For much of the cold night I made good time (close to 6kts) motor sailing due South, only turning South East after passing Ajaccio at 01:00 (GMT).
As daylight broke, the wind strengthened and shifted eastward, making progress uncomfortable. Rounding Le Moines, a 26m high light marking shoals extending 3 miles from the southwestern coast I made for the lee provided by Cap de Feno seeking smoother seas.
One other sailboat was visible this morning. It surfed along at frightening speed under genoa with apparent unconcern for the unsavory conditions. (I recognised this boat tied to the quay in Bonifacio and identified it as an 8m Thomson tboat (www.tboat.com)).
By midday, 25hrs after departing Calvi, I entered the fascinating port of Bonifacio, refueled**, found a free space to tie up on the southern quay and promptly went to sleep.
**Just as a matter of interest, Eileen of Avoca has a range of approximately 100M with a full tank (45 L) but I carry an extra 20 L in plastic jerry cans to top up mid route.
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. 🙂