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May 2011- Western Italy, Italian islands, Eastern Italy,

Italy | Tropea | Artemis in Tropea harbor

May 24, 2011

Hi Everyone We've moved along our way slowly this past week. No big hurry to get to Montenegro. We had a nice anchorage outside of Cetraro, Italy and then stayed in the harbor in Tropea. Tropea is a neat town but we had to climb 200 steps to reach it from the sea:-)Cool old town with winding cobbled streets and pathways. We motored through Messina Straits on Thursday and anchored outside of Reggio Calibria for the night. Then on Friday we motor/sailed to Rocella Ionica. We stayed free for two nights in this harbor but they started collecting 20 Euro on Sunday. The harbor is unfinished but safe and we have water. They have a nice restaurant that sells pizza by the meter. The city has bicycles that are free to borrow and ask for tips to maintain. So Al and I got bicycles and road to the next town about an hour away to straighten out our Internet card. Nice ride along the waterfront.

Sunday morning we walked into Rocella Ionica (35min) and went to mass. We've met other cruisers here who are heading to Albania and Montenegro too so we'll be sure to meet them again. We've had strong winds and rain from the NE where we are heading so we've settled happily here until tomorrow. We will head for Crotone or Ciro dependant on the winds. Our baby Maddie turned two on Sunday and niece Danielle had her baby Oliva Sara the same day. Ready to move on... Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Italy | Isola Ischia | anchorage below the castle

May 16, 2011

Hi Everyone We had a lovely time aboard "Aorangi" in Gaeta, Italy on Thurs. night. Jayne made orecchio (ear pasta), broccoletti (little broccoli rabe)and pomodoro (tomato's). Yum I have to get the receipe. We left the anchorage early Friday for Isola Ischia. It was fun trying to pull the anchor up as it was choppy and the anchored had fouled in a chain lying on the bottom. We were anchored below the castle in mirror calm water. Andrew and Claire cruisers from Australia that we met on the E.M.Y.R. 2008 arrived so we had them aboard for cocktail and a good visit.

Saturday we motored to Isola Capri. Beautiful day. We tried anchor in front of Marina Grande but too many boats, too deep and too choppy with boat traffic wakes. So we motored around to the SE corner through the big pillars of rock called Isola Faraglioni. One rock has a huge arch that apparently every destroyer in the Italian Navy has a photo of itself steaming through the largest arch at 30kts! Fortunately our mast would not fit and we can't go 30kts or Al would want to try it. We anchored in Marina Piccolo. What a spectacular coastline. We put our dingy in the water as we planned a picnic lunch and a hike over to Capri town. Lo and behold we could not go ashore! We were told no landing on private beach, restaurant beach and the Marina Piccolo landing only allowed drop offs. No dingy's ashore! Oh well we had a beautiful day . It's early in the season or this anchorage would have been packed and everyone leaves at 6PM so we had just two boats at anchor for quiet gorgeous evening.

Sunday we motor/sailed to Camerota about 62nm away below Gulf di Salerno Southwestern Italy. It looked like the perfect spot for northerly winds open only to the south. Wrong... the seas worked there way around and gave us a rolly night. We didn't dare enter the harbor as we went aground in 2007 and last week our friends on Eye Candy saw a boat aground inside the harbor. We moved about 4nm this morning to a little cove around Punta Iscoletti called Porto Infreschi and picked up a mooring buoy. This is a natural harbor that is part of the Park Service. We're the only boat in here. Great for NW but when fronts went through we got some NE winds and it's a bit rolly again. We're expecting NW winds again tonight so we should be fine. The dang mooring buoy keeps bumping the boat so Al keeps adjusting how it's tied so we can end the problem and it doesn't ding up our boat! We're planning to go about 36nm tomorrow to an anchorage outside of Cetraro. Hope all is well. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

May 12, 2011

Hi Everyone We left Palmarola anchorage early Sunday and headed for Ponza about 10nm. We anchored in the next bay just north of Ponza town. We dingy to shore and walked around until 1100 mass. A darling little girl was baptized during mass. After church we walked along the waterfront and discovered 3 tunnels that led you to different parts of the bay. We had thought you'd need to climb some tall hills to get to the next bay. We had a nice Mother's Day Lunch at "Tutti Noi". I had spada (swordfish) and rigatoni then grilled calimari. Al had seafood spagetti and then poached white fish, carrots and tomatoes. Nice meat:-)

Italy | Gaeta | view looking over Gaeta Harbor

We left the anchorage Monday about 10 as 2 m seas from SW built up. We moved an hour away to SW Ponza anchorage Cala Chiaia di Luna another beautiful spot. We had a little rain on Tuesday morning but cleared up into another beautiful day. We moved back to Ponza harbor anchorage when the winds shifted on Wed and enjoyed a peaceful night there. We motor sailed 34 nm to Gaeta on mainland Italy on Thursday. Great anchorage outside the harbor. We went in and had cocktails with our sailing friend Jayne who lives on her boat in Gaeta and takes clients onboard for cruises. We met Jayne in 2007 when we visited Gaeta. She's from Green Bay WI and married an Italian. They have a home in Florence too. Today Jayne tooks us shopping. Gaeta has a beautiful pedestrian street one block back from the harbor. Lots of neat shops, great produce and friendly people:-)There's an American Military Base here so they are use to the Americans. Tonight we are going aboard "Aorangi" and Jayne is cooking Italian for us. Tomorrow we'll head for Isola Ischia off of Naples about 34nm away. Happy Friday! Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Italy | Pontine Islands |Artemis Palmarola anchorage

May 6, 2011

Hi Everyone We left Nettuno, Italy and started our Cruising Season 2011 on Thursday. But first we had to fill the diesel tanks. OUCH! Of course fuel is at it's highest and we took on 305 liters. We had a nice motor sail for a little over an hour as we had to sail 6 nm off shore to get beyond the Military Zone as directed by Military Police. But when we turned toward Palmarola the wind was right on the nose:-( Beautiful sunny day and we hid behind our "Fort and side curtains" to keep out of the wind. We anchored 8 hours later in a gorgeous spot on SE side Palmarola (Cala Brigantina) which is one of the volcanic Pontine Islands off Italy . The view between the islands and rock formations is fantastic. Unfortunately we got a roll in off the sea and then the winds switch to the east early Friday morning. So we moved to another gorgeous anchorage 1.5 nm away, Cala del Porto on NW Palmarola. The winds gust over the hills from the east but then quieted down by mid afternoon.

Italy | Pontine Islands | Cala Brigantina caves

We a fun time exploring the many islands, rocks and caves surrounding the area by dingy. We went back to Cala Brigantina by dingy and accidentally discovered a huge cave that we could dingy through from one side of the island to the other. We found the caves here to be more spectacular than Dingle, Ireland or Lagos, Spain, maybe even Devil's Island on Lake Superior. Walt Disney would have fun making a pirate movie here. We decided to grill for the first time this year and found one of the burners had rusted off. Dang salt! We had a tasty pork chop/sauerkraut on the stove top instead. Perfectly quiet night we slept well.

Al put on his new hooded wet suit this morning and spent 3 hours battling the jelly fish and scraping prop, 16 thru hulls, grounding plates, depth sounders, and knot meter. The rest of the bottom looked good. He discovered he needs more weights with this wet suit to hold him down. He made due with some old zincs into the pants trick. Hopefully with a nice clean prop we'll gain the knot of hull speed we lost over the winter:-)

Italy | Pontine Islands | Ponza | View from anchorage toward Ponza

We plan to move to Ponza another one of the Pontine Islands tomorrow so we can skype the kids. Then we'll go into Gaeta on mainland Italy to visit a cruising friend before heading further south. We have our plane tickets for June 27 to Chicago. We'll drive from there up to Minnesota. Then we'll go back to Chicago to be there when Mary delivers Grandbaby #4 July 20. Our flight back to Italy is Aug. 2. Happy Mother's day. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

May 2, 2011

Hi Everyone, We're busy getting the boat ready to leave Nettuno the end of the week. Our friend Christina on "Quest" is bringing Al's cash card on Wednesday. Then depending on the weather...Bikes are stowed, V-Berth repacked after Steve and Connie's visit, freezer is full and water tanks are full. We're hoping no one needs our berth before we are ready to drop lines. We plan to cruise western Italy, islands and around the boot, Montenegro and then back to Brindisi the end of June. We'll leave the boat there and make a home visit returning the first week of August. Definitely in Chicago by July 20 for the birth of grandbaby #4 to Mary and Chris. No plane tickets yet but will give more definite times when we do.

We thought of our grand niece Kelsey and grandnephew Ty yesterday as they made their First Communion. It was First Communion Sunday here in Nettuno too. The girls all wore identical long white dresses, a crown of rosebuds and ribbons, and a wooden crucifix. The boys wore long white robe, stole, and wooden crucifix necklace. One special difference from First Communion back home each communicant processed forward alone to receive communion while all others looked on. We decided not to go to Rome for the Beautification of Pope John Paul II. Al has a swollen knee and the crowds projected (over one million)difficult transportation. We saw aerial views of the Vatican showing one would not be able to get within a mile of St. Peter's Square. Happy Spring. Love and God Bless Sally and Al


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