We were pleased to leave Marsala and travel the 37 miles down the southern coast to Sciacca. The wind was a steady F4 behind us most of the journey (as per forecast), but during the final couple of hours the winds gradually increased creeping up to a F5 then a F6. We noticed an influx of local fishing boats all heading rapidly into port; we thought it a bit odd to have so many heading in, then as the wind continued to increase and howl we realised it was one of the local “winds” getting up that they had not forecast so we followed suit increasing our revs and ran for port, Again Mark had the challenge of mooring in strong winds a F7 by this time.
Sciacca has a much nicer feel; the marina staff were more professional and very helpful, although it is still a cash only policy, with the marina a reasonable 40 euros. As you look past the marina up the hill you see first the run down but still charming fishermen’s houses, behind are modern flats then at the top of the hill the old town. Many buildings are neglected and falling apart or supporting new plant life, but this is a working town and it’s full of life and atmosphere. The old town at the top of the ceramic tiled steps is charming with narrow streets, lots of shops especially ceramics shops, which is the local product.
The port area is dominated by the mass of fishing boats, which is a good indication that Mark may land another tuna (we live in hope) and little cafes filled with the old men in groups chatting loudly and drinking coffee. My only criticism of the area is the level of rubbish, some areas are filthy, it is a shame.
We did struggle on Saturday night when going out for dinner, trying to find a restaurant that served anything other than pizza was a challenge. There are not a lot of restaurants here, which is surprising for a largish coastal town, but Mark found hidden away a tiny restaurant used by the locals. We had the house starter consisting of 7 different local appetisers which were all delicious, followed by two different pasta dishes, nice but different and then a small fish platter, it was a lovely evening. Unfortunately I did not get to experience the local thermal springs (heated by volcanic activity) for which the town is famous and has been visited since Roman times, because they are closed on Sundays, never mind. The strong winds have continued each day whilst we have been here, so with a calmer window we plan to set off again Monday bright and early to our next port.