Saturday, October 10, 2015

Lucky crossings Cannes - Corsica - Sardinia - Sicily

All along this cruise we had good sailing conditions and could avoid bad weather thanks to good timing and planning. I am very thankful to Meteo France and their accurate weather forcasts and the practical Android App Marine Weather from Meteo Consult Marine. So on September 21st after bunkering exquisite provisions from Marche Forville we left Cannes just in time to use a powerful breeze for the next 20 hours crossing to the northwest of Corsica. Next morning the wind grew stronger as expected and we finally moored safely between two buoys at Port Girolata at noon.

Next day with a forecast of 6 bft westerly breeze we had to fight for 3 hours tacking with 2nd reef out of Golfe de Girolata to round Capu Rossu in heavy seas. The rest was fun sailing high speed to Ajaccio, where we moored for two days in Port Tino Rossi and enjoyed the sights of this memorable city and a wonderful dinner at Da Mama. September 25th we sailed with favourable northwesterly winds south passing Campo Moro, Pointe Sentosa, Les Moines and finally anchored on sand for a quiet night in Anse de Chevanu. Next day in the morning we had a slight collision with an erratic motoring catamaran. Except a twisted anchor aluminium built Sea of Joy had no damage, but I never thought it could be so difficult giving way to another boat, when it is not holding course and steers in erratic directions. After exchanging insurance papers in Figari we crossed the Strait of Bonifacio tacking against easterly 5 bft winds, sailed through the Maddalena Archipelago and finally anchored in sand in Porto Palma, where we savoured Gerhard's famous potato goulash.

On September 27th with northeasterly winds we sailed south along Costa Smeralda, passed Capo Figari and then Isola Tavolara after noon. In the evening we moored alongside in La Caletta and had a nice dinner at Giovanna Canu.
Next day we continued with 5-6 bft winds south along Capo Comino and Capo di Monte Santu and spent the night in Marina Baunei, where we had dinner at Ristorante Lungonare Navarra.

In the morning of September 29th we accurately studied different weather forecasts. Heavy force 8 winds were announced in two days time. So instead of going further south to Villasimius we decided to change course and start our crossing to Sicily at once.

First under sail, motoring through the night, then sailing again in a strong breeze the last 40 miles to Trapani we enjoyed a nice crossing and a rather calm sea for 31 hours. Under gusty southerly winds we moored in Trapani at Marina Vento di Maestrale, clamped our boat securely, and enjoyed our pancakes with thunderstorms. We spent 3 leisurely 3 days in Trapani visiting the city, medieval Erice, and enjoyed good food in Caupona Taverna di Sicilia and Antichi Sapori Ristorante.

On October 3rd with brilliant weather we sailed west, rounded Isola Levanzo, took a nice swim in Cala Fredda and then moored in the port of Favignana, where we visited the city and had a luxury dinner at Sotto Sale. Next day with no sun but nice southeasterly winds we tacked the whole day down to Mazara del Vallo, where we moored at Molo di Adina and had a marvelous dinner at Donna Franca. The wind turned next day and we sailed downwind to Sciacca, where we moored at Molo di Lega Navale, climbed many stairs into the center of this beautiful city and had a good family dinner at Osteria Il Grappolo.

Tuesday, October 6th we motored with no wind east to San Leone, where we got a mooring place at Mediterraneo Yachting Club and enjoyed an exquisite fish dinner at Trattoria Il Pescatore. Next day we finished our journey with the last leg enjoying strong 6 bft winds downwind and rushed with more than 8 knots only with our genua in 1st reef to our final port Licata, where we were welcomed by our old friends from Marina Cala del Sole. The next two days we did some maintenance work, cleaned up,  and made Sea of Joy ready for the winter. In the evenings we had pizza at Solito Posto and a creative fish dinner at L'Oste E Il Sacrestano. When we left at last on Saturday 10th in the morning for Vienna, the capricious weather disbanded us with a short but heavy 10bft thunderstorm, which unroofed some buildings in the marina and in the city. We were happy to end this demanding season safely and thankful for our sturdy boat and good luck.

Around Easter next year Sea of Joy will get sandblasted and a new antifouling paint at Cantiere Oceania in Licata. In spring we will sail 770sm east into the Adriatic Sea to Croatia for some recreative sailing adventures with family and friends in 2016.

We sailed 127h and logged 651sm in 17 days.

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