It's the morning of day ten, starting our third day at sea, we've awoken to the view of the first active volcano I've ever seen, Stomboli ,off the port beam, though the fiery spectacle expected fails to occur. If the mountain is active then it certainly appears to be resting at the moment- clouds envelope the summit and the houses clinging to the lower slopes give a peaceful unthreatened aura. Slowly the mountain is consigned to the past as we forge onwards along the coast of Sicily to the Straits of Messina, the three mile stretch of water that blocked the flight of Spartacus and his slave army over 1000 years ago.
As we approach that narrow and congested patch of sea ,crew line the deck eager to catch the spectacle of the passage. The captain has plans to tackle the strait under sail but the weather, ever fickle, has other ideas. The helm is brought over to bring us into the the channel, and with the wind blowing onto the starboard bow threatening to back the square sails and spoil our transit, we hand the squares. pulling them tight to the yards, preventing them from catching the wind and providing a driving force to the ship. The engines are brought up to full speed and the ship, not to be defeated in this endeavour, defiantly plows on through the waves.
After twenty minutes the straits were behind us but the Island of Sicily stretched on seemingly into infinity and was still visible well into the early morning watch at 4 am the next day, but eventually we left it behind.
Onwards through the day we sailed making best speed for Malta, an open expanse of sea providing no obstacle to the pioneering spirit embodied by the crew of Tenacious, so now here we are at anchor in a sheltered bay on the north end of the isle of Malta, a vast banquet provided by Graham to sate the eternal appetite of the crew, well for tonight anyway!!