Traveling west from the Greek Islands in the Aegean to Italian Sicily, you either transit the Corinthian Canal or sail south around the "fingers" of the Peloponnese. We chose the latter and made the best of two weeks anchoring in the clear waters off Elafonisos, going up the gulf to Gytheio's town quay and then to the western fingertip stopping in both Koroni and Methoni, our staging point to prep the boat and wait for a "weather window" to make the passage to Siracusa, Sicily. We were fortunate to have great sailing (with little motoring) on almost every leg. The sunset shot below is Gytheo (or Yithion - take your pick), the lighthouse marks the middle finger's Capo Tainaro and the old Turkish tower and fort protect the scenic Methoni anchorage.
A thorough scuba and snorkel bottom clean, window repair, winch maintenance and engine service kept us busy in Methoni between some shoreside excursions. Then it was an "oh-dark-thirty" departure for the passage to Siracusa.
Well, actually it was 3am on the 22nd and the winds were so light we had to motor for about 8 hours. Then, about 11 we picked up a southwest breeze that let us start sailing on a close reach, only to lose it by 2pm and we motored sailed until 8pm when the expected northwesterly filled in - unexpectedly stronger than forecast. That gave us a really bumpy night with Force 4, 5 and some howling Force 6 winds making the all night ride akin to a washing machine on steroids. And to pump the adrenalin a bit more there was non-stop lightning just behind us (fortunately it stayed there).
By Monday morning, though, it started to moderate and we had a perfect sail throughout the day and 2nd night until the wind finally shut down about 1am on Tuesday but picked up a 4am to give us a good sail into Siracusa.
Before hitting town, we hit the sack, notwithstanding fellow cruisers Bonnie and Rick on Aisling having stayed over an extra day to greet us. We did catch up with them later and had a delightful toast to the passage and a welcome dinner on board Aisling.
Above are a couple of shots in Sircusa's Ortigia - Old Town. That's a flag of Sicily that Craig's holding in front of the Diana Fountain in Archimede Plaza, which is just down the street from the main cathedral pictured to the right.
You may recall we spent many weeks in Siracusa in 2008 and 2009 and actually rented an apartment for a month while we worked on the boat - so, of course, we had to check it out and found it for sale. The adjacent buildings were in about the same state of disrepair with braces between each other to hold themselves up. These do all date back to the 16 to 1800's and, while there is some slow progress in restoration, a turnaround in Italy's economic woes would certainly help. Be that as it may, we still enjoyed the charm of this unique place.