The Strait of Messina

Former electricity pylon in Messina Sicily is among the highest in the world

It was a beautiful Sunday when we sailed the Strait of Messina (Stretto di Messina) aboard Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas. A small boat complete with a Sword Fishing Tower stood directly in our path causing the Captain to sound the horn multiple times to get out of the way. The strait is a narrow funnel-shaped channel between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Italy.  In our case Sicily on the left and Italy on the right. Near the province of Messina is said to be its narrowest known point measuring a mere 1.9 mi. The prevailing strong ocean currents can make navigation difficult at times. These currents caused the strait to be feared by sailors of the past because the many oceanic conditions were thought to be caused by monsters of the sea.

In fact the strait consists of two main currents, one running south to north, and the other north to south. These currents are known to alternate about every six hours which forces water in the strait to drop anywhere from 6 to 8 inches. Needless to say we had a pilot boat to guide us safety through the entirety of the strait as we navigated from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ionian Sea in the Mediterranean. It was quite breezy out on deck but with the good weather these few shots were captured.