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Old 01-09-2019, 10:33   #1
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Staits of Messina

Has anyone sailed north through the Straits recently please ? - I've read about the tides, bastardo's and eddies !! I'm just trying to clarify the process with respect to notification of Coastguard or VTS. Perhaps you know of useful websites or sources of information. Thanks in advance !!
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:07   #2
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Re: Staits of Messina

Yes a few days ago.... nothing special, if you are below 20m stay out of the traffic separation ... if you need to cross you must call Messina coast guard. If you donít cross nothing to do.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:39   #3
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Re: Staits of Messina

Great, thanks gabilo - i've read lots of stuff about radioing in and being approached by coastguards if you dont.. Seems quite straightforward then.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:44   #4
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Re: Staits of Messina

I did it twice .
1) call the vts on the phone they will ask for your boat details and then give you information about the currents

2) stay on the side but always check your GPS speed to clarify if the current is against you , if the current is against then traverse a bit sideways until you have current helping you .

3) be carefull for liners coming out of ports they don't care about you and with the current from behind can be tricky to avoid them

4) Eddie's are fun on the first time my boat did 360

5) you can do it under sail as well , just make sure not to interfere with the traffic .

6) if you can't call the vts by phone , call them in the VHF , both times was easier for me.to get them by phone .

* I never contacted the coast guard neither thought that I need to bother them.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:49   #5
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Re: Staits of Messina

Thanks gmakhs, I've read about those 'bastardos' ! (and the Eddies !)
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Old 18-09-2019, 22:25   #6
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Re: Staits of Messina

Have a camera handy.
The Swordfish fishing boats are very impressive if you see them.
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Old 19-09-2019, 00:14   #7
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Re: Staits of Messina

I went past (north to south) the Messina strait few days ago. It was high tide with wind and current (for the most part) on my stern. There were some water turbulence areas past Messina but nothing like the S Pacific atolls. Lots of commercial traffic, including ferries crisscrossing, but again nothing bad. I stayed to the west of the shipping lanes.

I used this website for current strength and direction: http://www.correntidellostretto.it/
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Old 19-09-2019, 01:29   #8
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Re: Staits of Messina

You don't need to call vts if you stay out of the lanes. Do watch the weather very carefully... We crossed a few months ago and were hit with 50 knots coming out of the south entirely unforecasted. If there is wind coming from the south, take down your sails and motor or you could get a nasty surprise. We weren't the only ones hit like this over the summer either. Wind off the mountains near the North side can ruin your day too. Whenever we cross back, we'll motor no matter what. Easier to stay out of the vts (inshore zones are quite narrow in places) and the sword boats dart around like chickens. Reggio calabria is a great shelter, very ugly town tho. Scilla on the North East corner however is gorgeous and very worth a stop at the mooring balls off the town. Free water taxi service to boot..... Good luck!
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Old 26-12-2019, 07:28   #9
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Re: Staits of Messina

For current this is useful info: Correnti dello Stretto - Valori e calcolo Correnti Stretto di Messina
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