An uneventful passage? ... I think not!
03 September 2013 | Isola Vulcano, Aeolian Islands, Italy
Upfront Disclaimer: Despite the title of this blog, we had a good passage - just not uneventful :-)
We knew it was going to be light winds for most of the two and a half-day passage so we prepared the Code 0 before we left Cala Longa. We sailed with Code 0 and main, changed to jib when the sailing angle wasn't good for the code 0 or motor-sailed when the wind was lighter than 5 knots.
On our second day I hear a "thug" noise in the back of the boat. Looking at the stern area of the boat, I saw a turtle swimming in between Por Dos hulls. She was quite big and seemed unconcerned, did not dive down but kept swimming on the surface. Forty-five minutes later, Mark spotted a bottle with a message and we used this opportunity to perform a "man-overboard" maneuver, and Alec fished the bottle out of the water. It was tricky to get the message out of the bottle, because the paper was slightly damp and the bottle had a narrow neck. Alec and Mark finally got it out. The "message" looked like a young-kid's drawing of Italy with a cross marking somewhere in the middle of the East coast of Italy. There were few words but they were no legible so we won' be able to tell the "sender" that we received the "message".
Two hours later another big turtle came within 5 feet of Por Dos port side!!
and some time later we were regaled with dolphin acrobatics worth of a show, with jumping and tail-walking as the main act.
The seas were calm, the wind was good enough to sail with the Code 0, we had a rush of activity with turtles, dolphins and bottles - all was well. Then, we heard a bang and the four of us jumped. One of the lines holding the bowsprit had frayed through (the port line) and the bowsprit fitting had come free at the end closer to the bow. The Code 0 tack with the continuous roller furler and the left-overs of the bowsprit was flying high on the air attached to the boat by the starboard bowsprit line. The wind was only 10 or 12 knots but enough that the bowsprit was banging around the deck. With our life jackets on, and directed by our level-headed captain, we swiftly eased the Code 0 sheet, turned the boat downwind (so there was less pressure on the Code 0). Mark rushed forward removed the bowsprit and attached the roller furler to the starboard bow eye. Now we could furl the Code 0, put it away and assess the damage. There was no damage on deck, and the bowsprit and line could be repaired with the tools and spares on board. By then, the wind had totally died and we were motorsailing again with main and jib.
The next day we rescued an inflatable beach mattress and a baby's floating ring in the shape of a duck. This ended our flurry of events. We circled the island of Filicudi and anchored in Isola Vulcano, straight under the shade of an active (but not too active) volcano.