Day 7: Return home and closing dinnerAfter another long night of festivities on the island paradise of Panarea, skippers struggled to work up the energy to cast off for Portarosa. Around four in the morning one of the boats had come off its stern anchor and began drifting into a nearby motor yacht. Three skippers hopped on board to re-locate it to a secure mooring ball on the opposite side of the peer. It was only one of countless times the skippers on the Italian route relied on the quick response of their peers to rise to the occasion and help avoid potential disaster. Some boats stopped on the south side of Vulcono en route to Portarosa at a beautiful black sand beach. They could catch a free taxi ashore to grab drinks at the beach bar or dine at the restaurant on the beach ahead of their final two-hour leg back to Sicily.
Boats made their final sail south in the early hours of the afternoon where they made their way into their respective charter company docks between 3-5pm. Buses gathered to take the crews around to the beach at 7:30 so there was little time to pack up and check out so crews would be ready to catch their buses in the morning. The closing dinner and party took place on a nearby beach with a bar and restaurant called Lido Moby Dick. Skyy Vodka once again generously sponsored pre-drinks and once all of the crews gathered we made our way back to the restaurant where an amazing buffet was set up for everyone on TYW. After dinner crews made their way back to the dance floor where the crew announced final awards for the week and everyone celebrated the close of another successful week on the Italy route by dancing the night away. The three weeks of Italy 2012 had come to a close and assuming all goes as planned they will serve as the beginning of an era for The Yacht Week in the Aeolian Islands.
For now, my adventures in Italy are coming to a close. I will now have to send my Scottie Hampton sunglasses to Greece, where Max awaits them to begin his polarized journey. I did not take these sunglasses off once during my entire time in Italy. Every time I put them on, something good happened to me...perhaps TYW really is not the real world.