[KensBlog 2014-04] Southern Sicily and Malta

Welcome to Ken’s Blog! (top)

Journey Map (top)

Greetings all!

I am happy to report that two major milestones have been accomplished.

  • First, we have just passed one THOUSAND miles of the twenty-five hundred miles we’ll run this summer
  • And, more importantly, we have now reached the southern-most point of our journey. We have arrived in Malta.

This map shows our route so far. The red dots are portions covered in prior blog entries, and the blue dots are the portion of our journey covered in this blog entry.


Malta is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries on earth.

Our next destination after Sicily would be the country of Malta: three tiny islands, south of Sicily, that form one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world.

Malta will be our last stop on our transit south. Once there, and with the exception of an overnight run to Sardinia or when the weather interferes, I hope to be sitting in beautiful anchorages, preferably admiring the view from Sans Souci’s rooftop hot tub.

But… I am skipping ahead. As of my last blog entry, we were in Siracusa, on the east coast of Sicily.

Marina Di Ragusa (top)

Another Nordhavn owner, whose path we crossed in Montenegro, mentioned that they had “wintered” their boat on the south end of Sicily at a marina called Marina Di Ragusa. They found it to be an inexpensive and great location to pass the winter. As I mentioned in a prior blog entry, we have already put deposits on moorage at the Imperia Marina, near the French/Italian border. However, we have become nervous about Imperia after hearing they were in bankrupcy and have been looking at other options.

My first reaction was that it would be impractical to winter at Ragusa. It is too far away from where we’ve planned to finish the season. Our plan has been to complete the season a thousand miles north of Sicily. That said, I’ve never let common sense come between me and satisfying my curiousity. So, we (Seabird and myself) wrote to Ragusa to find out what it would cost to moor our boats over the winter.

Back came the response. For Sans Souci it would cost only 2,760 euros (about $4,000 USD) to pass the winter at Marina Di Ragusa. By comparison, I’d be paying 21,000 euros (around $28,000) at Imperia. That’s a HUGE difference.

And, there are compelling reasons to winter at Ragusa….

  • If we winter in southern Sicily we’d be close to Tunisia. There are two reasons for visting Tunisia: 1) Duty free fuel And, 2) We would reset our 18-month clock for having the boats in the EU.
  • Marina Di Ragusa has a 160-ton lift. That’s large enough to lift my boat, and I’ll want fresh bottom paint to start the next season.
  • Marina Di Ragusa has the option for haul-out (storing the boat on land) for not much more cost than storing the boat in the water. Storing the boat on land is great when you are on the other end of the world. It is much less stressful than worrying about how the boat is holding up every time there is a winter storm.
  • Southern Sicily has reasonably good weather during the winter. We wouldn’t need to worry about the boat freezing.

The marina was only a short six hour run from Siracusa Sicily, and not too far out of our way for our run to Malta. So, we decided to drop in and check it out.


Sans Souci tied up at the dock at Marina Di Ragusa in southern Sicily.


An extra benefit of the marina is that it is adjacent to a mile-long sand beach, loaded with restaurants.


Here you can see Sans Souci poking up over the marina wall at Ragusa. As usual, we are the tallest boat in the marina.

We were impressed with the marina, and found some extra benefits we hadn’t expected. For instance, the marina seems to cater to the ex-pat community and prides itself on wintering boats for foreigners. Many of the restaurants stay open during the winter, and many of the ex-pats stay on their boats. It’s apparently a great place to be during the winter, with many owners staying on the boats and frequent events/parties.

Does all this mean Sans Souci and/or Seabird will be wintering at Ragusa this winter? I’m not sure. We would need to backtrack 500 miles or more, and I’m not so sure I want to do that. The current momentum is towards Seabird going to Ragusa and Sans Souci going north to near France. That said, we’re keeping it loose and waiting to see where we finish the season. I liked Ragusa, and I certainly like saving money; but, there’s no part of me that ever believes in backtracking.


This screenshot from my chart plotter is a bit embarrassing! Notice the place where the little red line showing our track seems to have an extra squiggle right at the entrance? We exited the marina in the center of the entry channel, but the boat suddenly ground to a halt. When the boat stopped, my first reaction was that our engines had quit. I was outside bringing in lines and fenders and Roberta was driving from one of the outside drive stations. I ran inside the boat to see why the engines had quit, and they were running! I knew we couldn’t possibly be aground. Perhaps we had snapped a line in the props or something? But, that also didn’t make sense. It really did seem we must be aground (sitting on the bottom,) but we had received no warnings from anyone about shallow water. We were in the middle of the entry channel, and I’d seen pictures of far larger boats than mine in the marina. All of that said, being aground was the only thing that made sense. Could the center channel entering the marina really be that shallow? I took over driving from Roberta and quickly realized we were indeed aground. Had we been driving from inside the boat we would have been watching the depth, but we were driving from outside the boat. I backed the boat up, pushing up the throttles to get us off the sand we were sitting on, then exited choosing a path much closer to the breakwater. A bit embarrassing, but otherwise, no problem.

The Lumpy Road To Malta (top)

There was a storm in Malta which was delaying our departure. We would have 50 miles of open ocean to cross and whenever we have the choice, our preference is for flat seas. After a couple days of waiting we had an “ok” but far from perfect forecast. We would have three to six foot seas, with 15 knots of wind, coming from our right side (starboard beam) throughout the run.

We knew our run south would be uncomfortable. And, that’s exactly how it played out. Sans Souci’s stabilizers worked hard the entire trip. The waves weren’t that tall, perhaps in the six to eight foot range, but they were incredibly close together (four second intervals) and exactly on our beam. They weren’t breaking, but always looked like they wanted to. Every four seconds we’d ride up a wave, then down the other side. At times like that I always wonder what would happen if our stabilizers (the giant fins beneath the boat that fight to keep the boat level) were to fail. We’d be fine, but we’d need to alter our course and slow down. Plus .. keep a supply of barf bags close by.


Our plan had been to stop at customs momentarily and then find a place to anchor. Because we were only staying long enough to clear
into Malta we were assigned a nice end-cap side-tie at the marina (Seabird also.) As you can see, Sans Souci looks big in the marina!

We were assigned temporary moorage at the dock at Mgarr Marina, on the island of Gozo, for the purpose of clearing customs. To our surprise both Seabird and Sans Souci had excellent end-of-dock sideties. We were fatigued after the lumpy day at sea, so I asked the marina guy tying our boats, “If we wanted to stay the night here, could we?” He said, “Sure.” I radioed to Seabird who also saw the wisdom, and a decision was made.


This was our first view of Malta looking out from the marina at Mgarr on the island of Gozo.


Each country we visit seems to have a specialty. In Italy it was pasta. In Malta it seems to be “rabbit.” Every menu I’ve seen seems to have some sort of rabbit dish.

Clearing into the country was both easier and harder than expected. Technically, I wouldn’t have thought we needed to clear in. Malta is part of the EU, and I wouldn’t normally expect to need to clear in and out of different countries within the EU.

Gozo, the northern-most island of Malta is way more rural than the bigger island of Malta. I had been told that Gozo is less formal and that clearing in would be simpler, and indeed it was. The customs agents were extremely friendly and very curious about our boats and where we had been. The entire process took only a few minutes.

As this was my first trip to Malta I had many questions, and thought I’d ask the customs guys the most basic of them, “So, what language do they speak here?” Back came the answer, “Everyone speaks English and Maltese.” To which I asked, “So, what is Maltese like?” Being so close to Italy I was assuming that Maltese was some variation on Italian. Nope. “Maltese is very close to Arabic, but written using a western alphabet.” Over the next few days I’d find that he was right on both counts. Malta has TWO official languages; English and Maltese. Although Maltese is the dominant language, everyone speaks good English and the road signs are either in English or both languages.

Malta has only recently become its own country (1974.) Most recently it was a British territory, which explains the English, and why the drivers drive on the left side of the road. Prior to Britain, Malta was the territory of many other countries, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Moorish, Normans, Aragonese, Habsburg Spain, Knights of St. John, and the French.

Within minutes of tying the boats up and clearing customs, Steven (from Seabird) and I sought out a taxi to take us to town. We had a critical mission to accomplish: we needed internet SIM cards! Whenever we change countries we need to start the process over to figure out internet. We had already done research and knew that we wanted SIM cards from Vodaphone, which would give us 3g data for our computers. We drove about 15 minutes into the center of the island, to a large shopping mall, complete with a McDonalds, and a Vodafone store. We quickly purchased 3g dongles with sim cards, at 25 euros for 10 gigabytes of data, and returned to the boats.

After a nice evening in Mgarr, with dinner next to the marina, we were eager to see more of the island than just a marina, and decided to head to an anchorage Roberta had identified — but that I wasn’t sure was going to be big enough for both of our boats.


This is our first look at the steep cliffs which form the western shore of Gozo Island.

We’re Surrounded! (top)

Prior to our trip, Roberta had used the internet to identify potential anchorages. #1 on her list of places we needed to go was a small bay called Dwejra. It is only about 1,000 feet in width and surrounded by high rocks with the exception of a narrow entrance. To me it looked impossibly small. How could two Nordhavns possibly fit and have adequate room to swing at anchor?

After speaking with other Nordhavn owners I agreed that it was possible, and off we went.

As we approached the bay, I turned off the stabilizers. I always turn off the auto-pilot, stabilizers, and even take the throttles out of sync when approaching any type of maneuvering situation. I don’t want the boat doing anything creative. There was a bit of swell at the entrance, and Seabird was following close behind us. With the stabilizers off Sans Souci started rolling quite a bit. Seabird was immediately on the radio, “Is everything ok????” they wanted to know. I confirmed all was well, and pushed ahead.

Once into the bay I saw that there was plenty of room, and that it was incredibly beautiful. The bay was a perfect 25 feet deep, and given its small size, good protection, and the other boats around, I dropped only 100′ of chain. There were several other boats already in the bay, but we found room for both Sans Souci and Seabird with no problem.


Sans Souci, at anchor inside Dwejra bay.


This picture shows the cliffs surrounding our anchorage.


Pictures of Seabird at Dwejra: At sunset, with Steven and Carol Argosy on the backdeck, and with Keely (one of our puppies) excitedly tendering over to visit Steven and Carol.

And, a panaramic picture of our anchorage can be clicking on this link:
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=ded42bdd-052e-4fb4-ba30-684aa5eb07d0


Adjacent to the “bowl” we had anchored in is this arch, called the “Azur Window.” We read on the internet that the giant arch is not safe to walk over, due to instability, but that didn’t seem to stop many of the tourists we saw walking above it.

As if the Azur Window and Dwejra weren’t enough to make this one of the world’s great places to anchor, there was even more to see. From the Azur Window it is possible to tender back into many caves, one of which leads to a small inland sea. Roberta and I tendered over with the puppies, but thought the passage looked too tight to enter with so much swell. We decided to wait until the dead-calm of some early morning to give it a try. Steven and Carol (and their guest Tina) went for it one morning, and said that it was so tight that they barely fit, with craggy rocks on both sides of the narrow passage. We decided to pass, but if we go back to Dwejra, I hope to give it a try.

Anchoring at Ramla (top)

As great as it was at Dwejra, we wanted to see as much of Malta as possible during our brief stay and decided to move on. We had started circling Gozo clockwise, starting at the south end, and decided to keep going, to a beach we’d heard about on the north shore of Gozo. It was recommended to us by a waitress in response to my asking where the prettiest sand beach was.

Actually, the waitress recommended two beaches: Masalforn and Ramla. Normally we do a huge amount of planning when moving the boats, including identifying “bail outs” so that if we get somewhere, and don’t like it, we already have alternative destinations lined up. However, Malta is so small, and the distances so small, that we can get almost anywhere in a few hours. From Dwejra it was only about a one hour run to Masalforn. On arrival it was a tiny bay, already filled with boats. The bay was lined with condos and restaurants, and looked fun, but .. it was just too tight. Thus, we ran another whole mile (I said the distances were tiny!) to the bay of Ramla.

We had arrived at Ramla on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and were not the only ones with the idea. There were probably 100 boats at anchor with kids swimming, jet skiing and having fun in every direction. There was more activity than we wanted, but it was a BEAUTIFUL location, and the bottom was a wonderful 16 foot depth. The shallower the water, the less chain we have to put out to have good holding in strong winds.

A panaramic view of Masalform Bay can be viewed by clicking on this link:
http://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=6915d0a8-7768-45c5-9d5f-404baaa8b015


Ramla. When we arrived we were surrounded by boats and people. Hours later, when the wind kicked up, we had the place to ourselves.

We spent a nice day at Ramla, but in the afternoon the wind started rising. A windless day at the beach became a windstorm within minutes. Quickly, all the boats disappeared, and we were left alone. The forecast had been clean, but suddenly we were seeing 20-25 knots of wind. It was too much for the smaller boats, but not a problem for us. The wind dropped, though, and we had a nice night, and were ready to move on the next day.

Exploring Gozo (top)

We were having a great time anchoring around Gozo, but knew that we really should see all the standard “tourist stuff” before leaving. We called the Mgarr marina to ask if we could have our same parking places, and they welcomed us back.

To see the island, we hired a taxi cab for the day. He asked if we wanted the three hour or the four hour tour. We asked for the four hour, but told him to expect that we’d sidetrack him with many errands. I wanted to go back to Vodafone to purchase more SIM cards. Both Steven and I have routers (from Peplink) that will accept multiple sim cards, combining the bandwidth together. We wanted all the internet we could get! Roberta wanted some fresh vegetables, and we also wanted the driver to run us to a grocery store. In between the errands we also wanted to see anything the island had to offer.


One thing we quickly learned about Gozo, and perhaps all of Malta, is that it is a very conservative Catholic country. 98% of Malta’s residents are catholics, and there are over 300 churches for its 300,000 residents, making it a ratio of one church per thousand residents. I’m new to Malta, so I can’t say much of anything definitively, but my sense was that the church is central to the lives of the Maltese, and that there is a strong sense of community. At least on Gozo, it is a small town atmosphere. The customs guys had warned me, on arrival, to expect to hear cannon fire or firecrackers. They said not to worry, that it is just a local celebration. We were hearing cannon fire and seeing amazing fireworks shows every night! I asked our cab driver what the celebration was, and he said that each village had a patron saint and each week one of the towns would celebrate their patron saint. Eveyrone in the village would turn out, and it would be a huge celebration. This webpage http://www.carnaval.com/malta/festivals/ shows the schedule, but the events are a much bigger deal than is evident from reading the description. The villages take the festivals seriously and compete on food, fireworks and more. It is quite a sight!


Various photos from inside the St. John Church on Gozo. It is a modern church built with a significant amount of volunteer labor by the local people. It has the second largest rotunda in the world.


A hillside we passed while driving with a cross on top.


The Citadel We toured an old fort, built in 1500 BC. From Wikipedia: “In July 1551 an Ottoman force under Dragut attacked the Citadel, which succumbed with little resistance. The entire population of Gozo, which numbered to about 5000 to 6000 people, had taken refuge within its walls, and they were all taken as slaves except for about 300 people who managed to climb down the walls and escape.”


I saw this ancient Roman anchor in one of the many museums we visited. The technology has come a long way over the years!


Ggantija is a neolithic, megalithic temple complex on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. The Ggantija temples are the earliest of a series of megalithic temples in Malta. The Ggantija temples are older than the pyramids of Egypt. Their makers erected the two Ggantija temples during the Neolithic Age (c. 3600-2500 BC), which makes these temples more than 5500 years old and the world’s second oldest manmade religious structures, after Göbekli Tepe in Turkey.


During World War II Malta’s strategic location caused it to become one of the most bombed locations ever. Malta holds the record for the heaviest, sustained bombing attack: some 154 days and nights and 6,700 tons of bombs. (I’ll talk more about that in my next blog, after we have visited Valletta (capital of Malta.)

Malta is a popular retirement destination for the British due to its warm climate, tax system (eg. no property tax), english language, safety, and responsive/reasonably priced medical system. It is also very popular as a tourist destination, with over three times as many visitors as residents.

Anchoring at Gnejna (top)

Our next stop in Malta would be the large island of Malta itself, which we knew would mean putting the boats into a marina and doing more “land touring” for a week. We were excited about seeing Valletta, Malta’s large capital city, but wanted a little more time at anchor first.

Seabird jumped ahead of us by one day wanting to drop anchor at the famous “Blue Lagoon.” I had used binoculars to look at the blue lagoon earlier and knew that it was likely to be disappointing. Unlike the picture below, the vision I saw resembled a crowded public swimming pool on a hot summer sunday afternoon. There were dozens of tour boats wedged into a small bay with hundreds of swimmers elbow to elbow. Seabird quickly realized that anchoring at the Blue Lagoon was impossible, but then discovered a place to drop anchor about 1/4 mile away that they said was the prettiest bay they had ever anchored in. We were jealous.


The Blue Lagoon on Comino Island in Malta. This picture must have been taken during the off-season, because in summer the reality is much more cluttered with swimmers and boats.


We needed one more night at anchor before a week in civilization and dropped anchor in the a quiet bay on the west coast of Malta, called Gnejna.

And, something for the boat geeks… (top)

Overall, there isn’t much to talk about on the technical side. This has been a VERY trouble-free trip so far. The boat has taken us over 1,000 nm and I’ve barely entered the engine room.

That said, I have a water maker problem that has been a major headache. Following is a video I sent back to my mechanics in Seattle showing the problems I was having.

After viewing the video the decision was made that I needed a new salinity probe as well as a new solenoid for the valve that decides if water should be routed overboard or into the fresh water tank on Sans Souci.

Unfortunately, after this video was made the watermaker died completely. I hired a local technician in Malta who spent hours with the watermaker and finally decided that the high pressure pump was the culprit. Getting a new pump is difficult, and getting it installed is probably more difficult. I have a rebuild kit onboard for the pump, but I don’t feel qualified to take apart a pump and rebuild it. I’ve been assured it is easy .. so, maybe. This is one of two watermakers, and my other one is also acting up, so learning to rebuild pumps may be in my future. We’ll see.

One way or the other, these watermakers have served me very well. I have never put dock water into Sans Souci’s fresh water tanks and we’ve kept the watermakers busy for over 30,000 miles of world travel. This is likely to be the year they retire from service.


My only other technical issue is that Sans Souci has a KVH Vsat satellite internet unit. When it works, it works very well. However, a couple of times during this trip it has lost internet and then taken days to reacquire the satellite. After discussions with KVH we have decided that my “firmware” is out of date and I have a local technician from Malta coming to the boat to assist me in installing new firmware. This is a project that is within my core competency, so I could easily upgrade the firmware. However, the upgrade requires a computer with a serial connector, and I don’t have one onboard. There are USB to Serial adapters that can be found in some computer stores, and I “might” be able to find one, and had there not been a local KVH dealer here in Malta, I’d be spending the day out hunting for an adapter.

And, something not related to us… (top)


James Ellingford, a Nordhavn 62 owner, posted an entry on his blog (http://www.pendanablog.com) talking about the amazing rescue of a sailboat by a Nordhavn 47 during a 1,300 nautical mile passage from Vanuatu to Australia. Click the image above to read it (Or, Click this link).


On a sadder note, this boat, named Polar Bear was destroyed by a fire recently (click the picture to read the story.) Polar Bear had the slip next to mine at my home port in Seattle (where I still pay my slip rental, but haven’t been back in many years.) It’s a particularly heatbreaking story because these boats represent lifelong dreams. People work for 50 years to achieve retirement then work hard to select someone to build their dream boat, then work for years to get it built, and then .. one error by a welder and its all gone up in flames. The insurance company might give the money back, but how do you ever get the time back? I can’t imagine what the owner will do. Does he start another five year build cycle? (at age 79?)

And, in closing… (top)

And, that’s it for this issue of KensBlog… Thank you for following along on our big voyage!

If you missed my prior blog entries from this season, you may view them here:

If you aren’t receiving my blog entries via email, click this link to register:

http://www.kensblog.com/register

I should also mention that this is one of two blogs that I do. My other blog is on Facebook, although you do not need to register with Facebook to view the blog. Just click on this link:

http://www.facebook.com/kensblogdotcom

My other blog is very different than this blog. I post to it almost every day, and post whatever I happen to be thinking about, without editing or filtering. I also tend to respond instantly to any questions. Check it out!

Thank you!

Ken and Roberta Williams
ken(at)kensblog.com
MV Sans Souci
Nordhavn 68
PS – In case you haven’t figured it out, clicking on any of the pictures above will give you a higher-resolution (bigger) version of the picture.

7 Responses

  1. Hi Ken,

    What amazing pictures and experiences you are having on this Journey. My goal is to do the same in the near future. I have to ask this question. Who currently owns the rights to all of those great games now? Is there someone I can contact? Now that I am running a spelling web-site, I have had Yobi on my mind recently.

    Thank you for all of your contributions through the years. As an early “gamer” I have enjoyed many of Sierra’s offerings.

    Safe Travels,

    Jeff

  2. I’m writing from Italy, where i grew and currently live.
    I’m 37, and when i was a kid i spent the eighties/nineties sitting before my IBM Pc clone playing your beautiful games.
    They gave me endless wonderful emotions.
    Now i’m glad to read that my country gave you the same emotions i felt playin’ around Daventry. ?
    (Actually, i’ve played all of the Sierra’s series).

    I just wanted to say a big “thank you”, and give you my best wishes for your endless vacation.

    Have fun!

    Paolo

  3. SUBJECT: Re: [KensBlog 2014-04] Southern Sicily and Malta

    Hi Ken,
    As always I really love your blog! One of the water makers we had was a Village Marine. We pooled with three other folks who were outfitting their boats in S. Calif. for a Group buy–and ended up with one of the Vice Presidents of Village Marine. He recommended a low speed Wobble pump, rather than the high speed Cat Pump, for only a few hundred dollars more. The rebuilt interval was about 3x that of the Cat pump, and there was minimal noise and vibration. The pump was running at about 500 RPM, belt driven off a 220 V motor which was turning at about 3700 RPM. We did have a failure of the automatic diverter valve, which acted similar to the issue you had. We had radioed for a guest to pick up a new valve from Village Marine and bring it to Panama when they went thru the canal with us. In the mean time, I rigged up a manual pump, and we just ran the product output diverted for 5 minutes on start up–then tasted the product, and then channeled the product water into the tank we had isolated for the water maker (never had shore side or chlorinated water in that tank). I am not sure if that Wobble pump is still available–and if there is a more robust system in your future.

    If only I was in better health, after reading your blogs, would buy another boat and go cruising again–your blogs are that good! I still like the original 62’s…

    How did the dogs fair on Malta? (I did read your blog on that) Glad that finally they are accepted there–at least in some way. We had to bypass Malta because of our dog.

    Thanks again for sharing, and have a great cruise the rest of the summer!

    Bob Austin, Pensacola.

  4. SUBJECT: Re: [KensBlog 2014-04] Southern Sicily and Malta
    Ken it appears their is a problem with the blog it only goes to the small anchorages and then it can’t find the rest, could you please resend. By the way long time friends of Steve and Carol
    Sent from my iPad

    ——Response by Ken – 2014-07-08

    Howard, I have relayed your message to Steven/Carol. I’m sure they’ll be glad to hear from you. Thanks! — and, we’ll keep looking for ALL the anchorages!

  5. Hello Ken & Roberta,

    Tina and I are enjoying the ride you two are on. Our Plans are to be in Europe in 2016. Starting with Iceland.

    A short note to let you we have a Spectra water maker in the box at Emerald Marine. Used once for 10 hours. I do not have all the info on it here on the boat right now but Larry has everything on it. We left it with Emerald Marine to sell for us. It is not a large one. Probably best used as a secondary back up to your main one. Contact Larry if your interested.

    Cheers

    John & Tina Philippson
    Sockeye Blue
    Nordhavn 75/02

    Currently in Papaguyo Marina
    Papaguyo Costa Rica

  6. hi ya ken and Roberta,
    thanks for latest blog from Malta always been a place I wanted to visit and live if aboard my own boat.
    I love your route so far. nearly came Sardidia to view Minky as a purchase but business is keeping me in London, amongst other things. regulat cruising to and from Malta etc would be a focus for me and visiting friends I have in Split Coatia who run a holiday apartment business there.
    enjoy the finr weather and friendly Maltese.best (http://Maltese.best) wishes roy palmer,London,England.

    ——-Response by Ken — 2014-07-08————-

    Thank you!

  7. SUBJECT: Re: [KensBlog 2014-04] Southern Sicily and Malta
    Hummmmm, let’s see. Cruising plans should be written in sand at low tide. Doesn’t matter. You can do anything. So let’s see; Malta for a while, explore the west coast of Sicily & rental car trips, west coast of Sardinia (Algerro was our favorite), rental car the entire island, fascinating, east coast of Corsica to Puerto Cervo, across to Ostia Marina in Rome, Rome for a while, train to Venice for a while, Italian Riveria, down to Elba & explore, over the top of Corsica to Calvi, Bonafacio at the bottom, Madgelena Islands for some sun & clear, shallow water with white sand, then fast track back to Ragusa. Way cool rest of summer.
    In Isafjordur, Iceland now. First good weather day. Beautiful. Boat in good shape but dirty. All the big stuff and worries are behind us. Leave in a week and a half for Greenland.
    S&M

    ———Response by Ken – 2014-07-08————

    Scott, Thank you for the tips! Current plan is to go back up the east side of Sicily and through the Messina Strait. But.. no decision made yet. I’ve never heard of the Magdalena islands. They definitely sound like they should be on our cruising plan!

    We flew into Iceland on the way to Croatia. I was watching out the window hoping to see your boat! It always amuses me that Iceland is so green, and Greenland is always covered with ice.

    Be careful out there! I can’t imagine going to Greenland without another boat by my side.

    -Ken W

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