Friday, 4 May 2012

through the briny deep

Above some pix of our travels through the Straits of Messina and beyond...
Behind, you see the monsters (like, Scylla and Charybdis...) and yes, that's me disguised as a helmswoman, efficiently steering Stroemhella between the, well, actually there weren't any whirlpools to be seen that day... But plenty large ferryboats!
We set out from Bagna Calabra quite early, with very light winds. I have to admit, it was a cinch.
After about five hours we reached Reggia Calabria, where we soon met the redoubtable Severio (see Rod Heikell's Pilot on the Italian waters).
Happy as sandboys to be clear of all sirens and tentacles, we did a great wash (the next day) and hung up two weeks' worth of undergarments (!!) and tea towels in the briny breeze.
See Stroemhella Adornata...

Severio proved his weight in gold (metaphorically speaking) and supplied us with bottles of home-produced wine, cheese made by his wife, a taxi service to Reggio Calabria airport (to meet Judith our new crew member) and then, on our final evening, drove us to an enchanted pizza restaurant overlooking the water, with the lights of Sicily twinkling on the opposite shore, and we watched the sun set and had a delicious Calabrese pizza... And talked to Maria (the proprietaire??) about life, and war, and economics and families. All in Italian.
And back to the boat rady for an early departure.
Wonderful for me having Judith on board -- she likes getting up early (like, 3.30 a.m. ...) for the 50-mile crossings. Plus, she is a wonderful cook. We plan to keep her...
Above, our boat with party pennants (!), in the marina at Reggia Calabria.

The enchanted seas...
All our troubles (temporarily) over; life, as David says, couldn't get much better... The sea is calm, the sun is not too hot (there is the shelter of the bimini for midday heat), we chug along, at about five knots, we see porpoises and the occasional wondrous turtle with its patterned shell (green and yellow sqaures) and black flippers, cruising slowly near the surface. And sometimes jumping fish, and sometimes a gaggle of seagulls bobbing along having a subdues chat... The sea is indeed, ever-changing, riplets and silken undulations, sometimes criss-cross patterns as if incised onto metal, and never utterly calm, never withiut a breath of motion.
The days are long, ending with our own-cooked meal, always delicious, accompanied by local wine often sold to us by its maker.
Do I need to descibe the food? So fresh and flavoursome, and the fish, caught the same day and bought in a small shop right on the waterfront... So far my favourite is dorade, or it alled orate here?
I will devote a section later on to food in detail; for now, let it suffice to say -- simply delcious!

Here a picture of First Mate Judith holding a sample of David's lunch-time panini...

Good for the eye, good for the tum! (Hezi, Judith is wearing your fleece, bought about ten years ago in England). Another travelling note...

So now we arein Gallipoli the Italian one) for at least a week, and Stroemhella will be lifted out of the sea and cleaned and anti-fouled.
And I will go northwards to Como and Venice, to join my cousing Nomi.
David and Judith will set out for Greece probably on 15 May.

Above a picture of the plentiful wind-turbines providing energy in the Bay of Squalls (appropraitely named). Seen along the coast of Italy's toe.

Evening light across the water as we lie at anchor off Capo Rizzuto.

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