Two years ago, we sailed from the Aeolian Islands through the Messina Straits going south. This morning at 6:30am we sailed the straits going north, sailing from Reggio to Tropea. The Strait is 20 miles long and from 2 to 10 miles wide, funneling the Ionian Sea into the Tyrrhenian Sea and vice versa. You are able to see the energy in the water. look long enough and you are bound to see a whirlpool forming. We began so early because we knew the current would be flowing south by 7:30am, 4.5 hours after high tide in Gibraltar.
Frosty was a bit skeptical at being underway by 6:30 am, even with a Nespresso in his hand but soon we were surrounded by the ‘passarelles’ or felucas, for the swordfish fisherman. Watching them move towards a sword fish at a rate of knots is quite startling.
The boats are about 40 feet long and the mast is about 50 feet high and the skipper steers from that lofty position.
After getting through the Messina Straits with a sighting of one swordfish( or was it a tuna?), a slight whirlpool trying to form and quite a bit of current. We sailed up the coast to Porto di Tropea. Only 30 miles from the Aeolian Islands and a charming, neo-classical town, in a slight state of ruin, there is a lot to like. The outstanding feature has to be the beaches. Surrounded by tufa, the beaches are superb. Odysseus never talks about beaches, does he? The beaches here are sensational. There were incredible beaches up the coast from Reggio di Calabria.
I tried to get James and Frosty smiling while in the Messina Straits, but in that photo they looked liked they had seen Charybdis. They liked the beach though.
Our journey so far (sorry, you have to copy & paste the link)