Thursday, October 5, 2017

If Panarea and Salina seem off the map in the quiet month of October, then Alicudi & Filicudi feels like the absolute ends of the earth...







Alicudi & Filicudi - wild pearls of the Aeolian Islands
Forget glitzy Capri or crowded Rhodes and instead explore my  favorite hidden gems: 
Sleepy Alcudi and Filicudi with its painted houses.




The volcanic Aeolian Islands lie off the north coast of Sicily, remote and peaceful with dramatically beautiful landscapes enriched by the volcanic soil. 

Alicudi is the furthest west - and quite possibly one of the most isolated islands in the whole of the Med. Electricity and TV only arrived in the 1990s, there are no marked roads and just one hotel and one restaurant. What there is, however, is crystal-clear water and utter, blissful peace.






The island is a simple and basic place, with an absolutely unique atmosphere and fewer than 100 inhabitants. Its rugged charm and isolation attract a particular brand of voyager: adventurers, artists, writers and loners looking for some peace to reflect or to work.

Filicudi 
Our best spots are isolated and most can only be reached by boat since the island is surrounded by beautiful rocky cliffs.

To the north is a diver’s paradise. In the waters just off the northern coastline of Filicudi is where you will find the rock obelisk towering from the sea known as Scoglio della Canna.

If Panarea and Salina seem off the map in the quiet months, then Filicudi feels like the absolute ends of the earth...
With just a smattering of hippie-chic villas and small guesthouses, the island has recently become a second-home destination for tourist-weary Italians, especially Tuscans, who strive to keep it well off the radar. But Filicudi’s hermetic nature and remote location have long been a draw: The island has served as a hideaway for many artists and actors (Robert De Niro among them) since the 1970s.









Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What it looks like to sail to Italy’s Aeolian Islands....





Rising out of the cobalt-blue seas off Sicily's northeastern coast, the Aeolian Islands (Vulcano, Lipari, Salina, Panarea, Stromboli, Filicudi and Alicudi) are a little piece of paradise, a magical outdoor playground offering thrills and spills at every turn. Stunning waters provide sport for swimmers, 
sailors and divers, while trekkers can climb hissing volcanoes and gourmets can sip honey-sweet Malvasia wine.







The obvious base is Lipari, the largest and liveliest of the seven islands, but it's by no means the only option. Stromboli and Vulcano entertain nature lovers with awe-inspiring volcanic shenanigans and black-sand beaches. Ultra-chic Panarea offers luxurious living at lower prices in low season, while Filicudi and Alicudi have an end-of-the-line appeal that's irresistible for fans of off-the-beaten-track adventure.






Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Herbstsegeln rund um die Liparischen Inseln



Endlose Weite, Lavagestein und ein Riesenkrater.... Diese Insel ist wie eine Bühne. Gespielt wird: Spätsommer! Die reale Welt scheint nicht mehr vorhanden zu sein... 
Wer auf Vulcano war, der stinkt. Wie Hölle, Pest und Schwefel. Der zweite tätige Vulkan der Liparischen Inseln inszeniert keine ästhetischen Light-Shows, er schwitzt den fiesen Geruch von Mutter Erde aus. Vulkanforscher halten dies für wesentlich bedrohlicher als Strombolis regelmäßigen Feuerzauber.















Saturday, September 16, 2017

TOP 5 REASONS WHY I LOVE LIVING ON A SAILBOAT



    


Living on a sailboat sure sounds romantic, with sunsets, wine, and platters full of grapes and cheese on the gently rolling stern. In reality, it’s often windy and cold, with spray from waves settling in a light mist over clothes and hair. 


Sailboats also take a lot of work, and it sure is good to have someone handy on board.

I thank my lucky stars that Torsten knows how to fix everything and anything, and I’m in charge of the meals. I call myself the “support staff” for this boat, and that’s just fine with me. There are some amazing reasons to live on a sailboat, and here are a few.


1) WE CAN CHANGE OUR BACKYARD…VERY EASILY.

Even on a Wednesday night, we can take our sailboat and go somewhere beautiful. I love sailing our way up Sicily to China Camp, as the sun sets in bright oranges and yellows over the horizon. When we get to our anchorage, it’s so peaceful. Even though we live in a big city, it’s a place to find a little quiet, and we feel like we could be a world away.


2) I LOVE LIVING IN A SMALL SPACE

It may seem strange, but I really like the intimacy of a small space. Anywhere on the boat, we can chat with each other, and it’s always nice to have the other person close by. I also love working in the kitchen and smelling the fresh breeze through the companionway. I always feel so connected to nature!


3) SAILING IS EXCITING

I love living on the boat because it means I can go sailing, a lot. Sailing is something I love so much. The boat moves slow, at tops ten miles per hour, but it feels like a speeding racehorse as it heels over under the power of the wind, cutting through the waves. When I’m steering the boat, I feel like I’m at the helm of a powerful beast. I love being out in nature and really experiencing what the wind can do to the boat.


4) THE POTENTIAL FOR TRAVEL IS ENDLESS

I like having options when it comes to life, and with sailboat living, I know that we could just pick up and decide to go anywhere. Malta this winter? What about Greece? Maybe Croatia next summer. It’s fun thinking about the places we could go. The only thing that stops us is hurricane season....


5) NO MORE HOTELS AND AIRBNBS

One big drag about traveling is the constant need to stop and search on your phone or computer for your next hotel or Airbnb. And who knows if the place will even be safe and clean? With boat living, we can take our tiny apartment anywhere, and always have our stuff, our books, our cookware, our stove.


While living on the boat is often great, it also doesn’t come without struggle. A lot of things break on a boat, so somebody on board better be handy. Repairs can be costly, and you always have to keep a very close eye on the weather! Sailing can be cold and miserable, so if you don’t like wind and spray in your face, dress warmly! But those things seem small compared with the beauty and joy of being on a boat.







Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Where to sail in Italy



Italy offers some of the best sailing grounds in the Mediterranean. The lack of natural harbours and the limited numbers of places in the man-made marinas can make it challenging to find a berth during the summer months.

The food is absolutely superb! However, with careful preparation, a few key words in Italian and a little patience and understanding, the rewards will be well worth it. The strength of the wind varies greatly depending on the location and time of year.

The islands of Sardinia and Sicily tend to enjoy more wind than the Bay of Naples and the Riviera!



***Where to Sail in Italy:


Sicily 

Sicily is an attractive cruising ground, particularly along the northern and eastern coasts. It has a number of well-established marinas although they can be very expensive in the summer months. There are anchorages at Cefalu  and either side of Palermo. At the western end, San Vito lo Capo also has a comfortable marina and anchorage, which can be very useful in a Maestrale. Off the western end of Sicily lie the Egadi Islands, which provide some spectacularly clear water and secure anchorages. The cities of Trapani and Marsala are attractive destinations, but further round to the south the facilities diminish somewhat. The eastern side of Sicily has some beautiful cities and interesting sailing destinations, in particular: Siracusa, Catania and Taormina are well worth a visit. The marina at Riposto provides ring-side seats for any firework shows that Mount Etna chooses to put on! A trip through the Straits of Messina is made more interesting by the presence of whirlpools at certain states of the tide!




The Tuscan Islands & Argentario. 

The islands of Capraia, Elba, Giglio  and Giannutri are all accessible to yachts and provide a number of attractive harbours and plenty of anchorages, some even secluded in bad weather. On the mainland south of Livorno, the harbours of Cala di Medici, Punta Ala, and on the Argentario promontory: Porto Santo Stefano, Porto Ercole and Cala Galera, are all relatively large and comfortable, and any one of them would provide a fabulous base for exploring the area.



The Bay of Naples. 

It is not hard to see the appeal of the Bay of Naples for sailors. On the northern end, the islands of Ischia and Procida are both very accommodating to yachtsmen with several well-equipped marinas and a number of beautiful anchorages suitable in settled weather. In the centre, the famous outline of mount Vesuvius dominates the skyline with a number of marinas lining the coastline around Naples, some more attractive than others! On the southern end, the Island of Capri lies serenely off the Sorrento peninsular. Its harbour is famously expensive, but there is an anchorage to the side of it and a number of spectacular bays suitable for anchoring in settled weather. To the north of the bay, yachts can visit the beautiful Pontine Islands and to the south, the Amalfi coast beckons.



Sardinia. 

The island of Sardinia offers some of the best sailing in the world and has safe harbours more or less evenly spaced around the whole coast. The east side is more protected, and offers some spectacular beaches with white sand and clear water. It is a very popular holiday destination and the ‘Costa Smerelda’, in the north-east of the island, is very much a playground for the rich and famous. Harbours like Porto Cervo will let you stay for next to nothing out of season, but come the summer, they would be charging you hundreds, if not thousands of euros per night – if they would let you in at all! The western side of Sardinia is more rugged and more open to the Maestrale (Mistral). When it blows, great care must be taken by small yachts as the seas build alarmingly and there are few safe harbours to run to. The Strait of  Bonifacio, between Sardinia and Corsica, is a scary place to be in a full Maestrale. Further down the western side, there are some delightful sailing areas between the Island of San Pietro and Capo Teulada, the southernmost point of Sardinia.



The Aeolian Islands. 

Named after the God of Wind, Aeolus, the Aeolian Islands have a reputation for enjoying a little too much of it! However, most of the time they are delightful and they provide some of the most secure anchorages available in the Tyrrhenian. There are eight in all, the last being little more than a rock, jutting out of the sea. Visitors can anchor off the island of Stromboli, who’s active volcano occasionally provides a spectacular light show. The neighbouring island of Vulcano also has an active volcano, and here visitors can enjoy hot springs in the bay and volcanic mud baths ashore. The islands of Lipari and Salina are larger and have attractive towns with well established marinas. On the mainland, the attractive harbour of Tropea makes a good stopping off point when on passage to or from the Aeolian Islands.


Check out for more information! 

www.worldcruisingonline.de



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

We wish summer would never end


Hello again! 
Facebook just reminded me of the moment we decided to buy a sailboat in and to sail for an uncertain amount of time. The decision was made 4 years  ago ........



"You’ll realise the Atlantic is just like doing a few smaller passages in a row. It is a seminal moment, as the world seems to shrink. I think that it is a bit like falling in love, in that when it’s time to head off for good, you will just know.” Riley Whitelum




Capo d'Orlando was my first solid introduction to "Sicilia" this summer, and it was fabulous. A week of exploring beaches, getting lost on the crumbling old side streets in the hot sun, trying local dishes and hanging out in the markets, it couldn’t have been more local and more special. 
The town itself enjoys a spectacular position, looking over the Tyrrhenian sea and facing the Aeolian Islands, with to the rear the imposing green backdrop of Nebrodi.



Dadurch, dass wir jede Seemeile zwischen der Ostsee und Sizilien eigenständig zurückgelegt haben, wird uns gerade klar, was für einen Facettenreichtum verpassen, wenn wir einfach mit dem Flieger darüber hinweg sausen...im Flugzeug bekommt man eben einfach kein Gefühl für die unendliche Vielfalt und Schönheit unserer Erde.