Category Archive

Blog Updates Blog Updates

The 2016 Odyssey is still being installed and back – dated. Check out the ‘Our Journey Pages for Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and France to catch up on the adventure.   Click on the tags in red below and you will be taken to the pages relating to the subject. It’s then just a matter of scrolling down and […]

2016 2016

From Mittelland Kanal to Havel Canal through lake district to Potsdam in August, then Potsdam to Zehdenick, September. Car journeys Nancy, France to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and return Potsdam, Germany to Poland and Return  

2015 2015

Click to view the map showing our trip through Canal du Midi to Sicily.

Port of Rome to Porto Azzurro, Elba (Elbe) Port of Rome to Porto Azzurro, Elba (Elbe)

A pleasant all night sail/motor where fishing boats were the only hazards to really beware of: in the Mediterranean very few have AIS and many don’t use their lights. Even when they see you, the helmsman will abruptly make a turn and head directly for you. The Isle of Elba (, some parts of which […]

2016 Mediterranean Journey
Elba Elba

Gratis has just been anchored in Porto Azzuro, Isle of Elba. In a first, we had calm waters all the way across. A tidbit: it was here that Napoleon was exiled for a short while after his first major defeat, but only a few months since he managed to escape – avoiding all military forces upon his way […]

Departing Porta di Roma

Just pulling out of Porta di Roma. Next stop Elba, then top of Corsica. About a day’s sail for each. Has been a lovely stay here. Close to buses and trains and fantastic facilities. 150 euro for the 3 nights.  

Vesuvius and Capri

What a magnificent day. On exiting the train station, the Colosseum was the sight that greeted us and it only continued getting better.

Port of Rome

Totally exhausted through lack of sleep caused by uncomfortable swells and an ornery wind, we have at last arrived in the Port of Rome.


We are anchored in Marina Piccolo, Capri. A tourist mecca, but for the short term exquisite.


After a 2 hour motor – yes, once again the wind was on the nose at 30 knots – in which we dodged ferries and commercial ships, Gratis arrived at the Messina marina.    

Return to Italy

After a tedious 3 day sail battling winds on the bow, we are heading into Reggio Calabria on mainland Italy. Wind blowing at 30 knots in Straits of Messina, so we will leaving the crossing over of the channel into Messina until tomorrow when it’s calmer. Sailing the Mediterranean is more difficult and uncomfortable than […]

Straits of Messina Straits of Messina

After a hard two day slog into winds of 25 to 40 knots we at last entered the Straits of Messina. Finally, the winds settled into those predicted: light and on the nose winds, we loved it. Did our comfortable sail last long? Hell no! Only an hour later the winds rushed in at 20+ […]

Preveza, Greece to Messina, Italy Preveza, Greece to Messina, Italy

A quick visit to the water police where our papers were signed, then to customs for handing in and procurement of a copy for our records, departure for Messina Italy took place under clear sunlight skies. The thunder of jet fighters speeding overhead deafened our ears before the shadows of the planes welcomed their arrival […]

Marina di Ragusa, Sicily to Seranda, Albania

Excitement had built over the day as our 20:00 departure time from the marina for our three day sail to Seranda approached. A final check of the weather, course plotted, and at last, after a long seven months, Gratis was out upon the waters. Fishing boats and ships galore made for an interesting first night’s motor to the […]

Gratis Painted

Sanded. Biaggio taping, then painting. Doesn’t our girl look beautiful topside! The guys in Marina di Ragusa boatyard have done a magnificent job.


This was our view of Etna from the car as we drove to Catania last week. The snow is rapidly melting.