24 July 2021 | Sicily, Capo d'Orlando, S.Carra (position: 38 09.354'N 14 47.674'E)
We're on our way to Cefalu, 62 miles along the Sicilian coast having now decided to continue along the northern side of Sicily and return back to Marina di Ragusa for the winter thereby completing a full circumnavigation of Sicily.
Light easterly winds have been predicted for the next few days instead of the usual NW prevailing wind. Easterly winds are perfect to take us west and it also gives us the opportunity to use our asymmetric sail which admittedly has spent most of its life stowed in a deep locker barely seeing the light of day only coming out when we can be bothered.
Over the winter months we were inspired to find an easier way to be able to deploy this sail as it's perfect for use in winds less than 10 knots. The launch bag was born, a bag that would be stowed on deck with the asymmetric sail and ropes readily available at a moments notice. Online research proved useful as we took onboard the best ideas from the many manufacturers out there and fashioned our own custom made bag. A stainless steel bar was modified with a block fitted to take the tack sheet forward of the bow roller. A few tweaks were necessary but finally today we were rewarded by our efforts - deployed in less than 10 minutes. Easy... we should have done it years ago!
custom made launch bag
webbing and velcro straps hold the tack and clew points in place - no trying to find them hidden amongst the fabric
Whilst we enjoyed the gentle sail, an additional half a knot of current going with us gave us an additional push along. It was lovely to sit an enjoy the quietness with only the lapping of waves against the hull and made such a change. To break the distance up, we stopped to anchor overnight off the beach at Capo d'Orlando, 27 miles along the coast. It actually felt as though we'd anchored in the middle of the sea as it shallowed slowly to the beach but for an exposed anchorage we slept well but we felt like a target so left additional lights on overnight just to make us more visible to others that may transit the area overnight.
the exposed beach off Capo d'Orlando, offered no protection whatsoever
Total distance this season: 323.05 nautical miles