Monday, July 1, 2013

From Trapani to Ionian sea

 After reading my last two posts captain said they were rather boring. Wind this, weather that, we ate this and that ... But I guess what we do is rather boring. We're trying to sail Heron home as fast as possible, minding the weather, but not much else. It's been 46 days since we left Barbuda and we only spent couple of days on land (only 3 whole days to be exact, all three in Gibraltar, all other days we've been sailing) and 7 nights in marinas and 7 nights on anchor. There's been very little time for anything else but sailing. You try to get enough food and rest to function well and to be able to perform on your watches, cook, clean the boat, clean yourself, and that's about it. And some reading, listening to music, talks. There has been some great sailing along the way, and a lot of fun too, but basically we're on the mission and focused to carry it out. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy a lot of it, but at the moment I just want to be home as soon as possible. We'll have to come back and explore Italy at some other time.

And we will. I really like Sicily, beside the great ice cream and delicious canoli I liked people a lot. They have a kind of joy and innocence about them like children. And the world feels relaxed, happy, carefree there, like it was when I was a child some 40 years ago, not so damn hard and serious as it is now. 

On Saturday morning Tomaz dinghied Mare to bus station, and after the breakfast we left our nice anchorage in Trapani. This is the town from North.

The beginning was slow, there was not much wind, and there were many dark clouds in the sky. We haven't seen so many since Azores. We even got a handful of rain. We passed Capo lo San Vito before noon. There are some nice hills and rocks and cliffs there.

After a while wind picked up and we had a bumpy, but fast sailing. Waves were probably the highest I've seen in Mediterranean, mostly about 2,5 - 3m, and some up to 4m. They came almost from behind and managed to roll Heron violently. But we were happy with the speed. It was also very cold, I sat in cockpit in my fleece all day.

There was a nice sunset in the evening.

 The sailing remained fast through the night, and it got even colder. I "upgraded" my fleece to three fleeces one over another, and added fleece cap, fleece hand gloves and fleece socks. And I was freezing. I was tempted to get my polar sleeping bag out, but it turned out that my three blankets were sufficient for the night. The last time I was so cold was in North Atlantic, but I expected it to be cold there - hence the name.

We sailed pass Eolian island in the night and in the morning we were in Messina Strait. Morning was very cloudy, this is the view of Calabrian side of Messina Strait towards North.

There was heavy traffic in Messina Strait, we were watching very carefully not to be overrun by one of the ferries. We also saw some dolphins jumping high in the air, but they didn't come to the boat.

It was blowing much harder than forecast, and we had nice fast sailing, also due to the current that was luckily running our way, and calm sea.

After turning around the corner into Ionian sea wind was still there and with 30 knots from behind we were still able to sail almost as fast as on the other side.

Despite the cloudy weather the coast looked nice, no high buildings that would hurt the eyes. And again some pretty rocks.

In the afternoon clouds climbed behind the hills and sun came up, wind died and we got some nice warm gin&tonic weather. We took advantage of it, and after skinny dipping in the warm sea (well, more or less, it doesn't come close to Caribbean sea), we enjoyed a gin&tonic. I managed to prepare the dinner in calm (we had tuna steaks with cheese and garlic sauce, pasta and salad), but soon wind was back and we already ate under sails.

After couple of more hours sailing and watching the sunset with green flash, we anchored near the town of Roccela Ionica.

 It was already getting dark, so we didn't see much of the scenery. We had a good night, although Heron was rocking and rolling a little bit.

This is what we saw in the morning.

After breakfast we set sails again, but also had the engine running. There was very little wind and although we tried to move on sails alone from time to time, most of the day we've been motor-sailing. But the day was warm, sunny, calm, I hope it will help with my runny nose and puffy eyes I got from wind and cold.

We just passed Capo Rizzuto, since the day was so easy we decided to go on sailing/motoring through the night. We will be through Otran Strait at some time tomorrow. Then we'll check the weather again to see how we can best and fastest sail up through the Adriatic sea.

1 comment:

  1. It may be boring sailing stuff, but I am going to miss it when it stops. Partly because we are locked to a dock for the next 6 months so I am living sailing dreams through you, but mostly because I will miss your writing, your fabulous pictures, and just hearing about what you two are up to.

    Na zdravje!