Straights of Messina

Moxie - Beck Family Adventure
Mike, Denise, Asia and Aranya Beck
Fri 19 Jul 2013 19:48
38.07.78N  015.32.94E 19 July 2013
Bit of a delay in the blog, I got a bit annoyed with this computer and end result was lost the draft blog I’d spent for ever writing.. bugger.  Anyway here’s another go at it.
Straights of Messina, OK so it’s the bit of water between the toe of Italy’s boot and Sicily.  Some Greek guy already wrote about it in a book called Odyssey or some such so I won’t bore you there.  Anyway whatever he was taking must be illegal now because to me there was an obvious lack of sea monsters.
Right O, the straight is interesting because on the west side we have the Tyrennian Sea and on the east is the Ionian.  The Tyrennian is less saline and warmer than the Ionian, combine this with different times for the tides in each sea, a narrow channel and uneven bottom and we get water at the top moving one direction, 30 metres below it goes the opposite and here and there it has to mix.  So we get perfectly smooth areas where the less dense water is upwelling and whirlpools where the saltier Ionian water sinks down.  Perfectly I think, the whirlpools are named Bastardi by the locals.
Smooth and oily looking
Whirlpool (Bastardi)
OK to be fair in Odyssey there is something called Charybdis which is a great whirlpool, this above might be remnants of what was once a ship swallower since it is thought that earthquakes have altered the bottom and tamed the beast somewhat in the past 2000 years.
These types of mixing waters are just the conditions that swordfish like to hang out in, and literally they seem to simply sleep on the surface which brings me to a cunning plan.  If one were to get high enough, like at the mast head, to spot said sleeping fish and quietly sneak up on then you could probably just wander out to the bowsprit and spear one.  The Italians are all over this one and have gone all American on it – bigger – bigger – bigger.
One of 7 or so swordfishing boats we saw in Messina.  Controlled up in the cockpit with 50 or so feet of bowsprit which they swing over the fish and ,using a very old fashioned looking trident, spear their victim.