Fountaine Pajot Orana 44 “Midi” Meanderings – Part 5, 2015
Kalimera, yes its us, we haven’t fallen off the end of the earth, just lots of travelling and not always having internet.
Since we last wrote, we have been in some interesting places. We bypassed Palermo although did spend a day anchored in the bay looking across to the city to the west about 5kms away. It was our intention to visit Palermo but we were wary of all the stories we had heard about keeping everything locked up etc as there are apparently plenty of rogues here.
Anyway on lifting the anchor and receiving a weather report that promised 10 -15knt NE and we were heading NW then W decided to carry on around Sicily’s NW capes. Well guess what – the report lied. The winds were NNW, N then W, as we headed on around and it was well through the day before it filled in from the NW.
We did end up having a lovely sail and eventually found the harbour of Balestrate on the west coast of Sicily. We entered the harbour cautiously as our pilot book indicated that by now it should be fully developed as it was built about 10 years ago. I have to hand it to the Italians they do build great harbours, big breakwaters etc but this one has never had anything built in it. No pontoons etc but all the cabling and power plinths installed but no power.
So we anchored in the middle in about 5mtrs with the town directly above us. Here we spent a couple of days getting some boat chores out of the way before heading on to Trapani via the small harbour of Castellammare del Golfo which had a lovely small town attached. Here we met Nick & Juliet, an English couple off Johanem whom we were to run into again a few weeks later.
After a night anchored off one of the Isole Egadi islands, we headed in and found an anchorage inside the harbour just outside the breakwater to a marina where we were met by a young man in a dinghy wanting to know if we wanted a marina. I asked how much and after a phone call he informed me it would be 120 euros.
Thanks but no thanks we said, that’s 50 bottles of village wine! So we had a good anchorage spot well sheltered and from there we began our explorations.