|Wednesday 30 May
After completing some provisioning and chores, we left Palermo and headed for Cefalu. Had to motor as there was little wind. The coast line, if you can see it through the humidity is really quite stunning – mountains and greenery. Coming in towards Cefalu you see the old medieval town with it’s imposing cathedral. The little cove in which we anchored off from the marina is truly stunning with its rocks (which the remains of a fortress) and surrounds. Even though there are holiday resorts around the cove it was still beautiful.
Thursday 31 May
Needing to run in the new outboard we took a nice gentle stroll to the old town. The old town is great, many winding streets and building of different eras. The cathedral, firsts built in 1171 is very impressive – largely original build and the main altar it overlooked by a wonderful gold mosaic.
Friday 1 June
Got up early and headed for the Aeolians – which we visited two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed. On the way we say two large pods of dolphins which was really cool especially with the second pod where there were around ten playing in our bow wave for a few minutes.
Anchored off the black beach on Volcano. It feels like we were only here not long ago.
Saturday 2 June
Left the anchorage and strolled past Lipari (town). Found some potential places for anchoring. Took diesel, which are the most expensive yet – E1.80 /l and then headed off to anchor off Santa Marina Salina. The spot was very nice with crystal clear water. Took the dinghy ashore in hope of finding a good diving centre and supermarket. The diving centre looked very closed and the supermarket had limited supplies and was quite expensive.
Sunday 3 June
Moved back to the anchorage on Volcano. Pretty crowded and there’s a bit of a wind blowing so limited amount of chores completed. Gen was hoping to go up the mast to look at the antenna and install our new tri-colour nav lights but it’s just too wobbly.
Monday 4 June
Basically stayed on board most of the day completing various chores etc. Although we did venture ashore and had a wonderful seafood lunch at a newly opened restaurant. In the morning it’s a fishmonger and then becomes a lunchtime/ dinner serving restaurant – wonderful fresh homecooked meals.
Tuesday 5 – Thursday 7 June
Left just before sunrise and started heading for the Adriatic.
Four miles off the entrance to the Messina Straits WE CAUGHT A BONITO – Yippee is an understatement of our excitement. The fish was landed, gutted and in the fridge within 30 minutes on on the dinner table that night. How enjoyable it was.
In the straits there were 8 swordfish fishing boats which are just mazing to see.
Got a cracking sail through the strait and then as we rounded one of the headlands the wind went from F5 to F1 and confused seas. On comes the motor.
In the total passage of 56 hours and +260 miles we managed to sail about 15 hours – the majority of it was motor sailing.
As we approached Santa Maria di Leuca (on the tip of the heel of Italy) we stopped to take fuel – which was very lucky as as we approaching the fuelling dock the engine stopped as if we had run out of fuel.
Having taken on fuel we then proceed to Otranto and anchored off the beach.
Even though we were pretty much tired after the passage, we went ashore and explored the old town and tried to find a supermarket (which we did eventually having passed one which should have been open but was shut – annoying!).