Nice Swim / Upwind Rollercoaster

Written by Pieter Jan on Oct 16, 2019 — 2 min read

From: Crotone, Italy
To: Le Castella, Italy

Another bipolar day. Nice and easy in the morning, wild and challenging in the afternoon.

It’s always a surprise when you arrive at night to see where you ended up in the morning. This morning, we thought we mistakenly arrived at the Belgian coast, apartment buildings side to side. Only the backdrop was a bit more dramatic. The water was nice and warm, so we went for a swim.

It's swimming time
It's swimming time
Can't tell where the sea ends
Can't tell where the sea ends

Another sailboat arrived. One of the boys swam over and invited himself aboard. His name was Vincenzo and he spoke Italian, German and Spanish. Our kids became fast friends and he invited us to swim over to their boat. I talked a bit with the owner, Giovanni. Friendly guy, bought the sailboat 4 months ago and was still learning the ropes. He was originally from Crotone, but now lives with his Argentinian wife and two kids in Saarbrücken.

Meeting fellow sailors
Meeting fellow sailors

The wind picked up a bit and it looked like a nice day for a short sail to Le Castella around Cape Rizzuto. 10 knots on the beam, what more can a sailor ask for? We passed the gas platforms that we dodged at night.

Gas platforms running on solar power
Gas platforms running on solar power

The whole cape is a nature reserve. The prevailing species is windmillus windmillus, their wings taking away all our good wind.

Windmills taking our wind
Windmills taking our wind

Barbara pondered over the horrors of the night before, still blissfully unaware the afternoon had even worse for us in store.

Barbara staring into the distance
Barbara staring into the distance

We rounded the cape. The wind freshened to 20 knots. Then 25. Then 30. 35. Almost 40. It became a wild, non-stop rollercoaster. The waves sometimes broke over Vite & Rêves. She changed into a submarine. When I had to go to the mast to fix something, I was soaked in seconds. Luckily, it was only an hour and a half.

We docked in the extremely protected harbor of Le Castella. The propellor caught the lazy line again just as the boat was made fast. No biggie. The line wasn’t cut and I freed the propellor easily in the morning. We thought about it and now know how to prevent this situation. You live, you learn.