14.00 15th May
It is lunchtime and warm sunshine and the wind is blowing 35 knots. For the
non seafarers that is a full gale. We are safe in the harbour but last night
it was a different story.
We left Valetta at 9.30 yesterday morning, a little overcast but looking
good for the passage to Sicily . Amy and Marcos had arrived the evening
before and after a quick dinner and catch up it was time for a good nights
rest. A south easterly was forecast giving us a good downwind sail and so
it proved through the day. Settling down for night watches after a chicken
dinner cooked by the skipper (?) and out of nowhere the wind rose to 30
knots and more (maximum seen was 38 knots). Reducing sail was a battle and
the genoa was torn in the process. The main sail sufficed but it proved a
wet hour keeping StB under control. Slowly the wind eased and we continued
through the night under engine.
The plan had been to make for Marsala on the western tip of Sicily but the
wind that had been with us was now against us and so we turned in here and
the pouring rain were helped into a berth. Mazara is a large fishing harbour
full of trawlers and a few yachts some 20 miles short of Marsala. A bacon
sandwich and a snooze helped but we were awoken to the sound of the wind
whistling in the rigging. We will probably be here for a couple of days.
A fast passage had us covering 144 miles in 24 hours.