Sunday, 2 September 2018

Buongiorno Sicily !

We left Cagliari with a narrow weather window between the end of a 3-day mistral and impending dead calm.  The winds were excellent, 10 to 15 knots on a broad reach (with a few gusts to 18 during the night) but the sea was still a bit lumpy after the gale and the 1-2 meter swell hit us at such an angle that the autopilot had a hard time stearing a straight course, so we ended up hand steering for 30 hours in 2 hour shifts.  It was a very fast crossing (for us) averaging 6-7 knots for the last half.  We had a beautiful full moon and the dawn brought us an image of the Egadi Islands.  As I went forward to take a photo, I also discovered some gifts that Neptune deposited on the deck with the swell during the night: a flying fish and a small squid. A nice welcome gift (but those squid leave some nasty stains on the gelcoat...).

We picked up a mooring buoy in the Marasolo beach of south Favignana island.  The Egadi islands are the largest marine reserve in the Mediterranean and the park authorities have an excellent network of mooring buoys on the 3 main islands.  A 7-day permit allows you to tie up anywhere you like for only 17 euros per night.  We are thoroughly enjoying discovering these islands above and below the water.

Marasolo mooring field.

Favignana Port.

Phoenician stone quarries along the coast of Favignana.
Finocchio mooring field, Marettimo.