Friday, 26 August 2011

Voyage Italy - Montenegro

On the 24th morning we leave behind the shores of Macaronia. It was a short and hectic visit, not much to write home about but whats done is done.

Stromboli (Copyright John Seach)

Same evening I am on duty and we are passing the Stromboli Island where there is an active volcano for the last 13.000 years. We watch with binoculars miles away and one could see how the lava was spewing out of the mountain top. At first we thought it was lights from cars or the houses on the island but then we consulted the chart and realized it must be the volcano. Pretty awesome to witness the power of nature.

Arrival Montenegro

As we passed Stromboli we came into the Strait of Messina. There was the usual VTS communication and following the traffic separation scheme. No incidents and hardly any traffic, like a walk in the park. The following day went at sea and the weather was good for us.


On the morning 26th we arrive to the shores of Montenegro and take pilot to enter the fiord. This area used to be a major submarine base for the Sovietunion in its hey day but now it was merely an attraction. I did not learn whether the mountain caverns were accessible but we could spot the entrances.

Sunset in Tivat

It took us abt 2 hrs to arrive Tivat and we made stern to at the Porto Montenegro Marina. The arrangement is very comfortable, there is ample space to the yacht next to us and we could even put down the tender if we'd prefer to. Another trip completed.

Tivat Marina, Porto Montenegro

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Climbing Mount Vesuvius

Art at the roadside

View over Napoli

Having seen the scavi at Pompeii we discussed where to go for our next destination. Some of the crew wated to go back and then there was only me, Andreas and Andrei who shared same interest to climb Mount Vesuvius. 

Lava road from the last eruption


Well, all said and done we gave our marching orders to the taxi man and off we went. The Mountain is nowadays declared a National Park and the road up is beautiful with greenery and art posted on the roadsides. 


Volcano is still smoking...

We arrived to the base of the caldera and had to walk up the rest of the way. My legs were under pressure as I had exerted myself the previous evening with my stint down Mount Faito. It hurt but I just took it plodded onwards and upwards. The caldera was pretty much lifeless and consisted of rubble and rocks. There was a path leading up and once there the path continued along the edge of the caldera. 



The view was fantastic although the visibility was not that great as the air was a bit hazy. Peering down the caldera I could still see smoke rising up in the air testifying to the fact that the volcano was only sleeping, not extinct. We continued walking and came around about 180 degrees. 

View over bay of Napoli

From this point we could clearly see Pompeii that was covered by the volcano in it's famous eruption during the Roman era. As the path ended there was a souvenir shop cum bar and we sampled some local wines while admiring the scenery. 

Andreas, Andrei & me

As we finished whetting our whistles we turned back and headed for the parking lot. During the walk we passed another 2 souvenir shops cum bars and had a cup of wine in each of them. Finally we came back down to the parking lot and headed back to Marina di Stabia. 
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Last time I did not have enough time to discover Pompeii so I decided to join the other crew on their excursion to the ruins.

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Monday, 22 August 2011

Climbing Mount Faito

As I had some time on my hands I went ashore for a walk, in flip-flops. I ended up to the cable car and bought a ticket to go up to the top of Mount Faito. While waiting for the scheduled ascent I had an Italian Peroni beer at the station bar. Finally the car came and we inserted ourselves into the "bubble". People could only stand and I was clever enough to go stand in the aft so I could get a good photo shooting view.
Castellammare di Stabia

View over Bay of Napoli

It exactly 8 minutes to get up to the top at the speed of 7.5m/s according to the data placard in the station. The placard was not far away from the truth as the ascent was quite rapid and it seemed we were on top in no time.

More higher

M/y Indian Empress in Marina di Stabia

I disembarked the car and walked about the premises, I must say it was a bit disappointing. The top was covered in high pine trees and there were a few restaurants and souvenir shops. I took to walking along a path that advertised a restaurant but as I git further on it the path was siding with big satellite dishes and some utility buildings. I never saw the restaurant as a hole in the fence leading downhill caught my attention... 

View from the top towards Mount Vesuvius

Flora - thistles

I took off my flip flops as they seemed more slippery on the cover of pine needles on the sandy ground. And so I was surfing downwards for some good photo angles. I was looking back and saw myself about a hundred meters from the fence and the ground appeared soft and sandy so climbing would be hard. I turned my back on the top and started my descent towards civilization.

Way down

The only living things I met 

The going was easy as the slope was not too steep at first and I was frequently crossing over the road that was going up to the top (or down to Castellammare di Stabia). Then I came to such steep places that I could not think of trying going down without climbing gear and I did not think my toes and fingers were enough. The bare rock was really sharp and not really suitable for barefoot wandering either. So, I had to double back to the road and I started walking.

It's a long road...

Sometimes I went straight down through the bush

I walked and walked, at times I came across breathtaking vistas and I took some great shots but the sun was going down and I was not even near the town yet. There was not much choice and I kept on plodding downnwards along the road. The sun went down and it became dark. very dark as there was no street lights. I could still see the road from the ambient light from the sky and the town below me.

Someone before me had had beer on their trip

View from about midway

Some hour after sunset I started passing houses at a more frequent interval. I was entering town. I managed to find myself to the main road of Castellammare di Stabia that led to Marina di Stabia. At this time my feet were rather sore not to say in the least and I was lucky the flip flops had held together. I arrived to the Marina gate around 2300hrs and they were of course locked and closed. I had no other solution so I climbed over the gate, whatever the consequences. I needed a shower and some rest.

Marina di Stabia

Bay of Napoli

I arrive dthe ship a few minutes later and I found Anil, Andrei and some other crew sitting on the jetty discussing. I sat down for awhile and had some water after a long time. It had taken me 4 hrs to come down by foot. Some excursion...

Hot and sweaty

Coming to town
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