Hygiene, oh hygiene ! We miss you so much ! A real impression of being sticky, with sheets tinted with perspiration, solar cream and mosquito repulsive. No, there is no shower nor washing machine aboard Karukera, which we should explain to the ormeggiatori, the marinas’ tenants, whom we offently have to negociate with ! We need to go to bars to go to the toilets, wash with the docks’ freshwater in our swimsuits. We also have a coconut-based soap that works in the seawater, and we rince with our solar showers. But it’s closer to grooming ourselves than really cleaning. We stink, but not too much !
Sailing with the sails is actually really confortable. A litlle detail that has its importance when you make the turn of the Mediterranean ! Leaving Ponza, we head to Ventotene in perfect conditions : flat sea with a moderate breeze. More than just pushing the boat, the breeze brings a delicous freshness. The crew is in an excellent mood, and the arrival on the Island, is not only beautiful, but comic ! There are two marinas on the island, which are neighbours. While we were arriving in front of the first one, a zodiac with two ormeggiatori from the second marina come to attract us : of course their marina is the best… Anyway, after a little negociation, the price for the night drops from 50 to 25 euros. With freshwater. Once the deal is closed, they leave to go negociate with other sailboats in the area, and at this moment a zodiac from the first harbour arrives, and tries to sell us his marina. Too bad, he is quite not convincing ! We arrive in the antic harbour (built by Aggrippa for Julia –Cesar’s daugther- to receive her lovers on the island), and the negociation is not finished. Yes, we are definitely sure that we agreed on 25 per night. He will agree to it once we told him we were going to have beers in his restaurant. The Island is wonderful, not too much touristic, and we leave on the following day to Naples’ Bay
On our way, we discover that the mainsail rail (the piece that allows us to regulate the sail’s angle) is getting ripped of. With a rope doing its job in the meanwhile, we disasemble it while sailing with the spinnaker.
The Spinnaker is pushing us to Naples’ Bay. We will spend one night in the gorgeous islands of Ischia and Procida, but the water is spoiled. We are used to dive to check up the anchor, and in Ischia, we discover a mix of sands/cans/sanitary towels/butts holding the anchor. What a pity that it’s not even enjoyable to bath with the quantity of trash floating. The zodiacs and other fast motor boats that pass quickly in the middle of the anchoring area have definitely exasperated us. They finish the noise/wave pollution around 2 to 3 o’clock in the night, and start back just after the sun sets. We are even thankful to those who pass at a moderate speed, with not too many waves, and avoiding the risk of damaging the propeller with a swimmer.
When we head out to Naples, the marinas are crowded, no room is left. So we head to Torre del Greco instead, a town near Naples. It feels like arriving in Cergy Pontoise when you planned to visit Paris. No big deal : we are very close to the Archeologic site of Pompei, and the Napolitan Cergy is quite charming. The stopover in a harbour is more than welcomed : long is the tasklist on Karukera. The repaired mainsail rail is installed, and we start a big cleaning !
But in the boat’s wedges, there is our flexible water tank. It is dirty, in the inside as well. This water is not used for drinking, but for the washing up and the cooking, and it has stagnated too much. We sterilize the tank with an appropriate product.
Oliver can now finish his turn for the washing up !
After this technical stop, we head to the Eolies, an archipel counting two active vulcanos. A 100miles after Capri, where we made a short stop, we have to make a night sailing. The wind will blow until midnight, and we will finish with the engine. At dawn, we see the Stromboli vulcano while dolphins come and play around the boat !
Stromboli is the second most active vulcano worldwide. He regulates his activity by his regularity instead of accumulating energy and releasing it violently. A pretty good idea, because we plan to anchor at the vulcano’s foot. The sand where the anchor is settled is black, and the fishs are very strange, and totaly unknown !
We can see the Vulcanos eruptions frequently, but the crater is on the other side. We organize a litlle trek with a local guide. The top of the mountain is at 900m, and we climb at night, the idea being to see the red lava in fusion. The show is impressive ! So much that we decide to stay one more night.
On the next night, we drop the anchor at the Sciara’s foot (the path that the lava takes), the time to have dinner. We feel ridiculously small compared to this giant monster, and we leave the anchoring to go sleep on the other side of the Island.
We have now sailed a little more than half of the trip. It is time to make a little sum up of our situation. Alix and Yahia have to leave the boat at the end of August : where ? We left France one month late because of our engine problems, and we have to be back before winter, so the itinerary has to be shortened. It’s time to make a decision. The crew really wants to go to Greece, the most eastern point of our trip. We won’t be able to go to the Cyclades islands, nor take the Corinthe Canal. We will visit the Ionian islands. Unfortunately, the weather is bad for ten days : without wind, how can we cross to Greece ? We will have to wait before going : 48h of engine is not an option. An other radical choice has to be made : we won’t be able to go to Tunisia. The itinerary is shortened, some of the stopovers canceled, the plane tickets of our friends booked. Obvious diasppointment, but we had to expect that our program was going to change. We want to enjoy Greece a maximum : we head to the Messina strait, the separation between Italy and Sicilia, to be as close to it as possible. As soon as the winds will blow, we will set sails !