So, we are finally on the water! We travelled by train from Espinho to Lisbon on May, 18 and then took a flight to Rome at the end of the afternoon. In this way, our pet Babalu only had to go on the cargo from Lisbon to Rome. If we had a flight from Porto, it had been two legs and too much stress for Babalu. From Rome we took a rented car and drove to Crotone where we arrived on May 22 as planned. We spent 3 days in Pompei from where we visited the Amalfi coast, Naples, Sorrento and Salerno. The Amalfi coast was really beautiful.

Elio, from the Porto Vechio Services, had the antifouling paint ready on Margarida. During the afternoon of Monday and morning of Tuesday, I prepaired all the rest, namely, placing the 60 meters of 10mmm chain and the 20 Kg anchor back on the anchor lock, replace the propeller anode zinc, and place back all the lines that control the main sail. Iris made all the primary cleaning. In the afternoon, Margarida was in the water.

It was our idea to be in the marina of Crotone just 2 days. We had to complete the cleaning, set the genoa, and so on. However we stayed there 5 days because of a North wind that last until Sunday, May, 28. We took the opportunity to do things that were not planned as to take Babalu to a Pet Shop to shear the hair. At 2pm on Sunday, the wind came down and we went to the office of the marina, payed the mooring fees (200 euros for 5 days) and sailed straight away. Our destination was Ciro Marina (18 miles to the north) or Cariati Marina (30 miles to the north). In the first 2 hours we got winds between 15 and 20 knots but then they went to 10 or less. So we decided to go to Cariati marina where we arrived at 8pm. No sails just the engine.

Monday morning we visited the old town of Cariati on the top of a hill. At midday we started our sail to Policoro Marina. Again, always on the engine. To make this video we stopped the engine.

Cariati and Policoro are not in the normal path of sailors that go to, or come from, Greece. In the past years, we crossed the Golf of Taranto 4 times but we have done it directly from Crotone to Santa Maria di Leuca and vice versa. So these marinas in the north of the Golf of Taranto are relatively cheap for Italian standards (35 euros in Cariati and 27 euros in Policoro). The marina of Policoro is a touristic complex that should be at its peak in the months of July and August. In May it was very quiet as it can be seen in this video:

 

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A recent change on the Portuguese Nautical Regulations determined that Margarida will have to be inspected in 2015, only! This is great news as we can extend our stay in the Oriental Mediterranean. This is our plan for 2019! 

 

 

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