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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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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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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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Sailing Destination

5 best sailing spots in Sardegna, Italy

We have been cruising in Sardegna for over a month and have been lucky to sail to extremely beautiful spots along the Eastcoast. Sardegna can be pretty hard on sailors due to the Maestrale, a strong wind from the north, which fills your sails and keeps you up at night. Therefore we decided to share the best 5 spots to sail and anchor safely along the Eastcoast of Sardegna.

sailboat in Sardegna

1 – Cala Gonone / Cala Goloritze

The hot spot for all climbers, because you can only reach it by boat or a 2h walk. We love places you only can reach by boat, so we needed to anchor there and it was worth the while. Cala Gonone offers multiple caves and beaches to explore by sailboat and the “pisello”, a single high rock which can be climbed. Unfortunately, it is not very sheltered from the Maestrale, so do not choose the port or the beach to hide out the wind.

cave of cala Gonone, Sardegna
Cala Goloritze, Sardegna

2 – Porto Rotondo

Our home port for 3 weeks. It is a port for luxurious yachts and has been a favorite spot for high society in the nineties. Today it is a well-kept marina with beautiful surroundings and a charming town to explore. It is pretty empty until Easter, but then it fills with tourists and all the shops and restaurants open. A great spot to explore the north of Sardinia by sailboat, if you prefer to return to safe harbor at the end of a sailing day.

Porto Rotondo, Sardegna

3 – St. Maria Navarrese

This was our most loved place. It was the cheapest marina along the coast, but on the other hand, with the best amenities. Showers and Toilets have probably been renovated in the last year. Besides that, the town features an incredible landscape, long white beaches, crystal clear waters and picturesque promenades to enjoy. We only stayed one night, but we would have loved to stay there longer. There are even two small island in front of the town which you can easily explore by boat.

Port of Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardegna
Beach of Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardegna
Beach of Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardegna
Islands of Santa Maria Navarrese, Sardegna

4 – Cagliari

 You can not leave the island without having seen the capital. It offers old ruins to explore, flamingos to observe and food to indulge in. It can be tricky to get into one of the marinas, so try to contact them beforehand and figure out which one makes you the best price. Also, they are all quite trashy but so is the city and it adds to the flair 😉

Cagliari, Sardegna
Park in Cagliari, Sardegna
Port of Cagliari, Sardegna

5 – Villasimius

This town might not hold antique ruins to explore or white beaches to enjoy, but it is located in a strategic position and holds an annual foiling cup guaranteeing some spectacular sailing views all year round. It is the most SE tip of Sardegna and, therefore, ideal to start your crossing to Sicily or mainland Italy. They have a decent marina shop and a helpful marina service, but it is hard to enter the marina with strong Meltemi – so make sure you have selected a suitable time window for the crossing.

Villasimius, Cagliari, Sardegna

Extra spot – St. Maddalena

We did not manage to sail there but visited it by land. Nevertheless, we can not finish this list without mentioning this place. It is one of the most incredible places in the Mediterranean. Sail there if you have the chance, we will for sure when we sail back to Italy next summer.

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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