From Palermo to Sardinia

Mon 9 Aug 2010 05:29
40:44N 09:42E

G: We left Palermo (Sicily) at 8:00 on Saturday. We had a long trip ahead of us as we had to cross the Tyrrhenian sea towards Sardinia. This would be some 200+ miles, which would take about 34 hours. The crew split up in 2 sets, and a tight sailing schedule was made. During the day we would all be present, but the evening and night was chopped up in portions of 2 and 3 hours.

After a full day of sailing, our shift started at 20:00 and would end at 23:00. Our next shift would be from 2:00 till 5:00.

The sea was very calm, windspeed around 2. We watched the sunset (at 20:15) and focused on the horizon. Nothing on the horizon to focus on as there was no land at all and no ships anywhere. An hour after sunset, darkness kicked in. We moved our focus to the radar. During the 2 shifts we saw some small boats on the radar and only one big freight ship (200 meters long) close by.

The temperature at night was nice, about 24 degrees celsius, and a zillion stars were visible. The (new) moon came up around 4:00 so we watched the stars and counted the fallen ones (16!!). The navigation lights from the boat lid up the jellyfish in the water, like blue lightbulbs, and gave you a feeling of walking down the showbiz stairs. You enter a different world if you sail at night, it's actually very nice.

During the day we saw several sea-turtles and dolphins and the first sign of land at about 9:00.

33 hours after departure, around 17:00 on Sunday, we finally reached our destination Ottiolu in Sardinia. We were all tired but had to fill up the boat with food and water in preparation of the next trip. The next morning we had to get up at 5:00 and sail again some 100 miles to Ajaccio, Corsica. It was not the early departure that bothered us but the fact that we had to pay 200 euro's for a birth for only 12 hours was a complete rip off.