01 January 2020 | Panama City
10 October 2019 | Siracusa, Sicily
19 September 2019 | Catania
09 September 2019 | Malta
03 September 2019 | Siracusa
22 August 2019 | Taormina
17 August 2019 | Taormina
17 August 2019 | Castelmola
13 August 2019 | Taormina
10 August 2019 | Taormina
07 August 2019 | Taormina
06 August 2019 | Taormina
06 August 2019 | Taormina
04 August 2019 | Taormina Italy
02 August 2019 | Taormina
02 August 2019 | Mediterranean Sea
31 July 2019 | Portopalo Sicily
The adventure continues...
01 January 2020 | Panama City
vikki Cassar Torreggiani | Humid hot
Well I thought I would do a bit of an update ! Some of our friends don’t have Facebook and haven’t heard much on the rest of the trip.
I’ve been back at house in Salt Spring which has not sold! Fortunately we left a few items behind and all has been just fine for me here.
I’ve had a chance to unwind after Italy and all the excitement aboard our new boat Koa e Kea.
Cam on the other hand has been full steam ahead to get her to La Cruz Mexico.
Cam was joined by three other crew members who sailed with him from Sicily and all the way across the Great Atlantic Ocean to St Lucia in the Canary Islands.
They had some tricky weather in the Med and crazy wind, I believe the worst was when they were in a Marina in Spain and well tied up!
They mentioned the wind hitting up to speeds of 50kph eek is all I can say! I’ve seen 40+ and that was WAY more than I ever wanted to see.
Once in St Lucia for various reasons the three other crew, it was the end of the trip for them.
Cam stayed there and had things fixed such as a ripped Spinnaker and a few other things that needed to be repaired after the long 20 day journey across the Atlantic.
A new crew and fellow sailor friend from Vancouver made the quick decision to join Cam for the rest of the trip to Mexico.
They left and sailed to Aruba where they stopped for the night to fix a few things.
They made really good time to Panama from Aruba. As some of you were following the tracker and could see some fast speed there.
Once in Panama, sadly though, Ron his new crew needed to head home just before Christmas, he ended up very sick and just couldn’t get better. Panama was excruciatingly hot and humid . Not a good place to be so far from home when you’re not well.
He is recovering now back in BC.
Cam has now gone through the canal and is waiting for his next crew to join him for the trip down the West Coast of Mexico.
Yes things did go wrong in the canal and the boat suffered a scrape, all stories to tell later. Cam met up with two guys on a boat from Duncan BC ! So cool!
Cam is hoping that if the winds are ok and they don’t end up waiting out weather they should be in La Cruz around Jan 20th ish.
I am really looking forward to seeing him and knowing that he can finally rest and relax . I am amazed by it all! I’ve worried a lot but I know Cam does the best he can at all times !
Cheers to all and Happy New Year ! Here’s to much good health ( if we don’t have that we don’t have much) for 2020.
Onward for Cam and back to BC for me
10 October 2019 | Siracusa, Sicily
vikki Cassar Torreggiani | warm
It has been sometime since I've posted here! Not too much going on other than touring around this beautiful city of Siracusa, Sicily. Really have enjoyed the little markets where you can pick out some kind of fresh food to create a meal with.Endless little cafes to stop at and have a beer usually with an incredible background of ancient buildings.
Our friends left and we stayed around Taormina for awhile. The boat repair was completed in Catania, although Cam still hasn't received the money from the Insurance company. It was a very slow process that really held us up. Have to say Sicily is a pretty fantastic place to be "held up" in .
We ended up in Siracusa again because it has the best protection while we wait for Cam's friends to arrive . Cam has been working hard on getting as much done to prepare the boat for the crossing. The boat has so many technical things its completely mind boggling to me!
Its interesting how little you can manage with living on a boat, you have very few "things" . I could only bring so much in the way of clothes, I think I repacked my suitcase 5 times each time unloading more clothes. When you have lots of room you can have clothes that you can't give up and never wear for years; on a boat not so much!. I had to tell myself OK ..." you never wear this now what makes you think you'll wear it on the boat" LOL LOL ... silly but glad I did because once your on the boat and it is as hot as it was you really don't need much. I still managed to bring too much.
Also the fridge space changes - we are lucky to have 3 drawer style fridges on the boat and they do hold a lot more than I thought they would. Still,you are limited yet it works.
None of those big drawers with Tupperware type stuff in them. This boat happened to have 6 of everything for dishes, quite a lot for a boat.
I have been learning that you really don't need a lot of stuff and that's it's actually easier! A small drawer of cooking utensils rather than a packed full one of items you never use.It is a better way to live,reuse, recycle, upcycle every little bit we do is helping. We have noticed a lot of plastic and garbage in the water, it's really sad to see this. In Catania we watched the fishing boats come in and literally through their garbage out the window of the boat into the water. I see the posts of Facebook with the mountains of plastic and I know I need to better . SORRY, off on a little rant there.
The weather is still very warm, if you're ever thinking about a trip to Sicily ( which I highly recommend ) Sept and Oct are great, less tourists and the weather is still fantastic. ALTHOUGH- we just had a few days of Thunderstorms and pouring rain!
It has been a great adventure, some days for me I was challenged by the big seas- actually really scared. Most days were beautiful.
There was so much to do on the boat so we didn't get as much time to sail as planned. You just go with the flow!
One of Cam's friends arrived yesterday and the other arrives late tonight. I head to the airport in Catania early tomorrow. Hoping we can find the right bus.
So excited for Cam and his sailor buddies ! Cam is really looking forward to the sailing.
Thanks for taking time to share this adventure with us, we have loved your comments!. Cam is always keen to hear how the Tai Chi group is doing.
See you in Salt Spring at some point.
19 September 2019 | Catania
vikki Cassar Torreggiani | Hot!
Wellllll.... we left Malta to head back to Sicily to try to get this insurance thing settled . We got back to Portopalo because it’s the nearest anchorage .
While we were there and after a lot of thought,Cam said let’s just forget it, the Italian insurance company was next to impossible to deal with. We were thinking, we could be waiting who knows how long.
So, we decided to go back to Malta and then head towards North Africa, Tunis and then Morocco. Getting us closer to Gilbralter where Cam will start out his Atlantic crossing.
So we were back in Malta again! I was thrilled of course! Malta has great marine supplies and groceries!
We took advantage of both.
While we were there we heard more from the insurance company! So after all that we decided to go back again to Sicily and deal with the boat repair. Off we went again!
When Cam and I first arrived we stayed at the Olive tree ranch. We went on and on about it to Penny and Fred.
We were determined to go have dinner at the ranch! Cam remembered a road right to the beach that the girl at the reception talked about. I remembered seeing people at a beach .( all close to where the boat was on the hard when we came to get it).
We headed off in the dinghy to shore, I told Penny that it may be a beach landing, so, she changed her leather sandals! Wellll uh ya!! It was a beach landing alright!
We were trying to scope the best landing area with our head lamp !
All I could see was Rock walls with big surf hitting them!!😳.
We went for the beach area ... as we got closer a very large wave filled the dinghy and soaked us!! Plus a bunch more behind it.
We were walking to the restaurant squishing as we stepped! Cam and Fred has seaweed all over their legs as they squished along the road!
We arrived at the restaurant a soaking mess! The way back wasn’t as bad ! It didn’t matter we were already drenched.
Next day we headed to Catania a large city in Sicily and where we originally flew in to.
This was after talking back and forth with George to arrange for the boat repair.
We had to go to the commercial docking area. Big transport trucks all around, fishing boats, ferries and huge cruise ships!
We are still here! Our neighbours are large fishing boats who leave about 8:30 at night and return early in the morning. Fred managed to go and get some fresh shrimp.
We have walked around the city quite a bit now. It’s an incredibly historic place! It’s also very sad in that it’s covered with graffiti! Beautiful historic buildings with horrible graffiti on them!
It’s also sad to see the amount of plastic garbage in the harbour. We’ve noticed this fishing boat next to us just dumps it’s plastic bags and other stuff over the side of the boat each day! Awful!
It hasn’t been the most ideal place to be, but we’ve made the best of it. We have two local cats that come regularly for fish handouts. At night we see that they’ve been boarding the boat, little black paw prints everywhere.
Today was really hot! Thankfully later in the day we had a big downpour and a breeze.
Penny and Fred leave in a couple of days. We will head back to Taormina if the paint on the fix is ready.
We miss swimming! You can’t swim in this harbour that’s for sure.
We have A sailor friend Brian arriving early October and he will be sailing across the Atlantic with Cam and another friend, Cory.
Not sure what will go on between then and now!
Bye for now!
We made it to Malta
09 September 2019 | Malta
vikki Cassar Torreggiani | Hot but cooler at night
We left Portopalo very early to head off to Malta, about 60km.
The Sea had very large swells! A little intimidating for me! We didn’t have a lot of wind but managed to sail . We had the main sail up and at times one other, makes the ride a bit smoother.
Cam seemed fine but the rest of us were a bit squeezy!
It was a long day, we arrived about 10 hours later . Seeing the Island from a boat was different than arriving at the airport... that’s for sure! For me, very special I never imagined this.
We headed into an area we thought we could anchor but it didn’t seem quite right. We left that spot and came around the corner to a beautiful area with an incredible view of the Valletta area .
The Royal Malta Yacht Club is right here as well and after calling a cousin here ( also a sailor) he gave us some good tips on where to take the dinghy.
We headed in to shore for dinner at the “ Black Pearl” an old ship now on shore and a restaurant. It started to pour rain, always good for a boat wash.
The next day we went in again to go and find a marine store. The back shower head needs to be replaced.
We were greeted by “ Joey” who is with the Yacht club.My cousin had called him, he said we could put the dinghy right at the RMYC. It was safe and secure there.
We found some part things and came back to the boat, Cam and Fred got started figuring out what was going on with the shower leaking.
They found a bunch of water and pumped it out. Cam could likely explain this much better than me!
Still need some more to parts to totally fix it.
The first touring we did was to head to Sliema and Balluta Bay. One, I wanted to see my Dad’s house which is still there, thankfully it’s a heritage site and can not be knocked down like so many of the other original Villas along the waterfront; and two, I was on a mission to have a a wonderful Maltese pastry called “ Pastizzi. They are so good.
It was incredible to share this with Cam ( I blabbed a lot about the pastries and Dad’s history ) Also to share with our friends from Kamloops... wow!
We did both and had a fantastic day.
Yesterday we went on the hop on hop off bus around the Island. This is such a great way to fit it all in and you have such s good view . First we walked around Valletta, I had a lot of memories from when I was here with Dad and my sisters. So glad I had that opportunity to be here with Dad because he could show us around and talk about his life in Malta.
Then back on the bus to Mdina the ancient walled village above . I love Mdina! You can imagine life there 500 years ago or so.
Malta has allowed buying passports- causing all kinds of unrest. Apparently the people that are buying passports are the type that can’t get one in other countries. It costs a lot of money . There’s building going on all over big cranes .Sad to see , the Island is not that big.
The people are protesting and trying to stop this, I hope they do.
It’s great to have Fred and Penny with us. Lots of laughs and many old high school stories.
We met up with the Kelowna couple we came across in Taormina. They were having their boat worked on here. That was fun to chat again . As life goes... it turns out they had friends in common with Fred and Penny .
We are having lunch today with my cousin David and his wife Hazel as well as a second cousin Edward ( we haven’t quite figured out how we are related yet lol)
Next stop Gozo.
I’ll be back .
Anchors away? Sort of!
03 September 2019 | Siracusa
vikki Cassar Torreggiani | Hot and a bit cloudy
We decided to head off to Siracusa, Sicily approximately 45nm away.
Our first big sail! We wanted to test all the sails and anything else along the way.
A very nice sail- it did get a bit slow but that’s all good when it’s a first go!
The main sail is huge! Beautiful sail!
We arrived in Siracusa, and it was dark .. according to our cruisers guide we were going to go in a certain area of the bay.
Penny was on the lookout and noticed some strange looking things in the water, and a lot of them!
So, we decided to go to another anchorage area.
We had thunder and lightning that night but woke up to a very nice day! Partly cloudy which is great for sight seeing. We loaded in to the dinghy and headed to shore to hopefully find an area to put the dinghy ( a bit of talk about dinghies being stolen) . Eventually we found a spot and headed off to tour around the town.
First stop was Castello Maniace, an ancient castle- 1240 ish give or take a few years ! It was hard to believe it could possibly be still be there!
Walking through I was imagining the hustle and bustle of the time.
Then we headed for a cold beer! It was really hot ( they seem to know Canadians like beer and play hockey! Hmmm?). A nice little place !
The view of course was stunning and we could even see the boat :-).
Penny and I managed to find a lovely dress shop packed with gorgeous dresses! We controlled ourselves.. the guys were a bit impatient lol.
The main square was just amazing, I’ve been to other places in Italy but this place was so impressive.
We continued on to walk through the charming streets full of quaint cafes and shops. We stumbled across a grocery store and stocked up on um “ Birra” oh and... veggies too.
Back to the boat for dinner .
Suddenly,.. Cam said “ we’ve dragged!
It happens, but this time is was a bit more complicated! Cam went to raise the anchor and nothing happened? He kept trying while Fred kept the boat steady.
After many attempts Cam realized he would need to crawl into the anchor locker to check the connections ( now my verbiage on these terms are not quite accurate, but you’ll get my drift right!)
This is a terribly awkward space for a guy his height,nevertheless he ventured in. After a lot of tools going down there Cam found out that whim ever installed the batteries didn’t tighten the connections therefore the windless anchor was not working.
All good! He fixed it ( of course ).
Then we were able to bring up the anchor and soon found out why we dragged! There was a huge chunk of carpet which the anchor had pierced so it didn’t get a good grip! Wow!
Although it was kind of intense ( for me anyway.. chicken ) it was a good thing it happened because we discovered that the connections weren’t done properly.
Whew! That night we relaxed and woke up the next day to head off to Porto Palo ( same place we started from where the boat was on the hard)
We had a nice sail from Siracusa to Porto Palo - we didn’t have a lot of wind but it’s good for learning. ( my opinion lol).
Well looks like tomorrow we are fine balky going to go to Malta . It seems that the weather will be fine. We will hang around there for a week or so.
Pretty exciting for me of course! Really looking forward to seeing my relatives that live in Gozo and Malta. Also excited to share where my Dad lived with Cam and Fred and Penny.
Boy, I sure never thought I would be on a sail boat sailing to Malta! Crazy! Wish my Dad was alive, he would have been so excited to know this.
It was raining but seems to have stopped. The sun is shining and we are having a lovely visit tonight.
Cheers from us!
31 August 2019
vikki Cassar Torreggiani
We are still in Taormina- and what a beautiful place to be ! Everything takes time ... quite a bit of time.
We started the engine and it made a squealing sound ... not unlike the sound it was making before we got the new Alternator belts. Cam checked it out and they were really loose! We needed them to be tightened, normally a job Cam can do but he's a bit of a loss without his usual tools. Cam took them all off and did some " stuff" down there !
We still needed " Giuseppe" to come by ( the guy that put the new ones in)..
All good now!
Fred and Penny arrived, long time friends from Kamloops days. Just great to have them on board!
It's been very hot here, the last couple of days are overcast but still very humid. In the ocean we go! There's not much else you can do in the heat- it's ok... we like it !
Cam and Fred worked in the washing machine today to replace the belt ( yes yet another belt!)
Easier said than done! They had to remove the drawer above the washer then stick their hand behind to get at the washer! It worked YAY.. but still something wasn't right. Cam found a bunch of sand in the filter - a LOT. Of sand. Couldn't have been good for it.
We are pretty sure we now have a fully functioning washing machine.
We had our first Gelato the other day- oh wow...wow. Stupidly good!
We continue to go to town and get veggies and other groceries. We've found a favourite cheese and meat place. The Provolone is incredible! There in little bundles and you choose the size you want, truly yummy!!
Hard not to talk about the food here!! It's all about it here! Also a big part of the sailing community. As we stroll through the town you come across the usual shops and little veggie trucks full of local veg and fruit.
The peaches give the Okanagon a run for their money alright!
I've been buying the local herbs for pasta- there's so many! Sicily is a little spicier than other parts of Italy.
You sprinkle this bag of incredibleness( this may not be a legal word)on your food!
Our days our keeping out of the sun! We thought Kamloops was hot in the summer- well this is quite a lot different! The humidity is unreal! I used to brag about how I never sweat!! Uh... not here! Drip.. drip!
Ah well, it's not bad in the whole scheme of things. 😊
We are really enjoying seeing all these incredible yachts that come and go here! It's quite unreal! These yachts are HUGE- 50' becomes small time here. It keeps it interesting!
Yesterday we were sitting on the deck and suddenly there was this really loud BANG- it was like nothing I've heard before ! I immediately thought" oh no, Mt Etna is exploding ". ( I had the recent news of the other volcano in Sicily erupting lol)
Well it was just a local thing I guess! Many explosions went off ! So loud!
We think we are ready to go for a sail! We will go out for the day and check that everything is in order.
We can't thank Google Translate App enough! Holy! It has been so fantastic! I had to take the laundry in sheets etc. Even that was an ordeal! Out came our phones to sort the pick up time choices! Whether we pay before or after. Things we just take for granted everyday.
This weekend is the 50th Anniversary of the BC Multihull Society- wishing them well! And congrats on such a milestone.
Not too much else exciting to say !
We are really enjoying our friends and will keep you posted !
Ciao all!! Stay well!
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