Most people would think that all sailors do in the Med is hopping from one island to the next. There is, however, enough space to make a few days and more of passage way without spotting land. The main reason to head straight from Malta to Greece is that I need to get to my yoga retreat in Turkey on time. The side effect is a good preparation for our Atlantic crossing later this year. The added benefit – we enjoy it. The kids love having much more of our unspoiled attention than usual as once out there on the big blue – time and space take on a whole new meaning. We love how the ocean naturally slows you down and dissolves any to do lists. You just focus on the activity you are involved in, then move on when it’s time – without thinking five steps ahead when you haven’t even finished doing what you are doing: Making food, washing clothes, polishing the varnish, setting the sails, playing with dolphins, trying to paint that jumping sword fish that accompanied us for a good few minutes, spotting turtles, counting the few other boats around (all commercial tankers), wandering whether we are going to get any wind or have to run our fuel tank down to reserves…
After seven months of wintering we left Malta sailing off directly East into the sunrise on a sunny Thursday morning. Less than five hours into it we had spotted more sea life than in the past year living in, around and on the Med! My highlight was definitely the pot of massive dolphins which played around our hull for a good ten minutes, but the kids keep on insisting that their’s was the sword fish. I wasn’t aware of how much they seem to enjoy jumping out off the water! After a day of slow-down play, family time, and enjoyable boat/house chores I got a bit crazy in the galley, making anything from fresh Gazpacho, over chocolate-cheese-raw cakes to sushi rice with Asian style veggies. We ended the day with another dip into the crystal blue, rejuvenating, deliciously amazing sea and hull scratch, which, after the first round had gained us a whole extra well-needed knot of boat speed (holding off with the haul-out till Turkey where prices are supposedly less than ½ than Malta). After Asian dinner and pinkest-pink dusk and a few good nights stories kids went to bed. I was meant to get the first round of sleep and alleviate Pablo from his night-watch around 2 or 3 am. But I couldn’t sleep, so I took over at 1am already. The first night at sea never gives you a good sleep as the senses adjust to the on passage sounds – every alert to anything needing attention. As I’m writing the clock has just slowly ticked over 3am and a herbal rejuvenating tea blend is brewing. It is only me, a red moon – slowly moving into orange – and thousands upon thousands of stars reflecting their light in the mirror-like ocean. The anteddode to London last week. I’m feeling ever so blessed for being able to live this life and observe this peaceful spectacle in the cozy nest of our centre cockpit. The only wish I can think of with each shooting star that passes – apart from the obvious world peace and the like – is a good breeze of wind for the next for days. Although we topped up our fuel tank and every single jerry can on board, it’s not going to get us all the way to Crete. Out of the 444 nm we have to sail a minimum of 144, else… Oh well, we’ve got plenty of food and water on board, arts & crafts, books and solar panels and a wind generator which keep our batteries ticking over. Sooner or later some left-over, at least, of the Bora, Meltemi or Sirocco must come to kiss our sails!
I totally agree with t you Dini that life does slow down on a longer crossing. We had some big winds coming across but all you can do is set the sails and trust in the boat. At the other side you just remember the beautiful things about the sail across.
I just wondered. We have seen lots of Dolphins but what does a “Pot” of dolphins look like?
Pod, lol… we didn’t stew them up in a pot, I swear, you soul mate sailor and attentive reader! Wish we had had a bit more wind as I totally trust our boat and prefer wind in the sails 100 times over contant tuckering engine background noise… where are you cruising atm? x
Great to hear you are underway! Live your description of the starry night at sea.