They are so small that they can be sailed in one day, yet they offer so much that it won't take a week to experience and try everything. The Aegadian Islands, which are located near the western coast of Sicily, are rightfully considered a pearl not yet found. The only question is how long.
Today we passed by a blessed place - the port of Marsala in Sicily... This city got its name thanks to an Englishman John Woodhousewho lived and worked here 200 years ago. He was engaged in the production of strong dessert wine, which was not slow to become a great competitor to Spanish port. His business was going so well that he could no longer do without a port, since he needed to ship his famous wine "Marsala"named after the city. Let's turn to history. Once - it was 200 years before Wodehouse - the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V bombarded the port to prevent Muslim pirates from building a base here. And it was these pirates (not wine!) That gave the city its name "Mars Al Allah", which in translation means "Divine port"... And what was left for John Woodhouse, how simply not to dig out the port he needed?
This was facilitated by one circumstance, when on May 11, 1860 Giuseppe Garibaldi landed in Marsala with his detachment of volunteers totaling about a thousand people in order to liberate Sicily from the rule of the Bourbons and become part of Italy. He organized and assembled a fleet in the Aegadian Islands, which lie off the western coast of Sicily, mainly in Favignana. This is how the port was built. We are just entering the harbor of this historically famous town, illuminated by a cross erected in memory of the battles of liberation. We feel very comfortable aboard our 49ft yacht. However, this feeling is slightly diluted by the draft, since with the wind from the sea it is somehow dumb for me to enter the port with the deepest point of 2 m.Hiding behind the breakwater, we were really protected from the wind, but, unfortunately, not from the wind waves. ...
For travelers and those in Favignane I can only advise you to climb the 300 m high fortification - you will be rewarded with an unrivaled panorama.
The island is like a picture book
If the island of Levanzo had a harbor as good as the island itself - and not least because of the rock carvings in the cave Grotte del Genovese since the Stone Age - then yachts would simply take it by storm. But since the desired does not correspond to the reality, the yachts find a refuge at the breakwater, and that is not all. All those who were not lucky, including us, find a parking spot nearby, where the depth is suitable and there is a sandy bottom, but here you have to put up with a rather unpleasant run-up of waves. We tried to take a position so as not to revolve around the anchor due to the constantly blowing wind. After waiting a little and having a rest, we headed for Gulfwind and after 2 hours entered the port of the island Marettimo entitled Rock Nuova, finding here not only protection from the north wind, but also floating docks and piers - albeit at a slightly overpriced.
Little space on the island of Ustica
It seemed to us that the island of Ustica is not very fond of yachts. We read about the lack of anchorages in the guide to the riviera, however, we did not expect at all that the southern breakwater will have so many hydrofoils that do not tolerate any yachts near them. At the northern pier, boats with wiry, very tanned types, dressed in T-shirts with the inscription "We live to dive, not to work", on board seem to be more patient towards tourists and their yachts for a simple reason - they see them as an opportunity to earn money ... But their presence reduces the number of yacht berths to five! When we entered the port for lunch Porto de Santa Maria the islands of Ustica, these guys took the last place in front of us. Is that why we got up so early?
But grumbling won't help matters. Therefore, we had no choice but to anchor at the entrance to the harbor at a depth too deep for the anchor chain, as a result of which we were a little carried to the northern pier to the massive concrete blocks. As soon as we nevertheless became confidently anchored, the "caretaker" from the diving club began to persuade us not to leave the same day for San Vito Lo Capo... I asked him for fresh water, and he, in turn, said that the motor yacht would leave the port as soon as the crew finished their “pranzo” (in translation from it. “Lunch”) and thus free up space for anchorage in the port. We waited until the guys had a proper lunch, refueled, and finally we got to the parking lot. After seeing the town and returning on board, everyone agreed on one thing: "Nice, but Marettimo is better."
Sometimes things don't go according to plan ...
There are days when you shouldn't get out of bed and go somewhere. Today was just such a day. When we were having breakfast, the stern and mooring lines were given on board the Italian yacht - the yacht with the British flag immediately took the vacant seat. When we also wanted to say goodbye to Fr. Ustica and also give the mooring lines, we were surprised to find that not only the English CQR anchor hangs on our anchor chain, but also some indefinite piece of iron from the divers' boat. I tried to free our anchor in nine ways, which were described in the segeln magazine, but this situation came under the influence of the expression "theory has nothing to do with practice." The friction clutch of our anchor winch is simply not used to double loading. New ideas were needed.
One of them was to call an Englishman for help. Dealing with the anchor problem, he asked if we had heard of a storm warning with strong squalls just off the west coast of Sicily. The weather forecast we heard warned of 711 knots northwest and northeast winds. We were able to get the Italian weather forecast only in Trapani... The sky was blue and clear today, and the barometer showed stable data for several days. Where does such a strong wind come from?
But as soon as we headed for Trapani, I was no longer so sure. The headwind began to intensify, and I had to increase the engine speed. Unusually, when the wind blew from the southwest, a ridge of rain clouds immediately began to form. Within half an hour, the situation worsened so much that it was no longer possible to move forward. We sank into the waves with our noses so that we were afraid that the yacht would split into pieces. Therefore, it was decided to deviate from the course, we turned the staysail and packed the sheets tightly. Storm. A little later we heard a clap - the jib sheet broke! Fortunately, there were two sheets.
First, we removed the rattling canvas, and then moved the sheet from starboard to port side. It is clear that, being left with a smaller sail area, we had to accept the distance of our goal. It’s a pity because Trapani - a very beautiful place, named so by its founders, the Greeks, who gave such a name to the city due to its sickle shape - in Greek "Drepanon"... After this incident, it seemed to me that Trapani disliked me, and here's why. When I first entered the harbor of Trapani at night, I got lost in the military part of the city. I understood what floodlighting and an Italian headwash are. At night I was barely able to get out of the port, as it was very difficult to cruise in such shallow water. How will it be today? We headed for Castellammare del Golfo... As soon as we saw the coastline, we were able to turn onto San Vito Lo Capo. Its port has the advantage of being absolutely protected from all sides, however, to put it mildly, it is overcrowded with tourists. But, as the saying goes: "There is fish for fishlessness and cancer!"
Marsala: Plunge into history
We highly recommend spending an evening in the old town of Marsala, where you can see not only cultural monuments such as Palazzo VII. Aprile and St. Thomas Beckett, but also enjoy goodies in many local restaurants.
Marsala - a strong dessert wine originally from Sicily, which bears some resemblance to Madeira, but differs from it in its high sugar content. Alcohol content 17-18 %, sugar 1.5-7 %. Marsala is a name "controlled and guaranteed by origin": it is only worn by wines produced in the province of Trapani, with the exception of the eastern commune of Alcamo and the island territories.
The appearance of Marsala is associated with the name of the Liverpool merchant John Woodhouse, whose ship was waiting out the storm in the port of Marsala. Woodhouse tasted a local wine called "perpetuum" due to the way it was made. Oak barrels for perpetuum were arranged in several rows, and new wine, poured into the topmost row, was poured into barrels one floor below, and so on, and a new harvest took its place. Woodhouse bought a batch of cheap Sicilian wine he liked to sell at a profit in his native Liverpool. To prevent the drink from spoiling on the way, Woodhouse added a little brandy spirit to the barrels. However, the first acquaintance of the British with Sicilian wine, held in 1773, did not bring him success: the wine was considered completely unremarkable. Woodhouse went back to Sicily, where, after much experimentation, he managed to enrich the taste of wine in accordance with the preferences of his compatriots, and then it had already conquered Great Britain. Other British winemakers followed Woodhouse to Sicily.
Admiral Nelson considered Marsala to be a wine "worthy of the meal of any most fastidious lord." After the victory at Trafalgar, the British began to call Marsala "the wine of victory." In 1860, the vast warehouses of the Marsala of British winemakers in Sicily forced the Bourbon troops to abandon their resistance to the landing Garibaldians. One of the wines, especially liked by Giuseppe Garibaldi, bears his name: "Garibaldi sweet."
Direct flight: about 400 Euro
Documents: identity card
Emergency Service: 112
Time difference: no
Food and drinks: 25 - 75 Euro
Parking space / price: 80 Euro
Tide Amplitude: 0.2 m
Harbor security: ★★★★
The presence of winds: ★★★
Charter company: Kiriacoulis Mediterranean
Agency: Argos Yachtcharter
Period of implementation of the charter program: 25.06. until 02.07.2011 Yacht: Sun Odyssey 49 Price: 3950 Euro
Price level: ★★★★
Rig and rigging: ★★★★★
Deck armament: ★★★★★
Outboard motor: ★★★★★
Anchor device: ★★★★★
Bed linen: Extra
Kitchen set: Extra
RDP device: Keine
SUMMARY: The Sun Odyssey 49 yacht is a quality vessel with good running characteristics and equipment, but comfort is felt only if there are not many people on board.
Yachtglanz announced the release of the new YACHTGLANZ 2014 catalog, new items added. As always, this company undertakes door-to-door delivery, assistance in installation, warranty and post-warranty service.
HELLA - floodlights, outdoor and indoor lamps of the famous company were aligned with AQUASIGNAL navigation lights, significantly expanding your choice;
PREBIT - these lamps will make you admire the harmony of light and design, as the owners and guests of the yachts Linssen, Halberg Rassy and Oyster admire them;
GEBO - hatches and portholes, probably an ideal compromise between quality and price, complemented well in our catalog BSI hatches and portholes, which are installed on exceptionally expensive boats;
QUICK - bow and stern thrusters belong to the three most famous brands in this field, they are the same example of reliability and elegance of technical solutions, like the QUICK spiers and windlass, which we have been supplying for several years.
The selection of sea-tested products has become more convenient in the new catalog:
ANDERSEN - reliable Danish sheet and halyard winches - a combination of impeccable classic appearance and the achievements of precision mechanics;
LIROS - German halyard, clew, mooring and anchor ropes of excellent quality;
SPRENGER - the best deck equipment for Olympic boats on the continent;
FURLEX - staysail twists - the first in the world ranking;
FORESTI & SUARDI - equipment and lighting for gentleman boats of decks and interiors;
WEMPE - stylish and noble marine chronometers with a 100-year pedigree;
DOMETIC group of WAECO, CRUISAIR, SEALAND, CONCORDIA, MARINE AIR - we are responsible for the systems that continuously take care of your safe and comfortable life on board;
TECHNICOMAR - Italian onboard desalination plants and water purifiers,
PAGURO, PHILIPPI and VICTRON ENERGY - these devices will generate, transform, store, make controllable and useful electrical energy on your yacht;
TBS - a coating that will provide reliable grip of your soles with the deck, making it an attractive exterior element;
YACHTICON - cleanliness, radiance and sterility of all surfaces and containers of the yacht.
Yachtglanz Marine Equipment has confirmed its commitment and competence in the selection and delivery of yacht equipment for 5 years of work. Representative contact: 00 38 097 567 14 00
Already one port in Marettimo is a miracle: as in many similar harbors, you can still see fishing boats and yachts here, which coexist so peacefully with each other that you are simply involuntarily moved by it. Rocks and cliffs have not yet experienced the effect of dynamite, and bathers on the beach do not spoil the overall experience. And then I just need to say about a wonderful place! In the scorching sun, the shutters of the windows are always closed here. It usually rains after lunch, and only after its refreshing effect does life slowly begin to wake up. Narrow chairs and tables appear on the side streets. There is absolutely no need to understand the Sicilian dialect, everything is clear from the gestures. In summer there are many tourists in cafes and restaurants who find topics for long conversations in the Sicilian language.
Text and photos: Karl Victor
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