Web Diary Page 3rd October 2007

Mon 8 Oct 2007 00:40
LADY LIV DIARY PAGE 3 OCTOBER 2007.                                        MILAZZO, MARINA DEL NETTUNO POSN   38:13.12N  15:14.53E
Left Taormina early morning, no wind so motoring all the way up through the Messina Straits towards Milazzo on the north coast of Sicily.   Bob managed to recalibrate the autohelm today, so we went round in circles a few times !!  The Messina Straits have a strong current shift N-S and so our transit was planned to coincide with the northbound current,  and has had a reputation (ancient) of malicious whirlpools, lost ships and mariners, reminiscent of Scylla & Charybdis !    In reality, when the current changes from north to south, there are whirlpools, and some very strange water patterns - as the photos show - we survived the narrow 3 mile channel though, despite the whirlpools, and the incredible amount of shipping darting in and out of Reggio and Messina, and the tankers travelling up and down the Straits.  Once through, we motored on to a lunchtime stop, where the sea was so green/blue and clear, we just had to have a swim !  Onwards then towards Milazzo, and we were very disappointed to see the approaching horizon of chimneys belching smoke, gas and oil refineries, and what is possibly the largest industrial area on Sicily !   The marina, was just next to this industrial nightmare, tucked into the corner of the commercial harbour.    To make matters worse, when we checked in with the swarthy Italian man who spoke no English at all - we had to pay 85 Euros for the privilege of our one night stay, at rip-off marina.  The facilities as described in the Almanac, consisted of one toilet and combined shower - the gents loo minus a seat or shower curtain or light bulb - all housed in a floating porta-cabin - lovely !! Needless to say, we made sure that we got full use of the 5 Euros we paid for the electricity and water - we charged every conceivable appliance on board, and washed the boat from top to bottom early next morning !