Our Italian/Italophile friends have always raved about their food and wine and I've been looking forward to sampling as much of it as I can but so far it's all been a bit disappointing. There seems to be a lot of pizza and pasta on offer but I can get that at home. We've had a nice panini or two, we sampled arancini balls stuffed with spinach which was OK and a couple of nice plates of pasta but nothing to get too excited about and, although the pastries look fantastic, I'm trying to avoid them! Today, however we went to Syracuse market and I am converted! Stall after stall of the freshest looking vegetables, stalls with just tomatoes but about 10 different varieties, fish stalls, seafood stalls, stalls selling dozens of antipastos, stalls selling draught olive oil, bread, cheeses, dozens of different smoked or preserved meats. Delightful smells are coming from the oil drum wood fires where they are cooking baked onions and sweet red peppers.
Flying Down to SyracusaJane
At last, we had the best sail we have ever had on Matilda. 8 knots all the way from Taormina to Syracuse! Lets hope this is the start of much more sailing and a lot less motoring!
Our Very Own Lava LampJane
We left Crotone at 5 am and did an overnight passage to Taormina in Sicily arriving at 6 am the next morning. It was pretty busy during the night and the lights of Sicily were visible the whole way. We had our AIS on which shows most of the bigger boats but we could swear we could see a huge liner all lit up. We kept checking the AIS but no liners were coming up. Eventually we realised it was the land with lights from houses all the way up the side of the hillside!
Skinny-Dipping in ItalyJane
Sailing here in the Med, you're hard-pressed not to glance over at another boat and see the occupants, usually German or Scandinavian, jumping naked off the back of their boat or showering or just standing, bits and pieces akimbo, enjoying the sun.
Happy Birthday To Us!!Jane
We left Santa Maria di Leuca at 0500 hours on our birthday for what we thought would be a gentle 13 hour trip to Crotone. The first 8 hours were rather pleasant, motor sailing into South West winds but managing 7-8 knots. We wanted to get there as fast as possible because the forecast was for stronger winds to come in later and we hoped to be safely ensconced in one of the marinas before then. Needless to say, the wind came in early and we spent the last 4 hours flogging into 20 knot winds gusting to 35. As you can see, we even had to look out the wet weather gear, the first time since going to Crete in May last year!
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