39º 08.76 N
8º 18.65 E
Content complete to – (Date | Place)
Vulcano, Aeolian Islands,
22nd June. At least there was no thunder & lightening that evening.
So next day (23rd June)
as the wind started to ease down we got the chance we had hoped for. We hired a
beach buggy (instead of 2 scoters) & headed for the island’s capital,
Unusual as it is built on a curved hillside rim, but overlooking an amphitheatre of cultivated land, not the sea. We climbed to the castle on the highest point, & strolled through the town, then carried on to look at some other little harbours/hamlets on the island. Generally there was more cultivation than on other islands & more greenery, so we found it very pleasant. Our vehicle inspired looks & waves!
Back at the boat in the afternoon
we readied for sea then moved her round to the other side of the bridge – a 5nm
trip through the narrow channels round Prezba island – to Luka Veli Lago &
Lastovo’s Customs quay. Later that evening we were ‘cleared’ out of
Thursday 24th June. An
early morning departure from the Customs Quay, &
We were soon sailing, & fast
with cracked sheets, although there was still a sea left from the several windy
days. Mid morning the wind went to a F5 & a reef went in, then we crossed
the shipping lane between
The old town of
Friday (25th June) was
a reasonably early start, after extricating ourselves from the now rather
awkward blown on berth. We had a reef in the main initially, but soon shook it
out & poled out the genny. With the wind still from the N we wished to cover
as much ground S as possible. We saw dolphins a couple of times, as night fell
we started a watch system, & ran the engine to charge the batteries. As the
sun set a full moon was already high on the opposite horizon. There were more
ships as we passed
Mid morning on Saturday 26th
June we rounded the heel of
At teatime we arrived at
345.2 nm 2 nights at sea.
The anchorage looks towards Etna
in the S, &
Monday 28th June. We
went ashore in the dinghy & caught a bus that wound round the coast &
up the hill to
The castle was closed, but we found refreshment at a small bar with a view S over a cloud covered Etna. Then it was down again, amazingly the only people we met on the climb were Brits! From the main town we found a footpath down to the anchorage, as quick as the bus as more direct, but the bus won hands down on spectacular views. Then more provisions from the local shops & back to the boat for a quick swim to wash the dust off. Doug jumped in & moments later had been stung by a jellyfish. A quick application of our anti-sting stick & an anti-histamine tablet & recovery was assured. I admit I looked at a ‘jelly’ waiting for me at the bottom of the boarding ladder & cancelled my swim.
Tuesday 29th June. Our best view of Etna yet, with the top clear of cloud.
An early start to go through the
Straits of Messina. This turned into a long motor as the high land each side of
the straits funnels the wind so it blows either N or S. We wanted to go N &
that was where the wind was coming from! With a lot of miles to do we didn’t
want the extra miles a beat would add, plus there is a tide through the straits
& so the sea had a wind over tide ‘chop’. Just before midday & after
passing the town of
Still a mix of sail &
motorsailing as the wind changed direction & switched on & off. Doug
saw a swordfish jump, I saw a flying fish, we gave a Naval convoy a wide berth
– they had the clout even if we were stand on vessel! – then we had a fantastic
display close up from some swordfish boats as they chased in all directions.
Finally we arrived at the Aeolian
The anchorage was busy, & from its circular shape was probably an older crater. Smoke was rising around the top of the little volcano behind us – a reminder that while inert it was not extinct either.