August 7th.  The weather report for the next week looks unfavorable, but for the 7th, although there are storms in the area, it looks like the winds will not be too strong, so we decide to take a chance and go for it.

Get up at just before 5 am after another sleepness night. We were hit by fierce thunder and lightning storm last night, and it was formidable to watch from our boat. Almost constant sheet lightning turning night into day. Loud thunder and pounding sideways rain. Since we were leaving today, was not sure if we were going to be hit by one of these storms at sea as we made our way to Messina.

We head out with caution and can see the heavy thunder clouds on the mountains. We race them to get out of the way as they head out to sea, as fast as the boat and wind will take us. The waves and wind are in our favor with a following sea, and we make good time. We almost get out of the way of the very big storm, but catch it on the edge, so get pounded by rain for about an hour. Luckily, the wind and waves were not too great. It is actually cold.  I get out by winter raincoat and John puts on his wetsuite.

We end up dodging storms all day as we make our way to the Straits of Messina. Entering the Straights, the wind and waves are against us, and it is a grueling few hours making our way to Messina. John does most of the skippering as he had a good night’s rest, and does a great job getting us there. We hit winds of 30mph and are pounded and sprayed. Finally, we make it into Messina after about 9 nine hours from when we left Roccella Ionica. The currents here are phenomenal. You see whirlpools and riptides everywhere, and the strength of the current is clearly visible on the surface. Even the Marina we are in has strong currents. Definitely not going swimming here, even though the water is a beautiful color and crystal clear.

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Lightning turns night into day
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Sunrise as we leave Roccella Ionica
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My turn at the helm in the pounding rain
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More storms ahead
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John put on his wetsuite. We have just passed through the rain storm and the sun was out again.
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Entering Messina