After a month in Sicily, it was time to move on. There was still a lot to explore in Sicily, like the south and the west coast, but we will have enough time next year to do so. So if you have any recommendations about sailing in Sicily, let us know in the comments.
Be aware this blog post will contain a lot of dolphins. We never saw as many dolphins as in those two weeks. We don’t know if it was because of the location (the Gulf of Taranto) or because of the time (End of May). However, we could not care less why we will always remember those tranquil days escorted by dolphins.
We had agreed to bring ForTuna to Athens, and the accorded date was only two weeks ahead. We had 14 days for 600 nautical miles.
Our route brought us from Taormina to Santa Maria di Leuca. On the way, we stopped in Roccella Ionica, Le Castella, a small town with an incredible Castel on the waterfront, Crotone, a lovely village with a great fish market and unfriendly carpenters, and Gallipoli, our new fav place to sail to (check here why).
Unfortunately, there was not much wind this week, so we had to motor a lot. We would not have done it if we had not pre-agreed a time and place to meet up with friends, as we hate to motor this much. We definitely learned that sailing is not made for pre-agreed times and places. In general, the coming weeks would often remind us that sailing does follow wind and waves and not human timetables.
The most extended leg on this journey was from Crotone to Gallipoli. Before we left Crotone, we indulged in a great fish market where we ended up buying oysters for a ridiculously low price. Personally, I am no fan of oysters, but those were delicious a high saltiness, but no fishy aftertaste. Reinforced by oysters, we started by sunrise to make the 68 nm until Gallipoli, where we definitely lost our hearts.
The leg was super calm and we had the luck to get visited by dolphins many times, which brought a much-needed distraction from the wide and calm blue sea.
We arrived in Gallipoli in the late afternoon, and it was time for Greta to handle her first anchoring alone; Michael was still in a business call as we arrived, so it was my job to determine the best anchoring spot, check it out and let the anchor drop. Fortunately, it was a wast sandbank that rose very slowly, so I managed to drop the anchor without Michael’s help.
We spent 3 days in Gallipoli, jumping naked into the turquoise water, eating seafood at the restaurant’s pontoon and getting lost in the small streets of the old town. We are so much in love with Gallipoli that we decided to write a separate post about it. Find all the reasons why we love Gallipoli in our blog post “best place to sail to in Italy“.
Awaken from our Gallipoli dream, we had one day left to move to Santa Maria di Leuca to pick up our new crew, which would help us bring the boat to Athens. But more about this in the next blog post.