14th May TRAPANI –
38 00.5 N 12
Amazingly the weather held all the way across – but we
had next to no wind, apart from a
desultory use of the jib with the wind behind us to help the engine out. Even
that started flappy flapping after a while.
We saw more dolphins, lots of ships, it wasn’t as cold as
we’d experienced from Mahon to Carloforte. We made such good progress
that we cut speed to 4 knots to avoid a night entrance into a foreign port where
we didn’t have a berth.
On arrival, at about 08:00 on 13th, having tried a
variety of marinas on VHF, including calling them on Ch 16, which the pilot
guide says is acceptable in some Italian harbours, we tried the time honoured
tactic of hanging about by a marina and seeing what happened. It took about 5
minutes, a bloke shouted, waved, we waved back, he pointed and we went in stern
first. We were next to a French boat with 2 old guys (who am I calling “old
guys”?) who made a complete pantomime of the whole event.
You’re pulling the wrong end of the rope they kept
shouting at me, as I worked the fixed line forwards to the bow to cleat off. As
I took up the tension on the cleat they kept on shouting and gesticulating –
until they saw it come tight, and then they laughed and joked some more.
Charming guys, they’d just arrived from Corsica.
The marina is Vento de Maestrale. It seems to be a
shopfront for marina equipment, pontoons etc etc. The management are absolutely
charming, incredibly helpful and eager to please, it looks like it’s going
through an upgrade cycle. The showers are wooden cubicles completely open to the
sky! Here are little sets – playground for kids, a charming wooden bar shack
(which is closed and is going to be moved. The owner told me it had taken 2
years to get a permit to move it a few metres before any work began at all, and
that bureaucracy was the curse of Italy, destroying any prospect of
There’s a bit of a swell when fishing boats come in, but
all in all I think it’s pretty good! It’s certainly got character. Not too long
a schlep into town. Must check Trapani in lane Fox’s book on the Greek
wanderers, the Phoenicians were here. The name is, apparently from the Greek –
dhrepannon, a sickle, referring to the shape it makes jutting out to sea. Above
it looms Mt San Giuliano, with the village of Erys on the summit, probably a
Phoenician/Carthaginian child sacrifice site? Hope to visit it
We were knackered on arrival, showered, went to town, had
a light lunch, then crashed out in the afternoon. Good meal in what looks like
an excellent Albergo – Ai Lume, then bed. It poured with rain in the night, and
today, 14th, has been a bit of a blow, with seas piling onto the
breakwater. Very happy to be in port, wandering round town and just doing
domestic stuff. Next few days will be tough – day after day til Catania, tight schedule,
which I don’t like. Still, there are buses everywhere here, if schedules can’t
be met too bad!
Will be here tomorrow (15th) awaiting Tim and
11th – 13th covered 188