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Old 17-04-2016, 19:49   #1
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Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

Hello Cruisers,

During June/July, we will be heading up the east coast of Sicily, around the corner, and then at some point, cross over to the Aeolian Islands.

We have heard the Aeolians are well worth visiting, but also lacking in anchorages - especially when the conditions turn sour.

Is anyone able to advise the best places to visit, and where to run to when (I don't think it will be an 'if') conditions turn.

We will have my 87 y.o. mother-in-law on board, and while she loves sailing, we do not want to put her through anything unpleasant, and will be looking for the calmest places each night - harbour, marina, or bay.

We will be collecting my brother-in-law and mother-in-law from Catania - any tips for getting through the Messina Strait would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

David
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Old 17-04-2016, 19:58   #2
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

Hello David,
I don't have a lot of experience there because we just passed through, but I'd suggest that you get a current edition of: Italian Waters Pilot

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Old 17-04-2016, 23:20   #3
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

Hello,

To the north of Catania you have Marina Riposto but it is too near to Catania. A bit further you have Taormina Bay where you can anchor in the NE or SW parts or rent a buoy on the NE part. Marina of Messina was one of the most expensives marinas that I know and not very comfortable with the strong currents on the straight. An alternative is Regio Calabria on the Italian mainland but the place is not very attractive. May be you could try a direct crossing to Vulcano island. I spent one week on the Aeolian islands and was on anchor 3 days on Porto di Poniente. If wind would come from West I would go to the other side at Baia de Levante where you can anchor or rent a berth in the marina. In Lipari there are 2 or 3 pontoons with good shelter except from Eastern winds. We spend two nights in Lipari Services and got good service. Piero is the manager and he fixed our Honda outboard who had a problem when our tender turned over a week earlier in Cefalu during a sudden "tropical" storm that caught us during the night when we were at anchor there. We also spend one night on anchor on the NE part of Stromboli after being on the west side of the island until midnight waiting for the vulcano to appear. Many boats trying to anchor after midnight in a confined space is not a good experience!

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Old 18-04-2016, 02:02   #4
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

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Originally Posted by David B View Post
Hello Cruisers,

During June/July, we will be heading up the east coast of Sicily, around the corner, and then at some point, cross over to the Aeolian Islands.

We have heard the Aeolians are well worth visiting, but also lacking in anchorages - especially when the conditions turn sour.

Is anyone able to advise the best places to visit, and where to run to when (I don't think it will be an 'if') conditions turn.

We will have my 87 y.o. mother-in-law on board, and while she loves sailing, we do not want to put her through anything unpleasant, and will be looking for the calmest places each night - harbour, marina, or bay.

We will be collecting my brother-in-law and mother-in-law from Catania - any tips for getting through the Messina Strait would also be appreciated.
This web site:Sailing Sicily, Malta and South Italy | JimB Sail gives a good overall picture of the area you plan to visit, and also has links to a local charter company's descriptions which give a lot more detail - and good pix of some of the destination marinas and harbours. There's also a description of the Messina straits TSS and regulations.

Reversing tidal streams flow through the straits, so it pays to plan your transit to "go with the flow".

Moderate hazards exist in the straits:
  • Ferry traffic
  • Occasionally, a marked wind change
  • boats chasing swordfish (which won't hesitate about throwing a net in your way if you're sailing with a school of fish!)
I found an up to date chart and access to marina web sites covered all essential information. Local pilot books add inside knowledge - but I actually like finding that out for myself!

JimB
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Old 18-04-2016, 08:40   #5
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

We cruised through those islands on our way to Taormino where we stopped and waited for friends twice. Once on our way south, and then on our way north after cruising the Greek Isles. Invest in the Imray Cruising and Piloting books.
We loved going thru the Straights. The Swordfish boats are spectacular! And yes they change course as does the current and wind faster than you can imagine which islet Homer wrote about the Gods on both sides. Taormino mooring balls are good when the breeze is on but anchoring is fine when not. Guy who owns them is very helpful. Riposto Marina is very nice but pricey. The town is great with all the fresh fish (swordfish, mussels, etc piled high) and good fresh markets. The Aoleans are awesome! Stromboli and Lipari were our favs. We anchored and had good weather. It's not always that way but with good weather info you have a better idea where to go. Again, Taormina is a good spot to hang. It's not that far from Catania. In fact one friend took the bus from airport. Another a cab. Both liked their experiences. Oh and we saw tons of dolphins in the Straights after the wind died to nothing from 15-20. Be prepared and enjoy!!!
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Old 18-04-2016, 09:14   #6
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

I did a delivery trip from Marseilles to Corfu a couple of years ago and touched in to Lipari to refuel but didn't stay there.

We carried on to Milazzo which is about 15 miles west of the straits. We stopped there for a couple of nights on a little yacht club pontoon, "Marina Posiedon" about 3/4 mile north of the main marina. Nice and quiet but not too far from the main town.

We crossed to the mainland side before going into the straits and then motored through using the inshore passage. We may have been lucky as we didn't experience any major problems except for doing a little diversion to look at a sun-fish which popped up, and, of course having to dodge the numerous ferries.

Check up on the TSS rules before planning your passage, squeezing a full blown TSS including a roundabout into a strait that is only about 1.5 miles wide means that the inshore passage is pretty narrow in places.
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Old 18-04-2016, 09:47   #7
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

My wife and I sailed the Aeolians in 2009 for 2 weeks. It's was an incredible experience. Check the weather befor crossing to any of those islands because there are not to many places to hide. Swim to your anchor and check it out. Vulcano is wonderful with anchorages on either side in the north. A walk at the top of the volcano will be well rewarded. Mud bath was not for us and be prepared to suffer the intense smell of Sulfur! Lipari is worth a stay over at the marina to visit the capital of the Aeolians. On Salina, stayed in the marina and rented a "5 wheel car"! and toured this gorgeous island. Well worthed. In Filicudi, don't miss La Cana, an impressive peice of Rock just off the north west coast. We took a mooring in front of Pecorini A Mare. Panarea is very pretty and sophistical with great restaurants. 2 bays on the south east side offer limited space and some shelter. Right on top of the corniche is a prehistoric village well worth the visit. Finally we kept the cake for the end...the mighty Stromboli! Anchor on the black volcanic sand bottom in front of the main town. Visit the crater at night. A good 3/4hour walk returning in the night with head lamps. All gears on rental and guides are mandatory. Alternatively you can raise your anchor and sail in front the lava path on the north western side maintaining a safe distance. Eruptions every +/-10minutes guaranties a spectacle you will never forget. Enjoy every moments it's well worth the sail!!!
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Old 18-04-2016, 12:51   #8
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

I have spent three summers in the Aeolian islands in the last 6 years and visited all of them. I think the others have included all the interesting bits but seem to have left out the night life that lasts until the small hours of the morning in Panarea.

One other thing. since all the islands are of volcanic origin the seabed slopes off very rapidly from the coastline. you will find that most of the convenient anchorages in convenient depths of water have already been taken by about 1500-1600 hrs so you might well have to anchor a little further off in 15-18 metres of water. You should be prepared with plenty of chain. Others might disagree but while I reckon you can survive with 60 metres there will be times when you wish you had more so i think you should plan to have 80 metres. This year i will pass through there to visit a few old haunts and have already increased mine to 80 metres of 10mm chain plus 30 metres of multiplait. As long as there is no strong easterly the bay at the foot of the vulcano on Volcano Island is very anchoring friendly and usually has plenty of space.

The Aeloian islands get v busy between 15 july and 20 Aug. V Charming outside this period but it is always a pleasure to visit.
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Old 18-04-2016, 23:22   #9
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

Most was said.
In Cefalu: anchorage in front of town, only in settled weather.
Marina to the east of town, need a taxi or longish walk.

Marina Portorosa, 380 07.7N 150 06.6E on mainland Sicily South of Volcano Island.

In Milazzo, there is marina inside the commercial port, at the N/W corner.
On the Island of Salina 380 33.24N 140 52.3E there is a very expensive marina.
At Porto Filicudi we have used mooring buoys at 380 33.7N 140 35.0E,
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Old 19-04-2016, 00:03   #10
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

Last September on a passage from Messolonghi to Cagliari we made a day stop at one of the less popular islands, Isola Salina (northwest of Lipari). Having ch checked the prices of Porto delle Eolie http://www.portodelleeolie.com/posti...alina/#listino, we tried to dock first in the empty commercial port next door but due to the swell we moved to the marina, contacted them by VHF and asked how much they will charge us if we stop for the day before we move on in the afternoon and we were pleasantly surprised when they told us that we would not be charged.



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Old 19-04-2016, 01:30   #11
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

Thanks to all who have responded so far - I have sent PM's to each of you.
Some great information there, which we will go through in detail and research further.

Some further notes in response:
We have a full 100m of chain on our anchor (Delta). Also we have a Fortress that we can manually deploy with 5m of chain, plus rope.
Our draft is 2.1M.

Thanks again to everyone - we just hope that we see good weather there - more for our guests than ourselves.
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Old 19-04-2016, 01:32   #12
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

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Originally Posted by olianta View Post
Last September on a passage from Messolonghi to Cagliari we made a day stop at one of the less popular islands, Isola Salina (northwest of Lipari). Having ch checked the prices of Porto delle Eolie www.portodelleeolie.com/posti_barca_salina/#listino, we tried to dock first in the empty commercial port next door but due to the swell we moved to the marina, contacted them by VHF and asked how much they will charge us if we stop for the day before we move on in the afternoon and we were pleasantly surprised when they told us that we would not be charged.



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It is nice they did not charge you for a few hours.
We were asked to pay 230 for one night on 08.2011, Lagoon400.
Very nice island for visit though.
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Old 19-04-2016, 01:58   #13
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Re: Ports in the Aeolian and northern Sicily

Salina: with a 53ft SV we did a deal with the owner of the fuel facility for the night. Think we had to be clear by 0800 the next morning. This was a lot cheaper than the marina itself.
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