The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

09 August 2021 | Sicily, Terrasini Sud (position: 38 09.412'N 13 04.709'E)
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)

Sicily, Palermo to Terrasini Sud

09 August 2021 | Sicily, Terrasini Sud (position: 38 09.412'N 13 04.709'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
the fair is in town!

We had until 11am to vacate the marina at Nautica Galizzi in Palermo so there was just enough time to take a look at the holding tank pump that decided to fail with zero resistance at our last pump out.  The holding tank and Henderson pump reside under the rear cabin bed so we basically sleep on top of our sh*t. It's not an ideal location but utilises unused space that would otherwise be wasted. However gaining access to this area is a nightmare as it requires removal of all the bedding, mattress, insulation, mesh air matting and boards all of which have to be relocated into the main saloon through a relatively narrow cabin door which generally requires a bit of pushing, pulling, yanking in amongst some cursing between us.  After taking the pump out and checking the casing and internal seals everything seemed fine but we found that the nut had come off the main spindle which ended up being the cause of the problem.  There was just enough time to return everything back to its rightful place before we departed to go off 'gunk holing', not in creeks or muddy rivers as in the true meaning of the word but instead to meander from anchorage to anchorage whilst we waited in anticipation for the temperature to soar. 

Our chosen anchorage at Terrasini Sud was located on the outer perimeter of Palermo airport and was a perfect location to be entertained by the occasional plane taking off and landing literally over us whilst we tried to cool off in the sea as and when we felt the need.   On the shore the evening fairground provided us with music and colourful lights interspersed by total darkness and cheers from the crowds as power cuts occurred throughout the evening.

We honestly thought that we were through the worst of the heat however by late evening the wind shifted southerly and we kid you not we were literally blasted with hot air for almost 24 hours. Nothing could have prepared us for this and by midnight we knew that sleep was going to be impossible. The air was so dry and intense that we felt as though we were in a sauna, sweating profusely with dry sore eyes. Below deck the internal cabin temperature recorded 37-39 degrees and we were unable to charge our mobile tech because of overheating. Outside, with our digital thermometer pointed (as only we would do) towards the glass fibre and stainless steel we recorded a whopping 43 degrees! Needless to say, it was a very unpleasant experience and one that we would prefer not to experience again but we count ourselves lucky as we were able to sit in an anchorage and able to cool off as necessary for temporary relief. Our thoughts were with those ashore with no air con and no access to the sea... it must have been unbearable. 

Total distance this season: 422.95 nautical miles

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
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 - Foleux, La Vilaine River 2012
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Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

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