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Published: August 31st 2012
Sicily to Sardinia – the Hunt for Auntie Sally (Cameron)
I was down below deck having a snore zzzzzz when mum shouts “dolphins!”
I walked up on deck like a dozy teenager like when teenager’s mums say “get up you lazy boy”.
Then I walked up as if I was an old man, and I saw two dolphin’s one baby one mum or dad they played and played and played as if there was a sign saying come here dolphins they then played at the bow and jumped and then when life itself seemed not to get any better they went.
It was like “come on time for tea” like it had never happened but by the next day it was as if the latest film had just come out.
On the first night watch to Auntie Sally in Sardinia I was doing the 9 to 12 night shift with mum and I had music on full pelt we saw a tanker not a threat to us because it was going the other way.
That was when I started to get sleepy mum could see
I was getting sleepy she said “go to sleep Cameron”.
As I went to bed I saw Samuel snoring away I got into bed and instantly fell asleep ZZZZZZZ.
In the morning as I am writing the blog I’m yawning constantly wanting to go to bed. (Samuel)
We saw another group of dolphins. There were five or six of them.
When we got to Sardinia we saw flamingos flying. They were pink.
We went on the bus to the beach. It was very busy. We played in the water with our snorkels.
The marina owns 2 cars that we can use. They are white and pale blue. I have never been in a smaller car before.
The streets have lots of litter. (Gill)
(Gill) We finally said goodbye to Sicily at about 1430 on Tue 28 Aug. It was too bad that we were unable to spend more time there and our plan to see Palermo had been thwarted by having work done on the fuel tanks in Milazzo. The work was needed and it will stand us in good stead for the next 12 months. The Aeolian Islands
were rightly visited and were a real highlight. Milazzo had been an excellent stopover, despite its rolling, surging marina berths on the outer wall where we were located. We liked its non-commercial honesty and the people were fabulous.
We found a number of things that we were looking for and resolved many of the items on our “to-do list” to include a new shower head for the boys’ loo and a dinghy bung. The owner of the shop refused to take our money until we had checked it was the right one allowing us to take it and then return to pay once we were happy. Surprisingly at the diving / fishing shop we were able to exchange snorkelling masks without issue, despite having used them briefly in the Aeolian Islands, as they did not fit us well. When I dropped an essential bolt, spring and washer from the self-steering gear, as wash from a speed boat hit us in the marina at a critical point in the proceedings the marina leant me dive gear, at no charge, to go to the bottom to collect them. The fruit and veg market slipped us extras at every occasion
we went. The mechanics fashioned critical pins, took me in their car to the electricians, and then when asked what I owed them they simply shrugged their shoulders and said “pay what you think it was worth”. In all, our experiences in Sicily were quite remarkable and refreshingly fabulous.
Dad had suggested the best way to learn about engineering is to take advice from others and find myself a “Tony” (as we had found during the ARC in 1991). Tony Kiff was a carpenter who had taken his family to sea to change their lives forever as they headed off for New Zealand. Sage advice from the old man but quite prophetic as when wandering along the quay I stumbled across Tony any Tracy aboard their boat Waterprint. They are en route to Levkas for the winter, having spent some time in Cagliary where they undertook night classes in Italian. Both from Newcastle they christened Lisa “Lorraine Chase” and goodness knows what they thought of Samuel “the Janner” Duncan. Tony is an engineer with half a ton of tools aboard. The aft cabin has been converted to “the garage” and he can do almost anything
– as proved by the help he gave us following the self-steering debacle. Samuel acted as his runner on the quay heading back and forth to collect “Vernier callipers” and drill bits from Tracy, occasionally requiring translation from Geordie to Devonian. Clearly in the same way as all Italian marina-workers are called Salvatore all English engineers must be called “Tony”.
We are now day 2 into our passage from Sicily to Sardinia to meet with Richard and Auntie Sally (Lisa’s sister). We have decided that on passage we have the nicest time. We actually catch up with our sleep, spend good, quality time with the kids and even get to read a few pages of books. The night watches are chilled out and, with a full-moon, almost daylight. I have cracked a few small jobs but the time passes really quickly and makes us realise the benefits of bluewater cruising with our home beneath us. Finally we are settling into the lifestyle actually looking forward to time at sea.
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