Before I write about our new adventure I’d like to provide some stats of our Summer 2020 cruising the Aegean, once Covid 19 restrictions were lifted.
Since 1 June we’ve travelled 1437 nM’s of which 47% was under sail. Our average speed was 4.7 knots and our longest passage was 120 nM in 24 hours.
Highlights were Leros (loved it, especially Lakki), Armagos (especially the beach bar). Mykonos, the beautiful anchorage on the south east Pelopennese, Momenvasia and wonderful sunsets.
Low points were Meltemi (especially coming in to Batsi), not catching fish (many a lure lost), the short sailing season due to Covid and, not seeing as much wildlife (turtles, dolphins etc,) as we’d like.
We’d been on the hard for nearly three weeks. Lots of projects started and completed (fitting of new prop, solar panels and various others including filling up the fuel tank with cheap diesel (as we had a car a some jerry cans). Also spent time provisioning and most importantly catching up with dear friends.
We have been hanging around Preveza as we are expecting various packages to be delivered (very problematic and a subject for another day). We were hoping to spend another couple of days around the area, a bit of a shakedown, until on Thursday 5 November the Greek PM announced that from Saturday Greece would go into national lockdown. So….. we took the decision that we would head off on Friday, delivery or no delivery.
The start of our Atlantic Adventure…..
Friday, I went ashore and completed some provisioning whilst Gen worked on various things to get us ready to head off.
We set off around 3pm. Sailed into the sunset ready for our longest passage to date. We were keeping a 3hr on 3hr off watch starting from 7pm (after dinner).
Along the way we caught 2 bonito’s, both around 2kg each, approx 50cm nose to tail. Luckily our freezer is working nicely. So for appetizers we had sashimi, with sushi ginger and wasabi, for dinner bonito fillet simply fried, Breakfast/lunch leftovers turned into tuna/mayo salad/pate (thinking of more recipes with what we have on board – I see a recipe book may come out of this experience). Continuing fishing we surprisingly caught a swordfish (small but very delicous).
Good sailing, up to 9m knots at some stages, thanks to clean bottom but most importantly to the new prop.
We’ve seen some lovely sunsets, sunrises and moon rises.
Originally we were planning on going to Malta, but are now heading for Sardinia (mostly due to wind/time and Covid restrictions). Malta is open and no restrictions but anything can change at short notice.
Day 3 little wind, sailed for a while using Bar of Soap / Sliding technique where you can, in calm waters, sail with good speed with very little wind.
This passage has been good learning especially as we will be completing much longer passages. Learning about what keeps you going, cooking under heel/wobble, being economic with water, gas and diesel, long term provisioning (substitutes for ingredients etc) etc. and you being the only boat around for miles with no one around.
On our approach to Sardinia (we decided to keep going by passing Malta and Sicily) we experienced fog.
After 110 hours under way and completing 650 nM we anchored off not far from Cagliari, Sardinia at 5am. Our longest passage ever.