Meeting friends in Sicily
15 September 2008
After a 30 hour crossing from Sardinia to Sicily, when we did some great sailing at high speed through the night, we arrived at San Vito Lo Capo, in the northwest corner of the island, at exactly the same time as our friends Terry and Sue, who had come to spend a week with us from the UK. The heat was welcomed by them but it was a huge difference to what they had left back home. However, after a swim in the warmest seas of our trip so far, and a beer, they seemed to easily settle into life aboard Deep Blue.
We were a bit concerned by the amount of baggage they brought with them and soon realised that most of it was staying with us. Terry should not have offered to bring out anything that we needed! Cheddar cheese, champagne (not requested but very much enjoyed), steaks, organic sausages and bacon from our favourite butchers, Cattermole's in New Buckenham, magazines, Sunday newspapers and stuff for the boat including the next electronic chart that we need for our journey and propeller anodes from Fox's Marina in Ipswich where our friend, John Skerratt, did a great job of sorting it all out for us. As an aside, we originally met John on a sailing holiday about 10 years ago when John was skipper of the flotilla group that we were in. You can imagine our surprise to meet him years later when we were boat shopping just before we left the UK.
We had a varied week anchoring out and mooring in a couple of marinas along the coast. In one harbour we tied against the town wall at no cost, and the other, a large unfinished marina, also allowed us to tie up with no cost involved. A good breeze meant that we could get some good sailing in too. Unlike Sardinia, the coast towards Palermo, the capital of Sicily, was quite built up so we didn't find the secluded coves that we had got used to until we got to a bay just outside Porticello. The bay was in a lovely setting and the swimming was great. Porticello however was the dirtiest harbour that we have ever experienced, and it was the first time that the antibacterial hand gel was used after landing there in the dinghy for a quick explore!
The week passed quickly and we arrived in Palermo in time to see a little of the city before, all too soon, they left for the UK. We are moored at Florio Yacht Club, and the manager, Alex Paladino and his staff, could not be more friendly or helpful .