We rose just after first light and raised the anchor with an early arrival in Taranto being our day’s purpose. After some pretty sketchy places along the coast (all of the Pilot books told us to expect that), we are hoping that Taranto proves to offer better shelter and more appealing environment to host us for a few weeks.
On departure, the weather was overcast, but no winds and no waves. In cruising terms, awesome. Even better, it was about 10C, and the weather reports for Toronto offered a ‘feels like’ of -16C. So happy to be here. So we raised the anchor and started up the coast.
Taranto is a major commercial port, and hosts Italy’s main Naval base. The harbour is very large, reasonably well protected and, although flat, we expect there will be room for us to hole up for a few weeks, particularly while we rent a car, drive Jinhee to Rome and see some sights, primarily Pompeii and Naples. (We have already seen Rome a couple of times, so no need to fight the traffic there.)
As we started getting closer to Taranto, the VHF radio sprang to life, with port authorities asking why we were coming, how big we were, how many crew, etc. Lots of official questions. We are pleased that someone there spoke English to understand us. In the end the harbour master arranged a berth for us at Molo Sant’Elegio which is alongside the Citta Vecchia, or old town.
Given the location, the protection, the incoming weather, and the need to get Jinhee to the airport in eight days, we will almost certainly remain tied to this dock for the next three weeks or a little longer. Once Jinhee leaves, my focus will be to try and ride my bike a lot, keep my fitness and enjoy some of Italy and it’s culture.
Of course one of the key reasons for coming here was to find good wine, so we are on the lookout for good wine as well. Since a boat is a horrible place to store wine, we won’t buy too much but if we can find some wine we like then a couple dozen bottles to get us through to the new year may well go into storage on the boat. The sad reality is that Greek wine does not appear to be very good, but we may be dealing with a limited sample.