Can you drown a fly?

Lesley & Derek Mercer
Mon 16 Sep 2013 18:04
38:00.4 N  012:30.0 E


Arrived safely in Trapani.


It was a 32 hr passage, all under power.  We set off a little earlier than was ideal, and encountered some swell off Capo Malfatone, but this was planned.  If I had left later, the swell would have been less, but we risked facing strongish winds at the end of the passage.  Anyway, off at midnight, after a few hours quick zizz.  Lesley at the helm, and suddenly I shouted “bear left, bear left”.  The port authorities in Sant Antioco had allowed the port channel marker, a big metal pole, to remain unlit.  The starboard one (green) was clearly visible, and flashing normally, but for some reason the red port one was not.  We were heading straight for it!  Fortunately managed to avoid it.   ( I was busy getting the fenders in at this stage).


Lesley retired, and I took the helm.  Straightforward few hours.  A little surprised when I round Capo Teuleda to see a white light.  Turned out to be a boat at anchor, hiding behind the headland, and not a fishing vessel as I had thought.  The swell did build for the next 4 to 6 hrs, but then settled.  The wind dropped, and we had a wonderful 24 hrs crossing the straights between Sardinia and Sicily.  Lots of wildlife,  dolphins, turtles, flying fish etc…  The moon was beautiful, but set around 1.45 a.m., after which it was very dark.  The clouds built up from the South, and as we approached Sicily, the weather was clearly taking a turn for the worse.  To make matters interesting, the satellite navigation system packed up 3 hrs out!  Fortunately, I have a second one which was fitted 2 years ago, and this carried on working allowing us to enter Trapani safely.  As a member of the Cruising Association, I had been able to access their website which explains how you have to call up the Harbour Autorities on channel 10 for permission to enter (and leave), or else you face a fine of 350 Euros!  No problem for us, and we went straight to the marina where we had negotiated a “deal” with a 35 Euro discount compared to the usual marina price. 


Exhausted but exhilarated.  After a general cleanup of the boat and its crew, settled down for the night.  Was amused the next day to see a 70ft catamaran, at anchor in the harbour, approached by a pilot boat at 6.45 am.  Someone went on board, and off they went to the Harbourmasters office.  It returned around 7.30 am, and I assume the skipper was a little poorer than he had been.


Breakfast was interrupted by a fly.  One made the serious mistake of deciding to settle on Lesley’s coffee.  For the uninitiated, Lesley and her cup of coffee in the morning is a great ritual,  involving hours of deliberation about which coffee to choose, a cafetiere with plunger etc….   She was livid with the fly, and grabbed her cup to make the fly leave, sweeping it through the air.  Net result:  coffee all over the cushions, my bottles of wine, the stools etc…  We were not amused, and even less so when I pointed out that trying to drown a fly was not the most efficient way of killing them!  We now have a fly paper decorating the galley, and all the affected parts have been cleaned and scrubbed.  Have wandered around town, and identified what we are told is the “best pizza place in Italy”, where a meal is planned for tomorrow.