Cefalu to San Vito Lo Capo?

Sat 7 Aug 2010 08:16
38:07N 13:22E


We depart around 7am, as we want to arrive early in San Vito Lo Capo to buy enough food and stuff for the long trip to Sardinia saturday. The wind forecast is N3/NW4, so this is a little bit against us, but nothing serious. A few hours later we are struggling to make way, as now the windspeed has increased to 36 knots, Bf 8, and the ship is hammering the waves. Eh, the waves are hammering the ship. We try different tacks, to prevent hitting the waves head on. Hitting the wave head on is not so much the issue, the wave will simply lift the bow of the boat. But then behind the top of the wave, there is nothing for about 4 seconds, and the poor boat, falls down and crushes the bottom of the wave. This is not nice anymore. With a tiny main sheet in, we try yet another course to make this more bearable. We are now about 5 Miles from the coast. We probably should have double checked the forecast, and not rely on one source. Too late.Everything that can fall has now fallen. The oven door crashes open, lockers pop open, equipment tumbles down and moves about the saloon.. Outside, water is coming in not only on each side of the deck-saloon but also OVER the deck-saloon. This needs to change, as visibility and the ability to keep standing are diminishing. With a last course change we guess that behind a small mountain shoreside, we can best go to. The boat speed is 7.5 knots (reef 2 in, no jib) but the current and leeway puts us back, we effectively go forward 6 knots, and 4.5 sideways!

About 45 minutes hammering later, the wind dies down to 25 knots, then 15. We drop the sails, and plan to go around the mountain closer to shore with smaller waves. This seems to work until we face the wind and waves again. Accidentally and not known to us, the power control handle apparently is set forward to far, and we do not quickly understand this new super hammering. We reduce power and speed, but this is the 'hammerest' we have it today, again 35 knots, but bigger waves and no sail to give the boat some stability. A strange scraping sound is heard each time we crash into the next wave. We check the 'bakskisten'. Nothing strange. We check the dinghy garage Nothing strange. We check the engine compartment. Nothing strange. What is this scraping sound. Is the propellor grinding into something? Then it dawns upon us. The anchor. Wel, not the anchor itself. The anchor 'holding' device. This is an expandable/foldable steel construction that can fold in and fold out of the boat, with the anchor in it. It is firmly secured by 2 huge bolts at the very front of the bow of the boat. But wait, is it? Or is it fluffy and bouncing? Yes it is! Shit! A rushes forward, with harness and safety line of course at Bf8. The anchor construction/holding divide has come off the bow! Ripped out of its fitting. The 25kilo anchor and its folding structure are quit difficult to get back into the boat, as the boat literally falls of each wave peak. After about 10 minutes, it is finally back on board, barely secured but in anyway. We quickly discuss and then decide to go back to Palermo to look at the problem in a safe shelter with possible repair facilities around.

At 5pm we go stern-to in Palermo. It seems the damage is not that grave, and possible just the nut of the bolt (below deck holding the anchor plate in place) has been 'gone'. We can provisionally fix the anchor construction, so we decide to leave as is, (anchor on board), and head into town to buy the spare parts for the other damages we have.

After 3 hours, we finally return with nothing but food for the long trip tomorrow. The first, and closeby chandler did not have the shape/size combinations of equipment we were looking for, the other 2, 1 roughly on the other side of Palermo it turned out, were closed, gone, MIA. Bummer. No taxi there either. Take the long way home. With lots of goodies, 'drop', cookies, fruit etc, we get back on board and aim for our 30 hour trip tomorrow! We try the oven with Italina pizzas (not super) and keep it short for the night.