Re-launching Southern Princess April/May 2007 and our first guests
Re-launching Southern Princess April/May 2007 and our first guests
epistle saw us arrive in
Kathleen & Graham (Gunner) McGregor had also arrived that Friday night and on the Saturday moved to their time-share apartment for the next week.
Irene and I spent the weekend of April 14th & 15th getting the yacht ready for a splash on the Monday morning. Hooked up the batteries, made sure everything was ship shape and I couldn’t wait. The dust and dirt above decks was horrendous and would take a lot of work to clean. Some of the winter work items weren’t complete so we rescheduled them for later in the week
On the Saturday night we went to our favourite Maltese Pizza Bar, CUCCAGNA RESTAURANT which we discovered last year. John & Sue off Storyteller, Kath & Graham and Irene and me. The house merlot is great and John & I ordered a carton each to be picked up later in the week.
The next ten days we endeavoured to get all the work completed;
P Fitted a Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) recommended by our friends Faith & Chris Mortimer off ‘Altarial’
P Masthead LED navigation lights
P Sea-Me radar enhancer
P Gyro compass from Raymarine
P New dodger & bimini
P Service for Onan generator
P And cleaned and cleaned and cleaned!
And then the REGALÉ blew for 5 days from the Nor-east and deposited layers of dust back on the boat! So much so that when we next rolled out the genoa, it was tiger striped!
20th April 2007.
and fiancé Andrew Robertson arrived from
John G, Claire,
24th April 2007.
07:30 we performed sea trials on gyro compass with Kurt Casapinta of Raymarine and everything seemed to check out OK.
09:30 saw us
back at the marina dropping off Kurt and saying final farewells and at 10:00 we
departed for Porto Palo on the south east tip of
That night saw us anchored out with a great spaghetti meal and a couple of bottles of Cuccagna merlot. It is nice to be afloat again
25th to 29th April 2007.
ANZAC Day – a dawn service was scheduled on the aft deck to no avail, I couldn’t get them out of bed.
We motored to Syracusa arriving at 13:30 hours and checked into the Yachting Marina. We had to reverse in with a very stiff cross wind from the south and it was tricky. Thanks goodness for a bow thruster. All the crew went exploring ashore while Irene and I tidied up. While ashore Gray happened on a restaurant which insisted on all of us arriving at an appointed hour 20:00 and as Italian language was limited, they didn’t really understand why, however when we arrived all was understood. The restaurant didn’t have a menu and we were served the same as everyone else in the restaurant, some of the best fish we have ever eaten, about 6 courses with the final dish was a half lobster each.
Dinner at Apollonion with our host Course #8 the lobster
The next day we
explored the old town of
Gray & Andrew rented a car and we visited the local area. NOTO is a heritage listed town up in the hills behind AVOLA and of course we had a recommendation for lunch. The TRATTORIA DE CARMINE is a place frequented by the locals and the food, whilst inexpensive was good Sicilian food. Litre bottles of wine were liberally dispensed through out the restaurant and if you left any in the bottle, as lots did, they just tipped it back in the barrel for the next sitting. After lunch we walked about the town admiring the huge range of buildings being restored to their former glory. Millions of €’s being spent on its restoration.
On the way home we discovered a Carrefour’s super market (French owned we think) much to Irene’s delight. At Gunner’s insistence I bought a Karcher pressure washer for only €59. Hence forth it will be known as ‘Gunner’s Gurney’!
day we drove north to
Some of the images that abound.
Today we said
goodbye to our guests. We have known Kath & Graham for 40 years (and Claire
since she was born) and while they live in Perth Western Australia, every time
we get together it is as though we only saw each other yesterday. We dropped
them off at
arrive back at Southern Princess to find that Ray & Helen King, Sue and
John’s next door neighbours from
Spent the next
couple of days cleaning the yacht some more. A little bit of rain and the mud
ran down from the rigging and across the deck again. And on May 3rd we motored
all the way to Riposto a small town right under
Rod Heikell in The Italian Waters Guide describes Riposto thus “The town is one of the few not given over to tourism in the summer along this stretch of coast. It is a proper working town and has a pleasant somewhat decayed and dusty feel to it. Brooding overhead is, of course, Etna, though you are unlikely to see her except at sunset because of the haze that envelopes the coast in summer.”
ETNA ‘…..then Etna, that wicked witch,
resting her thick white snow under heaven, and slowly, slowly rolling her
orange-coloured smoke. They call her the Pillar of Heaven, the Greeks. It seems
wrong at first, for she trails up a long, magical, flexible lines from the sea’s
edge to her blunt cone, and does not seem tall. She seems rather low under
heaven, aloof, so near, yet never with us. The painters try to paint, and the
photographers to photograph her in vain!’ D H
And having reached such heights of hyperbole, the next morning we were treated to a blow-up doll floating in the marina which might suggest a paucity of young women in Riposto. Helen rescued the young lady, with the fixed somewhat shocked _expression_ and posed for pictures before casting her back into the waters and a destination unknown!
Talk about a
small world, in February this year while we were staying with Ian & Avelyn
in Taupo, NZ they were visited by their friend Bundy from
On Saturday 5th
I had a local canvas man have a look at the dodger and he took it off and
repaired it so that it fitted correctly and returned it the same day. It now
seems effectively waterproof. Tomorrow we part company with Storyteller for the
rest of the summer so we all had a farewell party at a restaurant on the marina
in Riposto which was elegantly and expertly done. We will miss their company
until we meet up again in
NOTO and bottle brush everywhere The Princess waits for her dinner guests
Sunday May 6th.
At 07:00 the
fuel dock opened and after topping up the tanks we departed Riposto for places
east at 07:45 with a benign weather forecast! Boy were they wrong! Instead of
10-15knts from the NW we ended up with a little bit of everything. Crossing the
straights of Messina, albeit about 25nm south we had a small gale out of the
north which chopped up the sea and put wind over the deck at 30 knots, but the
skipper assured the crew that it would all abate when we got into the lee of
mainland Calabria. It did and a little later we had no wind at all. Then it went
around the clock, and then it swung to the NNE and started to blow again.
Luckily it moved to the NNW but then it increased again. We eventually ran for
cover under the lee of LE CASTELLA at around 22:00. Le Castella is on the sole
Next two days were typical Mediterranean weather. Light winds, slight seas and motor sailing, over night anchor in Santa Maria di Leuca and arrived Marina di Brindisi at 16:00. Passing Otranto, Irene called me on deck to smell the wonderful mixture of flowers emanating from the land. A mixture of night scented jasmine, almonds and rosemary!
Died and gone to heaven. Arrived Marina di Brindisi to find a
boat show on for a week. Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon,
Enrico – Raymarine expert arrived to inspect the problem and asked why we had two gyro compasses. Apparently the original setup had a gyro installed and when I asked for one to be installed (on the advice of another B57 owner) I had no idea we already had one! Naturally the two gyros conflicted with each other and hence the problem. Enrico has taken the course computer away with him to bench test so we will see what happens.
Just along the dock from us is an American 70’ CNB yacht
proudly flying a