We sailed from Southern Italy to Sicily for the final leg of our 2012 cruise in the Mediterranean, arriving in Marina di Ragusa on 19 September. The voyage took us from Santa Maria de Leuca on the heel of Italy, across the Gulf of Taranto to Crotone, along the sole of the boot to Rocella Ionica, across the Gulf of Squilace to Riposto, Sicily and then south to Siracusa (see map).
We visited many of the same ports this year as when we were headed east in 2009 (see Logbook Archive for Southern Italy and Sicily). Siracusa was at the top of the list of places we wanted to visit again, so we were thrilled to have another week in scenic Grand Harbor. Late in the season, it’s a gathering place for migrating cruisers headed to their winter berths. We anchored in the company of several American-flagged boats and others passed through on their way to Malta, Tunisia, or like us, to Marina di Ragusa in Sicily. Continue reading Final Leg for 2012: Southern Italy to Sicily→
We arrived back in Annapolis just over a week ago after leaving Gyatso berthed in Preveza, Greece. We flew back to the states from Rome, so our journey home involved an overnight ferry ride to Italy, a brief stay in Bari and the fast train to Rome — a mini travel adventure in itself.
We stayed a night at a hotel near the historic district in Bari and spent two days wandering the narrow alleyways, visiting the impressive cathedrals and getting our fill of the Puglia region’s culinary treats, including olives, seafood and pasta. Their gelato wasn’t too bad either! It was a nice way to break-up the long trip home. Continue reading Back in Annapolis, Gyatso Awaits our Return to Greece→
An easterly wind carried us through the Corinth Canal to Galaxidhi, the same port we visited three years ago. The wind shifted to the west the following day, so we waited for it to drop before continuing westward to pass under the Rion bridge and into the Gulf of Patras.We spent five days catching up on some work we brought along, taking leisurely strolls through town and enjoying seafood dinners in the local taverna.
We had a surprise visitor to Gyatso after dinner last night: an endangered marine mammal rarely seen in the Aegean Sea. We had just returned from one of the local tavernas ashore: cuttlefish in wine sauce for David and a hearty vegetable soup for me. It was already dark, the only light coming from the street lamps on the quay where we were rafted off the British yacht, Stratagem. Luckily, I had only a sip of ouzo to drink before dinner with neighbors Sandra and Ray, or I might not have believed my eyes. Continue reading Mediterranean Monk Seal Pays a Visit in Kithnos→
We’ve been underway for just over a week and completed four passages as we island-hop our way through Greece. Although we are not in our usual leisurely cruising mode, we are quickly getting back into a routine of moving when the wind and weather allow.
Our days of open-ended cruising have come to an end, and the main purpose of this trip is to move Gyatso from point A (Marmaris, Turkey) to point B (Corfu, Greece). This requires a different mind set than when we were cruising full-time, one that has an end date looming in a matter of weeks, not months and years. We’re adjusting, but this early in the season, it is a real test in patience. Twice we’ve set out in hopes of making a passage but turned back when the conditions proved uncomfortable. We decided that we were pushing the schedule too hard and have settled back into our tried-and-true approach of letting the weather dictate our movements.
When it gets to this point with spring commissioning onboard Gyatso, David and I look at the “to do” list and prioritize based on one simple criteria: “Is it good enough to go sailing?” We just need to service two winches, stow some gear and return a borrowed bicycle for the answer to this question to be, “Yes!”
Later today, we’re planning to leave Marmaris Yacht Marina where we’ve been berthed for the last few weeks and move to an anchorage in Marmaris Bay to make an early departure Saturday morning. Gyatso will be sailing west to the Greek Islands. Our first planned stop is Symi, Greece. We hope to arrive in time to watch the super moon rise. Continue reading Preparing to Set Sail from Marmaris→
Today is the first time since we arrived in Turkey over a week ago that I can find a quiet moment to post an update about our long-awaited reunion with Gyatso. It’s been a busy week of travel and a mad dash to prepare our Tayana 37 for launching. It also has been a week filled with reunions with old friends. We are afloat at Marmaris Yacht Marina enjoying a sunny, calm day — the kind of Sunday that begs you to slow down, take it easy and enjoy being on the water. That’s exactly what we plan to do. Continue reading Return to Gyatso in Marmaris, Turkey→
As we motored north today, the rugged, mountainous shoreline gave way to the low flood plain and delta of the Rioni, Georgia’s largest river. The heat and humidity of this sub-tropical environment seemed to intensify as we went. The threat of thunderstorms loomed in the distance, but thankfully held-off until after we arrived in port when they let loose with cracks of lightening and heavy rain later that night. By then we were safely moored with many tall cranes and towers in the vicinity. Continue reading Poti: Georgian hospitality, photo ops and a local sailing regatta→
We cancelled plans to visit Russia today after learning that a European-flagged yacht was denied entry to three separate Black Sea ports in Russia in early July, despite having all paperwork in order and a fluent Russian speaker onboard. We had hoped that things would change when Sochi, Russia won the bid for the Winter Olympic Games in 2014 earlier this year, but apparently this is not the case.