The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

"Hi, we are sailing yacht Flirtie's crew, Bruce and Caroline. Welcome to our blog.

Italy, Rocella Ionica to (almost) Crotone

Our next destination should have been Crotone, located at the extreme western corner of the Golfo di Taranto, in the 'arch' of Italy's boot. From Rocella Ionica our journey required us to cross the Golfo di Squillace, otherwise known as the Bay of Squalls before rounding Capo Rizzuto and onwards to Crotone, a distance of approximately 60 miles.

Summer winds in this area are reported to be light to moderate SW or SE sea breezes until reaching the Golfo di Squillace where winds can blow strongly from the W or NW so we didn't really know whether we'd be able to sail or not and in particular what the wind was actually going to do given the mountainous coastline and light winds predicted.

For several hours we motored in a lollopy sea. It was an uncomfortable ride until we entered the bay where the sea flattened out. A short while later a respectable NNE wind arrived which allowed us to finally switch off the engine and sail onwards towards the headland of Capo Rizzuto. However, as it drew ever nearer conditions changed, the wind shifted to follow the headland then strengthened to become right on our nose! Our existing course would now require several tacks for us to get around it and add hours to the day. In such a short space of time the sea became uncomfortable and we knew that progress was going to be slow from here onwards. We didn't fancy a tiresome slog into uncomfortable seas with the potential of arriving at Crotone in the dark so instead we decided to take shelter for the night in a marine reserve just tucked behind the headland. It was a welcome and useful anchorage and ideally suited to allow an early morning start to motor around it and onwards to Crotone.

Total distance this season: 206.16 nautical miles


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