The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

07 August 2021 | Sicily, Palermo, Nautica Galizzi (position: 38 07.372'N 13 22.218'E)
01 August 2021 | Sicily, Termini Imerese (position: 37 58.851'N 13 42.872'E) & Artemar Marina
27 July 2021 | Sicily, Cefalu (position: 38.02.042'N 14 02.463'E)
25 July 2021 | Sicily, Contrada Rais-Gerbi (position: 38 01.673'N 14 08.546'E)
24 July 2021 | Sicily, Capo d'Orlando, S.Carra (position: 38 09.354'N 14 47.674'E)
15 July 2021 | Sicily, Milazzo (position: 38 13.206'N 15 14.741'E)
10 July 2021 | Vulcano, Spaggia di Cannitello - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 22.318'N 15 00.287'E)
07 July 2021 | Lipari, Praia di Vinci - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 26.417'N 14 56.978'E)
30 June 2021 | Salina, Santa Marina - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 33. 071'N 14 52.208'E)
29 June 2021 | Lipari, Porto Pignatro Marina (position: 38 28.677'N 14 57.816'E)
27 June 2021 | Porticello, Lipari - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 30.636'N 14 57.963'E)
25 June 2021 | Caletta dei Zimmari, Panerea - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 37.600'N 15 03.993'E)
22 June 2021 | Porticello, Lipari - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 30.615'N 14 57.962'E)
16 June 2021 | Porto di Ponente, Vulcano - Aeolian Islands (position:38 25.221'N 14 57.182'E)
15 June 2021 | Milazzo (position: 38 13.217'N 15 14.710'E)
13 June 2021 | Taormina (position: 37 50.794'N 15 17.433'E)
12 June 2021 | Monte Pergola, Augusta (position: 37 14.234'N 15 14.010'E)
06 June 2021 | Siracusa anchorage (position: 37 03.604''N 15 16.734'E)
04 June 2021 | Portopalo (position: 36 40.140'N 15 06.726'E)
02 June 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)

Sicily, Termini Imerese to Palermo

07 August 2021 | Sicily, Palermo, Nautica Galizzi (position: 38 07.372'N 13 22.218'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
the Quattro Cannti crossroads with a Piaggio 'ape' (Italian for 'bee') three wheeled vehicle

Palermo, the Sicilian capital - fast, brash, loud and a really fascinating place to surround ourselves in a city that has been influenced by the past for its present day look - a fusion of architecture, culture and lifestyle all thanks to the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, French and Spanish. We are so pleased to have visited despite the very early start from Termini Imerese to spend what ended up as one and a half days enjoying the sights.

Originally we were going to catch the train from Termini Imerese to visit Palermo for the day but after some research we concluded it would not be sensible or enjoyable to see everything that we wanted in a day especially with the increase in temperature. We're at the start of a heatwave which is expected to get extreme within the next week.

We looked for anchorages near Palermo but they were out from the city centre. Having contacted three marinas which are actually privately owned pontoons run by a sailing club or individuals, one came up trumps. Nautica Galizzi but before they confirmed the booking we had to prove our vaccine status to our surprise. Cutting a long story short, we've had one or two challenges trying to obtain our EU Covid Pass or Green Card ready for the implementation date of 6 August. It's a new EU requirement in the quest of keeping business open and people safe. We ended up having to ask our doctor to provide it - as though he hasn't got enough work on! Anyway, we were able to provide the paperwork to the office and the booking was confirmed.

It's the norm for marinas to expect arrivals from mid/late afternoon but this marina allowed us to arrive after 11am. This was great news as we'd gained a few additional hours to spend more time immersed in city life and exploring. Needless to say, an early departure was necessary in order to time our arrival in Palermo for 11am.

The Quattro Cannti and the centre of the medieval town was our first stop where a set of baroque crossroads divide central Palermo into quadrants. In each corner a symmetrical fountain with tiers of statues - a King and a patron of the city. From here we could catch a ride on a horse and carriage or on a Piaggio 'ape' - a loveable bee like buzzing three wheeled vehicle used by farmers in Sicily but in Palermo the ride has been pimped somewhat to take tourists around the narrow medieval streets. E-scooters were also available to hire which proved extremely popular and provided a quicker way to move around the centre along with the familiar 'city sightseeing' red bus tour.


a narrow alley

We decided to walk although in this heat it was at a far slower pace with frequent stops for refreshments at the many street food kiosks - a Cannoli here, a Mojito there and an Aperol-Spritz in between! Our EU Covid Pass was required in order to gain entry to the Cathedral http://www.cattedrale.palermo.it/ and Norman Palace https://www.federicosecondo.org/palazzo-reale-2/. Strangely, it made us feel safer in the knowledge that everyone has had to prove their status in either paper or digital form. Will it help reduce the spread...who knows?


the Cathedral

Once inside we had the option to visit the tombs of Kings and Queens, including King Roger, the Treasury and the collection of Royal Jewellery from the 12th century. On a less hot and humid day we may have felt more inclined to pay the full price to see all of these superb things however we decided on a shorter tour which included a rooftop climb up a spiral staircase that seemed to go on for ages before we reached the roof to catch our breath and admire a beautiful panorama over the whole city with countless churches.


the Cathedral


crypts, highly decorated marble coffins


rooftop view

The Royal Palace of Palermo or Norman Palace wasn't the most impressive building from the outside however once inside our eyes fell on the Palatine Chapel. A true masterpiece of Arab Norman Byzantine style, commissioned by King Roger, the first king of Sicily and the best mosaic that we've seen to date. It's magnificent! We were speechless (and that doesn't happen too often) as we marvelled at the intricacy of the design and the time taken to create such a mosaic made with the tiniest of tiles.


the Norman Palace and garden took 15 years to complete


beautiful mosaics decorating all the walls and ceiling, photo's don't do it any justice

stunning hunting scene mosaic

Also on the itinerary was a visit to the catacombs to see thousands of well preserved mummies with the majority displayed hanging on the walls. Sadly despite the website saying it was open, it was shut for maintenance - no doubt someone has to maintain all those bodies!

It goes without saying that Palermo is yet another highlight and it would have been easy to spend more time here however an anchorage now beckons with the temperatures set to soar.

Total distance this season: 400.81 nautical miles

Sicily, Cefalu to Termini Imerese

01 August 2021 | Sicily, Termini Imerese (position: 37 58.851'N 13 42.872'E) & Artemar Marina
Bruce & Caroline Trott
the view from Termini Imerese anchorage

We can't believe our luck - yet again we've an easterly wind to take us along the coast which allowed us to sail under genoa for a few hours until we were becalmed with zero wind and a confused sea.


wild fires are becoming noticeably more frequent as we head further along the coastline. A short while later a sea plane arrived

Something didn't feel quite right and then in the distance we saw it, a squall heading towards us! Needless to say, we moved pretty quickly to furl in the sail and turn the engines on just in time. Within minutes all the excitement was over with but the wind had now shifted to a north west direction, right on our nose. We could have sailed the remaining hour or so if we tacked a couple of times but instead decided to motor the 4nm to anchor off Termini Imerese, a non touristy port, connected by sea with the port of Civitavecchia (GNV ferry) close to Rome as well as by road and rail: Messina-Palermo.

We had planned to change the engine oil on both engines the next day as well as the watermaker filters. Unfortunately the wind had other ideas turning our now familar and gentle easterly into a moderate wind bringing the sea and swell straight into the anchorage. It wasn't long before we were rolling uncomfortably so we made the split decision to relocate into Artemar Marina www.artemarnautica.com, one of the cheapest marinas along this coast at 60 euros a night and it would allow us to dispose of our rubbish as well as the waste oil and reprovision from several familiar supermarkets (Eurospin, EuroSpar, MD) all within easy walking distance. We also had time to explore the upper town and see the coastal views from the belvadere. As it happens fellow winter liveaboards, Bev and Kev from 'Kailani' arrived later the same day so we spent an enjoyable evening catching up whilst having glass or two :-).


surprisingly attractive upper town, compared to the port area!


a pleasant palm fringed walk offered panoramic views over the town, port and sea.

Total distance this season: 378.7 nautical miles

Sicily, Contrada Rais-Gerbi to Cefalu

27 July 2021 | Sicily, Cefalu (position: 38.02.042'N 14 02.463'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
Cefalu is situated roughly in the centre of the northern coast of Sicily and is one of the most attractive and atmospheric places we've visited so far along this part of the coastline. The town was originally a defensive settlement built on the huge rock that looms over the town known as 'La Rocca' until the Normans came along to re-establish the town to the foot of the rock as well as construct a magnificent cathedral that towers above both the tiny harbour and town.

It's possible to anchor on the eastern or western side of Cefalu or take a berth in the marina. Having motored all of six miles across the bay we decided to anchor on the eastern side, just off a rocky outcrop overlooked by a crumbling watch tower. With the forecast we felt it was the better side to anchor and the surrounding more natural than the western side.


dating back to the 16th century, 'Torre Caldura' is in desperate need of some TLC as it is an integral part of landscape and our view from aboard Flirtie


it's not a pool... it's crystal clear sea

We could get ashore by leaving the dinghy on the small beach near the marina. Access to the town was a short 20 minute coastal walk passing the lighthouse enroute.


a pleasant walk to town with a coastal view

If we'd anchored on the western side, 'old town' we could have left the dinghy along the town quay with immediate access to the beach and town centre.


fishermens houses and beach front


Cefalu old town video - from aboard Flirtie

The cathedral was massive and imposing with twin towers that are visible from several miles offshore. The interior lined with tall arches lead the way to a magnificent Byzantine-style mosaics all made from tiny tiles and in exceptional condition.


the Cathedral

Walking along narrow cobbled alleys lined with multi story fishermens houses and seeing rows of washing stretched between balconies offered ample shade below which was welcomed as we are starting to struggle with the heat.


walking an alley

On our meandering we came across a medieval public wash house at the bottom of a curving staircase made of lava and stone. The structure was built over the nearby river (allegedly formed by the tears of a mourning nymph!) to provide a fast flowing icy stream of water through 15 cast iron shaped lion heads and into numerous rectangular stone tanks and pools before leaving through tunnels that flow back into the sea. It was used by the locals well into the 20th century.


stone boards and washing positions for six... the gossip must have been rife!

Total distance this season: 363.19 nautical miles
Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
About:
Welcome to Sailing Yacht Flirtie's blog.

Our blog serves as a personal record of our adventures and experiences since leaving the UK in 2012 whilst allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with our whereabouts. [...]
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Yacht Flirtie's Photos - America's Cup 2011
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Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

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