Thursday, 5 July 2012

Taking it as it comes

Swordfish boat entering Pignataro marina in Lipari
The word "cruising" is my un-doing. It implies a slow, stressless meander from one safe haven to another. Instead, Enki with her doughty skipper and wide-eyed crew has been purposefully making her way from one Volvo dealer to the next. This morning in Milazzo, on the north-eastern corner of Sicily,  we are waiting for a visit from our fourth mechanic, one Roberto from MilNautica, approved by Volvo Penta. You can guess the rest.

There has been an interlude, a lovely interlude in fact. Lipari is a town we hope to return to with Pops, should the engine oblige us with its cooperation in this venture.  Putting aside the stifling heat, which cannot be put aside at all and instead requires you to burrow into whatever dark place you can find in the hours between breakfast and cocktails, Lipari and the islands which surround it are exactly what we are looking for - a cruising ground with that potent Mediterranean mix of several thousand years of human habitation layered upon a landscape which to a surprising extent retains an essential wildness.

When I can turn my mind off from the torturous stop-start of the engine, and look around me, I am happy to be here.

Cathedral doors illustrate what the Turks did to Lipari when they came to visit  a thousand years ago
Yesterday we waited for Pops to make her way to us from Istanbul by plane and train. When she arrived, she set my world to rights. She has always done that for me, and for many others.

Ghosts of Romans and medieval monks in Lipari cloister


  1. I am enjoying your blog, love your writing. I wonder if you've read Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres, an historical novel set in Turkey from the late 1800's through the First World War. I just read it in preparation for our upcoming trip to Turkey and thought it was excellent.

    Good luck with your engine!

    Joan Litzow

  2. Thank you so much, Joan! I'm looking forward to writing about something other than the engine - and to having one that works, needless to say....but grateful you are reading the blog in the mean time. I'll look out for the Louis de Bermieres book - and of course there's always Amazon and Kindle for the impatient.

    We're crossing our fingers for Elias' strong recovery, and I'm sure you are.