Saturday, August 20, 2011

Through the Aeolians….

Sorry for not posting in a while, internet’s been very scarce and we’ve been super busy!

We finally left Malta, after having a great visit there, and getting some things wrapped up on the boat. A huge “thank you” to Joe at Boat Care for all your help getting loose ends done. You were a huge blessing to us and I hope to keep in touch, really above and beyond!!

After an overnight sail we headed north back up along Sicily. We stopped in Taormina, a town near the north end, and thought we’d be there overnight, but after a quick check of weather, it looked like we need to keep moving through the Messina Straight, an area which can be very tricky for sailboats. The water comes all the way from the Western Mediterranean and piles up right where the ‘toe’ of the boot of Italy is kicking the island of Sicily.  It’s a very narrow passage, and creates whirlpools and eddies that if there is any wind, makes it difficult to navigate.

So we kept moving and although we had a 4 hour push into some strong winds (nothing unusual about that in the Med!)  as soon as we entered the channel, the wind thankfully died down the water smoothed out. It was 10:30 pm by the time we got into the channel, and it was crowded! Huge tankers were coming and going, and it took Maggie, Levi and I to team up and spot and follow all the boats. With cities on both shores, it was tough to find which lights boats were moving towards us or away. It felt pretty intense, but it was exciting at the same time. After finally passing through, there was really nowhere at midnight we felt like stopping, so we motored- no wind- and headed to the Aeolian Island north of Sicily called Volcano. See you there!

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