We finally escaped the wind funnel that is the Maltese islands! We managed to find a gap between strong winds & heavy seas, and a very good gap it was too. We got underway at 5 a.m. (!) and had a blisteringly fast sail: 84 miles in 13½ hrs, in bearable seas (hate to think how violent they would have been the day before, when we thought we were going). With the wind on the beam (coming at us from the side) until we got to Sicily, Red Panda was sailing at her best. We had a few interesting moments when winds gusted to 37 kts, but by that time we were running (winds behind us), so all was relatively under control.
So here we are, back on Sicily, looking forward to exploring the Greek & Roman remains in Siracusa. Unfortunately it’s very windy and cloudy, and with the boat swinging about at anchor, we’re not quite sure what we will do today. The quayside here is being redeveloped (and now looks nothing like the attractive area seen in the books), leaving only the marina to park the dingy in – I wonder what they’ll charge for that!