, pursued - by tourist boats in Andalucia. When surrounded by boats, that plough the ocean's patterns into an irregular mess, and buffet the more subtle traveller, I conclude that - if I were a dolphin - neither would I stick around.

Tagged with: Italy