Shearwater World Tour

13 December 2009 | Msida, Malta
10 December 2009 | Termini Imerese
08 December 2009 | Termini Imerese
12 November 2009 | Palma
09 November 2009 | Ibiza
28 October 2009 | San Antonio
28 October 2009 | San Antonio
26 October 2009 | Sa Caleta bay
25 October 2009 | Sa Caleta bay
24 October 2009 | Ibiza
22 October 2009 | Alicanti
18 October 2009 | Garrucha
16 October 2009 | Cala de san pedro
07 October 2009 | Almerimar
13 September 2009 | Newlyn, Cornwall
11 September 2009 | Newlyn, Cornwall

We're here!

13 December 2009 | Msida, Malta
John
We ended up leaving Termini Imerese at 0430hrs, the wind was a force 3 and the swell was still large enough to take the wind out the sails when rolling, not plesant for Shearwater or us; so to find a more comfortable point of sail we motored out to sea, also hoping to find more wind. By 0800 we were back under sail doing a pleasing 7.5 knots downwind riding the waves, close to the Aeolian Islands. Uh oh we were entering the Aeolian Triangle, an area where, and I quote, "an uncommen lot of local bad weather is encountered". Pah! we said, the sun was shining, Betsy was helming, the islands are picturesque,(and actively volcanic we read later, Damn, sailed straight past something worth visiting), and the wind was steady. Liz took the early watch, clever girl. By now I should realise she knows. Wether she knows she knows I don't know, but she definately knows, and invaireably she gets it right. I had a few hours kip in the afternoon and Liz had stayed on watch. At 1700hrs it was my turn. All went well, day turned to dusk, dusk to night, and at 2222hrs we had nearly made it out the triangle............ To quote from one of Queens' classic songs, Bohemian Rapsody; "Thunderbolt and lightening,very very frightening be". Well when you're in a giant lightening conductor on open water with a storm passing directly overhead it certianly makes you nervous when Zeus uses you for target practise (as you know Steve!!). Fortunately I ducked a lot and he missed. Maybe next time..... So it was then, that in full wets and lifejacket, we followed boldly in the wake of Odysseus to face Scilla and Charybdis in the Messina Strait. No worries, I'd been given the nod back in Cagliari on how to get through without disturbing them, thanks Gary, it worked. I did, however, have a game of chicken with a warship entering the strait; it was dark, he had right of way and a bigger gun, I lost. Towards the end of the strait, past Mt Etna, one of the ledgendry squalls came down a mountain and Shearwater left the strait at 8+ knots into the Ionian Sea and.. flat calm, nothing, nada, rien, ziltchamundo. That was the last time the sails were of any use for 138 miles. Donk was reactivated sails were furled. Liz came back on watch at 0330hrs; having done 13hrs continuous before going off watch she'd slept through the lot; even the Thunder!!! See what I mean, she knows! Unfortunatly Betsy is rubbish when motoring (must fix the clutch on the electric autohelm) so manual steering is required. By the time Liz woke me at 0830hrs the sun was up and she was casual as you like, reading a book, drinking coffee (or was it G&T?) dead on course; women and their multi-tasking! We considered anchoring for a while as our eta was 0330hrs, yet again arriving in the dark; however, after much debate and a lack of suitable anchorages we decided just to ease back off the gas and go slower, easy. We passed the southern tip of Sicily just after dusk and, as expected, we were "fishing the trough". It was the swell coming from the west, made by the gales we had avoided by going round the east of Sicily. With no wind to stablise us Rock 'n' Roll barely describes the motion, slap 'n' wap maybe... still, only 60 miles of it, or about 12hrs, main down lash the boom off we go! It's quite a busy shipping lane but is too large for a TSS (Traffic Seperation System) and we got mentioned on the VHF as various captains worked out how to pass each other without running us over. I thank them all for the courtesy they give to us amatures in our rag 'n' stick toys. We were able to sail (motor) pretty much straight across without having to alter course. By dawn (lovely girl) the swell had reduced to a comfortable wallow, Liz spotted what appeared to be a parcel floating, so we did man overboard hoping to increase our collection of items gathered from the sea. (which still dosen't include any fish, except the flying fish, but they flew aboard themselves & that dosen't count) Guess what, another variation on the theme "unlikely designs for your lobster pot marker". I went off watch dissapointed and Liz watched the spectacular awakening of another day. We had to radio the port when 10 miles from Malta and Liz, always the angel, stopped so I could have my full 3hr sleep before calling in. Call made we started in and we could see yachts sailing, sure enough 8 miles out there was enough wind so we unfurlled the genoa to see if we could remember how to use it. Like riding a bike, all came back after a few attempts!! We sailed triumphantly into the harbour.... well more like drifted, lost the wind,turned on donk and pretended to sail in triumphantly, we reckon we got away with it. There was no room at the customs berth and no answer from the marina; so Liz hailed a yacht and got us an excellent berth semi rafted on the end of the pontoon, like Kite, best view in the marina. 1200hrs we were tied up, 1300hrs everything top and bottomside was cleaned and tidied and we were sat in the sun enjoying several large scotches, we're getting good at this. Good health & seasons greetings to all. Picture....... Liz multi-tasking.

Ready for Malta

10 December 2009 | Termini Imerese
John
Here we are waiting, since 8am, for the wind to fall to a sensible velocity. This was supposed to happen around lunchtime but looks like we'll now be leaving in the dark, which makes a change from arriving in the dark! We've decided to try to get to Malta without stopping again in Sicily due to the weather "window". I seem to be becoming very choosey about the conditions we sail in, with good reason; if you have followed our blog you may have an inkeling as to why this is!! We had fun yesterday exploring the town, it's full of steep, narrow, cobbled streets just right for building a thirst and, as usual, we ended up entertaining the locals in a small cafe! Today has been a day of rest, watching the wind and waiting... We came up with a cunning design to repair Betsy which we hope will last this time, as although she has steered us through some rough stuff, she gave up shortly after leaving Sardinia. Since just before we left she has been held together with tape, cable ties, a jubilee clip and prayers, now it's an old bit of tube and two jubilee clips... much better! Well siesta is over so off to town to top up the essential supplies (Gin & coppa). Maybe by the time I get back.....
Picture.. Liz, Antonio the cafe owner and self. And yes, those are very generous measures of scotch.

Catching up with ourselves!!

08 December 2009 | Termini Imerese
Liz
We have had a hectic time of it since our last blog update. Despite not intending to visit we had a good time in Mallorca, meeting up with Mike, who is crewing on a superyacht out there. Then we left on a lovely sunny day heading for Sardinia. It was a most relaxing sail, mainly force 3 abaft the beam, with Betsy on the helm for the 2.5 days. As is our custom we arrived in the dark, but it turned out we had found a great anchorage off Buggerru Harbour. It didn't sound to welcoming, but we were so wrong. We met some lovely people there and we couldn't have been made more welcome..(We even got an invite to the chief of polices' retirement party, amoungst others). There were some caves along the coast line for us to explore in the rib, which was great fun. I still kept looking for that treasure chest !!!! We left sadly on the Saturday, and went to Carla Forte, on a small island off the coast of Sardinia. On arrival in the Marina, John spotted two other Shearwater boats, which he was very excited about as he had not seen any other's ever before. No one on board them alas but photo's were taken. It was a very quiet place, but there was a good supermarket very close to the mooring, which made a change from the usual long treks we had to do. On the monday we set sail for Cagliari, but due to a change in the weather we dropped anchor outside Porto Teulada that had good shelter from the wind. We waited for two nights but didn't leave the boat, and caught up with some boat maintenance. For a change we made an early start on the wednesday so we could anchor for lunch at Capo di Pula and visit the remains of a roman city there. We had to motorsail the whole way (good for charging the battries) and dropped the hook, lowered the rib and were ashore by 1130hrs. Unfortunatly there was a bar/resturant between the beach and the ancient city, needless to say....... Made it to Cagliari by 5pm, and when booking in John met a nice couple, Bo and David, who were on a Catermeran behind us in the marina. We were invited on board for drinks in the evening and had a great night exchanging stories of our travels. We didn't stay too long as I had to pack, as I was flying back to the UK, for the weekend, with a list of things to do. John intended to explore the town while I was away, but he found to get anywhere was a long walk from the boat and very spread out. There was also a Storm crossing Sardinia so he hibernated on the boat,watching DVDs instead until I got back. After a lovely time in the UK, seeing Steve and Andie, and getting thing's on the list done, thanks to Steve driving me around. When I returned on the tuesday we had little food, and NO DRINK on board, so that had to be remeded sharpish!!!!!!!! Happy again the boat had provisions we walked around the town, but it wasn't too exciting and it was a long cold walk.I actually had to wear my coat and scarf. On Saturday we went to a BBQ in the marina bar, and met a lot of the live aboards wintering in the marina. A great bunch, and a great night had by all... Hang overs too...... We left on the Sunday afternoon, with some of our new friends there to wave us off, heading for Sicily. A vairied crossing taking 48hrs (good film) and we are now in a marina at Termini Imerese, just East of Palermo. Picture....In a Cave off Buggerru

Brief diversion

12 November 2009 | Palma
John
Well we had thought about visiting Mallorca, so Shearwater stepped in again en route to Sardinia, and blew the windlass! So here we are, on the hook just outside the harbour, windlass fixed, about to go ashore, hoping to find a replacement 160 amp fuse. (and beer)..... Picture.. Offending windlass.

At Last

09 November 2009 | Ibiza
Liz
We have been here a lot longer than planned but strong wind's and event's took over. We went in to the marina due to the forecast of bad weather, and were moored along side Seaquest. Bryn and kirsten arrived a week last Sunday, later than expected but we were pleased to see them. We all went out and looked around San Antonia,discovering that as it's the end of season, it is pretty much a ghost town, and most places were shut. We all decided to sail round the Island on Shearwater (as Bryn had some sail and engine problem's) and explore the old town of Ibiza. Much to our delight there was lots to see, discovered a great restaurant, and the weather was mostly good. We all had a great time and they left yesterday, Monday to get the bus back to San Antonia. We are leaving for Sardinia this afternoon and expect it will take us 4 day,s in one hit, so will update on arrival. Picture :- John having a bad hair day, with Kirsten in the back ground, in front of the Roman Fort in Ibiza. P.S. John now has a new hat!!!!!

Work and play 2

28 October 2009 | San Antonio
Liz/John
Picture.. Paul & John in hotel Tanit bar
Vessel Name: Shearwater
Vessel Make/Model: Shearwater 45' sloop
Hailing Port: Hamble
Crew: John.
About: Hard drinking, hard sailing.
Extra: Because we can... weather permitting, which, yet again, it's not 'till next thursday... or next year
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Shearwater's Photos -

Because we can...

Who: John.
Port: Hamble