17 June 2018

Greece, At Last!

Milly in the harbour of clear, blue water and the mountains of Albania in the background.  Superbly beautiful.  We have arrived at sensational cruising grounds - warm water (finally), thousands of years of history, lovely people, tons (perhaps a few too many) boats, incredible geography.  It might take a lifetime!
We have arrived in Greece!  Actually at the tiny island north of Corfu called Erikoussa.  Albania in the distance.  A lovely welcome by locals.  A quick reconnoitre and then off to Corfu.  Ahhhh, Greece!

2 June 2018

The Plastic Passage

We have now arrived at the tip of the stiletto of Italy, an attractive and very busy resort town of Santa Maria Di Leuca.  We daysailed what should have been, and largely was, a beautiful 34 NM passage from Gallipoli hugging the coast, down wind using each of our sails, including golden spinnaker.
These nets used in packaging were one of several plastic catches.  These are especially dangerous to sea life that as they catch around body parts from which there is no escape.  

The spoiler was the horrific amount of flotsam in the otherwise beautiful, clear, blue sea.  Miles and miles of plastic floating on top and swimming beneath the surface along with styrofoam, and other crap.  Our fishing hooks gathered several loads of plastic but no fish - which is always a disappointment and a relief.  At the end of the day, jumping into the sea, I picked up several pieces of plastic as it floated past and cut a huge, thick bag off the propeller.  I'm afraid to say that on this passage we saw the worst of appalling human waste in all of our three and a half years on rivers, seas and oceans.  And this along the coast of and in the sea almost completely surrounded by "developed" and relatively affluent countries.  So distressing!  What are we thoughtless humans up to?

1 June 2018

Gallipoli, Italy

From Milly, the old city in blue surrounds.
This is not the Turkish Gallipoli of WW1 infamy, but a small old and new city on the stiletto arch of Italy.  A two night stop in a rolly anchorage to clear out of Italy and check out the walled old city on a small island off the nondescript and, dare I say, ugly new city.
The industry here used to be pressing olive oil.  Now tourism...

Clearing out took awhile.  After leaving Tunisia we have had no official stamp on our passport.  Neither when we cleared into Malta, nor cleared out, cleared into Italy, flew to Norway via Amsterdam, and back via Paris.  Now clearing out of Italy with the aid of Google Translate, they were a bit perturbed that we did not have a stamp into Italy.  After to-ing and fro-ing between two offices four times, we finally got a guy who understood what we needed.  No passport stamp!  Ninety Schengen days start when??

...and fishing provide the employment.  I have a feeling that this heel of Italy is a bit forgotten.

The city, or rather tiny town of narrow cobbled streets, laundry hanging and pots full of geraniums and succulents was lovely to amble around.  The facade of the cathedral was intricately carved but difficult to see- it was the first cathedral that was not in a piazza and so jammed into the surrounding streets and impossible to admire.  We lunched on the promenade that circled the island. And then enjoyed a lazy siesta on the boat.  Life is good.