Tyrrhenian Sea

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    • Day 419

      The Bay of Naples

      September 3, 2022, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Over a few days we visit Sorrento, the Isle of Capri and Ischia island in the bay of Naples.
      First we anchor under the cliffs in Sorrento and sleep through a thunderous rainy night before moving into the marina in the morning ( €170 a night and no showers or toilets!)
      The town of Sorrento is up on the cliff and is hidden from view from the water. We take the elevator from the port up to the town and when we emerge the view of Mount Vesuvius is stunning. The town is gorgeous to walk around with pedestrian streets full of interesting shops and friendly people.
      The next day we leave the boat in Sorrento and take the ferry to Capri. The sailing blogs are scathing about mooring on the island so we opt for a busman’s holiday. On arrival we go straight on an island boat tour as we want to visit the Blue grotto. Unfortunately the sea swell means the grotto is closed but the tour is still very enjoyable. The scenery is spectacular and we are brought in close to the cliffs and caves and in under the sea arch, something we would never dream of doing on Régal.
      When we return to the port in Capri, we are overwhelmed by the crowds. It feels frantic and there are people everywhere, queuing for tours, ferries, taxis and the funicular. We go to the stony beach and there is hardly room to sit down and when we walk up to the hilltop town, it’s busy and crowded. Capri is not for us and we are all happy to return to lovely, calm Sorrento on the earlier ferry.
      We sail across the bay of Naples and anchor in a bay on the northern side of Ischia Island. We are looking in at beautiful green hills which look tropical. It rains all the next day but we make the most of it and catch up on some school work. The weather dries up in the evening and we watch as an unusual looking little platform is towed and then moored beneath the hotel on the headland. We all guess what it might be but none of us are right, as we discover with a bang at midnight. We are woken up by a very loud noise and all race up to the cockpit. It’s a fireworks display launching from the moored platform. We have the best seats in the bay to watch the show.

      We have a less pleasant wake up in the early hours when a swell comes up and Régal starts bucking up and down. None of us get much sleep and in the morning there is nothing for it but to move on. We are sorry not to have seen more of Travel +Leisure Magazine’s 2022 ‘most beautiful Island in the world’
      Ischia is added to the growing list of places we want to come back to.
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    • Day 23

      Cinque Fotografie-Day 1 Cefalù/Palermo

      May 6, 2022, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      We wrapped an eventful time in Sicily as we now prepare to head to Italy's mainland.

      We had a great night on the northern coastal town of Cefalú. The views from our hotel room were spectacular although the wind was unusually strong, evoking memories of my days in Wyoming.

      Around 5:30 this morning, I was wondering who on earth would be moving furniture around at such an early time of day. It turns out that the answer was Mother Nature. When we went to breakfast we observed several deck tables and chairs being whisked across the floor into a big pile. It was pretty comical to watch although it also disrupted the vibe of serenity that I imagine is the norm here.

      After breakfast we headed on the 90-minute journey to the Palermo Airport to drop off our rental car. That went pretty smoothly for the most part.. We weighed options on how to get to the ferry terminal, and we opted for the bus as we has considerable spare time and it was less expensive.

      We managed to board the bus shortly before the sky let loose with torrents of rain which we grateful to dodge. When we arrived at our stop, we looked for a place to get lunch. The server was quite friendly, and he was excited to learn that we lived in Portland and he told us that he loved The Simpsons (generic Springfield) and we showed him a photo of the Ned Flanders Pedestrian Bridge. It turns out the he was also a fan of basketball ball and that he loved our team and Damian Lillard.

      After lunch we walked with our packs for about a mile to the ferry terminal. Our first task was to find the ticket counter to check in. Let's just say that several security agents gave us conflicting directions and the one benefit is that I was able to get in my steps goal. We checked in at the counter and then realized that we had another two and a half hours before we would be able to board the ferry bound for Napoli.

      Unlike ferry terminals that I've experienced in Washington state or for cruise lines, there really was no seating area. We wandered over near our ferry and we were scolded by a security guard who told us that we were too early.

      We were able to board a few hours before we departed from Palermo. We did check out the dining area and the antipasto plate was quite good. I ordered a white fish dish with vegetables and Jim C ordered spaghetti. For some reason Jim's spaghetti never arrived; the server thought that Jim had canceled the order- another one of our lost in translation moments.

      Despite that error, we had a decent dinner. At this writing, we are in our stateroom that is equipped with bunk beds and a full bathroom.

      It's time to call it a night. Buona notte from the Tyrrhenian Sea. 💞
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    • Day 11

      Vorletzter Abend an Bord

      June 11, 2022, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

      Die Zeit an Bord vergeht einfach zu schnell heute hatten wir schon das letzte Ziel angelaufen und sind nun wieder auf See. Heute ging es zum Japaner an Bord und danach ging es in das Theater wo heute eine Gesangsshow auf dem Programm stand. Und da die Aqua Show so gut war habe ich sie mir dann nochmals angesehen.Read more

    • Day 394

      A lightning passage to Sicily

      August 9, 2022, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      There's a favourable northerly wind forecast for the 200nm trip to Sicily, so we decide to cut short our time in Sardinia and go.
      We're bound for the Port of Trapani on the east coast.
      We leave the anchorage at 6.30, and within an hour the engine is off and we're sailing.
      When we try to sail directly a swell on her stern quarter is rolling us and banging the boom, so we point 20 degrees or so up into the wind, our speed increases and she settles down.
      We make good progress through the day and are enjoying the rhythm of being back at sea, passsage making in fine weather and with a favourable breeze.
      Around dusk we start to notice some lightning on the horizon, it's far away and of no concern. Not yet anyway.
      The kids go to bed and Margaret and I continue to observe the lighting. It's getting more widespread and is now across a long band of cloud to the east of us. It seems to be tracking parallel to us and is starting to block our course. We turn away about 20 degrees but the lightning keeps spreading and drawing closer.
      We put out our lightning conductor - a length of copper, attached to a cable which is clipped onto metal stays, and trailed over the side.
      Rather than seeking to conduct a lighting strike we hope to prevent the boat become charged by the electricity in the atmosphere, and leak this charge away, thereby reducing the chance of being struck.
      That's the theory anyway, but we feel better for putting it out. We put handheld GPS units and compass into the oven, which should act as a Faraday cage.
      Then one particular cloud starts to grow. And grow, and grow. It's big enough now to have multiple lightning inside it, often at the same time. Some tint it blue, others orange. There are occasional red bolts coming down to the water. I have never seen anything like it. It's both extremely beautiful and menacing at the same time. If this comes and sits over us we will be lit up like a Christmas tree.
      For a while it seems to be staying away from us, but then it starts to get closer. And bigger.
      We're glad the kids are in bed so they don't pick up on our concerns.
      We decide to try and get away as fast as possible - so we turn in the opposite direction and open the throttle to full revs.
      We're making 9 knots and holding our breath to see if we can get away from it.
      10 minutes go by, 15, and it's not gaining on us any more. After about 30 mins we have moved away and thankfully the amount of lightning seems to be reducing.
      We breathe a sigh of relief and try to get some rest, the dawn is only a few hours away now.
      The next morning brings more lightning clouds and a squall which gives us a good wash down.
      We're glad to see the coast of Sicily appearing in the distance and motor into Trapani, berthing at a marina while we gather ourselves and do a few jobs over the next few days.
      Sicily - we've arrived!
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    • Day 409

      Flotsam and Jetsam

      August 24, 2022, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Co-written by the crew.
      Out at sea, crossing from Palermo to the Aeolian Islands we come across a beach ball, lilos and other inflatables, casualties from the recent stormy weather we think.
      As we approach the islands we spot something else floating in the water. It’s bigger than anything of the other flotsam and jetsam we have come across. Ronan suggests it might be a dinghy that floated away from it's owner in these islands, the crew agrees.
      We discuss our options; we could leave it drifting and contact the Coast Guard or we could tow it to Vulcano and figure out what to do when we get there. We choose the latter, furl the headsail, put her bow into the waves and motor up wind towards the lost dinghy. Our reason for doing this is number one ; pollution and two ; somebody could crash into it.
      Upon further inspection we see that the kill-cord is still on the outboard engine, she only has one oar and no painter or any rope for us to attach to. Ruby and Ronan lie down on the deck and put a rope through a metal hoop on the dinghy. The little boat is about two metres long with a three and a half horsepower engine. We secure the rope and she is ready to be towed.

      After we arrive in vulcano, Dad gets into the dinghy to see how things are. He gives the engine a try and it actually starts right away! We’re all very surprised and we begin to use the ‘new’ dinghy as ours to go ashore. She works very well and the engine’s in good nick, but it’s a bit of a squash and a squeeze as she is smaller than ours.
      The coast guard’s office on Vulcano is permanently closed and when we ask around the marina nobody knows anything about a missing dinghy.
      The next day Dad receives a phone call from a man who claims to have lost his dinghy recently! We’re very excited that this could be her owner. Dad doesn’t give anything away and asks him to describe his missing dinghy. Unfortunately it’s not a match so the poor man will have to search on while we continue looking for the rightful owner.

      When we leave Vulcano, we head to the neighbouring island of Lipari, the capital of the archipelago. We drive by the town to see if we can find the coastguard to hand the little boat over to but unluckily there’s no sign of them in the bay.

      A few days later in Panarea we are still using the little lost dinghy to go ashore. In the village we go down to the pier, on an island this is usually where everything happens. Dad talks to a port employee and he gets some good news! The port police come to the island every afternoon on their rounds so we hang around to meet them and Dad tells them our story.

      The next day we have a wild ride bringing the dinghy to the village. We drive halfway around the island on an almost empty tank of diesel, staying at low revs to preserve it. Colm and Dad glance around with trepidation every time I change the speed, and we joke about having to row there with only one oar.

      Thankfully we make it. We secure her to the pier, as arranged, for the police to collect. We walk away, it is the end of a short (but lively) era.
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    • Day 25

      Bathroom signs

      January 14, 2023, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

      There’s nothing like standing next to a roaring fountain after enjoying an espresso or two to suddenly need a public restroom.

      Rome gets so many visitors that they need signs to remind folks how to behave. Here are two that I saw today.Read more

    • Day 6

      Arrivati a Vibo Valentia

      October 5, 2023, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Dopo 30 ore di navigazione siamo finalmente arrivati a Vibo Valentia. Giornata di sole ma purtroppo senza vento per cui abbiamo percorso le 179 miglia sempre a motore. Ora ci facciamo una bella doccia, ci riposiamo un po' e poi andremo a cena in uno dei ristoranti nei pressi del porto. Domani mattina ci attende la tappa da quì a Napoli dove ci aspettano altri amici per il cambio dell'equipaggioRead more

    • Day 3

      Die Fähre La Suprema

      April 7, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Die Fähre war ein echter Stinker. Wer weiß, was die da ungefiltert in die Luft geblasen haben. Die Organisation unbeschreiblich dilettantisch:
      Bei Ankunft erfolgt ein Check-in ohne die Anwesenheit der Gäste mit allen Pässen in der Biglietteria. Man erhält die Tickets mit Kabinennummern - ohne Namen der Passagiere, obwohl die der Reederei vorliegen.
      Danach müssen alle den Bus verlassen, werden hin und hergeschickt mit dem Gepäck und stehen anschließend nicht weniger als eine Stunde vor dem Schiff herum. Die ersten sechs aus unserer Gruppe mussten durch den Security Check, dann hatten sie keine Lust mehr die Taschen zu durchleuchten.
      Es gibt keinen Wartebereich und keine Sitzmöglichkeiten. Zwei unserer Mitreisenden sind über 90 Jahre alt, da gibt es keine Rücksichtnahme.

      Irgendwann bekommt der Reiseleiter einen Beutel mit den Kabinen-Karten und muss dann im Freien handschriftlich eine Namensliste mit den Kabinen Nummern anfertigen und die Voucher für das Frühstück verteilen.

      Auf dem Schiff gibt es keine vernünftigen Informationen, keine vernünftige Beschilderung, um die Kabinen zu finden.
      Es erfolgen Durchsagen auf Italienisch, Französisch und Englisch, die kaum verständlich sind und in den Kabinen nicht gehört werden können.
      Die Kabinen sind alt und benötigen dringend eine Renovierung.
      Eine Sicherheitseinweisung gibt es nur als Text an der Kabinentür - sehr viele Reisende haben aber gar keine Kabine.
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    • Day 35–36

      Fährfahrt von Neapel nach Palermo

      April 12, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

      Gespannt warteten wir auf die erste Fährfahrt mit unserem Wohnmobil. Es gab nur eine Verladeklappe am Heck, weshalb alle Fahrzeuge rückwärts hineinfuhren. Durch die Träger für unsere Kiste und den kurzen Radstand setzen wir schnell auf oder stecken rückwärts ggf auch mal fest. Wir waren froh, dass das auch die Einweiser schnell erkannten, weshalb wir mit einem kurzen Aufsetzer vorwärts auffahren und zur Ausfahrt wenden durften. So hat alles gut geklappt!
      Die Fahrt war von 20 bis 8 Uhr angesetzt, weshalb wir eine 4 Bett Außenkabine buchten. Für 40€ die optimale Lösung für uns.. vor allem, weil wir auf dem Boden ein Doppelbett bauen konnten, damit keiner runterfällt. Glücklicherweise hatten wir absolut ruhige See und eine gute Nacht.
      Verpflegt haben wir uns selber und haben zur Abfahrt mit Blick auf Neapel ein Picknick gemacht.
      Wir freuen uns auf Sizilien, von dem alle bisher nur geschwärmt haben 🌞
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    • Day 9

      Naples—Aborted Landing

      April 17, 2022, Tyrrhenian Sea ⋅ ☁️ 57 °F

      As we sailed into the Bay of Naples, I went out on a windy deck to take photos of our sail-in. I was snapping shots of Vesuvius when the ship suddenly turned away from port. “Something is up,” I thought, and a few minutes later the Captain came over the horn to say that high winds prevented our landing at Naples. It was almost lunchtime anyhow, so everyone headed to the restaurants, where the crew had prepared an ambrosian feast. To celebrate Naples, I had pizza (which was invented here) and a glass of wine. So now we are cruising slowly around the island of Capri. Glenda and I identified the place where we first went ashore there, and we’re happy to greet the rock formations known as the “Two Brothers” again. Now the Viking Sky is sauntering down toward Sicily, where we hope to land tomorrow.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Tyrrhenian Sea, Mare Tirreno, Mare Tyrrhenum, Mar Tirreno, Mer Tyrrhénienne, Tirėnų jūra, Tyrrhenisches Meer, Тирренское море, Тірренське море

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