From Spain to Australia and Back again - time to do the “Year in Review"

8th October - 8th January 2018

Night sky at home in Darwin 

171228 3 Out to dinner Trailer Boat Club Andrew Lee Scott and Chris

So three months has elapsed since we last updated our blog. We have travelled home to Australia, caught up with friends and family, celebrated Christmas and welcomed in the New Year and are now briefly back onboard Katherine in Cartagena Spain. A whirl wind of activity, work, celebrations, travel and catching up with great friends. 

So turning back the clock.

171020 2 Ian Charo and Andrew Madrid

We left Katherine in Yacht Port Cartagena in late October and drove to Madrid where we enjoyed the hospitality of Charo and Ian Brownlee. Charo and Ian kindly invited us to stay a few days prior to our departure for Australia complete with all our luggage. We were last in Madrid in 2011 so it was nice to enjoy the sights of this city through the eyes of some locals. A few very nice meals and reds were consumed during our stay and we look forward to catching up with them again as we pass through Madrid on our way to and from Cartagena.

171020 4 Dining out with Ian and Charm Matador Outfit


With 2018 now underway we thought we’d have a quick reflection on our 2017 season sailing in the Mediterranean.

First - Where did we go.

171231 1 Sailing season 2017 3400nm

2017 Sailing Season a 3500nm loop around the Mediterranean

170712 4 Scario Township from the anchorage170503 11 Ciutadella Menorca Harbour

We covered a lot of the Mediterranean in 2017 sailing from Cartagena in Spain to the Balearics, up to the French Coastline entering at Marseille and departing at Monaco for Corsica. From Northern Corsica it was across to Tuscany following the Italian Coastline south to the pretty village of Scario before sailing for the Aeolian Islands.  From the Aeolian Islands we entered Sciliy at Cap De Orlando where winds dictated we sail west down the Mesina Straits then ultimately and unplanned for this season, onto Malta and the Island of Gozo. Bizerte in Tunisia was a regulation stop to ensure the boat paperwork was kept up to date before heading north to sail the east coast of Sardinia. A bit of a u turn as we headed back to Rome to pick up honeymooners and a return to The Isle Of Elba and Scarlino. Finally the run home was down the east coast of Corsica, Northern Sardinia, The Balearics then back to the familiar harbour of Cartagena. 

Seven months and 3500nm of diverse scenery, weather, history and people.

On Anchor Torre De Portinatx Ibiza  

The Highlights.

There were many but if we had to pick a few standouts then they would have to be:

170509 1 Drive day to Beaulieu Sur Mer Villefranche sur mer

170417 13 Sipping Sangria  Portals Vells  Restaurant Lee and Andrew

Favourite Anchorage: Villafranche-Sur-Mer tucked between Nice and Monaco we spent a week in this beautiful bay with its quaint village and easy access to Nice or Monaco by train. 

170713 32 Sunset Stromboli

Nicest Beach Restaurant: Portals Vells - Restaurant Playa Del Mago Calvia on the island of Mallorca. Cafe style restaurant that turned out to serve beautiful meals, great Sangria with the scenic view for us of Katherine on anchor. 

Mother nature at its best: The Island of Stromboli in the Aeolian Island Group. We were not sure what the volcano would be up to on our visit but to sail by at night and to hear the boom of the volcano as it spat out lava into the night sky was pretty amazing and an event not to be forgotten for a while. 

Driving Gorge Du Verdon Provence

Prettiest region and definitely on the list to return to: Provence. Every bit as spectacular as the books try to explain. From the amazing drive along the Gorge Du Verdon, to the townships like Moustiers-Ste-Marie, Gordes, Mons, the list goes on of beautiful quaint historical places to visit and stunning scenery. 

Best Island Anchorage: Porquerolles a small island off the french coastline where nature has been preserved. It was just a shame the water temperature was way to cold for us to swim or dive at the time. 

Scariest Road Trip - Driving in Palermo Sicily almost took this award but we still think ultimately it was Corsica that took the prize - a 45 minute scenic drive to a viewing point recommended by the tourist information centre in Corte - turned into a clutch burning, breathtaking drive. What the Tourist Officer neglected to mention was that the drive involved a one lane road up a mountainside with sheer drop offs where passing cars involved reversing precariously into nooks and hoping that you both had enough space and were not going to become part of the stunning scenery below. It was so worth it once we were back safe on a normal road. 

170622 16 Night 1 Pitigliano By Night Light

Most Impressive Accomodation: Pitigliano, a city perched on top of a tufa cliff where we stayed at the Casa Degli Archi which was simply stunning. Our accomodation was at the end of the village, accessed only on foot walking  down long twisting cobblestone streets and looking out to the valley below. We were so impressed we returned with my Nephew Ben and his new wife Renae as part of their Honeymoon trip.

170810 1 Cathedral - Ascending into cavern

Diving Destination: Gozo. Though not a fan of shore diving the Island of Gozo off Malta turned that opinion around. The small island has many of its dive sites accessed from the shore. Though not a lot of coral or fish life to be appreciated the highlight was definitely the intense blueness of the water. The dive centre was a short stroll from the marina making daily access easy. 

170527 6 Nice Harbour Jane Danny Paul Rose Lee and Andrew - Version 2

Here we need to stop because the more we reflect on the photos the more we remember the amazing places like southern Sicily and the town of Syracuse, visiting the Hypogeum in Malta, cruising with friends, road trips, diving trips to the Red Sea, the list goes on. 

Finally we would have to conclude that the overall highlight of the whole season would have to be the number of visitors we had join us onboard Katherine. Certainly being in the Mediterranean seemed to encourage a lot more friends to come and visit from all over the world and for all those that we got to share the sailing season with we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

So 2018, our 7th year onboard Katherine is about to begin, as always excited about the planning and can’t wait to set the sails. 

(For our gallery of friends onboard in 2017 click here)

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain