We were going to take a train ride into Marsala, but over coffee Massimo suggested that we sail to the island of Favignana. The wind was 25 kts, a north westerly and in our favour to achieve the short 10 nm crossing.

As we slipped line, Massimo was a little late in applying power and the wind caught our bow and turned the boat through 90 degrees and pinned us port side the the pontoon, damaging our front bow metal work and bending it in several places.

Getting off in 25 Kts of 30 degrees behind the bean isn’t easy and I suggested we rig a forward spring line and try and get the stern through the wind.

We just about managed to do that and reversed out without further incidents.

We managed to have a fantastic sail and reached the island in one tack and just and 1.5 miles east of the harbour entrance. We engined the remaining way and into the harbour to access our options for mooring.

There was no apparent place for yachts of our length and draft to moor. We eventually choose a harbour wall a per the diagram below, circled in red.This proved very roly and we walked around the the other side of the harbour to access the situation there. Not many option except for mooring along side or dropping anchor and revering into wind and onto a lower part of the harbour wall.

As there in effect only two adults on board, mooring along side was not an option, especially as there were no cleats to speak of on the harbour. In fact, it was a tangled mess of large diameters lines, around bollards and some fed back to fishing boats.

So we opted for dropping the anchor and reversing. This actually would have worked out fine, had it not been for a couple of friendly locals recommending that we pull along side. So we raised anchor, reversed back into the 25kt wind, got one lone ashore and then tailed a long line from the bow, outside the yacht an into the hands of a local. All we had to do then was sweat the line in and we were along side. We ended up moored in location marked by the green circle in the diagram above.

Aria on our first mooring attempt
Aria on our second and final mooring- still had a rough night
Aria in the background – the only yacht in the harbour

Whilst Massimo and Alex stayed on Aria, I took a quick walk out of the harbour and along the quay wall to take in the views and snap a few photos.

View from the seas wall
Ferry arriving from Trapani
Castello Di Santa Catarina on the summit

View of Aria
Sammy fishing market on the quay

View of Plazzo Flora, the palace of the owner of the tuna ferries, in the background

In the evening we all walked into town to provision, for our onward journey. There are many patisseries, butchers and supermarkets with fresh produce, especially fish. Even for January, the town square was a bustle of locals and some tourists enjoying evening life in the local café, bars and restaurants. We managed to find a lovely restaurant, “Ristorante Ammukka on via Garibaldi”, which had steak on the menu, one of Alex’s musts and probably the only reason he agreed to visit this island. The food was absolutely excellent, Massimo had a stuffed squid, Alex the medium raw steak, whilst I had my first spaghetti vongole of our holiday. All followed by some local Sicilian deserts and coffee. A final walk through town and the back to Aria for a welcome sleep. Well that’s what we thought.

Chiesa Madre Di Maria SS. Immacolata

Two hours of sleep and then the fun started. The swell in the marina proved for a very uncomfortable night, wit line squeaking and jerking throughout the entire night. Although we were protected from the main sea swell, it made it’s way into the harbour and bouncing off land and other harbour walls proved not to be so sheltered.

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