30 May: Off to Sicily At Last

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Posted from Sardinia, Italy.




Recovery position!

Recovery position!

Our Mast Climber!

Our Mast Climber!

Iron constitution in the rolling Galley!

Iron constitution in the rolling Galley!

Outwardly exuding confidence.

Outwardly exuding confidence.

Despite seeking out persons with influence with the Big Man in the Sky and plying them with alcohol, the wind would not play ball, if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphors.

Leaving Olbia brought on mixed emotions after two years of residency. Friends Michael and Joyce, Tim and Tiffany, Alyson and Robbie and more wished us well and we exchanged undying friendship and promises to stay in touch. We were, in some ways the advance party for Sicily, as some were planning on visiting later in the season, where Tim and Tiffany are to be the advance party for Tunisia, a place of cheap boat hauls, scrubs and baksheesh!

We were fully crewed – Steve, Steve and Michael and more than fully provisioned, courtesy of the wonderful Franca and her family, two of whom, husband Stephen and son Michael are in the crew.

The last minute hiccough that saw the ship’s generator once again lifted from the boat, rushed off to the workshop, repaired and re-fitted was completed and off we went to the fuel dock in 25 kts of wind to sit out the worst of the weather.

We threw our lines at 21:15 and ventured out in semi-darkness. Two reefs in the mainsail and no jib blew us out to sea.

Well, all seemed controlled until we cleared Tavolara when 30-40 kts of wind beasted us and promised a wet and windy night. It did not disappoint and by dawn we were fully baptised, cold, tired and positively exhilarated. As usual, Oboe took good care of us as we endured periods of sun, rain and wind in good humour. Food fit for an Italian prince turned up at regular intervals from the galley, manned by the Massarella chefs and all was well.

Despite the “fun”, tiredness got the better of us and we decided to seek refuge in Porto Corallo on the south coast of Sardinia. Yes, Sardinia still, for those of you who thought perhaps we had headed out to sea directly towards Sicily. No, we had hedged our bets and hugged the Sardinian east coast just in case we needed to dive for cover.

Here we still are, headsail furler repaired, bow thruster repaired, Oboe washed and put to bed and crew rested, wined and dined and looking forward to hitting the big winds again tomorrow reaching out for Sicily.


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  1. Steve Turley

    Look out for Fowler. Will con you he has gone down to check on the bilges and re-appear with a tray of Bloody Marys. Be scared. Be very scared.

    ~Have a good trip – envious as hell.


    • Nigel

      Ah ha! I met him first in the last century. Me thinks it was 1979, when I taught him to program computers and he taught me to mix Bloody Marys! Hasn’t volunteered to do anything yet, especially go anywhere near the bilges!

      Come and join us any time you like. Must be an airfield somewhere near Licata.


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