2 clueless day skippers with Patience

A sunken statue , flamingos and a flying dinghy!

21 July 2023
Donna Smith
As we are basically on passage to Spain, this was always going to be a whistle stop tour of the South coast of Sicily as we need to keep moving. That said we have one more spot to report on before we head over to Sardinia. This was an anchorage behind one of the Egadi islands, that are the most western point of Sicily.

Saturday 15th July
We set off early from Sciacca towards the islands. There was very little wind, but enough to set up the huge blue striped cruising chute and have the most relaxing sail ever. Our cruising chute, as I may have mentioned, is not only gorgeous looking, but is made out of such light material (almost like the material used to make shell suits back in the day) that it requires very little wind to push us along. The result is you feel like you are gliding effortlessly across the sea on a magic carpet.

We chose the island of Marettimo, the furthest out to sea to stop. We were able to grab a mooring buoy and hunker down for the night behind the huge rugged cliff face. To be honest Marettimo, just 12.3 square Kms, is basically a rock rising to a height of 686m out of the sea. Despite this people actually live there, in a rather humble looking, isolated village of square brick fisherman's cottages, carved into the cliffs. From our buoy we couldn't even see any roads. A real gem, a true nod to yesterday year. The island also sits within a marine nature reserve so definitely worth revisiting to check out the sea life, but sadly for now - onward we must sail. 133 nautical miles across the sea to the Island of Sardinia.

The sail took us just 34hrs, as for the most part we motor sailed. The winds were just not favourable for this crossing.Neither were the sailing conditions- no moon and misty seas, so Ricky stayed up all night and let me sleep...My hero. We anchored outside Villasimus marina on Sardinia, in clear blue sea with small inquisitive black fish milling around. A good place to land and catch up on some sleep.The following day we would stretch our legs. There was a salt lake nearby that had wild flamingos so we took the dingy ashore, tied it up in the marina and head off exploring. The lake backed onto one of the local sandy beaches, where vendors sold trinkets from wooden carts, while beautiful Italians laid on wooden sun loungers , eating gorgeous Italian icecream purchased from a wooden shack. We enjoyed an icecream and paddle but sadly the pink 'water chickens' were just a bit too shy and far away to see clearly and get a decent photo. We did however see a family of long legged, long beaked, Black-winged stilts, aptly named as they did look like they were teetering on stilts rather than wading along the waters edge. We finished our day shopping in the supermarket and sitting in the marina bar to taste the Sardinian beer at sundown. Another good day.

When we left the anchorage the next day I persuaded Ricky to loiter around the lighthouse, on the island of Cavoli so that I could dive off the boat and try to find the sunken statue of the 'Madonna del Naufrago' She was sunk in 1971 to protect sailors . The statue is at a depth of 11m but is actually over 3m tall and marked by a bright orange buoy and surrounded by rocks - how difficult could it be? ... Apparently very difficult , after an hour and a half , trying two different orange buoys, I had no luck. Ricky was really patient, professionally keeping the boat away from the rocks ,yet close enough to me, but to no avail. I had to give up on this occasion , the statue had alluded me this time and disappointed I made myself a promise - we would come back and take an organised dive next time.

We continued on to our next anchorage, next to the beach at Porto Corallo. The beginning of the journey was uneventful. As we were anchoring things started to kick off . We had diverted here as it was getting rather windy, so anchoring was not that easy, then to add to the mix Ricky, in his concern to get us to a safe haven, left his fishing lines out and one proceeded to wrap itself around the prop , forcing us to a halt as we were reversing on anchor. Lordy Lordy, what a tadoo! Thank goodness the anchor stayed put while Ricky, despite the howling wind, quick as a flash, dived over the side of the boat, with a knife between his teeth like Cpt Jack Sparrow to cut away the offending line . Ok.. I may have exaggerated a bit there but I believe such is my right as author of this blog. Ricky did free the line, but the bit about him diving off side of boat with knife in mouth... paints a dramatic picture eh?

The wind eventually did die down and we enjoyed the peace until an aquatic version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flew over us. I kid you not. Some nutter, who others may consider an inventor I guess, had literally attached a motorised fan and kite surfing sail to his dinghy and once he reached enough speed just took off out of the water and flew around the anchorage. He actually managed to stay up in the air for about 10 minutes before gracefully landing back on the sea and motoring off back into the marina -incredible!
Feeling blessed that the new boat toy Ricky decided to purchase from Amazon was a paddle board.
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Make/Model: Moody376
Hailing Port: Haslar , Gosport , England
Crew: Ricky and Donna
About: 2023 Still clueless , but having fun !
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