Saturday, 29 May 2010

Pilos to Sicily

Sailing to Sicily Symbol of Sicily
Bridget, Andrew & Clare
Archimedes Fountain
Cathedral and Temple of Athena
Fish stall in the market
Bridget arriving, a little wet for dinner
Hi from Clare, Pilos to Sicily Saturday 29th May 2009 We left Pilos in the Peloponnisos on Monday morning to travel 300 miles to Sicily. We sailed for forty hours and used the motor for twenty eight hours arriving in Siracusa at 3am Thursday morning. The sailing was fairly smooth doing between 3-7 knots on a beam reach. WELCOME TO SIRACUSA, SICILY After being at sea for three days, the smell of land is quite disgusting. Modern Siracusa is industrial and has a strong sulphur smell. There is a large factory close to town but we don't know what it is at this stage. After a few days here we are so desensitized we don't notice the smell - what a worry!

Our friends Bridget and Peter on White Rose have been here for a few weeks. Peter very kindly motored out in his dinghy at 3am to guide us safely into the anchorage. We were glad of the help as the bay was ablaze with shore lights. This makes it difficult to gage the distance between us and boats at anchor, particularly the boats without lights. Thursday was a bit of a loss; we slept and just took things easy. Bridget invited over for a lovely evening meal and they offered to shown us around town the next morning.

THE OLD TOWN The old town of Siracusa dates back to 734BC. It became the largest fortified city of the Greek world containing half a million people and commanding a great fleet. So there is much to see here but at this stage we have only scratched the surface.

There is a fresh fruit and veg market each day and a fish market with a fabulous selection of fresh fish. The tuna and swordfish are so huge that the stakes are cut off with a saw. The bread is delicious and the cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olives, nuts and local wine are so wonderful, I just wanted to buy everything. Last night I cooked up a storm and had Bridget and Peter from White Rose and Amanda and Mark from Balvenie over for dinner. There are a few other boats here that we have meet before so we will catch with these friends shortly. THE SYMBOL OF SICILY Photo 2 shows the symbol of Sicily. The head with three running legs depicts the three corners of the island. The three legged flag is often used as the national flag of Sicily to this day

THINGS TO COME Our friend Colin from Kiama arrives from London tomorrow. He and Denise flew to London for their son's wedding last week. Denise and her mother are now touring Europe so Colin is going to slip away and have some quite time on Eye Candy. We are looking forward to his visit. We will spend some time here in Siracusa and see the sights and then travel north. We want to visit the volcano at Mt Etna. This entails bus travel to 1900m and then a gondola lift to 2600m. From there a four wheel drive takes to the summit and guides escort you to the crater. I guess if we are ever going to see a volcano close up, this is the one to see.

THE CONDITIONS The bay here tends to be flat in the morning and then the wind gathers in the afternoon and dies off at night. So the cruising folk go into town early and return to their boats by midday. This is a bit time limiting but if you tackle a dingy ride back to your boat once the wind comes up, you are sure of getting soaked to the skin. If the anchorage gets too choppy, we up anchor and go across to the other side of the bay. It's not such a great anchorage but today is forecast to be flat all day, so we are off exploring. Love CANDY ---------- radio email processed by SailMail for information see: