September 1, 2015

Heading to Gibraltar–San Pietro Island (Sardinia) to Menorca (Balearics)

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We stay 2 days moored at marina Sifredi of Carloforte. We visit the lovely village of Carloforte while waiting for a good wheather forecast and fair winds. We finally leave the marina on August 25th after doing a good provisioning, filling our diesel tanks and water tanks. We sail south and drop our anchor in the nice bay of Punta Nera.

We spend the day swimming and relaxing. A strong northwesterly wind blows all day but according to all forecasts and gribs we check this is going to change for tomorrow where apparently they expect North-North Easterly winds becoming East – NorthEasterly, just perfect for our crossing to Balearics.

We set sails to Menorca the next morning on August 26th at 8am, we expect to arrive at Port Mahon after aprox 36 hours and 200 miles, keeping an average speed of 6 knots.

As soon as we are out of the bay, the wind starts blowing northerly 15 to 18 kt, we sail upwinds with main and foresail against a nasty sea. We are not too much worried as the winds should shift to E-NE soon…

The northerly wind instead increases so we take a reef to the mainsail. Y2K sails very fast with an average of 8 knots, however we keep going upwind and not very comfortable. Again we are not too much worried as the winds should shift to E-NE soon…

As the wind is still blowing northerly, we check again all the forecasts and the gribs just in case: they still report the shift to E-NE. We start cursing loudly our bad luck, neptune or whatever… A bocca aperta

At sunset the wind – still blowing northerly – is getting weak so we get up all the mainsail again and keep sailing upwind. We make dinner and prepare the boat and ourselves for the night taking one reef again to the mainsail and turn on “Obi-Wan” our radar Sorriso

At 9pm we receive a call on channel 16 on the VHF: “Y2K, Y2K this is Videlle” We can’t believe it ! It’s Filippo, our dear friend skipper on a 20 meters sailing vessel called “Videlle”. We met him back in Trapani. Filippo saw a target on his radar and knowing about our plans and route he thought it was indeed us. We’re happy to hear from him, we chat, share some jokes. Filippo is heading back to Sicily after few weeks in the Balearics so we take advantage of having him over the radio and ask him some good advice about marinas, anchorages and bays. We say goodbye and promise to keep in touch.

It’s dark now and we start our night shifts. The wind dies totally – by the way, the E-NE never appeared… – so we start the engine. We keep going motoring all night long while the moon fill the sea with hundreds of sparks and there’s light enough to read a book.

It’s the morning of August 27 when finally the wind shifts to E-NE but it’s so variable and weak we can’t sail and just keep motoring. A pod of dolphins join us for few minutes, playing with our bow and probably wishing us a safe trip.

We get the first sigth of Minorca coast at 10am, still 20 miles to go before reaching the entrance of the huge fjord of Port Mahon.

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As we approach the fjord, a fleet of beautiful tall ships engaged in a regatta. One of these beauty pass us on the right, she’s Italian. The crew notes our flag and starts waving hello to us.

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At 2pm, after 200 miles and 28 hours, we drop our anchor in 5 meter of water in Cala Taulera located south to Port Mahon.

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We look back at our route on the GPS, we look back ot our beloved Country. Goodbye Italy, Y2K and her crew won’t be back soon but you’ll be in our hearts.

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