We headed up from Marina de Ragusa to Syracuse for a couple of days last week (one night anchored on north side of the strait behind Capo Passero (good holding) out of the swell), then on towards Messina.
We had some wind! Etna was playing hell with strong gusts backwinding us.
After a night anchored on rock outside Stazzo, the anchor came up cleanly and we headed back to Acitrezza for better shelter. The gale blew (46 knots in the morning gusts coming down from Etna), boxing the compass. 52.6 knots last night as we got back aboard from the pizzeria. It wasn't so bad here, given that it's open to the north and that's where the gale came from, give or take. Only 40 miles fetch from Messina, so that helped keep the seas down.
By the way, Stazzo had far less water in the harbour than the pilot books led us to believe, with scattered rock.