12/01/2013, Horsham, Victoria, Australia
It's almost three weeks since our last blog and it has almost been as long to get over the jet lag we both seem to have this time.
A lot has happened in these last three weeks, we are now driving a car we have borrowed from one of my twin sons (thanks Tom). We have been successful in finding a unit to live in for the next few months, this Tuesday is the big move in day and my other twin son is going to help after work with his new 4wd (thanks Brad).
We have been house sitting for my uncle and aunty for five wonderful days out on their farm in the hills.
I started back at my old job with the Country Fire Authority and Annie starts back at her old job this week.
Most import is the catching up with some of our friends and some of our Horsham crew that sailed with us this year, we still have lots more to catch up with.
We even purchased fishing licenses and tried our luck in a few of the local lakes and the river, it was great to be out there just to feel the tranquility but no fish were harmed in the process.
11/11/2013, Melbourne, Australia
It has been almost a week since our last post.
We put in two good days completing all of the boat jobs required to leave Annecam for the winter and finished the week off with a lovely dinner at one of the many taverns in Licata with Lica, Gavin, Lesley, Bruce, Martha, Bob, John, Michelle, Andy, Paulina and George. They are just some of the wonderful cruisers we have met here in this marina.
Saturday we caught the bus from Licata to the Catania Airport and flew with Air Italia to Rome, it was good to fly over the Messina Straight and have a look where we had sailed from the air.
It was interesting going through passport control at Rome I received a stamp in my passport and Annie just got a wink and was waved through without one. Five and a half hours later we landed in Dubai, wow this airport is amazing to say the least, we were there at 4am and it was very busy with people everywhere. They are boasting that 57 million tourists went through Dubai International Airport last year. After a five and a half hour layover we were about to take off on our last leg of the journey back to Australia when we were told by the captain that there would be a delay because of a problem with the water on board, so after a two hour delay we were told that the problem was a switch was left in the wrong position that drained all of the fresh water into the waist holding tanks. After a bus, three flights and a couple of airport trains we arrived back on home soil in Melbourne at 0830 on Monday, just a nice 49 hours after we left Annecam in Sicily, Yes that is still the fastest way to cross the oceans.
Life is very jet lagged off Annecam.
Here is the photo
11/06/2013, Licata, Sicily
We have had a couple of very hectic days in Sicily. Yesterday we hired a car and drove from the marina here in Licata to the Trapani Airport so our guest Fiona could catch her flight to London, we started in driving rain with only one windscreen wiper working and that happened to be on the passenger side of the vehicle. After an hour or so of having to lean over to see where we were, I felt a bit like the hunch back of Notre dame. It was to be an easy drive they said, just follow the signs, that's ok if you can read them with a wet and dirty windscreen.
I said to the girls that we need a lemon and I was not talking about the car. We stopped for a break and a coffee at a fuel station to try to dodge the worst of the weather and we met a nice Sicilian with a very strong Canadian accent, it was there that I spotted they had a cut lime for the drinks. I asked if I could have a slice and they gave me a whole lime. Wow! What a difference it made with the citric acid from the lime on the outside of the glass making the water bead up and run straight off. We could see where we were going!!!! We still managed to get ourselves lost and after completing three laps through the heart of Castelvetrano we had to concede that we were lost and asked a young man at a market for directions. We finally got Fiona to the airport in plenty of time to catch her flight.
The drive back to Licata wasn't straight forward either, we managed to get back onto the highway but we were going in the opposite direction and after realising that the setting sun was on our port side and not our starboard we managed to find an off ramp to make the 'U-Turn'.
With the heavy rain, the windscreen wiper issue, getting lost and the crazy Sicilian drivers we had to share the road with, it was a big day.
Today Annie managed to complete all of the covers for the winches, outboard motor and the solar panels on our Sailrite sewing machine and they look good.
We found my Italian off ramp in the photo.
Life is always exiting on Annecam.
11/04/2013, Licata, Sicily
What a day! This morning we acted like mountain goats and climbed to the top of a huge hill to see the view from the castle at the top. The roads were so steep but the view was lovely. Then we walked down again which exercised different muscles.
This afternoon was a BBQ lunch with the 'League of Nations' from the marina. All the occupants at the marina were invited and lots came of all nationalities. We all brought a dish and dined together then learnt how to play the Finnish game of Molkky which was so much fun! The marina is wonderful and full of so many lovely people from all walks of life and all countries. Some will stay for winter onboard and others will leave the boat and go home. Some have their cats and dogs with them. It's an interesting life.
11/02/2013, Licata, Sicily
The more we see the more we like it here, the locals are friendly, the full time live-a-boards seem to be a great bunch and the marina staff can't do enough to make our stay a very enjoyable one.
Last night we met a couple of very interesting German sailors who have a wealth of knowladge between them, they are staying here for the winter on their yachts. Last year one of them wintered in Egypt and he said that it was fantastic and very cheap.
Most Friday evenings the marina hosts a captains meeting to have open forums on seamanship, communications, weather and heaps of other useful subjects. Each week there is an Italian class, 'I should go, my Italian sucks', plus they even have a choir getting ready for the Christmas carols, I'm not going to be here for Christmas, 'lucky them'.
We still have a few boat jobs that have to be completed, but tomorrow we might make the most of most likely the last weather window and go to play tourist to see what else is on this Island.
Life is pretty easy on Annecam.