Adventure - filled sailing passage from Spain to Italy
July 19 - Delphinus left Porto Colom, Mallorca at 4 a.m. on an
estimated 30 hour passage to the coast of Sardinia, Italy.
The weather forecast was for 10 to 15 knots initially and then a period of
calm in the center of a high pressure system....well, we're getting a new
weather forecasting model, or at least augmenting it. We were headed
into the teeth for the entire time.
During the beginning of the sail, two good-sized tuna were caught in a matter of 1/2 an hour. After pouring the last of the coconut rum down their gills, sushi with pickled ginger and wasabi was prepared. Scott, are you reading this??
We finished off the sail for the last 18 hours in Force 7-9 conditions (that's 30-40 knots of wind) with waves typically 6-10 and a few 10-15 footers thrown in for fun. We all were soaked as the waves crashed over the bow and often times came rolling over the dodger directly upon us; ceilings were falling in (Velcro couldn't take the pounding) ; life jackets were quickly donned as Mom took the helm; safety harnesses were on; there was a constant banging below as cabin doors flew open; and crackers were served for breakfast/lunch and dinner. Pam, where are you?? We watched the NEW dingy (we lost our last one on a passage from Ibiza to Mallorca) with trepidation as it flew over the waves behind us...had it flipped we would have had to cut if free as the seas were too rough to attempt a salvage. Bill was at the helm for 16 hours straight with one bathroom break which was interesting.... As always, he made the best of it, and joked that he needed a snorkel to breathe. As for sleeping, we did a little better in our bunks with lee boards tight. Meghan, who is prone to seasickness, slept above deck in the cockpit and didn't seem to mind the constant spray in her face. Bonine really does work.
We arrived essentially on time at 6:00PM. Upon entering the harbor, the girls went below to tidy up the incredibly "untidy" cabins. Hayden noticed some water coming out of the engine room and upon opening the door discovered that we had taken in a substantial amount of water and the bilge pump had failed. The fact that we had been swamped with water was not surprising as every wave that breaks over the bow carries water into the anchor locker which then passes to the bilge. In theory, the bilge then pumps the water out of the boat. However, we were looking at a foot of captured water in the bilge. After docking asap, Bill found an oversized toothpick-looking piece of wood stuck in the pump. An easy fix, luckily.
After a day of repairing ceilings, cleaning up the mattresses which had been the victim of a few leaks, and wiping the copious amounts of salt off the boat and our bodies, we enjoyed a great Italian carbohydrate-laden meal in the small town of Carloforte.
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