In January I made a short trip back to the UK for the London Boat Show, a Boys Weekend in London with Alec and Elliot, an update of this very website and meeting just a few friends in the short time I have. Then it was back to Sicily to tackle the list of jobs I want, and need to do to prepare for the sailing adventure of 2018….an Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean!
The UK trip was great, and I met some new friends at the OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) I have joined. Then I booked an Airbnb room for a couple of nights in Catania before jumping on a bus back to Marina di Ragusa.
Something very new to start the year was early morning Ashtanga Yoga classes in the marina gym!
It is April already and I’m busy finishing the installation of a Hydrovane and a Katadyn watermaker, as well as organising other jobs. I have had a couple of day trips to Modica and Scicli now that the weather is so much better. There has been a flurry of activity around the marina as people return from their winter spent at home, and jobs need doing on the boat. A couple of boats have already taken advantage of good “weather windows” to leave Sicily and are now sailing around the Greek Ionian.
Fifty years ago I bought the Beatles LP, “Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club” which is still my favourite album and the track “When I’m Sixty-Four” became a reality at the end of April! So, I caught the ferry from Pozzallo to Valletta, which is the European Capital of Culture 2018. I was still on antibiotics and nursing a leg wound which caught an infection, so my birthday was alcohol-free!
The month of May has flown by doing jobs on the boat and preparing for the Atlantic crossing. I have booked the month of July in Gibraltar to get the boat lifted out for a survey to satisfy the insurers and to complete jobs that need the boat to be out of the water.
It is now June and the latest I have ever left my winter berth as I said goodbyes to Marina di Ragusa on Monday 4 June to motor in very calm conditions up the west coast of Sicily to Licata. I am now officially on my way to the Caribbean! After only two nights in Licata I carried on up the west coast to Sciacca. I stayed in Sciacca for four nights waiting for strong northerly winds to pass, but it was a great town to visit even there are 240 steps to climb to get to town! Sciacca was also my last stop in Sicily, and on Sunday 10 June I set sail for Tunisia on my first overnight passage of 2018.