41º 50.75 N
3º 08.04 E
Content complete to – (Date | Place)
Wednesday 30th June. We strolled across the isthmus to the main harbour & ferry port. It was bustling with holiday makers & we gawped in amazement at the queue for the hot mud pools, where people were caking themselves in mud & allowing it to dry, before washing it off. The harbour was busy too, & there were more queues at a stall selling swordfish. Returning to the boat we made the short trip to the next island, Lipari with a spectacular waterfront castle, & finally topped up the fuel tank. But not water as all we could have got was non potable.
Then it was round the next headland to anchor off Capo Rosso
(9nm) for lunch & a swim. This was strictly a light wind daytime anchorage
as it was a large area of shallow sand but with no shelter, & there were a
number of boats enjoying the clear warm water. Later we moved on to yet another
island, Panarea. There were views of the active volcano
Thursday 1st – Saturday 3rd July. We
left Panarea, motoring between some ‘dragons teeth’, to ‘sling shot’ round
Stromboli before heading for
We passed the island’s town & ferry port & turned along the N coast. The active part of the volcano came into view where a lava field runs down to the shore, there were regular belches of smoke & accompanying noise, & at one point almost the length of the lava field appeared to steam. It was midday so we stopped the engine & drifted for 20 minutes watching in awe.
Then it was on again, motor sailing in the light winds. Light winds were forecast for the next few
days, but with plans for several days at sea it was better to have quiet
weather. The forecasts proved correct, so we did a lot of motor sailing. That
evening we turned the engine off, trailed a line astern & went for a dip.
Salutary to find we could only just keep pace with the boat ‘sailing’ on
windage alone. Then a brief proper sail before the wind dropped overnight. We
had several brief visits overnight from dolphins either jumping alongside or
riding the bow wave. Midday (2nd July) a large turtle passed by. Mid
afternoon we put the asymmetric kite up, which added a knot of speed, 3 classic
yachts crossed our track, we assume they were racing, & at least 12
dolphins came & played on the bow. We took the asymetric down for the night
& reverted to motor sailing. Some more dolphins came by & as we
approached the SE corner of
280.4 nm 2 nights at sea
The first place we have visited for the 2nd time.
It was a steaming hot day, but we had chores to do – wash (boat & ourselves), laundry, provisions, gas, water. We did a lot of walking to shops, stores etc. Late afternoon the weekending Italians arrived in droves, so we abandoned plans for a meal ashore & visited the supermarket yet again.
Next morning (4th July) a relaxed start across
Monday 5th July. Deciding we had had very good views of the ruins of Nora from the boat, we made a leisurely departure first sailing, then motoring when the wind came on the nose for the 24 nm trip to Port Malfatino. Although the bay next door was crowded with holiday makers this one had only ourselves & a French boat at anchor. The water was clear & you could swim to your own private beach.
Tuesday 6th July. An early start, motoring against a headwind forecast to increase.
At 9am Sugar ‘n’ Spice notched up 15000 logged nm since we have had her.
We passed some rafts of shearwaters off the
Carloforte was a very pleasant Italianate town with narrow winding streets & cool leafy plazas. The next day (7th July) we strolled up the hill to the town walls & castle, then round the busy quayside (as well as the inevitable shopping for provisions). The wind stayed strong from the NW, the direction we intended to go next, justifying our decision to stay put.
Thursday 8th & Friday 9th July. An
early start motoring initially motoring round the N of San Pietro. There were
vast numbers of fishing net markers in the shallows, we thought at first it
might be a tunny net, but it wasn’t spaced out enough so we have no idea what
they were for. Then it was a mix of sailing, motor sailing & motoring,
depending on the vagaries of the wind. We had some visits from dolphins, one
with 6 or 7 jumping in the bow wave, another when the bigger bottlenose
dolphins arrived & did some lovely tailstands. At tea time on the Friday we
arrived at Menorca, & anchored in the
189 nm 1 night at sea lots of motoring
Saturday 10th July. A quick 3 nm trip via the
fuel berth to Mahon Marina. Then we walked into the town, via a long flight of
steps, to play tourist for the day. We passed
We enjoyed wandering the compact town with its many plazas, a large open market, found lunch in a pleasant bar run by a british couple (Jimmy & Patsy) with a harbour view, & finally found the best supermarket we have encountered in ages (we re-stocked the Branston sauce!).
Sunday 11th July. Some chores – Doug engine oil change, me laundry – then a midday departure. To our surprise there was fog in the harbour mouth – the radar went on as a large ferry came in & heaps of ‘Sunday’ powerboaters roared around. Luckily the fog was very local & we were soon sailing up the coast, with the genny poled out. We anchored in the little Cala Mica on the Menorcan N coast. 25 nm.
It was busy with people enjoying the beach & water, but
it was Sunday, & Spain were in the World Cup final, so gradually everyone
departed & we were left with another nice bay all to ourselves. I admit we
did listen to the football on the radio, we felt we needed to know the result,
Monday 12th & Tuesday 13th July. A
mid morning departure from Cala Mica, & with a sailing breeze. Early
afternoon the wind veered & dropped so we hoisted our big spinnaker, which
we carried until evening when we took it down for the night. There were some
fleeting flashes of dolphin fins, & more ships around as we neared the
Spanish mainland. Breakfast time we anchored
in Cala de Sa Tuna in the Costa Brava, mainland
118nm one overnight
The coast here has shear cliffs interspersed with sandy bays surrounded by the inevitable tourist developments. Fortunately these are mostly low buildings & are set amongst the local pines. The cliffs have some spectacular crags, caves & rock formations.
As the day progressed the bay got busier with holidaymakers using the beach, boats, swimming & fishing. A number of lads were ‘tombstoning’ off the rocks & into the water from the rocky sides of the bay. Good spectator sport!