We could get no response on the radio from the marina at Sidi Bou Said so on arrival we moored alongside in the only available berth, just near the entrance. It was not long before someone came along and wanted us to move to another berth, much further into the tiny harbour. We were directed into a dead end and a berth far too small for Irony. As Nic tried to manoeuvre us in to the space we were hit with 25 knot crosswinds. Just to help matters, I couldn’t get the marinero to turn the rope I threw him around the bollard, he tried to hold on to it himself! We finally tied up but our stern was well into the already narrow channel. They decided we should go back to the original berth! Our departure was no less dramatic because, as Nic tried to reverse out, he was faced successively with 3 boats blocking the channel and showing no signs of moving until we gesticulated violently at them and shouted in French. Nic did a magnificent job getting Irony into position attracting much praise from other boats who were all thankful they weren’t in our place!
Saturday, 28 July 2007
Friday, 27 July 2007
On 26 July we set out late afternoon for
Take 2 the next day! Still NW headwinds but less strong with more moderate seas. We were forced to tack, adding about 35 miles on to our 90 mile journey and a lot of hours. Altogether an uncomfortable and tiring passage.
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
We checked out of Mgarr, Gozo on 23 July and took on some duty free fuel. Unfortunately a grain ship was being unloaded near the fuel quay and the wind was blowing in our direction. We’ve been severely sanded before but not “grained”.
Once again we experienced no wind or headwinds on our overnight sail to Pantelleria. High NW winds prevented us from visiting the harbour and limited us to one anchorage on the SE of the island, Dietro Isola. The scenery was spectacular and the snorkelling very good if blighted by too many jellyfish for comfort.
Saturday, 21 July 2007
We have had a fantastic time over the last couple of weeks anchoring around
In one anchorage, a bay almost entirely enclosed by high cliffs, a motorboat came alongside and told us they were sinking. A helicopter then began circling and dropped a man into the water. After a discussion with the captain he was hoisted up again and they left. Nic ended up ferrying the 18 passengers to shore in our dinghy and lent them a pump together with assistance. In the meantime a police boat arrived and left, shortly followed by the coastguard who seemed more interested in paperwork than any practical help. Several hours later, when enough water had been pumped out of the bilges, the motorboat managed to get an engine running and head home.
Friday, 13 July 2007
We managed to visit an incredible site called the Hypogeum. Dating from 3600 BC, it is a underground temple and burial site and predates the Pyramids and
Wednesday, 11 July 2007
Wednesday, 4 July 2007
The first night we were flying along at 8 knots. In light winds we flew our cruising shute the second night but then we lost the wind entirely and ended up motoring in dead calm. We didn’t really get any serious wind until we were approaching
The trip was not without its dramas – a water alarm went off 200 miles from land. The cause was a split in the exhaust gooseneck leaking into the stern steering compartment – unexpected as this was a new Vetus part less than a year old.
We arrived in