July, 2010

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Friday, July 16th, 2010

Rounding Salina's Northeast Side

We cleared Portoferraio, Elba just before midnight on the 13th and slipped the ISIS out on the towline shortly afterward and headed out to sea. All went well and we settled into the routine of transit for the 320 nautical mile trip to Salina. The weather was excellent for the trip – light winds on the head, but calm seas all the way. We had periodic visitors as pods of dolphins came to play and preceded the FORTALEZA as she chugged south toward Salina with ISIS in tow. The nights were clear and star gazing helped pass the time

Two nights passed before catching the twin peaks of Salina rising up from the depths in front of us and we cast loose the ISIS just outside the harbor of Santa Marina at noon and were stern-too our berth just inside the breakwater in time for a late lunch. We settled into our new home pretty quickly. Tomorrow continues the survey started last year around Panarea which lies just to the northeast of Salina and preparations were made to get an early start.

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

The 4th of July came and went without the customary fireworks; it seemed somewhat anticlimactic as at least a couple of us kept expecting fireworks somewhere, but alias, not so much as a sparkler! We did work in a bar-b-cue and toasted to Independence Day with some wonderful wine from Penisola Sorrentina, around where we had worked around Capri.

THY SEA IS SO LARGE ...... OUR BOAT IS SO SMALL

Our last day at Ponza as spent preparing for the journey north to Elba. The ISIS was prepared for the 16 hour tow and equipment stowed for sea. Annalisa Zarattini, of the Superintendents for cultural heritage for Lazio met with us to review our results for the time we have spent at Ponza. The discovery of 4 new wrecks around the Isle of Zannone was pretty spectacular and Annalisa was dully appreciative.

We gave the crew shore leave in shifts as we are at anchorage and preparations to depart must be complete by this evening before the evening meal. Some of the crew toured the Island in a little yellow, oversized golf cart and managed to get off the beaten path. Some observed it was a little like squeezing 10Kg into a 5Kg space as they negotiated the tiny back “lanes” up and down the hill behind the town.

Later that evening, Fortaleza raised anchor at slowly streamed the ISIS slowly behind to tow her and began the 16 hour transit to the north and our next set of challenges.