Skipper’s Blog



Planned route to Sicily on 29 May 2013






19 July: Summer Is Flying By

Posted by on 19 Aug 2013 in 2013 BP not stop press | 2 comments

Posted from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicilia, Italy. Since arriving in Sicily in early June we have been pretty busy.  Gill and I, based in Licata in the south, variously sailed or toured by car to try to get to know a little more about the island.  It didn’t take long to realise that it was very different from Sardinia in many ways.  The landscape combines rolling hills, valleys and sheer rock faces in a way that stimulates the senses.  But the sheer acreage of planted crops, vines, fruit trees, olives and tomatoes was...

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4 June: Fast and Furious

Posted by on 6 Jun 2013 in 2013 BP not stop press | 2 comments

Posted from Licata, Sicilia, Italy.  Actual route taken   [source:]     It wasn’t until Sunday, 2 June around 1600 hours that we were able to leave Porto Corallo at the south east end of Sardinia. Even then, the winds still blew a constant 20 kts and gusted higher than that.  However, the big difference was that, at long last, the forecast was for this extended Maestrale to abate within 24 hours or so.  Now, well behind schedule, we had decided to head to Palermo,...

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30 May: Off to Sicily At Last

Posted by on 31 May 2013 in 2013 BP not stop press | 2 comments

Posted from Sardinia, Italy.      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...

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

Posted by on 22 May 2013 in 2013 BP not stop press | 0 comments

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...

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5 May: Planning the passage to Sicily

Posted by on 5 May 2013 in 2013 BP not stop press | 0 comments

Posted from Licata, Sicilia, Italy. I left Dave, now in the company of his girlfriend Jennifer, on Oboe, with a short list of work still to be done and at 05:00 drove out of Marina di Olbia and headed south to Cagliari in my car to catch the day ferry to Sicily, an 11 hour crossing. The plan was to drive to Licata and find the Marina di Cala del Sole, where we will base Oboe for a summer of cruising and exploration around Sicily, Malta and Tunisia. It was 02:00 before I finally flopped into bed in a little guesthouse near the port,...

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3 May: Oboe’s 2013 mini-refit complete

Posted by on 3 May 2013 in 2013 BP not stop press | 0 comments

Posted from Olbia, Sardinia, Italy. Two weeks of hard work and Oboe is beginning to gleam. David and I have spent many hours down in the depths of the bilge and deep in lockers replacing and renewing plumbing and electrics, servicing the Volvo auxiliary engine, the generator and water-maker. Sanding and varnishing was a challenge due to humidity and there’s still more to be done, but we did get a few days sailing in and combined this with meeting up with Fabio, a genuinely lovely guy and a local dive master, who spend a couple of hours...

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16 April: The drive to Sardinia

Posted by on 16 Apr 2013 in 2013 BP not stop press | 0 comments

Posted from Bèze, Côte d'Or, France. A 5:00am start from Chester to pick up Dave Whittaker from the tiny village of Loxley, near Uttoxeter, en route to the channel tunnel and on to Bèze, in the Côte D’Or region of France for the first night’s stop.  Here, in this picturesque village seemingly forgotten by time, lies the Auberge de la Quatr’Heurie, warm and welcoming and boasting a Côte de Boeuf par excellence. I happened across this eccentric establishment a few years back and I always look forward to spending the...

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