30 June 2021 | Salina, Santa Marina - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 33. 071'N 14 52.208'E)
view of Santa Marina anchorage
Our time in Porto Pignatro Marina was up around lunchtime which gave us all afternoon to motor over to the island of Salina located NW of Lipari. With the haze lifted the visibility was excellent which allowed us finally to see clearly the islands of Panerea and Stromboli as we pottered our way up Lipari's coastline. Crossing the channel between Lipari and Salina we could even see the island of Filicudi in the distance.
Salina is identifiable by its twin peaks formed from two extinct volcano cones. It's also the tallest island of the archipelago with the most fertile soil where capers and malvasia grapevines grow. It's famous for its Malvasia wine and grappa and for the salt lagoon at Lingua which is where historically Salina takes its name. More recently the island is regarded as having the most tasty Granitas in the whole of Sicily and we plan to find out if this is true. A Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavourings. Originally from Sicily, it is available throughout Italy in varying forms. It is related to sorbet and Italian ice; however, in most of Sicily, it has a smoother, more crystalline texture.
Based on the current weather forecast the best anchorage to allow us to visit, see and taste these delights was on the eastern side near to the main port of Santa Marina. The anchorage here offered us really good protection from the northerly and westerly winds as well as the swell but the seabed was another matter because it was predominantly rock and weed. Additionally the depth varied from a reasonable 8m to 40m+ within a couple of boat lengths. We eventually found a spot in 15m. It wasn't ideal as it was deeper than we would have liked and shelved off pretty quickly within two lengths of Flirtie but with the anchor set in we were content that we weren't going anywhere.
We could leave the dinghy safely ashore on a tiny beach which allowed easy access to the picturesque village of Santa Marina with its elegant townhouses and long promenade that followed the pebble beaches all along the seafront. One row back and running parallel to the shore we meandered the narrow pedestrian main street with numerous shops selling everything from groceries and bread to boutique and touristic shops.
water is delivered to all of the Aeolian islands by tanker
We could have walked to the small hamlet of Lingua just 3km in the opposite direction but took the dinghy instead since it was along the main road and it was pretty hot and humid. With its long waterfront, narrow beach and tiny cluster of trattorias on the shore we thought it to be more attractive than Santa Marina itself.
the lighthouse and salt lagoon at Lingua
the picturesque fishing village of Lingua
colourful boats with the island of Lipari in the background
the Granita at 'da Alfredo' was delicious and reasonably priced too. Bruce finished his granita and was more than ready to try a Pane Cunzato (a huge round of grilled bread piled with various toppings) also very popular here too
lol, a light lunch - Pane Cunzato and a tuna salad
We were lucky enough to spend several nights on Salina before Aeolus, the wind god sent over (through the night) a few hours of intense gusts which caused havoc as many yachts dragged anchor. It was bedlam for quite a while and it became necessary for us to be on anchor watch until the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately as dawn arrived the gusts returned and we had visions of us also dragging. This had happened to a charter boat during the night. At the time, the man was sleeping on deck and despite our shouting he was oblivious to his situation as he drifted past us. Our torch in his face eventually woke him and shocked him into action. The forecast suggested that the conditions weren't going to improve a great deal that day so with that in mind we decided to enjoy a cracking hours sail back to Lipari to anchor again in Porticello, all of 5.6 miles away.
This is our favourite island so far being so green and totally unspoilt which is really surprising given the amount of tourists that visit each year.
Total distance from Lipari, Porto Pignatro Marina to Salina, Santa Marina: 9.20 nautical miles
Total distance this season: 264.72 nautical miles