LAST VOYAGE THIS SEASON

Wednesday 18th September 2019

On Monday afternoon we were informed the boat is going to Athens for the Winter or until sold. Paul and I were a little dismayed at this last minute change of plan, as we’d packed up almost everything on board for winter storage. So we’re travelling light!

It should take us eight days (weather permitting as always) and we have an extra day in Rome, to get the fuel filters changed. Paul’s flying straight home to the UK after this transit. I’ve asked that I fly back to Nice via Venice, to see my cousin for a couple of days. I don’t know if they’ll do that for me or not, yet. I checked out the price and it was pretty cheap, so fingers crossed.

Ruth has been away with work, so I’ve left most of my gear with a French guy I’ve been hanging out with, Mehrez Saadouni. He’s Tunisian originally and a very sweet natured person. He only speaks French so it’s been good for me! I’m improving!

Matt is en route to Europe and I’m flying to Prague to have a week with him on October 7th. I can’t wait to see him. Seems so long!

It’s been a good season. Our owners have been lovely to work for and it’s nice to be asked back next year. Paul and I have worked well together on the whole. There was an odd patch in the middle, I think with the crew change, as our new cook had a bit of an odd mind set. She seemed to think because she’s a school teacher, she’s way smarter than the rest of us, and we were beneath her somehow. I tried really hard to gel with her, helped her lots, took her out for dinner, picked up the slack when she was really crook with PMTs, and covered a whole day when she was too hung over to move! But it was a one way street and I kind of gave up in the end, was pleasant, did my job and made sure Paul was OK. He’s a kind hearted person and good to the crew, so didn’t deserve her contempt. Anyway, she’s gone, and it’s just the two of us doing this last trip. Rather nice.

So… DAY 1!

Antibes to Macinaggio – Exited Port Vauban at 1130 and set a course of 110 degrees at 19 knots. Wind force 3 and sea state Moderate initially, but an hour into the trip we found calm seas.

I took watch at 1230, for my 2 hour trick. Very little traffic. I did see a turtle! Second trick from 1630 and arrived around 1800. Perfect conditions for our first day. Had a couple of wee wines ashore before pies for dinner.

Macinaggio is a gorgeous port town at the top of Corsica. We’re probably as big as you can be in terms of berthing here. Most boats are sail and Lucky Wave dwarfs the ones here at the moment!

DAY 2 – 19.9.19

Macinaggio to Rome.

The weather forecast is not bad, in fact very good until about 4pm. We have to refuel so probably won’t get away till about 0930. NNE 0-10 knots, turning NNW 15-20 kn at 1600. Its about an 8 hour day so we’ll nearly be there, all going well, by the time the wind gets up.

I got up early to do some food prep. Its easier than at 20 knots!

We got away at 0915 having taken on 4500l diesel. So we’re now carrying 7 tons of fuel around. Poor Lucky Wave! Some big land generated cumulonimbus are piling up behind us but we should leave them behind.

I’ve decided there’s something about the fuel guys in this part of the world. Amy and I couldn’t help noticing on the way to Cyprus and back! Hot damn but they’re a good looking bunch! Window shopping, gals, is all! Paul and I agreed to not judge each other for enjoying the views!

I’m writing some of this as we go and some of it retrospectively, so forgive the changing tenses!

I took the watch at 1015, about an hour after departure. Paul said he was tired so I’m on for the next couple of hours. Got the sea to ourselves! Nothing on radar within a 4nm radius. La mer est très belle aujourd’hui 😊❤️

Treat of the first watch was dolphins. They really are special. The only other excitement (hardly) was giving way momentarily to a big container ship!More dolphins on Paul’s watch, just after I’d made our lunch (wraps)! They put on a really good display in our wake. Then I had the 1415 to 1615 watch.

About 1530 the forecast wind started to get up. The fetch was SSE and the wind ESE, so potentially not particularly comfortable! But it didn’t come to much so can’t complain. We arrived about 1700, berthed, washed the boat a bit and cooked dinner. Wrapped up now – 2000 – and I reckon we won’t be long out of bed!

DAY 3 in ROME

Really nice day. We both got up when we were ready. The guys who came to work on the boat arrived in good time and it was all done before lunch.

We could’ve pushed on to Gaeta but decided not to. I did some work for my YM, quite a lot, actually! Went for a walk and yarned to Matt in fb messenger. Paul and I popped out for a bevvie before dinner. Then he went off to watch a movie in bed and I did some food prep for the next couple of days. Its so much easier to do stern to, than at 20 knots! Finished about 8pm and Mehrez rang to catch up.

This port is really quite big with a serious ship yard, but the support services are almost non existent. The potential is huge but certainly not realised. There could be regatta sailing here, shops in the beautiful old buildings, restaurants, so much. But there’s nothing! Even the beach is nice!

Refueling in the morning, then 6 hours to Gaeta. Bon nuit 😊

DAY 4 – ROME to GAETA

We got away later than we’d hoped as the refueling dock didn’t open until 0930. Southern European work ethic in practice! So eventually got under way at 1105, having topped the tanks! Again blessed with a good run and fair weather. Made excellent time and arrived in Gaeta around 1630, in time to refuel again. The fuel dock guys told us to stay on their dock for the night, so that’s less effort!

We decided that since we have 3 big days ahead of us we’d go ashore for a meal. I wanted to explore a bit so we walked to the old town and back, before settling into a place Paul’s friend told him he must visit! It’s called Rendezvous and I’ve never been to a bar /restaurant that had every single available seat booked out! There was reserved labels everywhere! However we parked in one that said it wasn’t booked until 9pm, and no one seemed to mind. After a couple of wines, peanuts, Olives, pestachios and crisps, we decided we didn’t need dinner!

I came straight to bed and have had a chat with Mehrez. Sleep now! And I think I’ll post this. Its getting long!

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