And on to Messina

Massimo took over watch at about 0600 and I went down for a sleep. Waking up at 0900 for breakfast i was told that 10 minutes after i went down a pod of Dolphins appeared.

There was only 6kts of wind and so we motor sailed. We were watching the weather closely and as we approached the southern most point of Italy decided to travel onwards and through the straits of Messina. The wind and tides were in our favour and we had good northerly tides until 1800

So, decision made and we set a course for Messina. About, 10nm from the Straits, we contacted Messina VTS on channel 13 and were then transfer to channel 10 where we made our intentions clear. We declared that we were going to pass on the Sicilian side and head north through the straits. We also gave our vessel length and number of souls on board. We were asked by VTS, to continue monitoring channel 10 for the duration of our passage. About an hour later we were called by VTS and asked to give our position.

Going through the straits is straight forward and far less dramatic then some stories you read on the web. In fact, navigating the Solent, Southampton Water and Hurst point is far more challenging. So in my opinion, navigating the Messina Straits is a walk in the park.

After mooring and securing Aria we headed into town for a meat feast

And tomorrow Vulcano beckons

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