On hook Porto di Ponente, Isola Vulcano, Aeolian Islands.

Sue & Alan
Sat 16 May 2015 09:37
We dropped hook here at first light yesterday morning after a delightful passage, mostly sailing (for a change) continuously broad-reaching for 30 hours reefing to keep speed under 8kn. In the end, when the wind veered from SW to W we needed to put mainsl & gib away in favour of poled genoa. That was more work than first intended because when the flippin pole inboard-end bayonet fitting unexpectedly popped out it left me juggling our 5.25m pole on deck! I can only assume I had accidentally trapped the 'undo' fastening when preparing to deploy our pole. I just needed to make sure our pole didn't end-up in Davy Jones locker and us 'poleless'! When sorted, the bayonet fitting slipped into a firm lock (as it should ....... just like lovers on a Honeymoon) and all's well with it. Hopefully we won't be experiencing this predicament in future because I'll be more careful to ensure it don't slip out unexpectedly again!
Following this, timing conditions were good for us to consider minor change of plan and enter Porto Filicudi (Isola Filicudi) 20'odd NM short of our destination affording us the opportunity of a settled night on hook and leaving us a short daysail next morning. We entered Porto Filicudi just after midnight, despite charts indicating possibility of dropping hook it was just too deep. Keeping safe distance off-shoreline out anchor would have just been tickling dirt and dropping in 12m would have left us perilously close to some nasties. Move-on McDuff we both thinks so we donked our way here for a timely 'first signs of daylight' arrival at 05:00, followed by hook-in then hit the bunk. All in all, our passage across Tyrrhenian Sea was rather good and we beat the nasty storms which presently fill those sea areas.
We put RIB in water and visited land yesterday, enjoying being ashore it was our first walkies for 8 days and took a ganda at the east-side anchorage, where we visited couple years ago. We indulged ourselves in a local cafe ordering iced coffees and crepes. Having been told the cream and ice-cream was all gone Sue decided on banana crepe and strawberry crepe (that way we could cut'em in two and enjoy all the tastes. What we didn't expect was a couple of chilled expresso coffees (no milk and no sugar). As normal we simply decided 'That's how they must do it in these parts' and enjoyed what we'de been given. The other source of amusement was when I asked for their wi-fi code. The Lady said " four times 20". There's me thinking "Do I enter that a 'eighty' or '80'?" then realised she meant '20202020'.......... durrrrrr!!! So, there's me at 60 and Sue (nearly 60) making the most of our ice and cream-less coffees and crepes whilst catching-up with last 8 days worth of FB & Emails. Are we t
ypical of our generation nowadays? When we asked for the bill it was ?16 so we used a ?20 note. Some 15 minutes later we still hadn't received any change. When I asked (politely) we were presented with few larger coins and a load of shrapnel. In this instance I left the shrapnel. The first supermarket we visited was closed for the afternoon and fortunately we found another (by pure chance) where we were able to top-up our grub and alcohol reserves. During the afternoon the wind changed and although relatively light we were now facing the opens sea, to our W, accordingly on our return Ticketeeboo's stern was like a bucking bronko when we brought the RIB close. Sue doesn't cherish this type of landing and made certain it was made without getting wet. Well done Sue. It did mean our evening R&R, followed by our overnight, has been pretty energetic. Either pitching or rolling, depending on the wind. Never anything stronder than say 15kn and typically less than 10kn so no risk of dragging
. Just energetic sums it up. We've had better, more settled overnights on hook and we've had much worse!
We're now looking at doing an overnight to check out Isola Stromboli (the oldest light-house in the world?) followed by a quick 'squirt' and S through the Messina Straight. Next dropping hook either Taormina or maybe Siracusa (where we can celebrate Freya's 3rd Birthday on Tuesday) with a fancy bottle of local fizz (already in our fridge).
Love to F,S,J & P and S,T,R & M xxxxxxxx
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham callsign = m0hng
At 15/05/2015 14:03 UT our position was 38°25.21'N 014°57.22'E