14 June 2019 | Messina Strait
10 June 2019 | S Maria Di Leuca
17 May 2019 | Duress, Albania
15 June 2019 | Cetraro
Departed 0700 arrived just after 1800 but then got fuel. 52nm. Motored most of the day, at one stage the sea was like glass. Made for some very interesting photos of us on the bow looking at our reflection in the water though. Saw some big fish jumping but none were enticed by our lure out the back. Yes, we are going through the motions of fishing again. Although when you see all the fishing boats and nets out here you wonder if there are actually any fish left for us to catch.
We knew there was a fuel dock at Cetraro, so easy to fill up, however were a bit taken back at the price of €1.70 a litre. The fuel guy was so nice. We asked him if he knew how much a night to stay in the marina. He didnt know but thought maybe €100. We said we were happy to go to anchor just outside. Then he tried to convince us to stay on the transit pontoon which is free for 4 hrs and then come back to the fuel dock after dark. He was so nice about it, but we are happy to anchor, at least we can get a bit of breeze. Once again would have been a great place for a swim if we'd arrived any earlier. Water temp is up to 27C now, so perfect!
Bbq on board, just like last night. Havent launched dinghy as purely doing overnight stops in order to get north so we can meet Nicole, our friend from Townsville.
No wind, so exposed anchorage just fine. Tiny bit of swell came up first thing this morning.
14 June 2019 | Tropea
164nm from Crotone via Messina Strait, departed Thurs 0700, arrived Friday 1900
There is a small marina at Tropea, but most of the marinas along the way that i called are between €60 - €70 a night for our size boat. We knew we were going to get to Tropea in the evening and were going to depart early in the morning, so didnt want to pay that money just to sleep. There was an option to anchor either side of the marina so we took it. Anchored in 7m, sandy bottom and good holding. The beach is clearly marked off with buoys to indicate a no anchor zone, and there were a few local boats on moorings, but plenty of room. We anchored on the entrance side, in hindsight, the front would've been better, as we wouldnt have had the wash from boats using the marina. As it was, the last ferry departed at 8pm anyway.
There was no protection from the swell, which was surprisingly more than i expected considering there is no wind about. However that also eased overnight. Not a problem just for overnight , but would be annoying if anchored there all day.
We agreed that if we had arrived earlier we would have had a swim. Beautiful clear water, very sandy bottom that you could clearly see.
14 June 2019 | Messina Strait
Departed Crotone 0700 Thurs to get a jump on the headwind that was supposed to come in mid morning. Had 2 dolphins with us for a while. 1 would come play alongside boat for a bit then go back to its mate. Come back and join us and then go back agaun (well at least we assume it was the same one) It was very active jumping out the water and showing off. Strong headwinds didnt come in, but neither did the good winds that were meant to come in on Friday. As a result we were motor sailing quite a bit to make use of the little wind there was. Only got to do some true sailing for about 4 hours Fri night.
Slowed boat down Fri morning to catch tide going through Messina strait. Arrived just before change of tide so hadbit against us for about half hour, but only a knot or two. Quite a few whirlpools as it was changing and then we sped up. At the northern end it is just 2 miles across at it's narrowest point. Where Odysseus had the monster Scylla on one side and Charybdis the whirlpool on the other.
Also today there are heaps of swordfish boats about. Zoom in on these pics to see the spotters right up the top of the mast, and the bowsprit that is longer than the boat!! The swordfish rest on the surface and these boats sneak up on them and harpoon them from the end of the bowsprit. Not a job for me!
Lots of traffic all night, vhf became annoying with all the fishing boat chatter and a couple just mucking around. Got told off by coastguard at one stage, but it didnt seem to make much difference, especially overnight
11 June 2019 | Crotone
Departed Maria Di Leuca 1115 after getting stamped in and legal in Italy. Also had to walk to coastguard to get a Constitutio (basically a transit log). All easily done here. Great sailing for the first hour, then motor sailing for the next 3 hours, and finally the winds died compketely and we had to motor. Good opportunity to make water and have showers again.
I was off watch at about 2030, Phil called me up with some urgency in his voice. I came up and there was a fishing vessel approaching at high speed and made P alter course by about 90 degrees. Not much English was spoken but we got the message that we were to steer a course of 160 for about 7 miles!! Fishing boat, fishing boat, fishing boat.
We could see lights further south so headed towards that. Over the next 3 hrs we moved from one fishing, boat to the next, about 6 in all we think. Each time we thought we'd gone far enough and tried to get back on course the next boat in line would flash its spotlights at us so we knew we had to go towards them. We ended up going about 5 miles south, then 12 miles south west. We believe it was a case of Purse seine fishing, but on a massive scale. Or something similar. We could see the 'mother ship' some 7 miles away in the middle of this massive no go zone. First time we've experienced this before. Added some time and miles to our passage and finally we got in to Cortone at 0400. I had a phone number for the Cortone yacht club and they were expecting us around 0300 as I'd phoned them yesterday to ensure we could have a night arrival. Tied up bow in with lazy lines (slime lines) and went straight to sleep
10 June 2019 | S Maria Di Leuca
Departed Kotor 1530 Saturday. Had to wait until officials were available to clear us out in between clearing the 3 cruise ships that were in today. So a window was available at 1500. A bit earlier than we wanted, but better than later.
Took about 3 hrs to get out of the bay, made water, had showers, dinner and then started our 3 hour watches.
Had to motor or motorsail overnight, but then the wind came in properly Sun morning and we had beautiful sailing the rest of the way. In fact reduced sail, 2 reefs in the main and a reduced heady by lunch as we were doing 6-7kts. The sea also picked up, but not too bad. A bit of a side swell, so tested out balance and core muscles.
Had dolphins often, big groups of them, counted 10 at once stage. Lovely sun in the day, stars and moon at night, not even very cold, so a great passage.
As we got closer to the Italian coast, Water Police came out in a rib. Didnt board, just wanted all our details
Arrived St Maria Di Leuca 0130 monday, 175nm. Just waiting to clear into Italy and we will move on again while the winds are helpful
Anchored at Kotor
07 June 2019 | Kotor
Just a quick test of the sailmail system to see if it plots our course
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