17 May (Modified 22 May): Checking Out Weather and Wind Sardinia to Sicily

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Posted from Ellesmere Port, England, United Kingdom.



We’ll be setting sail from Olbia, Sardinia in the early hours of 1 June, destination Licata on the south coast of Sicily.  The plan is to sail direct, a 350 nM passage, taking around 3 days and nights, depending on the weather and the wind.  So, I’ve started looking at various forecasts to build up a picture of the weather trends ahead of departure, as I’ve always found my decisions on timing and routing to be better if I have a sense of the trends rather than relying on a snapshot on the day.

So, Windfinder for spot local coastal conditions and Pocketgrib for a detailed display of the offshore winds we are likely to meet.  Both these sites are accessible via iPad apps, which is pretty convenient.

What’s it looking like? Click on Orange place names for a detailed, up-to-date wind map.

Olbia will suffer strong and persistent North Westerlies all this week, only abating on Sunday 26 May. Early indications are that sunny weather and light WNW winds will present themselves on May 29, making for pleasant conditions on departure. However, there is currently no reliable visibility of the weather beyond that, so check back in a couple of days time for a better picture of our predicted passage weather and initial thoughts on weather routing.
Cagliari Cagliari’s weather is relevant for 30 May, when we shall be nearby and about to leave coastal waters for the crossing to Sicily. Strong winds seem unlikely but check back in a couple of days for published forecast.
Marsala is close to the NW tip of Sicily, where we will sight land after the crossing. Check back for published forecast in a few days time.
Finally Licata also suffers a strong NW Maestrale wind this week but this abates rather sooner than Olbia. There is an unusual strong Easterly predicted towards the end of the week, lasting only a day, with light airs resuming by 29 May. Check back for a proper forecast for planned arrival dates of 3-4 June in a few days time. Worth noting is an apparent trend for the wind round the Licata headland to be quite strong in the afternoon and early evening, regardless of prevailing conditions. The berths in the marina are cross-wind, suggesting easier berthing early in the morning rather than at other times of the day.

As we get nearer departure date we’ll be able to plot wind and weather on the chart and agree the best “weather route” to take. Please check back regularly for updates.

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