Aeolian Islands

In July this year we chartered Maria Elena a Bravia 36 for a week from Sant Agata in Sicily.

The attraction of this holiday was not just about sailing but also the volcanoes!

Having travelled by train from Catania we got to Sant Agata in the evening. It was a Saturday night and we were told that no taxi drivers would be working?! Luckily for us the waitress offered to take all of us and our luggage to the pier in her own car. Two trips in a small hatchback later, the team at the charter company were keen to see us and did a quick handover at 7pm to save us hanging around in the morning.

Sunday 27th July: Lipara: After getting some supplies from the supermarket we didn’t get away until 12.30. We left for Lipara and Volcano, and anchored by North Connetto beach and ate dinner on the beach.

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Monday 28th July: Panarea: We headed back to Volcano for the black sandy beach and the smouldering plume of smoke. The afternoon was spent on the beach while the others walked up through the village and on to the sulphurous plume.

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Then it was a quick dash to beat sunset anchoring on the Southern coast of Panarea.

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Tuesday 29th July: Stromboli (stuck on shore): We pushed on up North with a nice westerly on the beam, giving Basilezzo a close pass on the way up to Stromboli which we reached around 4pm.

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We motored around the North to see the volcano and could even see lava erupting.

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We anchored on the NE side by the town and ate at La Lampara. By the time we returned to the tender on the beach we realised how rough it had got and opted to sleep on the beach for a bit.

It turned out to be an experience not to forget, under the milky way, watching shooting stars, hearing eruptions and claps of thunder and lightening on the sides of the volcano from behind and the strong but warm wind that was crashing waves onto the shore in front. Once there was enough light to board the tender we got back onto the boat.

Wednesday 30th July: Stromboli (volcano walk): We weren’t going anywhere as today would be the evening volcano walk.

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Thursday 31st July: Salina: set off early with coffee in hand by 9am. Had a really pleasant northerly on our backs until I came round the south of Stromboli into a 5 or 6 force westerly. With all the sail up it took everyone a little bit by surprise (we also lost a boat hook!) but it did make for good progress south towards Salina where we anchored at Lingua on the south east by 4pm. Nice restaurants, pebble beach and wifi.

Friday 1st August: Back to base, Sant Agata: Setting off at 8.30am I seemed to have no instruments, though I was sure the water looked deep enough! 🙂 A steady force 3/4 meant we sailed the entire way. Taking a heading due south to Capo D’orlando we found the wind swing to the NW allowing us to sail close hauled parallel with the beach over the turquoise water all the way back to base.

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We had done more sailing that in previous years with a total diesel consumption of 43l for the week.

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