The moment has come. After 11 months in Sicily, at the beautiful Marina of Capo D’Orlando, it’s time to set sails again and move to our next destination. We avoided the subject as long as we could, knowing that until we said it out loud it wasn’t going to happen: we weren’t going to leave.
Deep down though we were getting ready to say goodbye to those places that had grown on us, becoming part of our daily routine, and to those marvellous people we now called friends.
The same people that helped us design and build the frame for the solar panels; that gave us tips on how to fix bits and pieces, and advised us on places to visit and restaurants where to try the best of the local cuisine.
With them we shared our concern about that engine which made a rattling noise when on; we laughed when one of us – I mean GC ! – ended up in the water once or twice when, jumping from the boat, he missed the pontoon.
With them we were on the radio at 4am, when gusts of 40 knots of wind swooped on Gladan with no notice, in the island of Salina, causing the gennaker to flap open and disanchoring many boats around us.
We managed to lower the gennaker and put it away and made a flash decision to pull the anchor up and leave the bay, right when a boat was about to crash on us. At full throttle, with rain hitting our face with rage, we slalomed through the many boats and went out at sea – the safest place to be in these circumstances.
We wondered around for couple of hours waiting for the sun to raise and the wind to calm down before being able to drop anchor again. Our friends were in the bay next to us. Their presence was reassuring and made us live the storm with a different spirit – knowing we were on the lookout for each other.
Thanks to them, we discovered the restaurant Le Siciliane, in Capo D’Orlando downtown, whose host, Calogero, is not only a talented chef cooking with seasonal, fresh ingredients, but also a very skilled practitioner of shiatsu massages – keen on fixing your cervical while delighting your palate.
I still remember when one night after dinner, having seen me in pain, touching my neck, he reappeared from a back door with a portable massage-chair and gave me a 10minute massage right in the middle of the restaurant! I went back home with a fixed neck and dreamy eyes still picturing before them a delicious carpaccio of freshly picked porcini mushrooms followed by a mouthwatering plate of porcini tagliatelle.
You feel so nostalgic when it’s time to leave, and realise how lucky you’ve been to meet such special people. You start thinking that maybe traveling is not that great if you have to keep moving on, even when you’ve found people who make you feel at home.
Then you force yourself a bit and set sails – the sea is calling. It’s time to go again. Arrivederci amici. I’m sure the wind will blow us towards you again one day.
P.S. Read Patty’s amazing blog on life at sea & more…