Tuesday's wake up call was a beautiful (?) rendition of 'Happy Birthday' to Josh, who celebrated his 18th by eating lots of Graham's marvellous cake, getting drenched up aloft while the heavens put on a spectacular sound and light show and having a good night out in Riposto, Sicily. Aft Starboard's guide to eating out in Riposto is get Alf to chat up the locals (who will lead you to a restaurant with delicious fish dishes) BEFORE you walk miles looking for somewhere to eat!
Arriving in Riposto we had a glorious view of a snow-topped Etna. On Wednesday the summit was covered in cloud but most of the intrepid voyage crew ventured upwards in a small coach. We were rewarded with views of many trees with lemons or oranges on, views of the coast and the patch of turquoise water amongst the deeper blue sea which we had sailed into the previous day and a walk in the snow around a crater with the cloud clearing for a beautiful view of the sunlit, snow-covered higher slopes with clear blue sky behind. Bosun's Mates and helpers bent on the main t'gallant so we no longer have an imaginary one!
Today we wanted to sail to Reggio Calabria, on the toe of the boot of Italy, but the expected wind did not materialise so engines had to be used more than we would have liked. Some sails were set but speed dropped to below 1 knot. Katabatic winds gusting to 30 knots hit later, but fortunately after sails had been furled/handed so now we are safely alongside.