Sicily: In the dock in Trapani

The adventures of Chili III
Peter & Belinda Vernon
Wed 20 Apr 2022 15:42

38:00.8N 012:31.2


Weather windows are brief at this time of year.  It is still early in the season for sailing in the Med and once again we had been watching for a decent window to get to Trapani, our first port of call in Sicily. We left on 8th April at 0900 for a trip of 175 NM. The forecast was correct once again and we had SW5-6 most of the way – good fast sailing with 2 reefs in the main and genoa and wind on the quarter. Not that comfortable with a fair bit of rolling and so arrived without much sleep! We experimented with Harry the Hydrovane (our wind-vane mechanical self-steering) which is like learning a musical instrument.  We have got to grade 2 I think.

Trapani. We arrived at 1030 the next day, a big busy commercial harbour. We headed for “Trapani Boat Service” at the far end of harbour where we had reserved a berth…or so we thought. With Belinda doing a great job of holding our position in small space and force 5 winds we managed to get the proprietor on the phone who told us to go into the “big dock” the one with the yellow crane. This was not easy but Belinda reversed in with great skill and an appearance of calm despite the wind blowing us all over the harbour.

Welcome back Graham. After a necessary snooze we met our good friend and Clipper circumnavigator Graham Dodge who joined us for a week in Sicily. Welcome aboard Graham…

Return to Erice. In 1992 we had moored Foreign Exchange in Trapani and made the trip to the overlooking hilltop town of Erice – the “City of 100 churches”. We decided to return and caught the 1030 bus up the hill after racing to the local Tabachi to buy fully compliant FFP2 masks without which no one was allowed to board. Erice is as beautiful as we remembered it. There is a wonderful view out to Trapani and Marsala with the sea beyond. Standing at the viewpoint by the Castle brought back happy memories of 1992 when we stood in the very same spot as a recently married couple. A return visit in 2052? God willing….