And just like that, “plans” change again

Egadi Islands - Sicily 080
So long for now….

Two days ago, we heard that Deb and Dan’s step mother Lani suffered a broken leg (and broken foot) in a fall at home.  This is an extra bad situation because Lani was only just finishing her recovery from hip surgery.  We feel for you Lani!! Lani and their Father will need some assistance during Lani’s recovery, and Dan has voluteered to cut his trip short and head “home” to San Diego. He leaves tomorrow! Deb and I have only just gotten him fully trained and now he’s leaving us.  We will miss him, but absolutely agree with his decision to go home and help out. Good for you Dan! -Jim & Deb

Egadi Islands – Sicily

The Egadi Islands are located off of the NW corner of Sicily.  They are part of a large marine nature preserve, and are a beautiful place to spend a few very lazy days.

Historical Tidbits:

On 10 March 241 BC, a major naval battle was fought a short distance offshore between the two powers. Two hundred Roman ships under the consulGaius Lutatius Catulus met and decisively defeated a much larger Carthaginian fleet of 400 ships, with the Romans sinking 120 Carthaginian vessels and taking 10,000 prisoners. So many dead Phoenicians washed ashore on the northeastern part of Favignana that the shoreline there acquired the name “Red Cove” (Cala Rossa) from the bloodshed. The Romans took possession of the island under the terms of the treaty that ended the war.

During WWII, American Forces under Gen. Patton drove the Axis forces from Sicily. Two American officers, Lt. Louis testa, and Capt. R.E. Gerard, were a two-man ‘expedition’ which ‘captured’ three Italian Egadi Islands and 1027 prisoners. The officers went over from a Sicilian fishing boat, which they paid $3. They went ashore on Favigna Island and the Italian Lt. Colonel surrendered it along with Levanzo and Marittimo Islands and their garrisons.

We enjoyed the swimming in clear water over white sands, and did a bit of exploring while we were here.  Beside tuna fishing, quarrying at one time provided the island with the majority of its income. Huge blocks were cut from the cliffs and then transported elsewhere in Sicily and exported to North Africa. These quarries are hard to miss.  From the water, it appears as if great chunks had been bitten out of the hillside by some large square-jawed monster.

Given the near empty status of our fridge and freezer it was time to move on yesterday.  We are now docked off the port city of Trapani only 8 miles away.  Trapani is a big city and doesn’t compare well with what we’ve just left behind.  But the old mountain top city of Erice is very nearby and a pretty fantastic place.

More on that later…

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Sardinia to Sicily

Well, that was easy!  Feeling just a bit guilty for rushing off, we left a beautiful anchorage behind two mornings ago bound 150nm east for Sicily.  Somewhere in Sicily. Where?  We were not sure.

Egadi Islands - Sicily 017This one had to be our easiest passage ever. The winds had been forecast to be between 5 and 10 knots. After some nice sailing for the first few hours, I’m not sure we ever saw more than 4 knots.   All this good news of course comes with a small catch. We did have to run the engine for 15 hours and fuel over is a touch on the very expensive side.

We ended up stoping in the Egadi Islands.  These three islands are off the NW corner of Sicily and are part of a large nature preserve. No fishing, limits on motoring near the islands, limits on anchoring etc.

The results are a very beautiful set of islands and anchorages. Here is a picture of our current anchorage off the island of Favignani. We have it all to ourselves this morning.