Christmas is over – now New Year’s is over too….
Again, we had a great time with our fellow cruisers.
On New Year’s Eve, we all met in the Yacht Club in the marina for some eggnog and a screening of Dinner for One. This comedy sketch from 1963 is an all-time classic and a favourite in Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway and is watched traditionally every year on 31.12 – New Year’s Eve. I am glad we were able to bring this gem of NYE tradition to everyone else in the world – Americans, English, Scottish, Dutch, Italians,… Can’t remember, who else was there.
Afterwards, the group split up and some went out to a restaurant in town (We were told that it may not be too safe in downtown Licata around midnight because people are allowed to fire their guns – in the air only - but still this was a bit too dodgy for us). And we went back home to our neighbours on the Cat Takamaka for a deliciously scrumptious Raclette meal – special thanks goes out to Deimante and Saulius from Takamaka for hosting this event and Stefan and Jessica from SY Sundowner for bringing their Raclette grill from Germany. We had so much food, it wasn’t funny! After pan fulls of melted cheese, potatoes, bread, meats etc, the party started. Who knew you could have so much fun with glow sticks and party lights as a grown-up! So, we ate and drank and danced and just before midnight, we headed to the BBQ area where we met up with the others again to set off our expired flares. We heard that everyone seemed to have a few expired ones on board, and what better opportunity to learn how they work on, than on New Year’s Eve. A few days before we checked with the marina if it was ok for us to set them off and they agreed and also checked in with Coast Guard to make sure that there wouldn’t be any issues – all legal! Most of the flares worked alright – but, man, they are scary as! They are loud, they are bright, they are hot – which is a great plus if you are in trouble, but not so much when just doing them for ‘fun’.
When that was over we headed back to Takamaka (a Lagoon 440) and suddenly our little group grew from 6 in the beginning to 10 (or more?) after midnight – song and dance continued until the early morning hours.
And even though it was a long night, most of us still managed to head over to the BBQ on time for Sunday lunch – sailors are the real troopers!
Happy New Year to everyone out there – Have fun, live free, go on adventures, be happy!
Love from the STN crew
This was the first year that we have been apart from our friends and family on Christmas. Even though we missed having our children/parents around it was also nice to not worry about a thing. No decorations, no baking, no Christmas lunch or dinner to prepare… Just a quiet night.
The cruisers (thank you Harriet and Gustaf) arranged for a little Christmas party on 15.12.16. Everybody brought some finger food along and a secret Santa present. This freaked me out a bit, because I didn’t know what to get (max limit was 5 Euro) AND I had no wrapping paper!! The most popular present was the olive pipper, which got stolen 5-6 times. I, myself, stole a Citronella candle from the French (I want to be prepared for summer), whereas Alistair stole a weird game from Rebekah – which we may play on New Year’s, I guess the drunker, the funner J
The marina organised a Christmas / Charity event on 23.12.16. We played the Italian version of Bingo. Rules were quite confusing at first bit after 5 minutes of constant asking and repeating we got the hang of it. The charity tombola was in aid of the Asante Sana Children’s Home in Mambrui, Kenya and even I got a bit frustrated at times because none of my numbers seemed to be called, it was good fun. Later the marina offered heaps of food and some bubbles to celebrate. Obviously, I ate too much!
The BBQ on Sunday 25th was a bit larger than our normal BBQs (there were Christmas biscuits and cakes and bubbles and nearly half a beast on the barbie, Eric brought his deep fryer along) it was ‘just’ a barbie. Great fun with the few remaining liveaboards here in Licata – no stress, just food and drink and the compulsory Moelkki game afterwards.
Now, the next task is to get us all together for New Year’s Eve….
(Some photos are not mine, but either by the marina or one of our cruiser family, Miriam – more photos on fb page Marina Di Cala Del Sole
Hello everyone - it's me, Tiny! Before I am being let loose on my yummie treats, I want to say thank you to all the good people out there, who not only follow my human’s sailing adventure, but also support the best cause of all times – Top Up Tiny’s Treats! All donations go towards my belly - and with that to my love! With your help I was able to get some of my most favourite treats organised – and if you know me, I love my treats! Oma and Opa brought them over from Germany when they came over a few weeks ago to visit us on the boat! I shall share them (the treats, not Oma and Opa) only with Kelsi - my trusty pet dog! Maybe I should start writing reviews for treats, I have great expertise! Send over your doggy treats and I will eat, erm, rate them! :)
Thank you for all your love and keep following / supporting / liking our adventures!
Today is the shortest day of the year, which means, we are heading back into summer - it's time to sum up our winter experience in Sicily so far.
When we arrived in the marina in October, we asked Maria what winters would be like. She said it is normally not very cold – minimum of 9 degrees, but it will get very windy. And boy, she wasn’t wrong!
It already started end November with some of the biggest thunderstorms I have ever encountered. In New Zealand we had the occasional 1-2 hour long thunderstorm with 100s of lightnings. I even recall one night in Hannover (the night we left on a school trip) that went on and on with thunder and lightning. But compared to what we had here in Licata, that was nothing. We had 4-5 nights in a row of constant thunderstorms – it would go on for hours. No chance of sleeping with the constant flashes of light and the long, deep rumbles of thunder. When we heard the biggest bang, that made us sit upright in bed, one of the yachts in our marina got struck by lightning, seemingly melting all the electronics on board. 4-5 other yachts had been affected as well: the Swedish boat Sans Peur lost their autopilot (we know how important that is!), the English Grand D’Artangan had troubles with their batteries, etc. Luckily we had no problems – I think what saved us was the fact that we had already lost power a few hours beforehand (due to water in the electric system – not so lucky) and were not connected to the shore power when the yacht (about 6 boats down from us) got hit. Right next to the Hanse 575 that got hit is an Irish boat, Windhover, whose owners already had some bad luck in September, when they, too, got hit by lightning, when anchoring in Lipari (next to a huge tanker)! Sean and Bernie are back in Ireland for winter so Alistair and I checked out Windhover for them and gave it the all clear. Imagine if they had got struck again!!! They, too, were not connected to the shore power.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the whole of the marina lost power for a couple of days and it seems the wifi aerial repeater things were affected too, so there was no wifi since end of November. For cruisers it is quite a nuisance as we need wifi to communicate with our families overseas, arrange flights for visits home, or even work! After 4 weeks I looks like the wifi is back, but now we have Force 9 winds, gusting over 50 knots, which will more than likely kill power and wifi again.
Obviously, with the thunderstorm there comes rain. And we did have our fair share of rain – one night it rained 160mm in 3 hours (http://floodlist.com/europe/italy-floods-licata-sicily-160-mm-rain-3-hours), and the town of Licata was flooded; roads turned into rivers and the parking lot, where my parents parked just days before turned into a swimming pool! (Last 4 fotos of the flooding from http://www.meteoweb.eu - I tried to avoid going out)
Rain and thunderstorms have eased for now, but we still struggle with the gales – especially being on a mono hull doesn’t help with the overall well being… You guys probably know what I mean :)
Stay safe, take care and keep warm - your STN Crew
Follow Alistair and Nicola as they share their experience of traveling around the world.