20 April 2014 | Sicily, San Vito Lo Capo
Ness/Cloudy with sunny intervals
We were all prepared to leave the marina for our crossing to Sicily Friday morning. All seemed to go fairly well until we realised that one of the mooring lines had become caught on the prop of the starboard engine! This stalled the engine and we found we were dragging the long heavy rope with a weight attached with us! This forced us to anchor in the inner harbour to enable Paul (wet suit donned) to take a dip to free the prop. Relieved to find this was easily done, we prepared to set off once again. Well that's what we thought but here were our old friends, the maritime Police heading straight for us. They asked us to take up our anchor and tie up alongside the harbour wall. We (Paul and Hayley) were then instructed to follow them to Port Police station and fill in various forms, show identification and explain our actions. All went well and we were let off with just a request from them to always call channel 16 if something similar occurs again.
So we were finally off. A pleasant first day spent sunbathing, taking turns to keep watch and chatting. The highlight of the day was a visit from a school of dolphins of which Hayley took many photos and videos. See Hayley's face book page for these. All seemed to be going to plan when suddenly around about 9pm the auto pilot went amiss and I had to rouse Paul from his much needed sleep. The end result was that we had to manually steer for the remainder of the journey! As can be imagined this was extremely tiring, we had 20 hours left. We had our Main sail at the 2nd reef along with the Jib which was giving us a nice steady speed of about 7 knots when without warning we heard a loud BANG. Great, on inspection we found the 2nd reefing block had seared. Hayley had just finished her shift so was in bed and we did not want to wake her, so there we were in the pitch black, no auto pilot having to pull the Jib in and lower the main sail down a reef. Exhausting! However we all kept our spirits up and continued to Sicily, arriving there at 2pm Saturday.