Italy – Boating in Capri

Getting off the ferry at Capri, we were disappointed to learn that the blue grotto was closed. The seas were not calm enough and despite waiting a bit to see if the conditions changed, it was not to be.  As we were heading off, we saw along the pier that there were boats for hire.

That sounded interesting. Although not entiirely sure about it we were however distracted enough to check it out. So we wandered over to the guy standing behind a small kiosk. Peter is usually the last to get into any kind of water activities but this guy was a real salesman. I guess it was blindingly obvious that we were novices but that seemed only to rev him up more.

Firstly, it was self drive so not a tour of any sort. You get the boat to yourself. I thought that would’ve been the end of our ” live for the moment ” thing. We really have not handled any boats before other that the variety that come with oars. But he was not going to give up.

“For you, it will be no problem”


“I give you the easy drive boat”

“err…ok that sounds easy”

So, it appears we do not need a boat license or even any experience whatsoever. Incredulous as this may seem, all he needed was the name of the hotel we were staying at. In short, he was going to hand over the keys of a powered boat to complete strangers without any paperwork. By that stage, Peter had run out of excuses.

In another 5 minutes, we had handed over euros in exchange for keys and brief instructions which primarily consisted of how to start the boat and where the life jackets are.

Just as we headed off, he threw in a couple of tips. Stay close to the coastline and watch for Sorrento ferries. They are so large, they won’t see us in our tiny boat. We wondered then if we had made the right decision and if we will ever set foot on land again. We also realized some minutes later into our trip that we didn’t even have a contact number for him in case we ran into trouble!


As it turns out, we had a terrific time. Aidan still remembers the trip today. YOLO is what he would’ve referred this to. (You only live once)

We drove all round Capri island picking our own course. Ducking In and out of inlets and beaches. There were lots of spots we would never have seen if we had just stayed on land. When we had circumvented the entire island, we came across the Sorrento ferry just like he said. Here, for the briefest of moments, we wondered if we could outgun the Sorrento ferry. But cooler heads prevailed and we let it pass before firing up the engine and we headed back to the marina.

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