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Our Sciacca coral is unique in the world because it was fossilised by the presence of Ferdinandea Island, also called the island that is not there.

An island that emerged off the coast of Sciacca and quickly sank again.

The island consisted of an active volcano, whose fumes have transformed over time the coral reef present in our sea (READ ALSO).

The island at the time of its emergence aroused the interest of many nations that claimed ownership.

The Bourbon King Ferdinand decided to send the bomber corvette “Etna” to protect it from the invasion and planted a Bourbon flag, baptizing the island “Ferdinandea”.

On March 21, 2001 I was called on the phone by my friend Dario, an old sea dog, captain of a great sailing ship from the past:

Come immediately to the port, run as we have to go out to sea.”

Accompanied by my daughter Luisa, aged 9, for the fun of letting her spend a day at the beach, we ran to the port.

A fleet of people crowded the shoreline and, to my surprise, I saw that the attention was concentrated on the princes of Bourbon who had come to Sciacca, at the invitation of the naval league of Sciacca.

The princes were to place a marble plaque on the island with the help of divers from the naval league.

We left for the island on board the sailing ship of Dario (baptized by us pirates), others were on motorboats, and sail boats. We were witnessing a fantastic event thanks to Dario’s invitation.

Arriving at the island, Dario offered all those present the “Nectar of the Gods”, the sweet raisin wine of Pantelleria accompanied by almond sweets.

We attended the function. Prince Charles and Princess Camilla being important witnesses for the deposition of the plaque on the seabed.

The ceremony lasted about twenty minutes and after the priest’s blessing, and the classic crown of flowers thrown into the sea, all the boats were ready to return, causing an anomalous wave during the engine starting manoeuvring that made some of the sailing ship furnishings fall.

For me it was the most beautiful experience I have had at sea … unrepeatable.

On the way back, thanks to a sea as smooth as oil, Dario let me have the experience of using the rudder too … to follow the compass and its essential directions.

When you have such an experience you can only say … “I was there”.

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