The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

24 July 2021 | Capo d'Orlando, S.Carra (position: 38 09.354'N 14 47.674'E)
15 July 2021 | Sicily, Milazzo (position: 38 13.206'N 15 14.741'E)
10 July 2021 | Vulcano, Spaggia di Cannitello - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 22.318'N 15 00.287'E)
07 July 2021 | Lipari, Praia di Vinci - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 26.417'N 14 56.978'E)
30 June 2021 | Salina, Santa Marina - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 33. 071'N 14 52.208'E)
29 June 2021 | Lipari, Porto Pignatro Marina (position: 38 28.677'N 14 57.816'E)
27 June 2021 | Porticello, Lipari - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 30.636'N 14 57.963'E)
25 June 2021 | Caletta dei Zimmari, Panerea - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 37.600'N 15 03.993'E)
22 June 2021 | Porticello, Lipari - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 30.615'N 14 57.962'E)
16 June 2021 | Porto di Ponente, Vulcano - Aeolian Islands (position:38 25.221'N 14 57.182'E)
15 June 2021 | Milazzo (position: 38 13.217'N 15 14.710'E)
13 June 2021 | Taormina (position: 37 50.794'N 15 17.433'E)
12 June 2021 | Monte Pergola, Augusta (position: 37 14.234'N 15 14.010'E)
06 June 2021 | Siracusa anchorage (position: 37 03.604''N 15 16.734'E)
04 June 2021 | Portopalo (position: 36 40.140'N 15 06.726'E)
02 June 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
28 May 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
25 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
15 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
05 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)

Sicily, Milazzo to Capo d'Orlando

24 July 2021 | Capo d'Orlando, S.Carra (position: 38 09.354'N 14 47.674'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
We're on our way to Cefalu, 62 miles along the Sicilian coast having now decided to continue along the northern side of Sicily and return back to Marina di Ragusa for the winter thereby completing a full circumnavigation of Sicily.

Light easterly winds have been predicted for the next few days instead of the usual NW prevailing wind. Easterly winds are perfect to take us west and it also gives us the opportunity to use our asymmetric sail which admittedly has spent most of its life stowed in a deep locker barely seeing the light of day only coming out when we can be bothered.

Over the winter months we were inspired to find an easier way to be able to deploy this sail as it's perfect for use in winds less than 10 knots. The launch bag was born, a bag that would be stowed on deck with the asymmetric sail and ropes readily available at a moments notice. Online research proved useful as we took onboard the best ideas from the many manufacturers out there and fashioned our own custom made bag. A stainless steel bar was modified with a block fitted to take the tack sheet forward of the bow roller. A few tweaks were necessary but finally today we were rewarded by our efforts - deployed in less than 10 minutes. Easy... we should have done it years ago!

custom made launch bag

webbing and velcro straps hold the tack and clew points in place - no trying to find them hidden amongst the fabric

Whilst we enjoyed the gentle sail, an additional half a knot of current going with us gave us an additional push along. It was lovely to sit an enjoy the quietness with only the lapping of waves against the hull and made such a change. To break the distance up, we stopped to anchor overnight off the beach at Capo d'Orlando, 27 miles along the coast. It actually felt as though we'd anchored in the middle of the sea as it shallowed slowly to the beach but for an exposed anchorage we slept well but we felt like a target so left additional lights on overnight just to make us more visible to others that may transit the area overnight.

the exposed beach off Capo d'Orlando, offered no protection whatsoever

Total distance this season: 323.05 nautical miles

Vulcano to Sicily, Milazzo

15 July 2021 | Sicily, Milazzo (position: 38 13.206'N 15 14.741'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
We could have easily stayed longer at Cannitello but we ran out of gas having totally forgotten to refill our main 10kg bottle before leaving Marina di Ragusa. Thankfully we had a backup, a small camping gaz bottle to switch to but needed to source a replacement asap. As coincidence would have it, the latest forecast reported a brief change in the weather with thunderstorms expected within 24 hours. Thoughts of not being able to cook or make a brew whilst being stuck onboard waiting for the storm to pass didn't sit well. We didn't feel that we'd be able find a supplier easily on the islands so decided to head back to the commercial port of Milazzo on the basis that having previously been there, the anchorage would shelter us from the wind and allow easy access to a number of supermarkets, a self service laundrette and the all important coffee shops for morning coffee and cornetto's - everything in one place.

The sea had already changed ahead of the pending bad weather. Long gradual waves lifted us up and over as we motored towards Milazzo keeping watch for all the hydrofoils and ferries around us given that Milazzo is the main departure point for the Aeolian islands.

With the anchor set our focus turned to sourcing a gas replacement. This was made remarkably easy thanks to a previous cruiser who had updated the with a contact and we had the new gas bottle delivered and the old bottle collected from the nearby beach by late afternoon.

It's incredible how times have changed. Once upon a time we'd refer to the information in the pilot books - out of date before even going to print. A visit to tourist information was necessary to obtain a map of the place to allow for sight seeing and a chat to the agent would provide directions to a particular shop. Improvements in technology sees us referencing more and more both online and offline content that is far more up to date than paper format could ever offer however we feel there is still a place for having paper charts, pilot and guide books to reference when either the phones or tablets are flat or there's no wifi signal around. is a social cruising guide where users can share their knowledge on anchorages and book berths in marinas across Europe. It also includes weather forecasts directly in the app and calculates a protection score for each anchorage making it very easy to understand which anchorage is more suitable for a comfortable night - which is important to most cruisers. Another useful website is Built and maintained by previous Marina Di Ragusa liveaboards, Steve and Helena off 'Amalia of London' to benefit the cruising sailing community with information on places to visit and boat tracking capabilities to help stay in touch with other sailors you meet on your travels. It also provides anchorage locations and services ashore. For weather we turn to Windy, the name says it all - is a weather app for wind related sports and outdoor activities: surfing, sailing, kayaking, fishing, paragliding, cycling etc. All three of these apps are free for iOS and Android with options to upgrade for additional functionality.

With the gas now replaced we were ready to face the weather and Milazzo was certainly the perfect place to shelter from what was basically two days of torrential rain and poor visibility interspersed with thunder and lightening strikes. It's the first time we placed our tech in the oven to act as a faraday cage. The deluge washed all the dust out of the ropes, the rope colours have returned and they bend again from having no salt in them.

torrential rain and no leaks!

Over the course of the week we had the opportunity to catch up briefly with James off 'Pilgrims Way', Mike and Ina off 'Inyathi' along with Suella, Steve and Ian off 'Damsis' which was lovely before everyone departed.

Our adventures ashore just confirmed that Milazzo is a beautiful town with a long palm tree lined promenade looking across a sparkling sea dominated by a citadel that historically was of strategic importance which made it one of the most fought over towns in Sicily. It even became a base for the British during the Napoleonic wars.

The Milazzo castle is the biggest castle in Sicily, covering almost 14000 square meters. The town used to be a fortified citadel where the locals used to live. Built on an area where the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Muslims had previously occupied, documents trace back to the Norman period, 11-12 century. The castle was eventually turned into a prison in 1880. Unfortunately the changes made whilst used as a prison ended up damaging the ancient beauty of the original structure. In 1959 the site was abandoned even from prison duty and it wasn't until 1991 that restoration started.

Magnificent and impressive walls

prison grounds

great views from the citadel. On the opposite side of the Cape, a beach!

Milazzo was an excellent choice and worth a visit before heading off. The anchorage protected us from the NW gusts but our only criticism (and it's minor) was the arrival of a rouge wave or set of waves that occasionally caught Flirtie's side and rolled us viciously. Despite us becoming (Sherlock and Watson) investigators we could not determine where these waves came from. Was it the tugs, the hydrofoils, ferries or ships? We never did find the answer!!

Total distance from Vulcano, Cannitello to Milazzo, Sicily: 16.58 nautical miles
Total distance this season: 295.98 nautical miles

Lipari, Porticello to Vulcano, Spaggia di Cannitello

10 July 2021 | Vulcano, Spaggia di Cannitello - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 22.318'N 15 00.287'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
Another day, another sandy anchorage and what a gem of a place this one is! Located on the south east corner of the island of Vulcano barely 10 miles away from Porticello, Spaggia di Cannitello has the most beautiful landscape with vineyards on the hillside, a small beach with the classic black sand of Vulcano and a beach bar. At first glance, we didn't notice the bar as it's virtually camouflaged hidden under a canopy of trees. It was the line of popular flags gently fluttering in the breeze that gave it away. Bruce noted a lone pole missing a flag... we can only assume the UK flag which has always been part of what we deem the popular set comprising of French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian and American.

The anchorage was an absolute delight with just a steady influx of boats arriving and departing throughout the day and by the evenings we were the only ones remaining to enjoy this peaceful, tranquil and beautiful spot. The only exception was on the Saturday night when over the course of a few hours we were joined by the arrival of many charter boats having departed from Portorosa and Capo d'Orlando where both yachts and cataramarans can be chartered on Sicily's northern coast. We counted at least 35 before concluding that the anchorage was going to be very full overnight.

We received a really warm and friendly welcome from the owners of the beach bar 'Punta Bandiera' when we arrived from our short row ashore. They were also quick to point out that they have a B&B, 'Villa Saracina' located more central to the main town of Porto di Levante and pointed out a restaurant, 'Ristorante u Bagghiu' at the top of the hill, just a short walk up a relatively steep but very dusty track. Bookings can be taken by phone on 3385894435 or 3393962704.

Bruce enjoying the view of the anchorage with Sicily in the background

The beer at the bar was expensive but the views were fabulous and we could get a strong phone and wifi signal. From the boat the signal was pretty sketchy but we did manage to keep up with the European football championship final. Even if we hadn't we would have found out the following day when an Italian yacht arrived and spotted that we were a UK flagged vessel and proceeded to get on his paddle board having removed his Italian flag from his yacht and then paddled over and started singing and waving his flag just by us, all in good fun.

three cheerful Italians celebrating the win

Spaggia di Cannitello is yet another beautiful Aeolian anchorage.

Total distance from Porticello to Vulcano, Spaggia di Cannitello: 8.96 nautical miles
Total distance this season: 279.40 nautical miles
Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Welcome to Sailing Yacht Flirtie's blog.

Our blog serves as a personal record of our adventures and experiences since leaving the UK in 2012 whilst allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with our whereabouts. [...]
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Yacht Flirtie's Photos - Vannes, Golfe du Morbihan 2012
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Added 8 June 2012

Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

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