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Date: 18 May 2013 13:40:00
Title: Villasimius, SE Sardinia

On hook just outside harbour/marina entrance. We arrived here just after midday yesterday and will likely be here until early hours Tuesday morning, when we aim to be heading towards Menorca. 260 NM DOG. The grib files indicate we might be able to take advantage of  2 day weather window, forecasting winds with a N’ly aspect for almost 3 days, backing to less helpful NW’lys Thursday evening, when we should already be tucked up somewhere safe, on the S coast maybe where we will get most protection from N’lys & W’lys due to dominate the following few days. All subject to change if the winds do

Our passage from Vulcano to here was more exciting than intended. Smart as I think I am – no one likes 60’odd knots of wind at sea. It’s remarkable and survival is all that matters at the time. No one was forecasting gales or storms when we departed Vulcano and Italian VHF forecasts only give say 24 hours, which simply isn’t enough on a 2 day or longer passage. In any event we did not want to be in Ustica (1/3 into our last passage) for SE storm because it’s entrance & harbour are rather exposed to the SE and at >15m we’re a bit big to moor inside the harbour.  The Italian VHF forecasts do, however, give plenty warning once they know thunderstorms, gales or storms are on their way. In fact their repetitive VHF broadcasts become a bit of an annoyance because their announcements dominate C16.

We’re successfully calling-in on the DragNet 6516 MHz at 0800 each morning and it’s something we look forward to, when we get to hear what’s happening to our friends 200 – 500 NM away. This morning’s propagation was particularly good for us. I have daily timely 0755 on our mobile phone alarm so that we don’t miss it!  No sooner had the Net finished this morning I was back in bed when we were put on alert by Italian Coastguard. Big’un too! It only took them one ‘little honk’ to let us know their presence! With enough clothing covering my neither regions I stepped on deck to discuss surrender terms. They simply asked us to move a little further away from the harbour entrance and said ‘please’ too and were quite happy when I showed them 10 fingers (‘cause I expected to be busy for a little while! Fair doo’s I can say the Italian CG are very nice and understandable and BIG. We relayed our hook a little further in an hour or so later.

Happy Birthday No.1 (for tomorrow) Freya xxxxx

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