We left Italy this morning after a quick night in a commercial port in the Straights of Messina.
Strange night – we had two Italian coastguards turn up in their car alongside our berth in the port at about 9.00pm They did not get out of the car – but had me come up to the car window and asked all kinds of questions. They then said they would be back at 1.00am to check our paperwork! I persuaded them to take the details with them and they went through all our papers and transcribed everything onto a scrap of paper. They struggled with the concept that we had sailed there from Corfu!
In the morning, after we had untied and were just leaving, we were hailed by a taxi driver who came by. He said he was a famous for helping yachts people in the port. He insisted on gaving us free croissants (the best I have ever eaten) – and then got some cheese out of his car boot and had us all try samples of that. We were actually unberthed, so we each stepped ashore in turn while the others held the boat in position. I felt obliged to buy some stuff, but he wouldn’t have it. He wouldn’t give or sell us any more – he said it was for tourists to try. Very strange.
Calm conditions so we motored through Messina – and set sail for North West for Sardinia. Passing through the Aolian Islands (Stromboli, Volcano etc) – but not stopping this time. Total next trip of 300 miles – expect it to take day/night/day. Wind should build through the trip – we want to be in by Saturday morning as bad weather is expected then.
Caught our first fish – about a 6 kilo Tuna. We got so excited that I am not sure we actually have a picture of the fish itself – but we do have one of George eating the first raw tuna sushi on this trip. There’s a lot of meat on a tuna! Should do several meals.
Well we made it by about 4.00am on Saturday morning. The trip took about 40 hours in the end. The final bit was windy as we approached Sardinia we were getting wind off the back of high land – and it built to about 35/40 knots. We came in fast for the final 10 or 15 miles – but it went calm as we reached the bay at Calvi. We anchored in the pitch dark in 10m of water and went to sleep. Woke to find a beautiful day. Took the dinghy ashore for a well earned pizza and beer.