The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
Subscribe to Updates!

Let us update you by email each time we make a post! Click here for details

Previous Posts
  • 2019 (4)
  • 2018 (6)
  • 2017 (25)
  • 2016 (23)
  • 2015 (19)
  • 2014 (25)
  • 2013 (35)
  • 2012 (49)
  • 2011 (45)
  • 2010 (33)
Worth Visiting:
Random Pics
img_2571 img_4670 img_6432 dsc07783

Cariati To Salerno – A Quick Run Up The Tyrrhenian Coast

Current Location: Salerno, Italy
Current Position: 40 39.97 N 014 43.17 E Click to view map.
Distance sailed since last post: 124 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track here

Wednesday, 29th April, 2015

After all the partying it was time to leave Cariati. The wind was perfect, so we had a fast downwind run to Crotone – even catching a nice big tuna on the way! Woohoo, sushi for lunch and tuna steaks for supper.

we only have 2 steaks left...time to  catch another one!!

Does it look like I wanted photos? I just wanted to clean it and eat it! well, we only have 2 steaks left…time to catch another one!!


Thursday April 30th

After getting our newly reconditioned engine checked out once more by Elio’s mechanic, and after some quick hello’s and goodbyes with Rick and Barb, who had just returned to Far Out, we cast off and motored out of the harbour.

The forecast was for fresh to strong winds coming off the Golfo di Squilace (Gulf of Squalls), but the forecast beyond that was for calms or contrary winds, so we decided to go for it. And it did just what was forecast! During the night we had up to 30kts apparent wind, close hauled on starboard, bashing into a very choppy sea. It was putting in the second reef that finally did me in – for the first time ever I was really seasick. Man, that is no fun!

Still, we did good time. By the morning the wind had dropped and we turned into the Messina Strait.

Suddenly at 11 am the wind filled in again. 18kts right on the nose, so we were tacking up the strait into its narrowness and all the ferries made us switch to motor. The timing with the current was perfect, and at 17:40 we were anchored outside the little harbour of Scilla.


life part behind us

Scilla and Life Part 2 behind us



IMG_1087-640What a lovely little village! Wandering through the back streets we discovered a guitar maker. This man, it turns out, makes guitars to order and ships around the world. He also makes a unique ancient type of guitar called a Batente which has multiple layers of wood inside the sounding hole, and produces a very interesting sound.

nice guy, took the time to tell us all about his passionate work and even sung and played some tunes for us

Nice guy, took the time to tell us all about his passionate work and even sung and played some tunes for us. Note the multiple layers in the sound box



Friday, May 1st.

From Scilla we motored in a flat calm for a couple of hours before the wind filled in a gave us some gorgeous sailing again.We put out the fishing lines and just before arriving at Tropea we caught another little tuna! Once again we anchored outside the harbour.

Tropea is gorgeous. It reminded us a little of Korcula, Croatia. And, best of all, we had arrived at the time of their special fiesta, commemorating the expulsion of Saracens and Turks way back.




Rather like Guy Fawkes day in the UK, this siesta is celebrated with some parades in which the prisoners are let in on donkeys/camels (reports seem to vary) which are then set fire.


Actually, this was pretty impressive. The donkeys/camels are like the Chinese dragons, fitted over a person who caries it. They dance into the town square, and then the animal explodes into a heap of fireworks – while there is still someone inside it!


Those fireworks are the donkeys/camels bursting into flame!


After that, they set off a whole bunch of Catherine wheels.


And then, the paper boat that is suspended over the gorge, is set alight, again with fireworks.

boat before set on fire

boat before set on fire

and boat on fire

and boat on fire

And finally there is the most spectacular firework display, which is set off from the beach, 50 meters below the town cliff, which basically put us at eye level with all the fireworks! One of the best displays we have ever seen. Photos just don’t capture it. But we sure got part of it on video!!!



So what else is Tropea famous for? Would you believe Red Onion Ice Cream! While Michele was telling us how Tropea was famous for being the original source of red onions, we were telling him that they even made ice cream from it. And they do! And it even tastes good – like caramelized onions.


it was hard to say goodbye to Tropea

it was hard to say goodbye to Tropea

Being such a delightful town, we stayed two nights before setting off northwards. Unfortunately the days of helpful winds were gone. Now it was just calms.

Monday, May 4th

Motoring. Fishing. No fish, just plastic bags. Anchored at 38 55.76 N 014 12.56 E just outside a tiny village called Gizzeria. Peaceful, ‘cos the town is DEAD!

Tuesday, May 5thTried to sail. Lasted about half an hour before the calm set in again. Motored. Fished. No fish. Anchored in 7m outside Amantea and had our first swim! 21 deg. Chilly! But 30 deg out of the water. Nice.


Then we carried on to Cetraro, anchoring there in 5m off the beach just outside the harbour. Walked into town and found a Lidl – carried the bags for the mile long walk back to the boat.

Wednesday, May 6th

Motored again. Anchored on the south side of Isole di Dino and took the kayak out to paddle around the island. Another hot day. Then went for a swim – 25 deg! Lovely. Still flat calm.



Then we continued our journey across Golfo di Policastro to Scario. Tied up to a free mooring ball in the tiny cove Cala di Iscoletta. Very pretty. One other French yacht in the cove.

our anchorage in this nice cove by Capo Iscoletti

our anchorage in this nice cove by Capo Iscoletti

At about 9pm, in the dark, a coast guard vessel turned up, poked around the cove with their spotlight, and then asked us if we were at anchor or on a mooring ball. Just as well we were on a ball, as this is a marine park with no anchoring permitted! But free mooring balls. Very nice.

Thursday, May 7th

Motored another 10 miles around the corner to Palinuro. We anchored on the south side of the headland, which has the town and port on the north side. We went ashore and climbed 465 steps, only to find that they ended at a private guest house. So then we went down them again. Walked along the beach a bit and then climbed a different set of steps. This time there were only 200 and the did lead across the isthmus to the town. after a gelato and cappuccino we then took the hike out to the lighthouse and back to our bay.

We then took the dinghy around the cape to visit all the caves, including the Blue Grotto which, Ceu says, was way better than the one in Vis, Croatia, for which they charged an entrance fee.

blue grotto

blue grotto – the light comes from an underwater tunnel

sulphur caves

sulphur caves

monks cave

monks cave


sometimes we think we have seen enough caves...but not really, beacause each time we go we are just delighted and amazed at this

sometimes we think we have seen enough caves…but not really, because each time we go we are just delighted and amazed with mother nature


amazing scenery all around

amazing scenery all around

Friday, May 8th

Finally some wind! Sailed close hauled. Half an hour later the wind vanished and we motored again. Finally arrived at Ogliastro Marina where we anchored off the beach. Quiet town, and everything closed.

Saturday, May 9th

Had an early departure as the plan was to stop off the beach by Paestum, so that we could go ashore and visit the ruins. Unfortunately, just at that time the onshore wind picked up and it got a bit too rough to risk kayaking ashore. So we pressed on to Salerno. From there we will get on public transportation and go visit Paestum, it’s near by and will be a nice trip inland as well.

Naturally, the wind dropped and the sea went calm again. Still no fish. Oh well.

Even so, we did still sail the whole way, close fetch on port. Just anchored off the beach at the west end of Salerno, as the forecast is for waves to be coming in from the west overnight, so we want to be tucked up under the cliffs.

here we are tonight, just north of Salerno.

here we are tonight, just west of Salerno.


Salerno, seen from our anchorage around the headland. Cruiseship day, stay away. This is the closest point to Pompeii. Popular spot for cruiseships

Salerno, seen from our anchorage around the headland. Cruise ship day, stay away. This is the closest point to Pompeii. Popular spot for cruise ships

Tomorrow we will go  ashore and explore this Amalfi coast.

5 Responses to “Cariati To Salerno – A Quick Run Up The Tyrrhenian Coast”

  • Manuel Goncalves:

    Finally caught a fish??
    And a decent one at that!!

    Congratulations, Cuz….

    • Noel:

      Hi Cuz…I was just thinking of you
      I was hoping you were reading my blog and wondering when you are coming for a visit?? Beautiful Amalfi coast and Capri island in the next few days.
      Rome airport is near by!
      big hug

  • Alastair McMichael:

    We’re about to leave for Europe (from Perth Australia – by plane!) to cruise from Italy, down the west coast of Corsica to Sardinia, so thought I’d do a little research. I googled “sailing blogs Sardinia” and found one by a Noel Swanson. Hey, I used to know a guy with that name, but this one sounds like he’s Canadian. Must be a coincidence.

    Nope – read on – Southampton Uni / OK dinghies / etc…! Same guy….

    Hi Noel..!! It must be 35 years since we team raced for Southampton Uni together….!
    Sounds like you are living the dream, my old friend!
    I have enjoyed reading some of your blog and will read more. Your Google map of your travels is truly impressive and inspiring.

    We bought an Arcona 430 last year and based in San Remo for 12 months while we cruised the French and Italian Riviera, North Corsica, Elba etc but this year we plan to move south and base Escapade in Sardinia for the next 12 months. We’re still in full time employment so can only sail a few weeks at a time. The dream is getting closer though!

    Great to stumble across your blog.

    Alastair McMichael

    • Noel:

      Oh My Goodness! So good to hear from you Ali! Wow. So what are you dates? As you know, we are very close to Sardinia and Corsica at the moment, So tell us when and where you are and perhaps we can divert to meet up with you! That would be so cool.

      • Alastair McMichael:

        Hi Noel.

        Escapade is in Sanremo and we go there on Friday 5th June. We’ll then spend a few days on her with some UK friends. My sister Kate and her husband (joint owners with us) join us on Sunday 7th and we’ll have a couple of days to get organised before we leave to head south. Initially (say) Calvi and then down the west coast of Corsica over the next 10 days or so. Our daughter Sarah and a friend of hers join us on 21st June hopefully in Olbia and then we have a final week cruising La Maddalena group before we head back to Oz. We will leave Escapade in Portisco and then come back in August to cruise more of Sardinia.

        What are your plans? If you plan to keep heading North and along the Riviera then you might be around Sanremo by the time we get there. We cruised that whole strip last year so can make a few suggestions of places not to miss! But you may be heading somewhere else?!

        As you say, it would be cool to catch up!

        Cheers, Alastair

Leave a Reply