Thursday 21 June 2012


As we near the port of Syracuse we see the faint outline of Mount Etna in the morning haze with a plume of white smoke hanging over the summit. The natural harbour of Syracuse opens up before us with the old fortified town of Ortiga on the water's edge and a promenade of leafy green trees beneath the huge stone walls of the city. We find our spot in the marina and busy ourselves with the process of settling into a new port; mooring lines to the dock, lazy lines from the sea bed, pasarel erected and suspended by a topping lift from the top of the mast and stabilised by brace lines to the deck. Fatty and Tina go off to the marina office with the boats papers and our passports while Kim and I connect up the shore power and water supply.

Monday 18 June 2012

La Ragusa

From San Leone we now have 100 miles to travel down the coast to Syracuse, where we will leave Juno to return to the UK. We leave the marina early and spend most of the day motoring as the wind has died away and there is barely a ripple on the glassy surface of the sea. However it makes for a relaxing day as the engine hums away quietly, pushing Juno along at seven knots and by four in the afternoon we have covered over 50 miles and we dock at the brand new marina of La Ragusa with modern facilities, English speaking staff but not many boats. We wonder if this is a sign of the economic conditions or maybe it is still just early in the season.

Saturday 16 June 2012


This morning I am writing sitting in the shade of the bimini as we motor across a calm sea with scarcely a breath of wind. Caroline and Tina are sitting on the foredeck and Kim and I are on watch, an arduous process which involves an occasional glance at the chart plotter and maybe a corrective nudge at the autopilot to counter the gentle current carrying us south.

Friday 15 June 2012


We wake early on Saturday in Cagliari. The wind has moved to the west as forecasted and it's time to head for Sicily. Not having had time to say goodbye to Patrizio, an Italian teacher who we met in Cagliari, we exchange contact numbers over VHF before we are out of range and the Sardinian coastline disappears into the murky haze.

Friday 8 June 2012


We arrive in Cagliari and at first it seems like just another big commercial port, but as we round the breakwater the old town appears high up on a hillside overlooking the harbour, with its cathedral dome atop elegant facades in terracotta and pale pink. Huge clouds of smoke are billowing from the ferry terminal, but no-one seems unduly concerned, after all it is two in the afternoon and its lunchtime in Sardinia.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Santa Maria Navarese

Gusts of up to 25 knots are racing across the bay from the sandy beach where we are anchored on the south western most tip of Sardinia. It is six thirty in the evening and the sun it still hot and the wind is still blowing. When we left Santa Maria Navarese early this morning the water was flat calm and for the first four hours we motored south in the hottest sun we have yet encountered this season.

Monday 4 June 2012

La Caletta

Another mistral has started to build in the Golfe de Lion and we slip our lines in the early morning and quietly ghost out of La Caletta to get south before the wind arrives. Outside the breakwater, the sea hasn't yet forgotten yesterday's storm and although the water is a glassy calm, waves like pure pulses of energy roll under the surface and lift our bow as we motor South in the still morning air.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Porto Rotondo

We arrive back in Portisco on the Costa Smerelda to find Juno still battened down for the gale force winds that were howling around the coast when we left ten days ago. But now the air is still, with not a ripple on the water and the marina is noticeably busier than when we left. Excited German families, pale from the long northern European winter, race around the supermarket, shouting encouragement to each other as they pile their trollies with huge quantities of beer, salami and loo rolls, all paid for with their vast accumulation of Deutsche Euros.