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And what a year we’ve all had since our last post here! When we left Seattle on Serafina in 2014, we planned on having some adventures, but nothing like what 2020 has brought us, and rest of the world. I suspect we were not alone in underestimating the impact that outside events could have on our lives. Generations previous to ours may have gotten used to plagues, famines, mass migrations, world wars and so on, but we had gotten out of the habit.
So it was lovely to get back to Licata, after six months of utterly unplanned time away – which began in early February with what was to intended to be a fairly short trip to the US. It was the first time in six years that we have spent so much time on land and far away from Serafina. Of course, for many others, this year’s hardships have been much more severe. We saw friends and family in the US, and spent four pleasant months on quiet Guemes Island, 60 miles north of Seattle.
Before that, and before the full impact of the pandemic was clear, we drove from Seattle to California to visit friends and family in that state. It was a treat to work our way down the breathtaking northwest coast of the US.
But being back in Licata is another world. Italy’s dramatic shutdown, following the initial outbreak of coronavirus in the north, managed to unite the country in an effective effort to isolate and virtually shut down the virus. Italy, with the reputation of being inefficient, corrupt and disorganized, managed to accomplish what the richest and most powerful country in the world, the US, has failed at so miserably.
Licata had a total of 6 cases of coronavirus, and has no further new cases since the end of April. People are still wearing masks in busy indoor settings (except restaurants and bars), but otherwise the feeling here is remarkably free of fear compared to our recent time in the United States. The flood of people coming south for the Ferragosto holiday may have an impact on Licata’s success, but so far the contrast is stunning.
Serafina remains on the market, which has been significantly affected by the virus. For one thing, it’s difficult for people from the US to come to Licata to look at our boat, but on the other hand, a lot of people’s plans have evolved to be less focused on work, and more focused on new experiences. We’ll see where all this leads. At the very worst, we’ll spend a good part of next summer on the water on our lovely boat!