Sat 7 Aug 2010 07:52
38:02N 14:02E

Today would be our longest trip, Messina to Cefalu. 85 Miles in a straight line, so 95+ sailing. Messina at 5am is relatively calm, so time to go under deck in the engine compartments and get this thruster problem finally out of the way. After carefully adjusting a tiny screw a tiny bit, I assume the damage is done, or it will just work. But hela, water around the engine! And around the thrusters, actually, water is slowly flowing in and through. Luckily all compartments have a hole at their lowest points so eventually it will all come to the lowest point, where a 'bilge' pump will simply pump it outwards. Maybe this explained why toughly every 1 minute, I hear a pump switch on just for a second or 2. I make pictures and send them to Moody. The amount of water is so small, that I assume this remains very safe at the moment, but will check daily now.

At 5.45 the 'crew' gets up and we have coffee. Plan A, B and C are discussed, we go for plan A, drop the lines carefully, and hey, both thrusters are working !!! This is now easy and fun. The local dude, standby in his tender, is making guestures as he apparently is very impressed by the boat handling. 15 meters backwards, 90 degree turn, and 50 meters backwards. How problems can vanish when things just work!

At 8am we do a quick checkup on all lines and 'harpjes'. At the mast, where the boom is connected (I think this is called the 'goose neck' in english, and 'lummel' in dutch), a safety ring is missing, or else something is slowly penetrating the aluminum connection side of the boom. Pictures are made and sent.

Our first breakfast on open water, outside at 9am, very nice. Dolphins congregate around the boat, sweet!

Our sailing day ends when we see the small marina of Cefalu, looks a bit like Gibraltar, but much smaller. We were able to reserve a berth in advance, both thrusters are working, so the audience and the local dudes see us smoothly 'parking' in in reverse at the indicated spot. Grrrrrrrrrrr. We hear, and Grrrrrr again. This is the sound of the bow thruster 'eating' the line. Oops, they now work so good that A has started playing, while G is still tying up the mooring line, which now got caught or at least got chopped a bit, as some chafe starts to come up on the water. Just a brief touch it seems, everything still works.

At the local chandler we buy some fishing gear and a little 'anchor ballon'. This last item should be connected to the anchor chain (with a line the length of the water-depth) so that the balloon floats above the anchor once anchored. Very simple.

We take the taxi to the ancient village and learn Cefalu should be pronounced as 'tsjee fa loe' in dutch, 'tsjah fah loo' in english I guess. Not so important. After a enjoyable walk we pick by accident probably the best restaurant, and enjoy a copious meal. Very, very nice, with sea view, about 30 meters above the rocks. Impressive.

We walk back, now knowing the distance and finish off the last things on the boat and hit the hay!