Ear wax ice cream anyone?

Favignana, Cala Rossa and conservationists

23rd February 2014
San Vito lo Capo
Favignana harbour


Favignana and Cala Rossa


A good night’s sleep in Favignana.

After the difficult crossing to Sicily, resting in Cala Freda just across from Favignana for the night was just what the doctor ordered.The crossing was long and rough but as usual Cygnus III had looked after us and anchoring in the sheltered bay overnight was bliss.


Time for a quick sail across the strait

We were up early the following morning as the swell and wind had swung overnight and was now coming into our tiny bay. Richard and Tree on Tinkerbell were up before us for once and were already heading across the short stretch of water towards Favignana. Favignana is a much bigger island with a sheltered harbour and decent sized town that is protected from the elements. They had made the right decision with the conditions and we soon followed.


Favignana, Sicily

Favignana had a very small marina. Tinkerbelle was going to go in and join Zazen who had gone straight there the previous night. David and Sam on Elle’ er whom we knew from Gibraltar and had met in various places all year were also there and told us that we could actually anchor in the harbour. Being a good northern lad and a skinflint as well paying nothing to anchor sounded too good an opportunity to miss.


We anchored in the harbour at Favignana in front of the ferry.

Favignana Tuna Factory

Favignana Tuna Factory

We entered the harbour and anchored right on the spot our charts said we could. Just as we got the anchor down the harbour master came rushing out onto the wall shouting and gesticulating as if he was being attacked by a swarm of rabid wasps. Even though he was waving around in Italian we understood he wanted us to move further into the harbour where it was quiet shallow. We couldn’t understand why but we hauled up our anchor and moved anyway. Just as we did so a leviathan of a ferry swooped in and dropped his anchor just where we had been minutes before. As the anchor dropped he put the Favignana ferry into reverse and took it backwards against the quay with the anchor holding him steady. Now we knew, if we had stayed there we would have blocked the whole harbour entrance and we would have become road kill in the process. As it was we were anchored 50m away from the marina and the three boats of our friends. We could row across to meet them and were saving 50 euros a day by not being in the marina.


Perfect for Tuna fishing.

Favignana was a place we liked. It was a mixture between working town and holiday resort with both blending well together. There was a long history of tuna fishing and the Favignana had been bought by an Italian entrepreneur many years ago just for this purpose. The tuna factories built on the shore had been renovated and now served as a museum to the island’s past industry.


Ear wax ice crème.

Favignana also had some of the weirdest pizzas we had tasted to date (chips and egg on a pizza?) but the ice cream was to die for. Favignana had so many ice crèmes. I am sure I could have got a “ear wax from left handed 79 year old virgins from Kazakhstan” flavour they would have had it. I decided not to test my theory and just opted for English custard which tasted like… well English custard, Birds to be exact.


Where are we going to go now?

All the boats in Favignana

Aboard Zazen

At night we all got together on Zazen for a few drinks and some delicious food cooked by Adrianne. Of course Tree brought along brownies for dessert.

We relaxed in Favignana for a couple of days before deciding where to go next. We could take the short route down the south coast of Sicily to Licata or Marina di Ragusa. We intended to stay at one or the other for winter but as yet we had not decided which one. Tinkerbell would be going North around Sicily as they were going to Greece to see family and Zazen were also going North before turning to go up to Corsica. We all got along so well we decided to sail with them the long way around Sicily. It would add another 300 to 400 miles to our journey but if the Proclaimers can walk 500 miles we could certainly sail them. No true English man wants to be out done by a couple of Scottish men, especially ginger haired ones who couldn’t see unless they had beer glass bottoms stuck in front of their eyes. So northwards it was.


Cala Rossa Favignana

Our first stop after the harbour on Favignana was less than a mile away along the coast in Cala Rossa. This is shown all over the island on posters because of its beautiful crystal clear waters. Cygnus III, Tinkerbell and Zazen anchored there for the day. There were numerous buoys to tie to but they charge you for the privilege and anchoring is free.


Conservationists … my sandy bottom.

Cala Rossa

Cala Rossa

In the early evening a man and woman on a conservation protection boat came out to us whilst we were anchored in Cala Rossa. We were told that we could not stay there overnight as our anchors were destroying the sea grass. This was ridiculous as we were allowed to anchor there during the day but not at night. Not only that but the waters were so clear we could see we were anchored in sand. The only grass we would be able to find in a miles radius was the joint he had rolled for later. They suggested we go back in the marina at Favignana. Now, I may look stupid but I knew their game strait away. For a start he was not wearing sandals, bicycle clips and didn’t have a pony tail or beard. His female companion was also not dressed in ill-fitting baggy jeans. Her hair was not cut short and she didn’t have a beard either. This meant only one thing. He was not a true tree hugger and as she didn’t look like a bored millionaires wife looking for a cause there was no way they were conservationists. They just wanted more money by getting us back in the marina. We tried to bribe and entice them with a batch of Tree’s latest brownies but even that failed. In the end he pointed us to a place we could anchor. It was 100m away and in an area full of the sea grass they were allegedly there to protect!


Did Cygnus III survive?

The following day we would set out across to mainland Sicily and find ourselves in a real storm with lightning all around big, big winds and some really scary shit. Just in case you are wondering we didn’t die on that passage and I hope I didn’t spoil the ending.



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