After three days in Milazzo it was time to head east again. Another two night transit, 292 miles and 49 hours.
We set off with little wind and motored towards the Straits of Messina. Once we turned the corner south into the strait we picked up a some wind and had an enjoyable cruise down the east coast of Sicily, racing a Jeanneau 62 part of the way. Needless to say the 62 won! Once we got level with Pistunina and beyond the shipping lane, we turned south east and crossed the channel to the coast of the mainland. The wind picked up considerably and I found myself belting across the channel at 8.5 – 9.5 knots with 25 knots of wind on the quarter and the full main and genoa I had to steer manually as the autopilot could not cope with the gusts. At one point I looked down at the instruments saw we were making 10.7 knots STW (speed through the water).
After we rounded the toe of Italy the wind dropped off and we had a more leisurely sail heading east. he forecast for crossing the Ionian was calm, with little wind, but the following morning the wind got up to 22 knots and we batted along at 8.5 knots, dropping down to 7 knots after we had put in two reefs.
The rest of the trip across the Ionian was uneventful. We noticed as we headed east that the sea temperature was slowly rising and by the time we got to Lefkas it had reached 23.5 deg C.
Heading down the canal to Lefkas marina