Keep an eye on wind and wave directions
One often refers to the “confused Seas of the Mediterranean” and sailors often complain that the wind is in the wrong direction “with waves coming from everywhere”. Currents are thought to be light or non-existent and in reality, the Mediterranean does have very strong currents which depend on tidal flows at the straits of Gibraltar. The Mediterranean is classified as non-tidal however it is not a lake and you should follow wind and wave directions very carefully. Often consulting too many weather sites makes decision-making more difficult. We recommend using Consorzio LaMMA for all round Mediterranean Wind and Sea conditions. Please take into account that all times referred to, are in UTC.
Messina strait currents
There are no tables for predicting currents in the Mediterranean as tide is insignificant. Nonetheless, currents can be strong and if you are going through the straits of Messina you should consult a website called Correnti dello Stretto where you will find daily time and direction tables for various waypoints. The website is in Italian and you will need to know four key Italian words in order to determine the direction of the current:
- stanca = slack
- picco = peak
- montante = northbound
- scendente = southbound
For local wind conditions, I use windguru however, you must bear in mind that the wind forecast does not take into account the peculiarity of the Taormina Moorings location. The protection behind the cape and the location beneath the Taormina hills means that at the mooring field, the wind direction will often be different to what you would expect offshore.