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HOMECOMING: SPRING IN SICILY

March 22nd, 2012 No comments

The old saying about March arriving like a lion and leaving like a lamb is certainly true in Sicily.  Kent spent the first two weeks of March in howling wind, pouring rain and temps in the 50’s at night. 

Every boat in the marina is heeling in the 50 Kt. wind. . .

as horizontal rain pelted the boat.

The Saturday before I arrived on March 15th saw the worst that Sicilian weather has to offer, with 50 kt. Sirocco winds filled with Sahara sand that stung your eyes and deposited red dust on every surface in the marina.  Coupled with driving rain that was reported coming sideways, everyone in the marina, including Kent and Jolie, hunkered down waiting for the sky to clear.

Once the rain stopped Destiny was covered with red Sahara sand.

Several cruisers who arrived during that terrible weather spent 8 hours getting from Catania Airport (normally a 1 ½ hour drive).   Bridges washed out and roads were impassable due to dirt and rocks washing off hillsides and covering roads.  Nearly a week later when I arrived, the landslides and uprooted trees were still evident and detours (or “diversions” in Italian) made the trip from airport to marina longer than usual.

On March 15th  a glorious, sunny day with light winds and high wispy clouds greets me in Catania.  The temperature was a pleasant 65 F. and although I’m jet-lagged having been up for about 24 hours at that point, I’m glad to be back.   Thankfully, the “lion’s roar” has been replaced with the sounds of birds chirping.  Kent and Jolie arrive in a rental car to take me and 75 lbs. of baggage (including a bottle of duty free Mount Gay rum) back to Destiny.

As we made our way to Marina di Ragusa, Mt. Etna’s snow encrusted slopes against the milky blue sky contrasted with a profusion of yellow wild flowers along the roadside.  The fields are a green patchwork of newly sprouted crops stretching as far as the eye can see.  The countryside is soaking up the welcome sunshine and is bursting with life.  As for me I am bursting with adrenalin.

Mt. Etna is snow covered but smoking

Arriving at the marina is a homecoming.  Familiar faces greet me with “welcome back”.  Destiny is even better than I left her.  Kent has had time to put everything back in order before my arrival, despite some frustration in needing parts to finish some necessary maintenance.

Kent is ready to get back to work now that the parts have arrived.

As I arrive, we are saying goodbye to friends leaving the marina in a couple of days.  Bill and Jean on Soliel San Fins are off to Naples to put their boat on a ship to the USA, a reverse of our trip.  I stay awake for some 36 hours but crash as the sun sets over the marina.

Sunset, March 15th. . .bedtime!

It’s good to be home.  The “Med adventure” continues.