A crossing and a continent

CRRRRUCKT-plop.  The sound of a rotten egg imploding in my hand.  Urgh!  Try. To. Avoid. Spreading. Smelly. Goop. Everywhere…………… Fail.  Lucky I am having an iron stomach day.  I know this because Kynan is not.  Perhaps banana smoothies weren’t the best pre-departure snack for our 2 day crossing from Tunisia to Sardinia?

Tasks completed 5 hours into this trip

  • Clean cork flooring of ‘revisited’ banana smoothie
  • Clean up rotten egg
  • Deal with an overheating propeller shaft – Justin
  • Clean up pot plants that went whizzing across the cockpit
  • Rewash dishes because the kitchen sink flooded (again) with the boat leaning over
  • Find a fountain of sea water coming out of the bathroom sink, scoop and mop up resulting flood of sea water (I forgot to shut the bathroom sink drain)
  • Make toasties for kids and throw in the bin (too sick to eat them)
  • Clean salt water off couch and table after a wave came sloshing through an open hatch

Not a bad effort in a boat at a 45o angle (a slight exaggeration?).   I really can’t complain though because we are doing over 7Kn (13Km/h) – that’s a veritable sprint for us!  Fortunately soon after the egg incident the wind changed and Dizzie leveled out a little.

All this shmozzle I blame on disorganisation.  We packed up and left Tunisia unexpectedly quickly.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe we were worried we’d miss a good weather window, maybe Tunisia didn’t deliver, maybe we did it all wrong.

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Dizzie, around the time of the egg incident.  Photo credit: Oda Cremer (SV Off Course)

The country: Tunisia

After 2 weeks in a nice cheap country we had eaten out twice, not even shopped for necessary, household (boathold?) items and not been to the showpiece of Tunisia – an amazing Amphitheatre to rival the Colosseum in Rome (that we didn’t do).

Too late now.

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One night the parents snuck into the restaurant beside our boats and ate very fancy looking ice cream.

Tunisia was lovely, the markets were vibrant and cheap, the beach which we visited nearly every day behind the marina was convenient and the kids played for many hours on the dock with their good friends from boats ‘Te fiti’ and ‘Off Course’.  I visited a Hamem (Turkish style baths) with a friend, an interesting experience! The weather was warm.  We had Dizzie lifted out of the water and her bottom repainted for a fantastic price.  There is however a culture of aggressiveness that didn’t sit well with me.  Was our opinion of Tunisia tainted because we visited during Ramadan?

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The Ribat next to the marina

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Day trip into Sousse market

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Making our own fun whilst walking to the markets

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Monastir during Eid (after the month of fasting for Ramadan)

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As close as we got to riding camels

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We did a few boat jobs too, here’s a rare one of me doing a ‘boat job’.  Changing a toilet valve called a joker valve.  I get the best jobs!

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Back in the water with a new coat of bottom paint

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The bow thruster before cleaning – not effective at thrusting the bow in this state.

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Dizzie the clothes line

The crossing

In any case we are on our way to Sardinia, Italy.  It feels like going home.  After the post-departure chaos, some of us manage to eat some pasta with butter for dinner.  Then as the sun sets, I put the kids to bed, make Justin coffee and go to bed myself.  I need to sleep before my shift starts at 2am.  When I wake, we are under engine power.  We have a quick planning meeting about where to go because the wind forecast has changed and Justin goes to bed.

Soon after starting my shift, I have a close encounter with a fishing boat that involves spot lights, shouting / whistling and a rapid course change (neither of us are too pleased).  I again settle down to watch for other boats.  Twice during the wee small hours I try to put out the Jib sail and bring it back in because there isn’t enough wind.  This process is no easy task in the pitch dark with a life jacket and harness encumbering me as I try to wrangle ropes on both sides of the cockpit.  As morning breaks we have calm seas, which make for happy crew.  I go to bed as the smaller crew members wake.  They eat some biscuits and play happily.  When I wake up mid morning, we all have a tidy session, some lunch and then the kids are allowed screen time between lunch and dinner.  It means I have a quiet afternoon watch while Justin sleeps.  I enjoy the sail with a steady 18knots from behind, our buddy boat a speck in on the horizon.

Dizzie

Monitoring traffic in the shipping channels between Tunisia and Italy.  ‘Dizzie’ behind ‘Off Course’ and ‘Te fiti’ in front.

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Entertaining themselves with a cat swing (cat is not real)

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Making necklaces

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Muesli economics

On the second night at sea, I manage to sleep soon after the kids and just as well because by midnight, Justin has had enough and it is my turn.  Around 3am, I noticed that it’s growing markedly colder and damper, but with no moon I am not aware that visibility had dropped to nothing.  Fog?  I put on a torch which reflects straight back at me from the white nothingness.  Spooky!  It stays that way until dawn.  Thank goodness for technology that projects Dizzie’s speed and position to fast moving tankers!!

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Sharing the journey with a pod of pilot whales

Late the on final morning, we can see the position of our buddy boat, “Off Course” and three other kid boats (Vesna, Wildest Dreams and Otoka) on the chart plotter all sailing for the same anchorage.  The last hours always drag….  Something we hope our anchor never does!  Finally, at lunchtime exactly two days after leaving, we drop our anchor.  Tidy up, have something to eat and relax.  Job done!  Benvenuto Sardegna!

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Landfall in Italia! And a post pizza gelato.

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Dizzie at anchor this morning.  Photo credit: Jack Andrys (SV Vesna)

Crossing stats:

  • Time taken: 48 hours
  • Hours under engine: 16 hours
  • Miles covered: 270 Nm (490km)
  • Average speed: 5.6kn  (10km/h)
  • Successful VHF transmission made at 80Nm with Vesna, Otoka and Wildest Dreams

 

 

 

 

4 comments

  1. Life! the sum of a total of moments lived and shared! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  2. Glad to hear you’re safe in Italy again, SO impressed with all your capabilities Lynita! (and Justin of course!) Love the photo of the necklace!

    Liked by 1 person

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