Our next stop was Trapani, where we would hang around a lot longer than anticipated..
First, things were looking good: we had a lovely sail, found the perfect anchorage and loved the city of Trapani. It’s only a one minute dinghy ride from the anchorage to a marina in the city run by a friendly guy who let us park the dinghy and take water for free. We found everything we needed for the AIS and engine, got our laundry done, did some provisioning and ate delicious ice cream (seriously, maybe even better than on Elba).
After two nights on anchor we sailed over to the Egadi islands, which are only a short sail away from Trapani. It was the weekend and we were not the only ones craving blue water: hundreds of day tripper boats, sailboats and big ferries arrived for the day. We took a mooring buoy for the night and had a picknick on land. The mess that the day tourists leave behind is incredible: plastic bottles, bags, food and cigarette buds everywhere. We couldn’t quite understand the hype about these islands, but we did have a nice swim.
The plan for the next days was to head back to Trapani, provision, and prepare for the crossing to Sardinia. Lukas and Liesa had a flight back from Cagliari and we were all excited to do this longer crossing together. But as we took off from our mooring, Thomas noticed some air in the diesel system. He tried to get it out by bleeding the system, but that broke the pre filter.. So now we were stuck on this expensive mooring on a less than idyllic island. It kind of stressed us, so we headed into town (a one hour dinghy ride) to find some parts. This didn’t work out well, so we came back empty handed. Now having given it a little thought, Thomas managed to bridge the broken filter and got the engine running again! We were on our way to Trapani again (on the engine, we were afraid to turn it off)!
In Trapani we had one day to prepare the boat for the crossing, as the flights were breathing down our necks and there was a good weather window. But of course, we were hesitant to go if the engine wasn’t running properly. We had a stressful day of racing to town and finding parts, Thomas trying out everything and feeling the pressure of our tight planning. Around five in the afternoon, we had to give up and face the fact that we needed A) a mechanic and B) a different mode of transportation for Liesa and Lukas.
We did get quite lucky finding the mechanic (it took only about an hour for someone to show up) and finding transportation (relatively cheap flights directly from Trapani). The mechanic helped us to get the air out of the diesel system but as it turned out, he didn’t get the water out of the oil and cylinders! Time to find mechanic number 2. We booked into the boat yard around the corner and hired a specialist to fix this water problem once and for all. Meanwhile, we tried to enjoy the last day with Lukas and Liesa. It is quite sad how we had all these big plans and ended up only hanging around the northwest tip of Sicily for two weeks.. We felt terribly sorry for them, especially since they have had so much patience in waiting for us to fix things and had to witness us during the most stressful period of our journey. Or at least, we thought it was, but it was about to get a bit worse..