South Before the Storm

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Crotone is supposed to be a nice place, and I know there are some hills worth cycling nearby, and so my plan was to stay in Crotone for a few days and see the sights.  I have never been there before, but as mentioned previously, the docking situation did not look appealing.    I could launch the dinghy and go back and forth that way of course, but I am also keeping a sharp eye on the weather.    With a planned exit from Crotone on the 19th (tomorrow) I would have had a day or so of cycling and sight seeing, but the weather reports suggested that would be a bad idea.   Beginning tomorrow afternoon the Ionian Sea turns into a minor nightmare again.

Having misread the weather when crossing in February, I have decided to avoid that same mistake again, particularly because this time I am alone, but also because I don’t like feeding the fish (my euphemism for throwing up)

This morning at 7 am, I lifted anchor again (this time with no help from divers) and started on my way South.   I will stop at Roccella Ionica for the night if there is any space or a safe place to anchor.   It cuts the run to Calabria (and the strait of Messina) in half and makes for a relaxing pace.

The run today has been a little more eventful, with heavy winds for a brief period, but nothing too significant.   Probably the most interesting aspect is that my boat speed is far worse than I would have predicted, likely due to currents and wind, but it is quite a bit worse (about 0.5 knots).   

Today I also spotted a dolphin off of my starboard side.   I didn’t see it come to the boat, so perhaps it was hunting and too busy to say hello, but I still had the lift in my spirits just thinking about it coming to visit.

Given that I didn’t stop for long in Crotone, I will make my ‘longer’ tourist stop in Reggio Calabria and do some cycling for a day or two before heading out to Stromboli to see the volcano.

The weather has been near perfect despite those winds in the middle of today’s run, with a sky that is slightly occluded by smoke or dust or humidity (not sure), but not cloudy.   The temperatures are warm, but not hot.   The boat continues to drive forward without problems.

I am generally far enough from land that I have missed having internet access.   I am using my Canadian number for the second day, and it wouldn’t have mattered even a little bit if I had picked up that chip, there is very little signal out here.  Of course that means that these updates are all coming at once, now that I am close to shore.   (and despite being 1 mile from shore, I still have only 1 bar of signal).

It’s now later and I am tied to a pier in Roccella Ionica. I arrived with about an hour of daylight remaining and so closed up the boat and got on the bike. A very fast 15km ride was great tonic after spending three days on the boat. I also stopped for a cell phone chip. We will see how that works out. It’s from Wind (which is bigger here in Europe than in Canada, but not as big as Vodafone).

This little stop is quite charming really, I suppose I could stay here for a day or two but with the weather coming in tomorrow evening, I will move on early in the morning.

(P.S. Happy Birthday to Jinhee and Andrew. Jinhee is still 21 😉; Andrew has surpassed her and is now 22).

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