Licata - winter berth
37:05.743N 13:56.561E Sat 26th Oct 2019. 50nm 9hrs15
We’ve finally made it to Licata where Goldcrest will be stopping for the winter. We set out from Cagliari in one of the rare breaks in the persistent strong SE winds we’ve suffered for weeks. It looked like there would be just enough time to get all the way here over 2 days & nights, but it didn’t work out that way. The first 24 hours gave us the wind direction we needed (downwind), but a good 10kts stronger (up to 31kts), resulting in big roll-inducing seas surging behind us. On several occasions we rolled so far on each side that first the boom and then the spinnaker pole came very close to hitting the water, which could have been nasty! However we made great progress, averaging 7kts in 24 hours under sail; and then the wind died. Motoring onwards we would have reached Licata in the middle of Friday night, so instead we anchored outside Sciacca harbour for a night’s rest. We had started our passage in torrential rain, spent the night at sea watching distant sheet lightning ahead of us and within minutes of anchoring found ourselves in another wonderful storm, with heavy rain, thunder and lightning all around us and feeling smugly secure below having avoided such conditions on passage at night. Saturday brought us clear skies and very little wind, so we had a lovely last day at sea, sailing gently to windward when we could, but otherwise motoring through turquoise water along a really interesting coastline. We’ve seen it before, but sailing past the Greek temples and other settlements along this coast is quite a treat. One big improvement over the years is that we can now use online mapping and the internet to read all about the history we spot as we sail along.
This being our last posting of the season, here are this year’s statistics: We sailed 2,556 nautical miles on 27 legs, spending 158 days en-route (so, a lot of time off the boat). We motored for 50% of the time, which would have been much higher were it not for the sail back from Madeira to Gibraltar. We had only 9 nights at sea this year. We’ve now done 28,500 nautical miles in Goldcrest and over 40,000 miles since starting cruising in 2008, 11 years ago (n.b. the earth’s circumference is 24,000 miles!)
The Devils Saddle south of Cagliari – seen on a run:
Just before the storm at anchor outside Sciacca:
Sicilian coastline and castle: