Stromboli is an active volcano busily creating its own island.
We are at sea today and lost another hour of sleep last night but thereâ€™s lots to look at today so very few passengers take afternoon naps. Most of us spend the day out on deck with our cameras. We photograph the active volcano Stromboli as we sail around it. This volcano is not too far from Naples
, Pompeii and Vesuvius, just in case any of us needed a reminder of what a volcano can do. Stromboli is puffing clouds of black ash into the air and white clouds are even vented from the soil along the volcanoâ€™s sides. The air is full of ash and smoke. Itâ€™s truly impressive and very barren looking until we sail to the other side of the island and see a small town nestled on the flanks of the volcano.
We sail close enough to wonder how far the volcano could throw rocks
Wow, I canâ€™t even begin to imagine what it must be like to go to sleep every night with the jets of lava lighting up the clouds overhead. Donâ€™t think Iâ€™d sleep too deeply although the townsfolk here are fisherman and grew up on Stromboli. They are probably used to jets of lava and the ground rumbling and steaming.
Itâ€™s very windy and later becomes more so as we go through the Straits of Messina
between Italy and Sicily. The Straits are 20 miles long and about 2 miles wide and our ship is required to have a pilot to transverse it. The currents are notoriously strong and unpredictable. In Homerâ€™s Odyssey, Ulysses sailed through here threatened by a ship-devouring whirlpool on one side and a man-eating monster in the cliffs on the other. Iâ€™m pretty sure the man-eating monster is gone now but I hang over the side watching for the whirlpool. Itâ€™s just too windy, even for whirlpools.