Tag Archives: Italy

Summary of sailing on Linea 2016

Linea’s travels this year.

linea-route-2016Miles covered – 3435 nautical miles

Miles sailed -2373

Miles motored – 1062

Engine hours – 354

Number of countries – seven: Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Greece, Albania

Number of land masses – Fourteen: Europe, Africa, Ibiza, Mallorca, Minorca, Cabrera, Sardinia, Egadi Islands Favignana, Sicily, Kephalonia, Zakinthos, Paxos, Corfu, Mathraki,

Visitors – 35

Total nights on board – 256

Number of paid nights in Marina or Town Quay – 93

Number of ports of call – 73

Number of anchorages – 92

Number of mooring buoys – 2

Number of town quays – 17

Nights at sea – 8

Longest consecutive stretch of free berths and/or anchorage – 29 nights

Deepest water sailed over – 2950m

Bottles of wine consumed! – that would be telling

Number of rescues – 2

Number of fenders found – 1

Number of dinghies found – 1

Number of dolphins seen – pods and pods

Number of things broken/damaged – too many to list!

Amount learnt – incalculable!

Number of bruises – too bloody many

Number of mozzie bites – quite a few – but not as many as I had thought

Number of arguments – just the odd one!

Books read – a goodly few.  Best ones North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell!  Behind closed doors by B A Paris

Scrabble played – Scrabbled out!   (well almost!)Sant Miguel anchorage

Winter plans for Linea and her crew 2016/2017

 

We have been busy since arriving here in Marina di Ragusa, Sicily; not just with jobs to get the boat repaired and shipshape after all the miles this summer but with our plans for what we wanted to do in the winter.

We reviewed the finances and concluded that in order to continue cruising we would have to earn over the winter, or at least stop spending.  Rather than returning to our previous roles, we investigated some interesting alternatives.  House-sitting,pet sitting, contract housekeeping for someone with two homes, jobs back home in the Shire, jobs abroad.

In the end, we decided that we could combine our love of ski-ing and the mountains, our enjoyment of food and cooking by applying for a few roles with chalet/ski companies which operate in the Tignes/Val d’Isere area.  Since Erin is going to be working in Tignes this winter, we thought we could work in the vicinity and thus be able to see more of her than we have during the last two years that she has been working in Thailand.

We are delighted to have been offered positions as chalet hosts with renowned company, Powder White, in Val d’Isere  We will be running a chalet for them!

Very exciting and just a little bit daunting.

Hopefully, there will still be time to fit in some ski-ing.  We look forward to catching up with any friends and family that come to Val!

Sailing back to Sicily and our winter berth at Marina Di Ragusa

img_3518
Crotone to Marina di Ragusa in Sicilia

The huge castle in Crotone

We spent a couple of days in Crotone and enjoyed having a wander round this town with its huge castle and imposing town walls.

We enjoyed briefly meeting fellow sailors on Three Times a Lady (try spelling that with the phonetic alphabet!) and early the next morning we slipped out in the calm morning breeze and wove our way out between the gas rigs and set off south and a reasonable lick.  The wind was as fluky as predicted across the Golfo di Squillace and so we slowed right down.  The night passed much better than the trip from Corfu and apart from one incident when two sailing boats appeared out of the darkness rather closer than I would have liked, the crossing went smoothly.

We then hit strong winds on our approach to Syracuse but coming right at us on the nose so we had to tack considerably further than we wanted to. img_3525

However, we arrived safely after two days and one night at sea and motored towards the incredible bay of Syracuse.  We followed the procedure for gaining permission to enter and were allocated a berth, along with one other yacht on the massive town quay.  Soon after we were tied up we visited the coast guard to do the necessary paperwork and were pleased with ourselves for doing things right.  Next morning the Coast guard came round to check our papers.  We were rewarded with a warm handshake and welcome to Syracuse.

duomo-syracuse
Syracuse duomo

We spent the whole day walking round this incredible city. syracuse

img_3602

 

 

We visited the Leonardo Da Vinci museum

img_3613
Leonardo Da Vinci models of his inventions

which has large working wooden models of his inventions and was absolutely fascinating. l-da-v-pulleys-to-aid-construction

 

 

 

The market was fabulous as Italian markets always are. Seeing all the fish and fresh produce made us hungry, even o soon after breakfast, so we had an amazing Sicilian lunch in a little back street café.

sicilian-pasta-and-seafood-risotto
Pasta Siciliana and Seafood risotto

I had Pasta Siciliana which is made with a sauce of anchovies, pinenuts, sun dried tomatoes, oil, garlic, and sprinkled with herby breadcrumbs. Mmmm.  Ian had Seafood risotto with saffron.

syracuse-promenade
Syracuse Promenade
img_3605
Ancient Roman ruins in Syracuse

We need to go back to Syracuse because it was just beautiful and there we were, just parked on the promenade in the most enviable spot.

After a couple of nights there we just had a short hop round to Marina di Ragusa to complete.  A longish day but do-able.  We calculated 56 miles.  We ended up doing 81 miles as the wind was, once again blowing right at us! We made it in, in the dark, and tied to the fuel pontoon ‘til morning.  The security guards, alerted by the barking  guard dog, flew round in a car and quizzed us. Once we had told them that we were booked in for the winter they gave us vigorous handshakes and lots of  ‘va bene’s and shot back to their security posts.

Next day, we oh so smoothly, parked the boat in our winter berth – L16. Within minutes we had been invited aboard the opposite boat for coffee and met up with Carl, Amanda, Mark, Peter and Catherine.  This is the most sociable place with 162 boats and around 300 live-aboards staying for the winter.  We soon heard about a daily radio net, Yoga, knitting and tai chi classes, Italian lessons, olive picking experience, dinner out en masse, happy hours (3 of them per week), music making group, Halloween party, and much more…

What a fantastic, welcoming and friendly international community.

 

From Albania to Italy

img_3474
Forgot to mention the rain in Kassiopi. So much that the life jackets deployed in the locker of the dinghy and had to be forcibly removed.
DCIM100GOPRO
Wet weather gear. Wet inside and out!

We left Saranda after saying goodbye to our agents Jelja and Gazman and headed straight to Kassiopi.  We exchanged our gas bottle and as soon as we were ready set off from the bay and sailed westwards.

I was lazing about reading the pilot guide when Ian mentioned something about a big black cloud ahead.

I scurried off to get my wet weather jacket.  I had already had to remove my wet weather trousers because I was too hot.  So I was looking rather fetching in my wellies, shorts and waterproof.

Ian suggested putting a further reef into the sail to make it smaller.  I was busy with my zip!  He realised we had no time to put the reef in because by the time you’ve thought of it, it is, of course, already too late!  I had time to release the main sail just when the storm hit us.  The rain came lashing down, Ian had reached the wheel and resumed the helming from the auto pilot.  We turned in a huge circle and ran away down wind.  The wind was gusting up to 46 knots and the boat made a top speed of 13.5 knots.  (I am glad I didn’t know about that until we made landfall in Italy some 24 hours later!) wind-gust Ian was being lashed by horizontal rain as the lightning came down and the wind howled.  He was like King Lear raging against the elements!

As quickly as it arrived the storm left us and thunder continued to rumble overhead for another hour gradually retreating.  Ian put his jacket on over his soaking wet shirt – in an attempt to keep warm.  How am I going to get that dry?

The rest of the day and night went uneventfully as we batted at an average speed of 6 knots towards Crotone, Calabria.  The sea was rather lumpy and so we rolled up and over waves the whole time which made us feel pretty awful.  It seemed like an incredibly long crossing but, in fact, it was quite quick.  We arrived at 0430hrs just off the coast and rather than trying to enter the port in the dark we decided to hove-to and sat bobbing about like that for three hours whilst we had a nap.

Soon we were heading into the Yacht Kroton Club in Puorto Vecchio, Crotone and were looking forward to a pizza, a sleep and some wine later in celebration of Ian’s 56th Birthday!

img_3507

Friends in the Ionian

img_3464Erin, Ian and I set off for Prevesa.  Our aim was to complete the necessary Greek paperwork and to do some laundry.  Both necessary evils!  We had a wonderful sail up the west coast of Levkas so avoiding the channel and the apparently temperamental swing bridge.  We arrived in Prevesa in time for the Saturday night perambulations   –  known as La Passegiata in Italian, and La Volta in Greek.  Perfect people watching.

Ian showed incredible persistence to finally acquire our DEPKA form.  He presented a letter from the Coast Guard office in Argostoli saying that they had run out of forms and that we had tried to register.  There were also no forms in Prevesa either, although apparently, five were due to arrive…would Ian kindly return tomorrow morning? This he duly did and we were in luck.

The form was given to us, stamped and chocked.  All our passports and papers were photocopied.  Ian then had to go to the tax office to be given an invoice for 29 euros.  From there he was directed to the National Bank to pay the invoice, from where he would take his receipt back to the Coastguard in order to have the paperwork finalised.

By this time the washing had been done and dried.  We set off for Paxos to meet our great friend Sue Lowrey.img_3439

We moored on the north quay, away from the town centre in the most dramatic of settings yet.  An island protects the channel from the open sea and winds.  It is the most wonderful anchorage.  Understandably busy.  We set about tidying up the boat and preparing drinks and nibbles.  Sue and Margaret img_3441arrived and we enjoyed giving them the guided tour.

After a delicious pasta dinner and yet more wine, we staggered back to the boat and slept soundly..

Next day, Sue picked us up and gave us a tour of the island of Paxos by car. We spend a pleasant afternoon sunning ourselves on the beach and then went back to Margaret’s beautiful hillside home for a delicious dinner.

We had a jobs day on the Thursday and then welcomed Sue and Margaret for breakfast and coffee, after their morning swim, before saying a fond farewell and sailing off to Sivota-Mourtos.img_3443

We anchored in Middle Bay since the weather was quite settled and enjoyed some nice swimming around the boat.  I tried fishing again but with no luck at all.  We shot out in the dinghy to do some beach combing.  We were about to go ashore on to the biggest of the islands when we noticed a herd of rather shaggy goats with large horns on the beach. We stayed off some distance and admired them from afar.

Next stop was Corfu.  We anchored stern to in the incredibly smelly East Basin.  Compensated by the fact that you are right next to the Old Town and tucked under the fort and it’s free!  We wandered through the streets to the cricket field and showed Erin the colonnaded Venetian style streets.

The next day, Ian and Alice Daggett the-daggets-in-kalimi-bay-corfuarrived and we promptly set off to our anchorage further north where we had a quiet and smell free night.  The next afternoon we had to dropped Erin off at the airport.  She was returning to the UK to work for six weeks to save money for her up-coming ski season in Tignes.waterbaby

We zig-zagged across the channel to stay in Plataria and then Pagania.  We had some good sailing.  The anchorage at Pagania half a mile from the Albanian border was amazing. Once we had driven past numerous large and ugly fish farms we turned the dog leg to discover a completely enclosed anchorage.  No tavern, no bars, no body and no signal! img_3580

So, back to Corfu Town and another fond farewell to Mr and Mrs D.  We had had a wonderful few days with them.

As strong southerly winds were expected over the next few days we decided to head north to Kassiopi on the Northern tip of Corfu.  We had a few happy days there meeting up with Andy and Denise Hurley on Comet andy-and-denise-hurley-on-cometwhom we had first met in Mallorca back in April/May.

Our next visit was from old friend and fellow sailor, William Dear.  We had a boozy night with him in Corfu Town celebrating the sale of his boat.  As you may know, the happiest days of any sailor’s life are the day he buys a boat and the day he sells it! )

Next stop, Albania

Thence to Sicily.