24 June 2011
We left Milazzo at a civilized time of 09:00. Calm weather and only a few ferry wakes but not bad. A brief stop but the marina was better than I thought as well as the town. Not the most attractive but still fine for a day or two.
Crossing over to Salina was nice and boring. Flat calm water like silk. We did see a little feeding frenzy of small tuna catching something but not much else in the way of wildlife. A couple of super yachts went by but nothing unusual in these parts.
We did see three swordfish boats on the way. Did not know they came over this far west from the Straits of Messina. Must be a seasonal or weather induced tracking.
We were going to stop along the north coast of Lipari and anchor for lunch and a swim. Water temps are much warmer here than along the south side of Sicily or Greece. But looking at the north coast of Lipari it was not inspiring, appears to be old abandoned wharfs for shipping bulk materials out. The Heikell Pilot guide is out of date since it states the area is a good diving site. Not from what we saw and I was not going to anchor off an industrial site. So we headed straight to Salina.
Arriving at the marina we found it empty with only a couple of boats. Strange since the price is very high and I thought it would be full. During the day more boat came in as it was Friday and the weekenders can easily make it over in powerboats from Sicily. Nice place and well maintained with more work being performed, still priced too high. Also with any type of wave action outside the surge comes through the seawall since it is very porous to allow it to withstand the winter storms.
Once in town the prices are reasonable. Lunch was normal price, food was priced correctly and wines and spirits seems maybe to be generally cheaper than other parts of Italy. So I think the marina is just the real outlier since they get all the boats they can handle in the summer pricing remains overboard.
The new constructed walkway along the ferry harbor. There are two harbors here, one for commercial boats and the other for pleasure boats. The commercial one has been upgraded to handle the tourist inflow so this elevated walkway was added to assist loading/unloading of the ferries.
The main street in Salina. Not a big place but the shops are nice. There are several small grocery stores that seems to carry most items. Two butchers, a fish market, several produce stands and of course restaurants and cafes.
One of the walkways along the waterfront. Not many beaches and they created a sitting area below the seawall for calm days.
View from the restaurant we ate lunch in on day. This is the commercial harbor, not bad looking for that type of harbor. In the background is the island of Lipari just to the southeast. These island reminded us of the Virgin Islands in the Caribe.
This is the pleasure boat marina. No view of the sea from the boat. Many Italian marinas had to build tall seawall to protect from the winter storms. But they did a nice job of making it look nice and even have little covered areas to store items if you wish. On top is a walkway with a nice view of the water. I do like the nice tall bollards, easy to lasso with a line if needed.
View of the island from the bow of the boat. Salina is of course volcanic in nature but the last eruption was a long time ago. Now it is covered with small trees and bush. About half the island is a nature reserve. The island is also famous for its local Malvasi wine. This is a sweet desert wine served cold.