Well, plans change. Laurie and I were expecting to go to the island of Ponza on Sunday. We left and the trip became a motorboat voyage. I really dislike motoring on my SAILboat, So, two hours into the putt putt trip we turned the boat 30% to port and Ahhhhh, turned off the beast and had a very pleasant SAIL to Ventotene. Once in town we met a couple of American sailors which is unusual. Mark and Laura have been circumnavigating for the past 11 1/2 years! They kindly invited us to dinner to watch the sunset and the moon rise. It was a wonderful evening with an adventurous, experienced and fun couple. Thank you again Laura and Mark (Sabbatical 3 blog) for sharing your evening.
So, off to Sardinia. It was a very comfortable leg. Laurie and quickly fell into the zen-like routine of watch-watch off. I must say the during the past few days at sea I have easily doubled the amount of sleep I usual get at home. I can do this on the boat because I trust Laurie with my life. If something comes up (rarely) she does not hesitate to wake me. She is the perfect traveling companion. And damn good at doing this!
After motoring way too much for 240 mile we arrived at Malfatano at the southern tip of Sardinia. After anchoring for a couple hours the wind really freshened and caused whitecaps in the anchorage and was pressing us onto a Lee shore. I elected to up anchor and move on to our big leg to Spain. Out we went and after getting our asses kicked with 25-30 knot wind on the nose and chunky seas (No, not the Gibraltar Strait again!!) we returned with our tells between our legs to Malfatano to find the anchorage we had just left 2 hours before……calm as a mill pond. WTF….We were up early the next day for our 500 mile jaunt to Spain. What a sail we had! Broad reaching in 15-20 knots for most of the trip. We only turned the engine on for the last night into Alicante, Spain. But we needed to get there. Fast. We were out of contact just when we needed to be there for people.
We had received news that my mother-in-law Suzanne Culley was within a couple days of dying. With the satellite text not functioning well, no cell service at sea and the need to connect with Maryly and the kids at this critical time, we elected to pull into Alicante, Spain. Well before then we received a text that Suzanne had passed away. Maryly had just arrived in California and 2 hours later she cradled her mother to the end. Suzanne was a uniquely wonderful Lady. Whether it was playing the violin, painting watercolors or skiing, she always did it with Zest! She was the “Grande Dame” of any party. She will be missed. She remains in the hearts of the many people who were fortunate enough to share her life.