Typically, the weather forecast for a fair 50hr crossing to Sicily was wrong yet again and we had to make an unscheduled stop half way. We had near gale (F7) winds most of the night with the usual confused seas hitting us side-on and making the passage physically demanding. At least we managed good progress through the night with the sails reduced to 3 reefs in each. However as the winds died a bit in the morning they also became more in front of us and it became almost impossible to keep the boat moving in the rough conditions. It’s a puzzle I’ll need help from sailing friends to solve and should probably ask them directly rather than bore our non-sailing readers. So to cut a long story short we opted to put the engine on and make for Crotone on the instep of Italy’s foot.
We didn’t know quite what to expect of the place, but it was quite intriguing. It was May Day when we arrived and the town was abuzz with electioneering and preparations for a festival. One of our favourite things about this way of life is that it gives us the privilege of seeing many different towns and their various ways of life. Crotone had an amazing massive castle overlooking the harbour, a very faded but once substantial architecture and a very busy population preparing to enjoy itself. Where the Greeks would be sitting in cafes nursing a cold coffee for ages at this time of day, the Italians were wandering the streets and eating ice creams.