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19 Sep 22 - 7 Oct 22 : Leg 1 - Varazze Italy to Messini Sicily (800nm)

Updated: Jan 3, 2023


The initial leg of the journey was to get the boat from Varazze Italy to Messina in Sicily (our launch pad to Greece). So on Monday the 19th September 2022 at midday, we headed 36nm east. past Genoa to Sestri Lavante. At this point we have Paula and myself, Gianni, Niamh, Tara, Harry, London and Patrick aboard. We anchored off this beautiful town at 5:30pm and after the younger crew complete their swim (water temp is 26 degrees) we headed into town on the rib.






Next morning (20/09) we upped anchor at midday and headed for La Spezia (25nm), anchoring off Porto Venere. On route we passed the very charming towns of Cinque Terra.



From La Spezia, we headed (21/09) offshore on an 8.5 hour trip to the island of Capraia (64nm away). Got a little choppy at times in 18-20 knots of breeze. Anchored in 15m overnight in secluded bay, Cala de Moreto, on the south of the island. The gang finished the day with a swim when we anchored in sand in 13m with 40m chain out.

Next day (22/09) we head off to Elba Golfo Stella 36 nm away stopping for lunch in Golfo de Campo. The younger crew go to the beach for the day. Niamh and London swim back to the boat. We anchor for the night at 6.30pm. Very peaceful and calm.



The weather forecast has a pretty bad weather system arriving over the coming days so we decide to stay on Elba and Paula, Niamh, Tara, Harry, London and Patrick can get the ferry to mainland Italy. On 23/09 we anchor in the eastern part of Portofario bay – Cala della Concia. Another fine and calm day and night.



The weather has changed for the worse on the 24th so we move across the bay to the Easom marina where we wait out the worst of this system until Monday the 26th. The weather forecast is pretty awful blowing from the west, so we will head for Sicily down the east coast of Corsica and Sandinia. Unfortunately we need to collect a part for the watermaker on mainland Italy first so we head over to Scarlino 22nm to the east, before turning around and heading for Taverna 65nm to the west, on the east coast of Corsica. We enter the (shallow reading max 2m) marina at 5.30pm and tie up at the fuel dock for the night. Excellent spot as the pumps are self serve so we refill before leaving next morning.

Winds are really building and forecast is not pretty, so on 27th we plan to get as far south as possible prior to hop across to Sardinia tomorrow. We make our way to Capu Bianco in Golfo de Santmanza 60nm on the south of the Island. Winds are 35-40knots with regular F9 gusts and swell is 2-3m for most of the day. We anchor right up close to the cliffs where we get shelter from the blow in 8m on sand.


Wed 28th and its really blowing hard, but we have a good angle and the wind and swell will be on the starboard rear quarter and the swell is only 2-3m as we leave. We are heading for Golfo di Orosei (Cala di Luna) 85nm south on the east coast of Sardinia. The worst of the weather is felt in the 10-15nm channel between Corsica and Sardinia where we have winds up to 50kn and hit 15.7kn SOG with a tiny amount of Jib out. Boat is steady and controlled throughout. Wind is still blowing a constant 35kn when we reach Cala di Luna, but again as we get in close to the cliffs, we settle into a lovely calm where we anchor in 6m sand for the night.

On Thursday 29th the winds have eased. Lucky we did head south when we did as Corsica and north Sardinia are still getting hammered with strong winds. We head to the southern tip to Marina Villasimium in Golfo di Carbonara 80nm away. The bay is exposed to the westerlies so a very windy and tricky berthing exercise ! but nice to be tied up for the night and able to grab a well deserved beer in the marina bar.


Friday 30th September and we head for Sicily. It’s a 175nm so a 22hour run. The winds have eased and sea is flattening (1-2m swell) as we leave for San Vito lo Capo on the north west of the Island. Overnight there is an amazing light show from the lightning storms ahead but luckily they are far enough in the distance not to bother us. The thunderstorm in the distance continue through the night. We eventually arrive in Sicily at 7:30am where we anchor in 2m sand just outside the harbour.




On 2nd October, a short 32nm hop in light winds down to Marina Arenella in Palermo. Paula flying in to join up for the trip to Greece.


Head for Cefalu, 33nm east on the 3rd. Winds building through the day. Initially anchored off the town but as winds build, decided to move to east of town into more sheltered bay.



On the 4th we head 50nm north east to the Aeolian Island, anchoring off Punta do Spanarello in Capo Rosso.


On 5th headed down to fuel up in Lipari town and anchored off to get a feel for the town itself before heading for bay on south of Island where we anchor overnight.




On the Thursday 6th October we head 40nm for the Messini Straight, staying overnight in Marina de Nettuno in Messini. We decide to stay here on the 7th as well in preparation for our 33 hour crossing to Greece ! Give us a change to visit the lovely city of Messini and provision up.




Now all ready and rested for Leg to to Leros in Greece

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