August 9th

We wake up to rain and wind, but are anxious to get to our final destination, even though the waves and wind are an uphill battle the whole way and we cannot sail. We make it through the Straights of Messina, and the tide is with us, even if the waves and wind are not, and we fly through there. Turning the corner, is another uphill battle. Five hours later, we are delighted to reach the Marina in Pontorosa. This is a huge complex with residences, each with their own berth, restaurants, hotel, pools, Lidos or Beach clubs with a bunch of canals and islands throughout. It reminds me a little of Huntington Harbor area in California.

They make us feel very welcome and we are excited to be here. We are told that Mount Etna had started spewing ashes and lava on Saturday, and there had been several deep explosions. We had noticed a heavy grey cloud over Mount Etna, but thought it was just a part of the storm system. Turns out it was partly that and partly huge columns of steam that the volcano was releasing into the air.

We both feel relieved and happy to be here – probably our last stop before we take the boat out of the water and return to the USA. A couple of weeks of R&R, prepping the boat for winter, and just detoxing from our adventurous few months of being on the move all the time.

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Sword fish harpooning boat returning to Messina
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John at helm
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Tower at end of channel of Straights of Messina