Motorcrossing

Written by Pieter Jan on Oct 27, 2019 — 3 min read

From: San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily, Italy
To: Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy

Salvatore came back in the morning, the bent anchor straightened again. I was very relieved. This meant we could leave for Sardinia!

Straightened out
Straightened out

The grib predictions promised 10 knots at our back the whole way. There were two huge leftover swells from the thunderstorms of the day before, one coming from the front, one from behind us. They interfered with each other, creating a confused pattern. Luckily the swell waves were long and lazy, so it was bearable, if a little unbalancing at times.

We put up the spinnaker and made an average of 2 knots. Vite & Rêves was held back by the hilly ride. This would mean the crossing would take 3,5 days of sailing. Sighing, I turned on the engines, hoping for more wind once we left Sicily’s wind shadow.

San Vito Lo Capo's lighthouse
San Vito Lo Capo's lighthouse

I tried setting course to the south, where there should have been more wind, but in vain. The wind fell away to nothing. We motored on until the evening, picking up a few hitchhikers along the way. 5 little birds were blown out to sea and found our boat to rest on. We gave them breadcrumbs and water. They thanked us by shitting all over the boat. I did not know these tiny birds could produce such copious amounts of shit.

We called this one 'Quick'...
We called this one 'Quick'...
...and this one 'Flupke'
...and this one 'Flupke'

The sun set over a glassy sea. The swell was slowly easing off.

Every sunset is different
Every sunset is different

Around 1:00, we found a patch of wind. 9 knots on the beam was a good start, so I unfurled the Code D and off we went. “Finally!”, I thought, “now we can really start the crossing.” Racing yacht TC6 Mapfre was travelling the same course, some 3 miles alongside us. We were going as fast on sail as they were on engine. I considered calling them and challenging them to a little race. But after an hour, the wind died down again to nothing and I was glad I didn’t. We saw them later when we arrived in Cagliari.

The next morning, one of our feathery passengers suffered a heart attack, right in front of the kids. They were shocked and saddened by the bird’s sudden crossing of the great divide. Barbara tried to frame their mourning, so they made a little cardboard coffin, decorated with drawings.

Fladdertje's coffin
Fladdertje's coffin

Later on we found a second heart attack victim. The poor birds were probably complete exhausted before they found our boat. This one, we gave a quiet sea burial. The circle of life will probably lead it to a sea turtle’s stomach. We saw a lot of turtles on the way, at least 50 to 100. They were all working on their tan in the quiet sea and dove at the last moment went Vite & Rêves passed by, blowing irritated bubbles.

A disturbed sea turtle
A disturbed sea turtle

We arrived in the quiet bay of Villasimius after 1,5 days of mainly motoring. Tomorrow we’re meeting our friend Veronique in Cagliari. Our first guest! It’ll be good to have an adult conversation with someone else than each other.