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Sailboat log

When Sailing the South of Italy (log09)

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.

three Dolphins swimming
girl on sailboat with dolphin

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.

girl on sailboat
sailboat

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.

Sailboat in the sunrise
Sailboat in sunrise
sailboat with sails

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.

Dolphins close to a sailboat
Dolphins close to a sailboat

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.

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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Sailing Destination

The most beautiful place to sail to in Italy

Punta prosciutto, gallipoli, italy

Many of you now probably expect Cinque Terre, Capri or Amalfi, but sorry to disappoint, the most beautiful and rarely mentioned place to sail to is Gallipoli. Gallipoli has been named the most beautiful beach by trip advisor in 2019, yet rarely people think about sailing there. As beautiful the beach and water are from the land, it will never compare to the beauty you see from the sea. The watercolor changes from all shades from dark blue to turquoise ending into transparent once you reach the shore.

watercolor in gallipoli

When we sailed there we just wanted to stop over from a long leg but ended anchoring here 3 nights. If you go on land you will find Punta Proscuitto, a small cliff filled with Italians enjoying “la Bella vita”. We just loved how they placed the sunbeams on the cliffs and what more do you need then a well-made cocktail to enjoy all of this.

beach in punta prosciutto, gallipoli, italy
girl in bar on beach in gallipoli, italy
sunset in punta prosciutto Gallipoli Italy

If you need more city life, sail over to the old city. A beautiful town surrounded by old town walls which hide many good restaurants and shops to fulfill every of your pleasure. We actually cruised in with the dinghy and docked our dinghy to the restaurant’s private dock. How cool is that? Gallipoli definitely made us feel like in a movie and we can not wait to sail back there.

city of Gallipoli Italy
dinner in city of Gallipoli Italy

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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Sail Tips and Tricks

5 Presents every Sailor will love

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Soon the bells will start. And the thing that will make them ring. Is the carol that you sing right within your heart.

Oh, sorry for getting lost in this classic Christmas song. But yes I am one of those people who are looking forward to lights on every tree and the same four famous Christmas songs on the radio. I know most of you are rolling your eyes right now, but wherever you like it or not, Christmas is around the corner and with it the emotional stress of finding the right gift for your loved ones.

But no worries, we got you covered! Every sailor has their personal list, but speaking to Sailors around the Mediterranean, we met along the way we can agree that the items on this list are the most sought after.

No matter if its a sailor girl, a newbie sailor, or an old sailing wolf here, you will find something for everyone (and every budget).

Disclaimer: we do get a small commission if you buy products linked in this blog. But no worries the price for you will not change. So if you would like to support us make your buy through our links to allow us to stay afloat.

Here are the best gifts for sailors, men and women.

1 Sailing lessons/experiences

Well what better way to make a sailor happy then to actually make them sail! If newbie or expert sailors there are a lot of experiences or courses out there that will fit your description. You might have a local sailing school you can reach out to for sailing lessons or might prefer online versions to start with. Book a sailing week for the next season or shoot a message to your favourite live-aboards they might take one sailors from time to time. 😉

2 Saftey equipment

Safety has the highest priority on a sailboat and involves so many different aspects. After living on board for almost 3 years we still learn something new regarding safety whenever we leave for a passage. On our last passage, we discovered the sailor checklist, which brings you through all the steps and safety checklists you should take care of for a longer passage or when you come back to your sailboat after a longer time (like to not forget that seacock for your motor!). The checklist does not only include information for sailboat owners but also includes many tips and tricks for emergencies. Main reason why the guide is completely waterproof is that you can always carry it with you. We for example have even two guides, one in our grab bag if we would ever need to get off-board and one accessible while sailing.

No matter if you actually go for a safety device or decide to go for the sailor checklist (20euro), it will definitely make the next sailing season safer.

3 Charts, charts, charts

No sailor can navigate the waters without appropriated charts. Well, Colombus did, but he did not really end up where he wanted so…

Nowadays, charts are mostly digital, as they are a lot handier on a boat (don’t get wet, need less space, zooming is somehow smoother 🙂 ). The most well-known maps are Navionics charts, so you could get them a gift voucher for Navioncis or even a tablet with preloaded Navioncis cards. However, some sailors do love some beautiful paper charts as their batteries never run low:).

4 Sailboat equipment

This one is for all the lucky sailors who can call a sailboat their own. Every year sailboat maintenance is a big part of a sailor’s life. There are things that need to get fixed or new equipment that needs to be installed. The range of possible presents it’s huge (and depends immensely on your budget), so here are our top three sustainable sailboat maintenance/equipment ideas (one for every budget):

4.1 Water filters ($)

For us still one of the best investments on board of ForTuna! not only will you avoid buying thousands of bottles of plastic and definitely contribute to keeping the oceans clean, but you also don’t need to carry those horrible bottles around, don’t need space to store them and don’t need space to store the garbage once they are empty. what else to say? we just love our Riva filters. we have been using them now for almost 2 years, tested them in the Mediterranean and in the Caribbean, and would never ever go back.

4.2 Antifouling paint ($$)

The annoying task of redoing your antifouling is one that comes around more often than we would like. You might need some inside information for this one as it depends on the boat type and the hull material (aluminum, fiberglass, wood), which antifouling paint you need. This year we are going to test a reef-friendly silicon version from Seajet. subscribe to our youtube channel, if you would like to see the review about it once we applied it.

Ps: if you don’t know the Antifouling paint you should buy, you could instead make them a voucher for the sanding down of the old paint. Yeez, I would love that present as it will save us hours of work and days of back pain.

4.3 Batteries ($$$)

No need to hide it! We sailors love a good remote anchorage immersed in nature, but let’s face it modern tech is part of our lives now and we very probably “need” that phone to take pictures or simply need the energy to power our sailing instruments. Electricity is a huge part of our lives and this is no different on boats. We just upgrades this year to lithium batteries (the whole process can be seen here) and our lives change completely.

5 Stay Salty collection

Looking for a salty present, which makes your sailor happy and supports your favourite sailing channel 😉 check out our new StaySalty collection of:

5.1 Eco-sustainbale t-shirts and hoodies

All our apparel is made of bio-cotton or recycled materials and is only produced at the moment you order it, in the production facility closest to you (we have partnered with over 25 production sides over the world to reduce pollution caused by shipping). This means we do not waste fabric, ink or electricity to produce goods not sold yet and reduce our carbon footprint by over 90%!

5.2 Sailing inspired wall art!

We are especially proud of our Stay Salty 2022 calendar, which features 12 of our favourite sailing destinations! Get inspired every month by one of our favourite sailing spots so far and create your own sailing destination bucket list. The same logic of reducing Co2 emissions and saving ink and electricity explained for the T-shirts does apply to our wall art.

Extra tip – Reef Safe Sunscreen

We Sailors love our sea and seeing it damaged by pollution has a significant impact on our sailing experience. Therefore protecting the sea is our first mission. Unfortunately, not everyone yet knows that traditional sunscreens play a big part in the pollution of our sea, as they directly disperse in the sea when we jump in for a refreshing swim. So help your sailor to protect its beloved oceans by gifting them an ocean safe sunscreen.

We wish you a merry Christmas and hope you have a wonderful time together with your family. And remember no present is more precious then our time :). let us know in the comments what you think about the post. and don’t forget to subscribe for e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this experience.

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Sail Tips and Tricks Sailing Destination

Strait of Messina: a guide for sailors – all you need to know to navigate the strait safely

The Strait of Messina, feared by sailors, inhabited by mythological animals and named in greek and roman legends, has made quite a name for himself. Especially considering its size, a skinny strip of water just 3 kilometers (1.6 nautical miles) wide, at its narrowest point, and 32 kilometers (17 nautical miles) long.

Entrance to the strait of messina on a sailboat

His popularity derives from the strong currents and whirlpools which populate the waters in the Strait. The same which have fueled myths and legends since the time of the Greeks. Most known are the myths of Scylla and Charybdis, two female sea monsters that plagued Odysseus and his crew on their journey. 

Located between mainland Italy and the island Sicily, the Strait only reaches about 90 meters of depth. Yet for such a narrow, shallow water body, it has long posed problems for sailors. Therefore, we have collected all the necessary information for a safe and still adventurous passage through the renowned Strait of Messina, by sailing yacht or motorboat. You will find information about

For all the quick readers we have included a summary at the end of the blogpost called “5 Steps for save passage

Currents

The Strait of Messina connects the Tyrrhenian Sea in the North with the Ionian Sea in the South. The primary current runs from South to North, but a smaller current runs in the opposite direction. The currents alternate about every six hours, and the Strait’s complicated wave patters can even be seen from space.

Strait of messina Nasa earth observatory
Credit: Nasa Earth Observatory

The submarine profile of the Strait can be compared to a mountain, whose summit is the “saddle” (along the Ganzirri-Punta Pezzo junction), whose opposite slopes have different gradients. From the Sicilian Tyrrhenian side, the seabed degrades slowly until it reaches 2,000 m at the island of Stromboli. On the other hand, in the southern part (Ionian Sea), the slope is very steep and a few kilometers from the “saddle” it is possible to record the depth of 500 m, whereas 2,000 m of depth are already reached at the center of the junction Capo Taormina – Capo d’Armi.

Besides the difference in sea depth, the Peculiarity of the currents is given due to the chemical-physical difference between the two seas (salinity, temperature and density) and the alternation of tides: When the Tyrrhenian sea is at high tide, the Ionian sea is at low tide and vice versa. You can visualize the Strait as a double funnel, with opposed tides of up to 27cm on each entrance. Due to the opposing tides, we can find two phenomena:

  • upwelling: with the prevalence of the ionic current (north-south direction), deep ionic waters are pushed by the tidal movements and go up the southern slope emerging in the central-northern part
  • when the Tyrrhenian current prevails, the waters of this basin pass south, but due to the lower density they are arranged exclusively on the surface; below thirty meters the balance is in favor of the ionic water

The previously described phenomena do impact the navigation of the Strait of Messina profoundly as they alter the movement of the waters by interfering with the currents.

  • Horizontal interferences: those are visible as waves, mainly present in Ganzirri, Torre Faro and Punta Pezzo. If paired with strong winds, which commonly occur in the straight, they can increase and create troubles for sailboats or motor yachts
  • Vertical interferences: those are more dangerous and have fueled the myths of sea monsters for thousands of years. The two most frequent ones are; Whirlpools, born due to colder waters ascending into warmer water, and Countercurrents, which form close to shore and are in the opposite direction of the current tide.

Most of the interferences are big enough to be seen by eye, so when passing the Strait, a sailsman must keep its eyes open for alterations in the water. In conclusion, the currents do, in fact, present considerable difficulties, as they can be so strong to tear seaweed from the bottom and sometimes throw up fish. However, nowadays, due to weather forecasts and knowledge about tides, safe passage is assured.

Vortex in the strait of messina

Sea Traffic

The Strait of Messina is used by large vessels as a short cut from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ionian without having to circumnavigate Sicily. Besides large ships, there is a high frequency of ferries that connect Sicily to Calabria and cross the Strait from E to W and vice versa, making the Strait a highly populated sea street. (Fun Fact: due to the inability of the Italian government to build a bridge over the straight, even the train which runs from Rome to Palermo is transferred on a ferry to pass the Strait of Messina)

To minimize the risk of collisions at sea, boat traffic is regulated, as I will describe below with the help of the following Navionics map.

Navionics map of the strait of messina

We must imagine that the Strait is divided into two “lanes” by a virtual “centerline” represented with a purple stripe in the previous map. The units that are moving towards S are required to keep to W of this line, and consequently to navigate closer to Sicily. On the other hand, those that are moving towards N must keep E on that line and navigate closer to Calabria. The only way to go from one “lane” to another is to turn, counterclockwise, around the “roundabout” represented by the violet circle in the previous map.

Recreational boats should sail as close as possible to the coast to their right, paying close attention to the ferries that cross the Strait between Messina and Villa San Giovanni: bear in mind that ferries have priority in any case. For prudential purposes, at least in the stretch between Capo Peloro and Messina, it is advisable for sailing boats to sail with the jib lowered, avoiding, in any case, zigzag upwind courses with frequent and sudden changes of course.

Finally, you are required to check in with the coast guard, even if your a small vessel. Call VTS, inform them about your entrance and they will also be able to confirm if it is an appropriated time to pass the straight or if you should be waiting for a change in tides.

Weather

The Strait of Messina, due to his geographical location, does create unstable weather conditions. In general, the winds tend to channel along the Strait and come from N in summer, and from S in spring and autumn. However, keep in mind the fact that throughout the area of the Strait the winds are strongly conditioned, in intensity and direction, by the orographic conformation of the Sicilian and Calabrian coasts.

We heard of several strange situations in which moments of almost total absence of wind alternated with others characterized by strong gusts of unpredictable direction that made the adjustment of the sails very difficult. The probability of such situations tends to increase in the event of unstable weather.

Lastly, fog and mist, frequent populate the Strait of Messina, especially in the months of May and June. Those do constitute a situation of danger, as they decrease the visibility in a channel populated by many ships.

Entrance to the strait of messina on a sailboat

Ports and Anchorages

The Strait of Messina has 3 ports (Messina, Reggio Calabria and Villa San Giovanni) as well as two other ports located in the municipality of Messina (Tremestrieri and San Francesco), generally used by private company ferries. Given the general conditions that can occur, it is useful to know the points where you can safely anchor while you wait for better conditions or the change of tides. These are for Sicily: Torre Faro, Ganzirri, Grotta, Paradiso, S. Francesco di Paola; instead on the Calabrian coast instead: Scilla, Marina di Porticello, Pentimele, Giunchi, Porto Salvo.

Entrance to the strait of messina on a sailboat

In conclusion, we have summarised the most important facts for all sailors who are thinking of navigating through the straight of Messina,

5 Steps for a safe sail through the straight of Messina

  • Check the currents: The Strait of Messina is affected by currents directed towards N and towards S, which alternate with moments of calmness. These currents can (especially during the new moon and the full moon) take on significant intensities (up to about 5 knots), especially in the stretch of sea that goes from Capo Peloro (Sicily) to Punta Pezzo (Calabria). It is advisable to plan the passage taking into account these currents. In fact, confronting the passage with wind, sea and current in opposed direction can be unnecessarily dangerous. For this purpose, it is beneficial to consult sites that provide the current intensity tables, such as the site http://www.correntidellostretto.it
  • Navigate respecting the map. If your a small vessel, try to navigate closer to shore, as the currents do generally decrease in intensity. However, be aware of the risk of countercurrents, which does increase closer to shore.
  • Contact the coast guard when you enter. Firstly you have to inform them about your passage, and secondly, they will give you information regarding appropriated time frames to sail the canal.
  • Be aware while passing. Firstly there are many other boats in the Strait – secondly, you do not want to end up in a whirlpool or countercurrent. Even if they might not be dangerous, they are also not fun. Most of them you can see with your eyes, so keep a lookout.
  • Choose the motor over the sail. Yes, we know as sailors do hate to switch on the engine, especially if there is wind blowing. But if this is the first time passing the straight and your maybe not the most experienced sailor out there, we would recommend you to choose the motor this time. The hazards connected to the Strait have fueled myths for thousands of years, do not underestimate it.
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Sailboat log

When Sailing Tropea and the straight of Messina (log08)

After our 32hour passage from Sardinia to Sicily, the straight of Messina was our next big sailing challenge. But let‘s start from the beginning.

Entrance to the strait of messina on a sailboat

We had been in the Aeolian Islands for 2 weeks, visited most of the Island, and been to Stromboli twice. The second time around, we had changed our crew, our friends had gone home and Greta‘s mum joined ForTuna to visit the Islands, which have been so long on her Travel list.

Stromboli
Stromboli

Our original plan was to sail back to Sicily and from there, approach the straight of Messina. However, after more detailed planning, we discovered that the North coast of Sicily close to the Straight was pretty bare and without protected anchorages. On the other hand, the mainland of Italy offered anchorages closer to the straight, which would allow us to pass the straight first thing in the morning and avoid arriving there tired from sailing.

So off we went to mainland Italy heading for Tropea. Looking back, it was a great decision. Not only did we manage to approach the straight safely, but we also visited one of the most stunning places so far. Funnily before visiting Tropea, we knew the city only because of the variety of onions named after it. Now, we will remember it forever for its steep cliffs, small streets, farmer markets and sanctuaries placed on cliffs overseeing the Italian coast. As you can see, we are pretty in love with Tropea, if you want to find out why read our 3 reasons to sail to Tropea.

Tropea

After Tropea, we anchored as close as possible to the straight. We choose a small open bay in front of Paparone, Italy. Unfortunately, not safe from incoming swell, which diminished our sleep quality together with the excitement for the next day. However, we rose at 7 and at 8 we were already at the entrance of the straight. The straight is dangerous for sailors because of two strong currents meeting in it. For a more detailed description of the dangers connected to the strait of Messina, check out our Guide for Sailors for the Strait of Messina.

Entrance to the strait of messina on a sailboat
North Entrance to the Strait of Messina

As requested, we contacted the coast guard to inform them about our passage and asked for information about the canal. You can imagine the relief when the coast guard told us it was a perfect time of the day to pass. The winds were not strong and until 9 am we had a window to pass south. So with good spirit we entered the canal.

Entrance to the strait of messina on a sailboat
North Entrance to the Strait of Messina

Our good spirit was slightly dumped when we saw a fisher in front of us lose control over his small boat, which started to turn 180 degrees. Looking closer, we recognized a small whirlpool he had overseen. Luckily the fisher managed to get out of the vortex without any problems, but our concentration rose again, as we wanted to avoid having the same experience.

Vortex in the strait of messina
Countercurrents in the Strait of Messina
Whirlpool in the strait of messina on a sailboat
Whirlpools / Vortex in the Strait of Messina

When we reached the middle of the canal, the wind in our hair got stronger and we wondered what had happened. A look at the monitors showed that the wind we were experiencing was due to ForTunas speed. ForTuna was going at a speed of 10kts. A speed ForTuna had never reached before and never would again. It took us a while to understand that this speed was purely due to the strong currents in the canal. We were practically pushed out of it.

In the end, everything went perfectly well. We managed to avoid all the whirlpools and passed the canal more quickly than expected due to our new speed high.

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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Uncategorized

How risky is Greta Thunberg’s sailing expedition on board of La Vagabond?

Greta Thunberg sails back to Europe on La Vagabond to be at the climate summit in Madrid – but shortly after leaving the boat heads for a heavy storm.

Photocredits: Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg has taken a taste for it. After crossing the Atlantic from Plymouth (UK) to New York on a latest-generation Imoca (with Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann) to attend the United Nations Climate Conference, the world’s most famous young ecologist climbs aboard another sailboat.

But this time, forget about semi-flying racing boats equipped with foils and ocean sailors. This time, to cross the Atlantic from west to east without polluting the earth, Greta chose a very different boat. It is the catamaran “La Vagabonde” (an Outremer 45) of the Australian Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu, both famous for their Youtube channel “Sailing la Vagabonde” which has over one million followers.

The interesting sailing crew, supported by the experienced British skipper Nikki Henderson, met on the medium that made them all famous, the internet. After discovering that the World Climate Conference COP25 was moved from Chile to Madrid, Greta reaches out on Twitter to find a sailing passage over the Atlantic to avoid getting a flight (the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist refuses to fly due to the heavy carbon footprint of airplane travels). This call was answered by the two youtube vloggers who decided to throw overboard their plans and bring Greta back to Europe.

The trip will take about three weeks, if all goes as planned, which might allow Thunberg to arrive just in time for COP25, which starts December 2. Even with the time crunch, Thunberg did not want to take an airplane.

“I decided to sail to highlight the fact that you can’t live sustainably in today’s society,” Thunberg told The New York Times on Tuesday. “You have to go to the extreme.”

The motley crew left harbor four days ago with strong winds on the bow and not the most comfortable way ahead them. Crossing the ocean during its stormiest season bears many risks, and not everybody seems to see their choice as responsible, especially thinking about Elayna’s and Riley’s 11-month-old son, which is part of the expedition.

In the next few days, it will be extremely uncomfortable for the Vagabonde crew, as a low-pressure area is forming on the American East Coast which sucks cold air from the north and should reach up to nine wind speeds. The low-pressure area will charges it’s energy over the Gulf Stream, before it moves to the north at the weekend behind la Vagabonde so that the 16-meter catamaran might be spared the worst with a bit of luck.

Both Elayna and Greta have been seasick during their first day on the voyage, but both seem confident to have taken the right decision to face mother nature. If this risks are taken unnecessarily or not is difficult to say, but we wish all the best to the crew.

Fair winds La Vagabond

let us know in the comments what you think about this journey and don’t forget to subscribe for the e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook

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Sailing Destination

Tropea – 3 reasons why you should sail there

Located in the south of Italy, Tropea was not on our original route. But the beauty of living on a sailboat is the freedom in making changes last minute. After visiting the famous Stromboli (for the second time 🙂 ) the wind was more favorable to sail to Tropea than to Sicily, so off we sailed to main land Italy and could not have made a better decision. Here are our three reasons why you should sail to Tropea

beach of tropea, italy

1 – Well kept marina, recently renovated

Marinas in Italy can be pretty old fashioned, with many dating into early 2000. This marina was freshly renovated and holds all the necessities a sailor could need. As we were there a part of the marina was still under construction but it should be finished by now.

harbour of tropea, italy
sailboat in the port of tropes, italy

2 – Sightseeing

Small town streets, picturesque markets, Calabrian sweets and buildings situated on cliffs. What else do you need after a long sail to recover in style? If you go there don’t miss the Sanctuary of Saint Mary on a singular rock close to shore.

Sanctuary of Holy Mary Tropea, Italy
Sanctuary of Holy Mary Tropea, Italy

White beaches and crystal clear water

the water is turquoise, the sand is white, and all these surrounded by spectacular cliffs only 10min walking from the marina. Perfect for a day off-sail or if you prefer boat life, perfect for a day at anchor after a short sail.

beach in tropea, italy with sunbeds
beach in tropea, italy

In the end we were super lucky to have changed our plans and include Tropea in our Sailing route. If you ever have the chance it is definitely worth passing by.

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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Sailboat log

When Sailing to Stromboli (log07)

We had just caught a tuna, the first tuna our whole crew, including us, had ever seen. We were all in awe for the shimmering scales and thought we had seen the best of our week. But boy, were we wrong.

Sailing in Stromboli

On this day we were wrong about many things. We were wrong about the time frames you were allowed to climb the Volcano, we were wrong about the shoes to wear to climb the Volcano, and we were wrong about how a volcano should look like.

We arrived at Stromboli in the evening and decided to climb the Volcano the next day in the morning. For all of you out there, who would like to climb a volcano to see it spark, remember you have to go there in the evening, not like us in the morning. Seems logical at second thought, you need darkness to see the sparks, but hey everybody can be wrong. So we spent the day on Stromboli and had a delicious meal in one of the most beautiful restaurants we have ever been to until it was time for our hike to the mouth of the Volcano.

Trattoria ai Gechi, Restaurant in Stromboli
Trattoria ai Gechi, Stromboli
Church of Stromboli, Italy
Church of Stromboli

The hike felt like a procession. There were so many people, walking in a line up the mountain, from a far it looked like an ant hill. Michael and I grew up in a mountain place, and we usually would not hike a path with this many people even if we would get paid for it. But never say never in life. This time we even paid to do it. Life can be pretty funny.

The path started in a bush area, where we explored wild caper bushes and many different flowers. With each meter we rose, it was incredible to look down at the sea, ForTuna and the Strombolicchio, a super small and cute island in front of Stromboli, which formed because of an eruption. The path then changed to wasteland and ended in black sand patches, which were horrible to climb.

Strombolicchio, View from stromboli

Getting closer, we could already hear the sound of the eruptions, and if the outbreak was big enough, see the smoke. Finally, we got so close we had to wear our helmets to be protected from falling stones. It was once we wore our helmets that the smell stared. Let me tell you it was one of the worst smells ever. 5 more minutes of walk to see where the smell was coming from.

When Sailing on Stromboli, Italy

It was kind of fascinating and disappointing at the same time. On the one hand, it was amazing to see the sparks and smoke and craters; on the other, some of us expected a big bubbling sea of lava. Well, don’t expect that when you go there. Yes, we saw lava and yes, it bubbled, but it was sooo far away from us that I am not sure if we imagined it or if it was true.

Nevertheless, we saw a breathtaking sunset from the top and experienced 3-4 small volcano eruptions. The Stromboli is one of the most active volcanos, which means he erupts each 15-20minutes. No other volcano in the world does that. Each explosion took again our breaths away, both because of the imminent danger, the astonishing sound and the horrible smell. The darker it got, the more you could see the red sea and the sparks emerging from it. 

Two months after we visited the Stromboli, a massive eruption occurred, which took the life of one man and scared and injured so many others. With this post, we would also like to remember those and remember that all active volcanos are dangerous, so please be aware of the danger and do not go and visit them on your own, take a guide, even if you are a hiking expert. 

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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Sailboat log

When Sailing we fished our first tuna (log06)

Since we put the first fishing hook into the water, our dream was to catch a tuna. First and mostly, because we wanted to make sashimi. You can imagine our happiness when the second fish we caught was a beautiful shining tuna. 

tail of a tuna fish

We were on our way from Panarea to Stromboli. Most of the crew was napping on the boat, after a great lunch at anchor. As now was our habit, we put out our fishing line, but with not much hope as we had only caught 1 wish in 5 weeks. But it seems that sometimes luck strikes those who have lost hope. 1 nautical mile in front of Stromboli, the fishing rod started sirring.

You can imagine our surprise! Michael and I immediately jumped up, looking first at the fishing rod and then at each other. Was this happening? Two fish in one week? As we asserted we were not still dreaming, we woke our friends to help. We luckily were 6 people on board, so while Michael took care of the fishing rod, three crew members and I took down first the Genoa and then the mainsail. Once done, the fish was still on the hook, and it was now time to help Michael get it on board. 

sailors fishing

We knew it was a bigger fish then we caught before because he was quite reluctant to get aborad. Having broken already a few fishing lines, we were super careful not pulling it in too hard and decided to let the fish fight and get tired. For about 30 minutes, I steered the boat in the direction of the fish while Michael pulled in and let go of the fishing line according to the strength of the fish. Finally, we saw the shimmer of a fish in the sea.

tuna in the water on a fishing line
tuna in the water on a fishing line
tuna in the water on a fishing line

One of our crew members had already prepared the fishing net, but as the fish came closer, we realized that this fish would no fit in our net. But how should we get it on board? We first tried with the fishing rod, but each time the fish was slightly out of the water, we were scared the line would break and how sad would it be to loose the fish now. A different solution was needed. Following his instincts, Michael jumped onto the platform, grabbed the tuna, and pulled the fish on board.

sailor michael hofer catching a tuna fish
sailor michael hofer catching a tuna fish
sailor michael hofer catching a tuna fish

We were all in awe, once we had this magnificent creature on our boat. Neither of us had ever seen a whole tuna. We almost felt sorry to know that most people only knew it from a can. After contemplating its beauty, we hoped that it would fit in our fridge as the sea was to rocky to filet the tuna.

fresh tuna fished
sailor michael hofer catching a tuna fish
fresh tuna in fridge

Once arrived in calm waters at Stromboli, we watched a lot of Videos to be sure to filet the tuna in the right way to avoid any unnecessary waste. We ended the day with a tuna steak on our plate and a laugh about our sweet and little fishing net.

fresh tuna
sailor filett tuna fish
fresh tuna steaks

We hoped you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog post about sailing and sustainable living, subscribe to our e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us in this sailing experience.

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Sailing Destination

3 tips for sailing in the Aeolian Islands

The Aeolian Islands are world-famous for their steep cliffs, black and white beaches, and the most active volcano in the world. And what better way is there than to explore an island by sailboat? So here’re our 3 tips for sailing in the Aeolian islands.

Volcano, Aeolian Islands, Sicily

Plan ahead

If you would like to visit the most famous attraction of the eolian island – Stromboli, the volcano – make sure you plan ahead. You will need to have to stay overnight, as you are only able to visit the volcano at night. Unfortunately, the island is pretty round, meaning there are no real anchoring spots where you will find shelter from any wind. There is only one anchor point at the NW tip of the island in front of the town, where everybody will be anchoring. So make sure you choose a windless night to anchor there as you will be leaving your boat at anchor for the night while climbing the volcano.

Stromboli, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Sailboats in Stromboli, Aeolian Islands
View from Stromboli on Sailboats and Strombolicchio
View from top on Sailboats and Strombolicchio

Visit the smaller islands

Stromboli, Volcano, Lipari, those are probably the three most renominated islands of the Aeolian. But don’t be fooled, those islands are beautiful but also overrun by tourists, especially in the summer. But lucky you, you have a sailboat and can explore all the little islands which are as beautiful as the big ones just less touristy. We can especially recommend Panarea, Salina and Spinazzola. According to the wind, they might be even suitable to stay overnight, otherwise, they are definitely worth a day sail.

Salina, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Salina in bad weather
Sailboat in Panarea, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Panarea seen from ForTuna
Spinazzola, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Spinazzola
Spinazzola, Aeolian Islands, Sicily
Spinazzola seen from ForTuna

Save Water

Unbelievable but true, the Aeolian islands have no freshwater, so all the freshwater will have to be brought by tanker. As sailor, you are already aware of the high-value of freshwater and how cautiously we have to use it. Here on the Aeolian islands, it is even more critical. This also means keeping the boat as clean as possible before arriving because you will not be allowed to wash your sailboat while you are there with fresh water from the dock.

Sailboat in Lipari, Aeolian Islands, Sicily

we hope you enjoyed these 3 tips and will soon have the chance to sail to the Aeolian Islands. Let us know in the comments what you think about the post and don’t forget to subscribe for the e-mail updates or follow us on instagram or facebook to join us on oue journey.

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