The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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Passage to Favignana, Sicily

Current Location: Favignana, Sicily
Current Position: 37 55.86 N 012 19.45 E Click to view map.
Distance sailed since last post: 150 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track here

Nice passage. The wind was astern for the most part of the trip so that meant spinnaker up. Sun goes down, spinnaker goes down, because with just with one of us on watch while the other sleeps, it’s not safe, as we have to go out front to adjust sail and all. So we slowed down a bit during the night. At dinner time we noticed a boat way behind us in the horizon. Must be the German boat, we said!!!!

By midnight he passed us, while I was on watch. I was excited to see Noel’s reaction, upon waking up. He used to race dinghies before, (sshh…deep inside he’s still in the racing mode) . What’s the definition of a yacht race? Two sailing yachts going the same direction in sight of each other. When he woke up, the other sail boat was way way ahead of us. He wasn’t impressed.

I think thats about the only time Noel and I see the sunrise is during our night passages

 

About 6am spinnaker was up again, we were gaining up on them, but didn’t catch up, we soon arrived at Favignana.

Surprise, surprise, they were at the same anchorage as us. They had just anchored, so they didn’t get too far ahead!!!! The funny part was , the German fellow, rowed over to our boat, he sat and had a beer and with his broken English asks Noel why we so slow…catamaran slow??? I started to laugh and answered that we didn’t have 4 men onboard!!! They had their main and jib up at all times (we had just our jib), and even motored a bit. But….what does he know? is not a sailor, just in a holiday on the friend’s boat.Nice guy.

Anchorage of Favignana. The warehouses in the back were used during their tuna canning days

 

many of the boats, anchors and many tools still in the warehouses

 

Favignana is part of the group of 3 islands called Egadi Islands, other 2 being Maritimo and Levanzo. They are just off the west coast of Sicily, where we were heading next. It is a small medieval town defended by fort S. James and of Santa Catarina at the highest point. The town is boosting with tourism. Popular for their rocky coast, beautiful turquoise waters surrounded by tuff walls, many sea caves, and grottos and crates left after former volcanic activity. Again, we arrived and went to town in the afternoon, there was barely a soul, but we couldn’t believe how busy it got for the evening, it was like going to a different town!


One of the caves near by we went to visit by dinghy

 


While walking through town in the evening along the sea Noel and I found our first tuff quarries

 

In one of the Piazzas we noticed a stage all set up, Noel and I quickly found some good seats in closest cafe to the stage. It was a 4 piece band who played such beautiful music, from traditional Italian, Cha- Cha, Salsa, Waltz, Polkas and they even included some nice tunes from Abba and The Beatles. It was wonderful that they played such variety. People quickly formed a large circle in the front of the stage many dancing, others cheering on. Most people were locals families, little ones in strollers and older ones others running around, moms dancing with other moms, couples, everyone was having a great time. Walking home, we noticed where all the tourists were. The shopping streets were so busy, the restaurants, the bars and their loud, different kinda music. Again…was like crossing the street into a different town. Totally different atmosphere.

The old tuna cannery, renovated in the recent years. It is now art gallery upstairs and tourist information office in the main floor.

 

 

Favignana was very prosperous in the 1800’s. Signor Ignazio Flario from Palermo, bought the Island and made it the centre of the tuna canning Industry. Blue fin tuna was their catch. Also the Tuff quarries, opened up, exporting to Tunisia and other countries bringing in a lot of prosperity to their inhabitants. Tuff is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from volcanic eruption. Today around town, you can still see a lot of the evidence, including the canning factory and warehouses full of the old boats, big anchors and lots of tools. Also the Tuff quarries and the signs of the manual hard labor. It was just amazing.

One of the Piazzas in town, with statue of signor Ignazio

 

I told Noel, that some day I would like to come back in May for their show of the Matanzas when they bring in the big catch! That would be another blog: The Matanzas in Favignana. You can probably google it and see what I mean!

We visited some of the Grottos by dinghy, not far from harbour. They were quite big, with some amazing rock creations in the ceilings and all around. Had to wait our turn outside for a few minutes, it was a popular place!

Grotta del innamorati.The lover’s grotto. Named after the 2 matching rocks standing side by side

 

We left our anchorage and set sail around the coast, with the beautiful turquoise waters against the tuff quarries,caves and grottos.

Quarries along the coast and the signs of hard labour.

 

beautiful turquoise waters and more tuff quarries

 

Anchored in a nice bay of Prevetto enjoying the nice scenery and a good refreshing swim, till we saw some jelly fish. Was time to get back on the boat.

The bay where we had our encounter with the jelly fish and the Guardia Costeira. Love the little old Italian men in their colourful little boats proudly taking the tourists around

As soon as we dried off the coastal guard showed up and told us that boats more than 10 metres in length are not allowed to anchor in that area, but we could move to an anchor ball around the corner. At that point we chose to leave, we were done there anyways, we were going to cross over to mainland Sicily.

 

2 hours later we were in Marsala, mainland Sicily. Next blog, very soon!

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