Sicily

Still fed up with the sulphur smell of the Vulcano, we raised anchor after a long breakfast and left the bay Porto di Ponente. The smell of sulphur was certainly only an illusion, but it shows how much the impressions here on Vulcano keep us busy. When leaving the bay we waving to the neighbour and saying goodbye to the Aeolian Islands with course to Palermo. 

Vulcano

The water gurgles under our cat and with 15 knots of wind we make good progress. The weather forecast predicted a 0.2 meter high wave, which, to Gaby's chagrin, did not come true of course. For Gaby it was felt 2 meters waves, in fact they increased up to one meter during the day. The aft wind then creates a very special ship movement when the wave rolls under the boat and the wind then gets back into the sails. Surely nothing for sensitive stomachs and I was also feeling a little weak. Then only chewing gum helped. At least the wind came from the right direction. In the night to the morning the wind decreased more and more and left an unpleasant swell and flapping sails. Five nautical miles before Palermo we brought the sails in and sailed the last part under engine. We moored at the Marina Sitimar. Here we got a great welcome and they gave us tips on what we could do in Palermo.

Palermo Quattro Canti


Palermo Chiesa San Cataldo


Cattedrale di Palermo

Palermo is a city with a historical background. Founded in the 8th century, Arabs, Normans and Staufers lived in the city. Many buildings bear witness to a heyday that seems to be long gone. Even if many houses are left to decay, Palermo is still reinventing itself today. The streets are littered with streetfood restaurants where you can get typical Sicilian dishes at a reasonable price. In the market quarters, di Ballaro, del Capo or della Vucciria, life is pulsating. We threw ourselves into the middle of it and absorbed the atmosphere. The narrow streets, spacious parks and friendly people left a very positive image of Palermo for us. 

Palermo Via Maqueda

After three days we said goodbye to the city, not without taking a few good recommendations from Ben, the operator of the Sitimar Marina, for the further journey towards the west coast of Sicily. He said that this would be the most beautiful part of Sicily and I think he was not completely wrong. From Palermo we sailed to Balestrate, in the Gulf of Castellammare. Here is the nature reserve Orientata dello Zingaro and the little town of San Vito Lo Capo, which is well worth seeing. In Balestrate we stocked up with some supplies and visited the city. Although, as they told us, there are no more Corona cases, from 19:00 o'clock on, most of the streets are closed for the car traffic. It could be all right for us, as pedestrians can move more freely. After this short stop we continued our trip to the Egadi Islands. Nearly 45 nautical miles lay ahead of us and if the forecast predicts unfavorable conditions for us, this is usually true. The north wind came, how could it be different, not directly from the north, but a bit more westerly and so we sailed on the edge and made only slow progress. So we had a lot of time to enjoy the landscape and observe the nature reserve from the boat. 

San Vito Lo Capo

After it was clear that we would not reach the archipelago that day - we do not like to anchor at night in an unknown bay - we changed our plans and planned another overnight stop in Trapani. In my map on the homepage, which documents our travel planning and execution, there is a skull and crossbones marked. The symbol marks places where something happened to other sailors in the past. In this case a sailor was stolen his dinghi. As we did not want to stay long anyway, we did not anchor inside the harbour area but outside, which turned out to be a wrong decision. The anchor held without any problems but during the night the wind shifted from northwest to southeast and brought us worryingly close to the rock pier. At half past one in the night I woke up Gaby, of course with the necessary safety distance not to run into a right. I explained to her that the wind had changed and that we had to leave here. At 1:50 a.m. we raised anchor and shortly afterwards set sail. The deck spotlight and the sailing lights provided the necessary light. The wind and the high humidity made the handling uncomfortable and so we hurried to get back into the cockpit quickly. Up to 17 knots of wind from southeast were quite good. Actually, I expected to reach the bay Cale Rotonda on Favignana during the day, but our catamaran Katinka developed from a barge to a racing goat and didn't even think about going slow. No good coaxing helped. When we had the lighthouse Faro di Punta crosswise the morning just glowed red. 

Favignana Faro di Punta

The wind was still coming from the southeast and therefore now right on the nose. We pulled down the sails and slowly groped our way to the entrance of the bay. With the first daylight we dropped anchor on five meters of sand. The bay will be our starting point for the crossing to Sardinia. We also want to meet here with Janet and Heinz from the "Dar Melica". We got to know them last year on Elba and are curious how they experienced Corona. 

Favignana Cala Rotonda

If we met them and how our crossing to Sardinia was we will tell you next time. Until then, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.


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