September 16 , 2001
Gaeta, Italy

September 3 , 2001
Stromboli: The Lighthouse Of The Mediterranean

August 26 , 2001
Cefalu: Another Medieval Jewel

August 23 , 2001
Sicily: Land of Lovely Desserts

August 15 , 2001
En Route to North Africa

August 10 , 2001
Ormeggiatori

August 8, 2001
Supermarkets and Amphora

August 6 , 2001
Sailing South in Sardinia

August 2 , 2001
La Vie en Corsica

July 30, 2001
Jonathan Joins Us

July 27, 2001
One Sea, Seven Colors

July 24, 2001
Say What?

July 23, 2001
"Va Bene"

July 21, 2001
Venturing Into Italy

July 20, 2001
And The Mistral Blew

July 18, 2001
The Spell Of Menorca

July 12, 2001
Culture And Concerts

July 7, 2001
Cha Chas

July 6, 2001
Red Dust

July 4, 2001
Rare Birds

July 3, 2001
Clear Empty Water

June 27 , 2001
Quick Friends

June 22 , 2001
Reconnecting

June 13, 2001
Eastern Hemisphere

June 6, 2001
A Weekend in Cartegena

May 30 , 2001
A Time Or A Place

May 29 , 2001
Several Lovely Sails

May 21 , 2001
Free At Last

May 25, 2001
On The Hard

May 18, 2001
A Boat Again

May 14, 2001
Time Warp to Morocco

May 03, 2001
Still On Stilts in Malaga

Sicily: Land of Lovely Desserts -

 August 23, 2001 


Hats in Tunis

A spectacular 26 hour passage with force 4-5 winds(15-20 kts) to Bizerte, Tunisia; a few days to explore and rest; and then another glorious 26 hour overnight sail brought us to the Egadi Islands off the west coast of Sicily.

Refreshed with sleep and several swims in clear, clean water, we motored from Favignano Island in the Egadis to Trapani, on the northwest coast of Sicily, and rafted three deep in a dirty and smelly commercial harbor for a wonderful three days.

Trapani is a bustling harbor and the old town is an architectural mix reflecting the Arabic and Aragonese influences dating from the Middle Ages. But it is Italian now with wonderful panaficios (bakeries), and chic trattorias and cafes everywhere. Sicilian desserts are my delight and I am in heaven here. We have found fewer people speaking English since entering Italian waters, and our Italian is extremely limited, but most people have been delightful in trying to understand us and to get us to understand them.

Trapani felt good, but the real treat was Erice, a medieval jewel sitting 2,480 feet above Trapani, atop the only mountain in Western Sicily, Mt San Giuliano, overlooking the gently sloping plains and the Mediterranean Sea. This village, still occupied by descendants of the Aragonese who founded it, has cobbled streets, an intact castle, several beautiful Norman churches and much appreciated, cool breezes.

We have been struck since our landfall in Sicily that we are seeing clouds for the first time this season. First hazy, Chesapeake Bay summer type clouds in the Egadi Islands, then fluffy cumulus clouds, and in Erice, fast moving ribbons covered the steeples, then were briskly blown away by the wind. Even the beautiful blue Mediterranean sky can use enhancement at times.