Another totally calm day with no winds for the passage to the offshore island of Ustica which lies 35 miles northwest of Palermo. We spent two nights tied up to the quay in the tiny harbor which is used mostly by ferries and dive boats. A 47′ German-flagged sailboat was tied up next to us both nights, and one or two other cruising sailboats came and went during our stay. We had a nice lunch of grilled fish ashore after walking around the small town with its brightly colored murals painted the walls and buildings. We also made a dinghy expedition one afternoon (see below).
We awoke this morning (7 May) in a tiny port hewn from the volcanic tufa during Roman times on the island of Ventotene, about 30 miles from Gaeta. After seven wonderful months there, we scraped the barnacles off the bottom and set sail for another cruising season in the Mediterranean yesterday. We’re headed south toward the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Aeolian Islands and Sicily. At least that’s the plan for the first part of the season. In addition to our ongoing Phoenician history project, we’re following in the path of Odysseus by visiting Greek settlements in the west (Magna Graecia). For the moment, we’re enjoying this quiet little island, a place where Caesar Augustus banished his daughter Julia, before we head for the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples next.