Monday, 11 April 2011

Monastir to Pantelleria

Hi from Clare, Tunisia to Pantelleria Sunday 10th April 2011

We arrived at Monastir in Tunisia on 23rd March and departed twelve days later. Laour is cheap in Tunisia and so for the lowly price of $400 the boat was slipped, power washed, sanded and painted. All other cleaning, polishing, maintenance and provisioning jobs were completed in little over a week. Before leaving we even had time to wine and dine with other cruising friends who had spent the winter on their boats in the marina.

Life in Tunisia seems peaceful; the people are pleased the President has gone. We did not feel under threat and we saw no evidence of the fighting in Libya. We did hear that Refugee boats were leaving Tunisia and Libya and heading to the closest Italian island Lampedusa. Initially we intended an overnight stop there as it is half way between Tunisia and Malta. But as this means sailing along the Libyan coast we decided to travel north east to the Italian island of Pantelleria.

So here we are in Pantelleria waiting for favorable winds to sail to Malta. At this stage we think this will be on Tuesday. In the meantime we are having fun with English friends John and Jan on "Brigantia" and Crispin, Fi and Wes on "Revolution". We are rafted five abreast; the first two boats are under repair. We are boat number three and 'piggy in the middle' the English boats are outside of us.

Fi, Jan, John and Crispin with Andrew

Early this morning the workmen on the first boat disconnected all the stays on the mizzen in preparation for removal. The mast was so rotten at the base that it fell sideways and ended up in the water behind our boat. One of the stays hit our arch making a hell of a noise - just a little too close for comfort!
A couple of days ago a large fishing boat drifted into a little 27 foot Beneteau rafted next to us and bent this solar panel pole.

Photo taken from our cockpit

12th Century Castle in Pantelleria         View from on high, Pantelleria            Village, Pantelleria

We are spending our time touring the island, going for extended walks, shopping for Italian delicacies, chatting with the locals and sharing coffees, meals and film nights with the English. We are having a good time and we are looking forward to going to Malta.
Love Candy xx
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