On Sunday 9th April, our French and Swiss cruising friends organised a rubbish collection event. All cruisers walked up the breakwater and collected all the rubbish along the way. Honestly, all the rubbish might be a little exaggerated but we did manage to fill up 80+ rubbish bags along with a pile of glass and treated wood (plywood, crates..) within 1.5 hours. It felt good giving back and doing something good. It is a little disappointing that it takes the cruisers/tourists to clean up the marina and the Licata community did not get involved. We wish that the people of Licata see the pictures that are posted on the marina website and hopefully get inspired and educated. From 10.30 until 12pm we were busy collecting rubbish - we found styrofoam boxes (from the fishermen), plastic bottles, ropes, plastic bags, tyres, brooms , crates, nets... What a difference 40+people can do in an hour and a half! We had then 30min to freshen up because the marina organised a farewell BBQ for all the liveaboards who where here during winter (and everyone who has come back). Like the previous BBQ, there was just too much food for our bellies to handle: Pizza, Salad, Focaccia, Lasagne, Sausages, Meat, Strawberries, Sweets. It was great. The weather was not so great but after a couple of minutes of light rain it was alright again. Shout out to all marina staff (Emi and Maria even played Moelkki with us) and thank you to everyone there.
For the last couple of weeks we have seen cruisers come back to the marina, who left their boats here in Licata and spend the winter months at home or touring around different countries. They are all back getting the yachts ready for sailing season, lots of boats have been hauled out at the nearby ship yard to get new antifouling and anodes. During winter there has been a lot of growth on the boats - some look like they won't be able to make it to shipyard by themselves. There is a river nearby that flows into the sea next to the marina and there is also a fish farm about 500m away - there are a lot of nutrients in the water to speed up this growth. Jessica and Stefan from SY Sundowner just took her out for a spin in the marina and found that their prop was not working and they had no reverse. They are hauling Sundowner out next week to get her cleaned and antifouled. We are lucky - we do have a bit of growth on the hull but our antifouling has been freshly done in August last year. A dive and a good scrape should get us going again.
31st of March officially marked the start of the sailing season with our first liveaboard cruiser friend heading off to Ragusa, bunny hopping his way to Greece, where we hopefully catch up with him again. Eric is sailing single handed and has come all the way from the Netherlands. I think he is one of the happiest people I know, nothing ever seems to stop him smiling. It was a bit sad to see the first of us leave - we are a tight knit community, especially if you have been living together for the last 6 months. But it was also very exciting, knowing that we will follow suit as soon as possible.
The rest of us are busy working on the boats to get them ready, and/or waiting on the last spare parts to arrive via post. We are done, apart from waiting for the mail and scrubbing/cleaning the boat. We can't wait.
Follow Alistair and Nicola as they share their experience of traveling around the world.