I had our route plan partially written, but before I finished it we found that we had to revise it. Here is the original:
Thursday, April 23, 2008 @ 5:00 pmMuch less wind today, about 10-12 knots from the west. We plotted a course this morning. We are not seeing eye to eye on the passage; are any of you surprised by that? I am for going straight to the Spanish mainland and working our way to Gibraltar from there. It would be about a five day passage to reach the coast. That way, if we can't make it to Gibratar by June 1, we would have an easier time finding a place for Gene and Peregrine to be for the month of June. Bonnie and Matt's baby, Gavin Dean, is due to enter the world the first week of June, and I hope to be there. If we are off the mainland, an affordable marina will be much easier to find than in the Balearics, and I will have easier access to an airport. I don’t want to be holed up in some cove on Mallorca when it’s time for me to fly home. Gene says he’d rather go through the Balearic Islands and if necessary, I can fly or ferry to the mainland and he’ll find an anchorage for a month. I think it might be hard to find an anchorage that would provide the protection and necessities needed for a month, and marinas in the Balearics are muy expensivo. Anyway, Captain Gene’s plan has won out. We will leave Ostia and sail approximately 140nm to the Isola Santa Maria. The Island is in the passage between Corsica and Sardinia in the Bonifacio Straight. We have two anchorages chosen and wind direction will determine whick one we go to. Next leg is a short one, only 12 miles to Capo Testa on Sardinia. Once again, wind direction will call which anchorage we will use. Leg 3 will be from Capo Testa to the Island of Menorca apprx.240nm; we plan on going into Mahon. Leg 4 will be from Mahon to Ciudadela, still on Menorca. Hopefully the weather will stay good and we won’t get any heavy duty Northwesterlies (tramontana). They are not supposed to be frequent in the summer, but if we’re unlucky we could be holed up a up to a week waiting one out. These legs are as far as we got. We’ll firm the next section up as we go along. The goal is to be in Gibraltar by around May 28.
Later that night....Had a look at picutres of the coast of Spain in the cruising guide and now I'm with Gene 100%. Too dismal.
A very interesting couple we met on a yacht here came by to bring us a wine. We mentioned our route and he informed us that Sardinia will charge us up to 1,000 euro to anchor. What???
Our Italian Waters chart guide was outdated and we were unaware that we couldn't anchor within 300 meters (1000 ft) of the shore of Isola Santa Maria. It is a protected area and a permit is needed. The 1,000 eruos Hans referred to is a 'special tax' Sardinia levies on yachts over 46 ft. in the months of June through August.
The Bonafacio Straights anchorage will now most likely be off the French Island of Lavezza. Gene had considered this island from the beginning but it is surrounded by rocky, shallow water and we thought it might be tough navigation if we came in late. If we get there during good light, we'll anchor and get some sleep, otherwise, we'll just keep going the roughly 240 miles to Mahon, Menorca, Spain.
April 27.... Still haven't finished and sent this post.
We plan on leaving tomorrow unless the weather doesn't do what it's supposed to. I don't know when we will have access to an internet cafe, so don't worry if you don't hear from us for awhile.
....Just as I thought I would finally post this, I heard a great deal of horns honking and engines revving. Gene was on deck doing last minute this and that and yelled something about Fiats with little engines. I popped up and saw the quay covered with little cars, all beautifully painted and some, beautifully restored. I grabbed the camera and went to get a few shots.
Gene and Sue
Gene and Sue
A true Girlymobile.