Santa Maria di Leuca, Italy

Photo: Sailing the Ionian Sea to Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.
An early morning departure from Santa Maria di Leuca to sail across the Ionian Sea to Greece. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 08/27/09 to 08/29/09
Sailed from: Crotone, Italy
Distance: 73 NM
Lat: 39°47.7’N
Long: 18°21.7’E

We awoke and got underway before dawn today for what turned out to be a long day of motoring to Santa Maria di Leuca in the company of two French boats. It turns out that we had been sailing on a similar schedule the same two French-flagged boats since Malta where they first spotted us. We saw each other on the overnight passage from Riposto (Etna). Having not met a French sailor that doesn’t have a racing streak in him/her, we all had a good laugh when Gyatso arrived in Crotone well before they did. It turns out that we had some gusty, rough weather in the night — conditions that our bluewater boat could weather much easier than their racer-cruisers.

It didn’t help matters when we happen to motor faster than they do, so on the first passage we planned to do together, Gyatso made much better time. We left later in the morning and arrived in Santa Maria just after they did.  But the marina assigned us a slip before them. We all talked about it the next evening and agreed that for some reason, American-flagged yachts get preferential treatment over French yachts in this part of Italy at least.

We spent two nights here before crossing the Ionian Sea to Greece in the company of our new French friends.

Here’s a photo gallery of Leg 4 of our cruise through Southern Italy and Sicily: