After checking in to Italy in Ancona and the marina we had to officially check into Italy, Paul was directed to the Port Police but there was no-one in the office. He checked again the next day to no avail.

“We weren’t sure about how Lilly would take to sailing, she had been sailing on our tiny catamaran when she was a puppy, she had lived on Georgina, our motor boat in Falmouth for 2 years. It would be her first overnight voyage and first big sail.”

 After 3 days we thought we had better find out what else we must do to find them and found on the internet an office in the main docks. We still had our hire van in Ancona so we drove the 3 miles to the Port Police. After an hour or two going backwards and forwards we gave up. We just couldn’t find it. We went grocery shopping instead. We had tried to check in and again failed miserably.

 We came back to the boat and took down our quarantine flag in defiance. (The flag etiquette of the sailing world takes some getting used to). We had tried and failed to check into Italy! We had arrived on the Sunday, given up checking in on the Wednesday when we were approached on the Thursday by three men in jeans and flip flops.

 They said they were the Port Police! We looked surprised but invited them cautiously onto the boat. They said no, they needed to see our paper work on the pontoon. Paul (as Captain) took out our documents and they filled in their forms. They were most impressed when Paul then took out our portable printer and printed out the form so we could have a copy. We explained that we were leaving Italy in the next few days and how did we go about checking out of Italy. They said it wouldn’t be necessary and all we had to do was make sure we bought some Italian wine for our voyage down the coast and across to Greece.

Phew …. That was ok then. We had the documentation, no one was upset, Italy was totally relaxed about our movements. I wasn’t 100% convinced that they were who they said they were on account of their attire, but hopefully the paperwork would be enough for our purposes.

 We now had our dog Lilly, all of our belongings and we were almost ready to set sail down the East coast of Italy and head for Corfu in Greece. We had had a great few days with Ben and Kat who had kindly driven the van down for us. They were heading back to the UK and we prepared for our next sail.

 We weren’t sure about how Lilly would take to sailing, she had been sailing on our tiny catamaran when she was a puppy, she had lived on Georgina, our motor boat in Falmouth for 2 years. It would be her first overnight voyage and first big sail.

Unfortunately the wind had died to almost nothing so we knew we would have to motor a fair bit to make any progress at all. We planned to travel about 150 nautical miles, a little further than our first sail. We could stay the night in Tremoli then travel the same distance again down to Brindisi before making the crossing to Greece.

The weather was beautiful, the seas were calm, we really looked forward to this overnight voyage even though we had the engines running most of the way. Lilly was absolutely fine. She loved the new boat, it was less noisy, less rocky, much more room and the weather was warm and dry. Everything a Visla needs.

Luckily the helm seat has room for two because this is where she stayed for most of the trip. She could see everything and be close to daddy too. Perfect!

 We had made good time and arrived in Tremoli about 10am on the Sunday morning again. It looked very run down, messy with lots of fishing vessels. There was a marina in the corner, but I was reluctant to pay another £100 for an overnight space.

 “Why don’t we carry on” I hesitantly suggested. Paul quickly agreed that if we were all happy we could easily do that. I suggested we look for a smaller port than Brindisi too. I knew it would be large, dirty, noisy and full of ferries and cost a fortune to stay there.

 The afternoon bought us a little more wind. We could put our asymmetrical spinnaker up and have a lovely quiet, gentle sail for a few hours. It was glorious. An asymmetrical spinnaker (or cruising chute) means we can position it either directly in front (which is how a normal spinnaker is set) or slightly off to one side or the other so we can use it from anything from a run or a broad reach through to a beam reach, giving us a lot more sail and therefore, hopefully speed.

 From my limited experience, (and non sail speak) a run is when the wind is from behind, a broad reach is between 120 and 150 degrees behind and a beam reach is when the wind comes from the side.

 Our third night sailing unfortunately was under motor as the wind had again dropped, we had a peaceful easy night and arrived a lovely southern Italian village just a few miles north of Brindisi called Villanova.

 It just had room for a few boats, it looked very sleepy, the mooring ropes were tangled and untidy but it was great. We had a few attempts at untangling the mooring lines and eventually we were secure. It was the middle of the day so we were told to pay later when the sun not so hot!

 We realised how much hotter it was there than in Ancona, we definitely would have to wait before walking Lilly. When we did, we realised we could walk along the coast line so she could be free to wander. It was also much cooler there than in the town. By the time we had paid for our mooring, (we decided we would stay for 3 nights) we realised we had about €30 left. I went to find a cashpoint and a restaurant for us to have a treat.

 Unfortunately, there wasn’t a cashpoint and no-one took cards. We wouldn’t be able to have a meal out and our shopping would be extremely limited. This was a shame because there was a Focaccia shop … thats what they did and a mozzarella shop (they did a few different sizes). We bought what we could and enjoyed some scrummy food aboard! We walked Lilly, we cleaned the boat, we adjusted the sails, we threw out some more of the things left on the boat that we wouldn’t need. We started making our boat into our home!

 It wasn’t long before Thursday arrived and hopefully with a bit more wind. We set sail for Greece! Thank you Italy, a lovely 10 days, great food, great weather, but no swimming yet.

We are Free to Sail 57

We are Free to Sail 57

We are back on anchor and free to sail.  (In the image above is the bay we are now sitting in). Well that is the theory anyway!  In reality we need to do another shop and we need to pick up a parcel that hasn’t arrived yet So in the meantime we can test all of our...

The Sunday Lunch Club 56

The Sunday Lunch Club 56

Overwintering on a boat in Samos Marina, on the beautiful Greek island of Samos could be quite a lonely affair if it wasn’t for the live-aboard community, let’s refer to them as the ‘exuberant partakers of the odd libation’.... so one naturally forms, The Sunday Lunch...

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