The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

08 July 2022 | Italy, Rocella Ionica, Porto delle Grazie (position: 38 19.266'N 16 25.835'E)
05 July 2022 | Sicily, Siracusa (position: 37 03.382'N 15 16.675'E)
04 July 2022 | Sicily, Portopalo (36 40.184'N 15 06.769'E)
30 June 2022 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
10 March 2022 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
05 March 2022 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
01 March 2022 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
10 January 2022 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
16 December 2021 | Ashton under Hill
16 August 2021 | Sicily, Boat Service Trapani (position: 38.00.840'N 12.31.297'E)
14 August 2021 | Sicily, Trapani (position 38 00.427'N 12 30.245'E) eastern anchorage behind southern breakwater
12 August 2021 | Sicily, Cornino (position: 38 05.712'N 12 39.510'E)
09 August 2021 | Sicily, Terrasini Sud (position: 38 09.412'N 13 04.709'E)
07 August 2021 | Sicily, Palermo, Nautica Galizzi (position: 38 07.372'N 13 22.218'E)
01 August 2021 | Sicily, Termini Imerese (position: 37 58.851'N 13 42.872'E) & Artemar Marina
27 July 2021 | Sicily, Cefalu (position: 38.02.042'N 14 02.463'E)
25 July 2021 | Sicily, Contrada Rais-Gerbi (position: 38 01.673'N 14 08.546'E)
24 July 2021 | Sicily, 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)

Sicily, Siracusa to mainland Italy, Rocella Ionica

08 July 2022 | Italy, Rocella Ionica, Porto delle Grazie (position: 38 19.266'N 16 25.835'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
The most prominent feature upon arrival, ruins of the castle and tower on a craggy bluff above the village of Rocelle Ionica

Decisions had to be made as to whether we should wait in Siracusa for a perfect weather window to cross the Ionian Sea from Sicily to Greece or alternatively work our way across the boot of Italy.

Both of us were ready to cross the Ionian Sea. It would be a new and exciting challenge requiring us to spend a couple of nights at sea in order to cover approx 300 nautical miles to arrive somewhere in Greece. However, finding the right weather conditions to sail proved to be a challenge with the long range forecast predicting long periods of light winds, less than 10 knots. There was however a smaller weather window, an opportunity for us to cross from Sicily and along the boot of Italy in 10-16 knots of wind. The decision was therefore made for us, we would head along the boot of Italy and work our way towards Greece.

Our course took us across the shipping lanes that run in a north to south direction through the Messina Straits, a stretch of water between Sicily and the Italian mainland. It's a busy stretch of water and one that required us to contact a huge MEARSK cargo ship to ascertain his course and check that he could see our small AIS transmission as he was on collision course with us. Apart from that nightime excitement the rest of the journey was uneventful but ultimately what should have been a lovely 90 nautical mile sail actually turned out to be a 20 hour motor in flat sea.

As dawn arrived we had our first glimpse of the Italian mainland and the marina of Rocella Ionica. Rocella Ionica is the first proper harbour encountered by any yacht heading eastbound from Sicily along the southern side of the 'toe' of Italy.  The entrance silts continually and is constantly shifting. A VHF call to the office provided us with clear instructions to gain entry. Only when we had tied up did the wind arrive - 30 knots which included thunderstorms and torrential rain, not at all like the forecast!

just like old times... there are finger pontoons here!

Rocella Ionica was a pleasant place to stop for a few nights with the village just a 20 minute walk away along a long beach lined promenade with many lidos and private clubs.

Total distance this season: 157.75 nautical miles

Sicily, Portopalo to Siracusa

05 July 2022 | Sicily, Siracusa (position: 37 03.382'N 15 16.675'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
our first catch since we entered the Mediterranean 6 years ago

Yesterday's unexpected sail gave us false hope that today we'd possibly have similar conditions contrary to the actual forecast of very little wind. Unfortunately it was accurate so we had to motor to our next port of Siracusa located on the southeast corner of Sicily. Despite the lack of wind the highlight of the day was landing a fish, an albacore tuna no less and a perfect size for the two of us. Hurray for us! It's about time too given the amount of lures that we have squirrelled away in lockers. It was such a shock that we were totally unprepared in every aspect from landing it through to our method of dispatch. Without going into too much detail we chose the quickest but not necessarily the cleanest of methods. Needless to say that we will be better prepared next time.

Upon our arrival in Siracusa we chose yet again to radio the Port Authority for permission to anchor for fear of receiving a fine. It's something that we've always done and is now probably justified given that the port is now frequented by MSC cruise ships. Having made contact with the Port Authority we were subsequently issued with exact GPS coordinates that of degrees, minutes and seconds!  With said coordinates duly documented in our paper logbook (yes, we still maintain a paper logbook) we took on the challenge to find our alloted GPS position dropping the anchor exactly to those coordinates!

The anchorage in Siracusa provides wonderful goopy and silty mud so with the anchor well dug in we then waited for a suitable forecast to take us eastwards occupying our time by frequenting the town and routine checks aboard Flirtie.  We also had a thorough paperwork inspection by the Guardia Finanzia which included showing our ICC document (International certificate of competence) along with the usual Ships Registration, Insurance and Passports. For extra measure we threw in our Italian ID cards given that we have no stamp in our passports.  It felt unnatural to hand our documents over in a fishing net but far easier than them coming alongside and onboard.

Total distance this season: 62.16 nautical miles

Sicily, Marina di Ragusa to Portopalo

04 July 2022 | Sicily, Portopalo (36 40.184'N 15 06.769'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
What can we say apart from better late than never - the Flirties have left Marina di Ragusa. Our planned agenda is eastwards to spend the next few months cruising new territory, that of mainland Italy, Croatia even Greece, all subject to the winds before returning back in October to spend another winter in Marina di Ragusa.

We departed today with no expectations of actually sailing given the forecast so it's been an unexpected and pleasant surprise that we were able to launch our asymmetric and enjoy our first sail, albeit slow to Portopalo the southernmost corner of Sicily. Happy days :-)

Total distance this season: 31.05 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. We are Bruce and Caroline and this 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 - Roche Bernard, La Vilaine River 2012
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Added 3 December 2012

Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

Where are we now?