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Old 01-07-2013, 05:14   #1
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Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

Hello !

We would like to sail in the Aeolian Islands in Sicily, first week of September and we could use some advice.

Any suggestions of itineraries, and spots we absolutely must see ?

How is the wind that time of year ?

What costs we should expect for marinas, moorings? I understand they are rather expensive.

Regards
Mihai
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:18   #2
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

We visited the Aeolian islands in September of 2008, so our information is probably a bit out of date now. The weather was unpredictable, lots of storms and high winds. We visited Filicudi, Lipari and Volcano. We picked up buoys or anchored where we were able to. The holding wasn't great. Buoy prices were about €25 a night. The cathedral in Lipari was worth a visit as was the hike up Volcano, go early in the day to avoid the midday sun, there is no shade anywhere on the volcano! Cefalu on Sicily is worth a visit, especially if your timing coincides with the gelato festival - a highlight of our time there!
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Old 01-07-2013, 18:25   #3
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

Mihai:

We chartered a catamaran for a week with 4 people. We went to Filicudi, Vulcano, Lipari, Stromboli, and Panarea.

We hiked to the top of Stromboli and looked down into the active volcano (you must go with a guide and rent shoes, and that's a good thing.)

We went in June so don't know about Sept. The islands are named after the god of wind though.

The holding is not great and the underwater contour is very steep, but it's not too scary. If you drag, you will probably drag out to open water and not toward the island.

We used fore and aft anchoring a couple of times.

The people were very friendly and we walked all over or took taxis to see the islands.

We snorkeled a lot and there were billions of jellyfish. None of them stung though. There are a few bays, such as on Vulcano and Panarea, which are quite protected and have flat bottoms.

It is worth your time and effort to watch the movie from 1950 called "Stromboli." The island looks much the same now as then. During filming, the volcano erupted and the islanders went offshore to avoid the fallout. The tuna harvest is also fascinating. Nothing like the 400 Lb fish they were catching exists in the Med anymore.

We would go back in a heartbeat. Have fun.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:46   #4
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

Bill,

Thank ou for your comments.

In what circumstances you had to use both fore and aft anchors ?

Can you comment about marinas, or good places to moor ?

Regards
Mihai
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:35   #5
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

We are heading there in about a week, will update as we go
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:50   #6
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

Great cruising ground, but there is not a lot of well protected anchorages apart from Vulcano

There is a reasonably well protected anchorage on the mainland, very close, that is not marked in the pilot books, Capo Tindari.
I believe the sand bar can vary a bit and it has been a few years since I went there, but I once rode out 50k with gusts over 62k although I would not recommend this
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:58   #7
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

Mihai:

Since the sides of these islands angle so steeply down, your bow
might be in 7 meters while your stern might be in 20 meters. Your
swing might put your stern into less than 2 meters. So, we put out
a stern anchor to prevent the stern from swinging toward the
island. Does that make sense?

We only stayed in a marina once, in Lipari on the last night to fill with
fuel. I think it was about US $40 or so for the 40' cat. The taxi
trip around the island was also expensive but worth it. You might
be able to figure out the bus schedule and take that, but we
couldn't.

The islands are generally small and there are places to anchor around
each of them. Keep an eye on the weather; you're never too far from
the boat in any case.
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Old 02-07-2013, 13:44   #8
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

mihpreda,

Get hold of the "Portolano Isole Eolie / Pilot Aeolinan Islands" published by Il Miglio Blue (www.ilmiglioblue.com / info@ilmiglioblue.com ), it is the latest publication and gives you valuable infos on cruising these delightful waters. I spent 7 weeks there last year from end of August to beginning of October. The weather was mainly good, towards the end we had some unforecasted storms and thunderstorms. Besides from the marina on Salina (very expensive!) there are no full-service marinas to be found, Lipari and Vulcano has some yachting jetties. You will be anchoring close to the shore, you can forget about the Italian regulations of having to anchor 300m off a beach as these islands are all vulcanic origin and hence steep to. Nice bays are to be found on Vulcano and Panarea, Vulcano has two horseshoe bays opposing each other so you just watch the forecast and move from the one to the other.
Enjoy the islands!
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:02   #9
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

Bill,

great advice with the fore and aft anchors !

I suppose I should ask for a second anchor from the charter company, and at least 60 meters of rope for it.
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Old 02-07-2013, 15:01   #10
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)



Stromboli is great!
Like so many other places it teeaches you a lot about cruising: How not to get ripped off by locals!
They will tell you that you *must* use a mooring and if you tell them 'bollocks' they will tell you the holding is bad and you will drag.
Of course its alllll bollocks. Yes you can anchor, the vast majority do, and thee holding is just fine.

Next great lie is the only way to see the night time every 20 minute eruptions is to go on a tourist charter boat. Nup you just pluck the pick at sunset and go round the island the same way as the tourist boats.

Just great !
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Old 02-07-2013, 15:46   #11
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

Take a look at the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki, which has pretty well all the information you are likely to need about ports, marinas and anchorages in the Aeolian Islands. It should be less crowded in September, but at the same time it's wise to have a plan for if the weather turns, e.g. an early run for the marinas in Pignataro or Salina. The two anchorages on Vulcano also offer good shelter in most conditions if you prefer to lie to anchor.

GORDON
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Old 02-07-2013, 21:33   #12
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Re: Advice for Aeolian Islands (Sicily, Italy)

Mihai:

Yes, I forgot to tell you to see the https://www.google.com/search?q=Scia...w=1280&bih=629

Sciara del Fuoco as Markj says. Go around the back of Stromboli
after dark and hopefully you will see something spectacular. It is
called the Lighthouse of the Med.

Hope the link posts right.
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