Messina, Italy to Naples, Italy
June 21-23, 2018
Day 1 – Thursday, June 21, 2018
I had intended to head toward Naples a couple of days ago. The winds were light and not forecast to improve for a few days, so I stayed here in Messina a little longer. This morning, I checked the forecast again and it looks like I may get some good westerlies in a couple of days to my north. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the forecast will be accurate and I have spend enough time on Sicily. Today is the first day of summer and I still have a number of ports to visit before I end up in the Atlantic to start my transit to the Caribbean.
At about 6:30 AM, there was almost no wind, but what was blowing was coming from the south-southeast. I brought in my lines and set the sails, heading northeast. I probably won’t be sailing with great speed today, but I should be able to enjoy the sights and the calm water.
As the day progressed, the wind speed increased. Once the sun set, the wind speed went down again and the direction changed to be blowing from the direction I wanted to sail. It looks like this will be another voyage of tack to port and starboard in order to make progress.
Day 2 – Friday, June 22, 2018
I was up at about 7:00 AM. Progress was definitely slow overnight. I plotted my location and found that I was only 55 nm from Messina, with 120 nm to go for Naples. The wind shifted a couple of times during the night. This morning, it is west-northwest at about 3 knots. The forecast suggests that the wind direction and speed should improve later in the day. In the meantime, it’s a beautiful day, about 73ºF, and the sea is as smooth as glass.
06/22/2018 0521 UTC – 39º 2.51′ N 15º 23.74′ E
Later in the day, the wind picked up a bit, but was never more than about 7 knots. The wind direction was constantly changing from good to not-so-good. At a little before midnight, I found that I was having to tack too far east to continue to keep my speed up, so I turned to port and sailed west for a bit. It seemed like the farther I got from the coast, the more the wind was coming directly from the west, which would give me a good sailing angle. I wasn’t on the starboard tack long before the wind was turning me to the south and I turned back onto the port tack. That’s where I left the helm when I headed to bed.
Day 3 – Saturday, June 23, 2018
06/23/2018 0402 UTC – 40º 8.95′ N 14º 31.35′ E
I was up at a little after 6:00 AM. The wind was again too far to the north, so I turned back to port again. I am only about 45 nm from Naples, but with the wind speed of about 3 knots and the wind blowing from the north-northwest, it is going to take me most of the day to knock out these last few miles. Once the sun was up, I could see that it was more cloudy than it has been for the past couple of days. At least I can see the island of Capri to the north. Now, I just have to find a good sailing angle to get there with wind that is basically blowing from there.
It didn’t take as long as I though to reach the marina. The wind speed picked up around mid-morning and I pulled up to the dock at Porto di Sannazaro at about 1:30 PM. I’ll spend a couple of days here in Napoli before continuing north.
0623/2018 1130 UTC – 40º 49.68′ N 14º 13.4′ E