February in Roccella has been slightly busier than January, slowly working through our ‘To Do’ list while keeping up with the social life, continuing our Italian classes and I did a bit of sewing. Valeria also took a week back in the UK, timed to perfection with the arrival of the new Ice Age.
I have fixed the freezer – cool segway there – replacing the thermostat and have also serviced the engines. The new Code Zero sail has arrived but I need to fit the torsion wire and the furling mechanism. The jetty we are on is covered in sand and grit which will do the sail no good, but happily the Community Centre building is just about big enough to take the sail which is over 20 metres long when laid out!
But my major achievement this month has been making a sun awning for the front of the boat.
Originally a guy on a neighbouring boat, who does sail repairs, started the project off by sewing the panels together but had to return to the UK before he could finish it.
So I borrowed his sewing machine, learned to use it and prepared the biggest ‘Test Piece’ you can imagine. The completed awning is 2.8m long by 5.6m wide, and was obviously bigger before I started cutting and sewing, but the Community Centre served as a fantastic work area. It wasn’t the most complex job, all straight edges with some little loops around the edges to tie it down, but it was an enjoyable couple of days and I even managed to not sew myself to the cloth!! And best of all, it fits!
The rest of the month has been spent socialising at the Sunday BBQs and amongst ourselves on our various boats and occasional meals out – usually pizza after Italian classes. We are now firm friends with another couple of catamaran owners on the quayside, so much so that Valeria, Sue and Suzy are all off to Milan for a Girls Weekend over the first weekend in March!
Immediately following on from that Valeria has been planning a 10 day trip for us travelling around northern Italy and visiting an old school friend in Switzerland, while I have been planning our route through the southern Agean islands for the summer.
And it is now only about 6 weeks before we set off again!