We finally escaped from the swell & wind that was stopping us from leaving the harbour wall in Pantelleria. We chose the scenic spot to park, forgetting the warning in the books that the forecast wind would make the town quay “uncomfortable” – we lost a fender and snapped two big mooring lines as the boat jerked about. The 2nd night was planned to be our last, so we got up for a 6 a.m. departure, but had to abort as we couldn’t safely get out to sea. On our third night we abandoned the rear cabin because of the noise and jerking motion and slept a bit better up front.
So on the 5th day we just had to go for it – the forecast was OK, so up at 05:30 & off (which took us half an hour longer than normal just to un-knit all the mooring lines!). But what a great day! Blue skies & azure seas, plus a great wind blowing us towards Sicily – we did nearly 70 miles (nautical) in 10.5 hrs – fairly blasting along.
Sciacca (pronounced shaka) is great – with yet another unique character to imbibe. The language is proving a challenge – the very delightful, helpful & friendly guy who runs the tiny marina has a few words of English (none of them useful unfortunately) but understands none of Lindsay’s Italian, nor can we understand what he says back, even though most of it is in gestures. Still, his mimed response to “where do we get some washing done” (you really don’t want to know how long it’s been since last time) was amusing, but resulted in him driving us to the laundry up in town, and arranging for it all to get back to us 24 hrs later – so kind!
Sciacca from the port and the port from Sciacca:-
The town is that seemingly typical southern Mediterranean mixture of old and even older houses with many of them on the verge of collapse. You turn a corner and there is a tiny 12th century church with houses jammed in around it and rubbish bins arranged fetchingly alongside. It all adds to the atmosphere, as does the washing strung right across the road like bunting. Every steep little lane seems to the have the backdrop of the wonderfully blue sea when you peer down it and there is scent of orange blossom as you lean over the medieval town walls. It feels like a delightful introduction to Sicily.
Views of the old (in some places crumbling) town: