39:12.0N 009:07.5E

Global Yacht Racing's EH01
Global Yacht Racing - sponsors: Caspian Services
Thu 30 Oct 2008 08:55
As predicted the barometer is dropping and we are making a bee line for cover. Storm force winds were forecast from the west presenting us with a very unpleasant beat westwards towards Gibraltar so with the time available to us before that predicted storm we made a decision to head for cover on the western shores of Sicily and take stock up there. A further weather forecast brought better news with the stronger winds forecasted being delayed a day so we decided to push on further and try for Sardinia. We stuck our nose around the corner of western sicily and made a run for it. With the weather not due until midnight wednesday if we manage to keep the speed up I decided we would make it just in time. All thoughts were on the boat speed and the distance we could travel in any given hour to reach the protective area some 210 miles outside the town of Cagliari on the southern tip of Sardinia. We pushed on through the regular rain showers and the odd sunny spell until land was in sight.

I would like to issue an award for the soggiest crew member I have ever seen at this point. Sam has spent the whole trip in his shorts which in itself is truly impressive as in my opinion the temperatures have been at best only just warm, on top of which his foulies I think have yet to make it from his bag so the regular down pours that we have received have drenched the poor sole and yet, still sporting a smile, he makes for the bow once again at the request of his skipper to take on more water from the waves. So to Sam, thank you and get some clothes on!!!!

After a speedy run into the bay outside Cagliari in more rain - surprisingly - and rapidly increasing winds we made it! We were alongside just in time as the winds were building. We were met by the crew of P42 who very kindly offered to help us put our boat to bed and whilst they flaked our mainsail and foresail we were all sent to the showers - the sooner we were clean the sooner they could eat they reasoned!

Now - the showers! A rather unusual experience and in other circumstances I might have turned my back and done without as first impressions were not good. Warned of this reaction and assured by the other crew that all would be fine I stepped inside what amounted to nothing more than a tent on the dock side - and in these now howling winds I was dubious as to it's staying power frankly! Still on I went and, apart from apparently showering in the men's "tent" (I know this as I was nearly joined by the mate of the other crew) all went well however, I did feel extremely vulnerable standing naked in a tent in the dark in a gale on the dockside of a half built marina in southern Sardinia imagining the worst - it was the quickest shower I have ever had!

Dinner and a glass of well earned red to calm the nerves following that episode was enjoyed by all in a brilliant local italian pizzaria booming with atmosphere, warm and friendly and with the entire clientele completely obsessed with the football on the television which took over the place - and then to bed!

Em - skipper - EH01