Route from UK to Italy
**Snapshot of Eileen of Avoca’s route in 2007. Note that the GPS was switched off most of the time while traveling through the Belgian and French canals.
I’d ranted in my log for many paragraphs on topics ranging from impossible work deadlines, horrendous Amsterdam traffic, long airport queues, unhelpful service desk personnel, zealous airport security staff, unannounced flight destination changes due to storm-force winds and forest fires leading to hours on a bus from hell. To save the reader from too many diatribes I’ll summarize my journey to Calvi as follows: “emotionally challenging”.
For the next two days the wind blew at Force 8 and it rained proverbial cats and dogs.
Only twenty hours if I could keep an average of 5kt. The swell outside the harbour was very uncomfortable and for the first 4 hours Eileen of Avoca rolled heavily on a heading of 135°.
I gave Eva a couple of Sturgeon tablets and sent her to bed as she was not feeling well and readied myself for what was effectively if not technically a solo crossing.
After traveling 35NM I could no longer make out the city lights to the north. Left in splendid isolation on a moonless night, I motor-sailed, double reefed for hours on end. Much later that night, as I sat huddled by the companionway to keep out of the dew, the sea calmed considerably. Apart from having to dodge the occasional ship there was little to do and despite my best efforts I was beginning to feel very tired.
Just at the point where I felt I could easily doze off, a great splash wrenched me from my stupor. Wide awake I looked to port and stood amazed as three dolphins leapt from Eileen’s bow-wave with enviable agility. Wow!
The moon rose just before dawn and the remaining hours passed without event. By 16:00 I was approaching the port of Calvi. Our little holiday was over.
Well, at least until September the 22nd when I intend to take Eileen of Avoca to Sardinia. 🙂