20:00hrs 7th July 2009 The visibility is so clear that we can see Capo di Spartivento (di Calabria) on our starboard and the a great sunset.
Half an hour later a small vessel flashing a light, trying to tell us to keep away. They had decided to come close to us and this made me a bit worried but when closer we realized it was a fishing boat yelling to go away from their tuna nets. They escorted us on a different course that we were going to 284degrees for at least half a nautical mile and then we turned to our correct course 258 degrees to Syracusa.
I had been reading in Mediterranean sailing guides about the hazard of tuna nets so I realized that we have to be more careful though you never know how far you have to go to avoid them.
There are 65 nm to go and we believe that we will meet other fishing boats so everybody is careful and we may have to be two on a watch the closer we come to Italy.
I remember in 1986 when I was arriving from France to Greece with my Arpege 31, in a pitch black night when I was close to Angistri island I had caught a long ’’paragadi’’ and been singlehanded I tied myself with a rope and dived to cut it, tangled round the propeller and the shaft. I definitely don’t want to do that here 65 nm away from the coast.
Life during our first long passage is very pleasant, we are in a great mood doing things taking care of the boat and enjoying meals.
Another beautiful nigh is coming.
At 06:00 we see land and the town of Syracusa, we are there! The sea is like a mirror and we are all awake looking at a small motorship crossing in front of our bow and some small fishing boats around us.
We motored in a marina but realized that this was for members only so we changed course and found the new Syracuse marina south of this one. The new marina was made of floating docks very close to the old building of Dogana (the Custom House).
Here in Italy a European flag boat has no obligation to report to the Capitaneria di Porto, so I thought it was great we didn’t have to go thru bureaucracy like in Greece.