In all past years, the end of season blog contains a photo of Sabbatical III in the slings of a “Travellift” as she is being placed on a hardstand ashore for her winter rest. Â Not this year. Â Sabbatical III will spend the winter season in the water as there is no boat storage ashore in Carloforte. Â It is a first for us.
We spent the last days of October and early November doing boat maintenance and getting her prepared for storage afloat. Â Since easterly storms can bring sizable swells into the Marine Sifredi, we added large stainless steel springs to the two aft lines that hold the boat to the breakwater. Â On one end, these springs are connected to lengths of chain that go around large bollards ashore. Â On the other end, we have new lines with steel eye thimbles that connect to the springs with large shackles. Â In case a spring should break, a length of chain is shackled from the eye thimble to the chain around the bollard. Â This way the boat floats somewhat freely and does take the full impact of shock loads from rough seas that would otherwise occur if she were tied tightly to shore.
After November 1, the ferry schedule to Carloforte was drastically reduced as were the the number of daytripper tourists to Carloforte. Â Most restaurants closed down and by early November not a single gelato shop was in operation. Â The last to close was our favorite place Napitia, just across the street from the marina.
In early November the whole island came out for a free concert byÂ Gianni Morandi who has been a famous pop singer, actor, and TV personality in Italy for fifty years. Â A film crew spent some weeks in Carloforte making a movie staringÂ Gianni Morandi and using townfolk as extras, and the concert was Morandi’s way of saying thank you. Â He performed on a stage set up on the waterfront and the crowd loved it.
In the first week of November, we took a respite from our labors and hopped a super cheap flight from Cagliari to Barcelona where we stayed in a comfortable hostel. Â We loved the city. Â We walked miles through its beautiful streets taking in the sites, people watching, and tasting Catalan cuisine.
We were particularly taken with Gaudi’s yet unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada FamÃlia cathedral (above) and the Casa BatllÃ³.
On a rainy day, we took the train to Girona where a thriving Jewish community distinguished by its Kabbalah scholars existed prior to the Inquisition.
On our way back to the US, we spent two and one-half days in the lake country north of Milan. Â We stayed at a small hotel on theÂ Sacred Mountain of Varese overlooking Lake Varese in theÂ Campo dei Fiori National Park. Â It was on an impossibly steep and narrow road but well worth the effort. Â From there we drove to the Malpensa Airport for a flight to Miami.
While home, we will organize our best photos and video for our web site. Â We will post when that task in complete.