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Crossing from Karpathos/Greece to Sicily/Italy, June 9th - 15th 2008 (by Dagmar)
The sea was calm for the first hours before the head winds caught us again. The rocking and bashing intensified, the seas got rougher. We all felt miserable, just lying on the benches waiting for a change of the wind direction, just getting up once in a while to correct the course or change sails again. Sailing along the north coast of Crete, our course was that of a zigzag line, tacking all the time to get a better angle towards the head winds.
But have a look at the pictures. I took them before and two days after the uncomfortable sailing conditions. The difference from the previous days was unbelievable. The wind dropped and we motor sailed towards the South of Sicily. Bart had to go up all the way into the mast. The main sail got stuck there again. It is always easier to climb up there, while you are at anchor and not like now during sailing. Our generator overheated, but luckily we had to motor sail a lot now, so we were able to charge the batteries. Preparing meals in the kitchen was still a challenge while "LUNA" was angled a lot over port tack, but even when I feel very sea sick I don't have to throw up and I am always able to cook something or just prepare a snack. The "Ohana Kai" crew had provided us with several "Transoderm Scop" band aids against sea sickness, so we felt better day by day.
We desperately wished we had more time to spend at each of the anchorages ahead of us. Just to explore more of Greece, Turkey, Italy and Spain would have been great. But already last year we had decided to be back in Holland by end of July. We would in fact be sailing for the next weeks more or less non-stop. That makes me always more tense, to know that we have so much sailing ahead. Still after 3 years of sailing, pretty tough conditions, like very strong winds and waves would scare me. I knew our "LUNA" is a very strong yacht, and that we had taken all the precautions we possibly could, and I certainly wasn't questioning Bart's ability as a skipper. But I am always relieved when we made it to the next anchorage. Nevertheless I would never ever quit. I am not one of the sailors who would go for the greatest challenges, the highest speed, sailing under the 30 degrees angle. It is great that sailing around the World brings you to remote islands, to bays you can't reach by land, to experience different life styles and traditions. I still favor this part of our sailing life the most.
We enjoyed our time in Karpathos so much, even extended it, that this will now shorten all the other stopovers. But a lot of new challenges are lying ahead of us. We have to make a living somewhere, put Soleil into school, both start working again.....So we are very excited about that. Upon our arrival in Holland we will start immediately to work on a new investment visa for the U.S., to hopefully be back on Maui by end of this year.
Marzamemi, South Sicily, June 15th - 16th 2008 (by Dagmar)
In the morning of June 15th the South of Sicily came up on the horizon. We made it by midday into the bay of Porto Palo, past ruins of the city wall and a castle on the island in front of the bay. But we had to learn from the harbor master, that this was only a harbor for fishing boats. The marina of Marzamemi, around the point, would provide Diesel for us. So we stayed for one night in the marina of the next village. Now we had to get used to European prices again. Just one night at the marina was Euro 46.-,... very expensive. The marina was still a construction site. But we could fill our jerry cans with diesel. The harbor master assisted with his dinghy, so we could leave "little Luna" on deck. In the afternoon we took a walk through the little village.
Old traditional houses, known for their high vaulted ceilings and rough brick work, were lining the main street. Some houses were featuring restaurants or little shops. One was having a distribution of the delicacies of the region, presenting sun dried tomatoes, olives in different dips, smoked fish and ham, roasted and marinated veggies as well as different kinds of wine and honey.
Even if it was Sunday, a little grocery store in town was open. So we got bread and some fresh sliced ham as well as Nutella. Veggies and fruits we could buy from a trader's van, who was circling town around noon.
Drawings of fish at a wall let us guess that this would be a store to buy fresh fish, but was closed due to the week end.
The Sicilian gardens were presenting a huge variety of flowers, bushes with blossoms every where.....
...their scents following us through town.
In the evening we enjoyed an antipasti (appetizers) buffet and pizza at "da Marchese", a family owned restaurant.
We strolled through the little fisher village, enjoying ice cream and the possibility to stretch our legs after many days on the water. The movement itself and exercising we miss a lot.
For us it was just a stop over of 24 hours. The weather window predicted good conditions to sail towards Sardinia or the Balearic Islands. In this region often the wind blows from the west, so we had to take every opportunity to get further ahead.
Last modified: September 02, 2008