At half past eight we let the moorings go and sailed out of Marina Villasimius.
In the entrance we met a tender with a large outboard. It came from the megayacht anchored off the marina. It headed to the GC32 catamarans. A man went off. Was it the honourable Sir Ben Ainsley on his way to work in the Racing Tour 2019?
We didn't find out and 1 / 2 hours after we left the marina, we sailed through the narrow passage between Capo Carbonara and the small island of Cavoli.
The chartplotter showed that there were 149 miles to Sicily or rather the small island of Favignana, located a few miles off Sicily's west coast.
The wind was light, but not lighter than the main sail gave a little extra speed when we pulled it out and used it as support for the engine.
We hadn't sailed long before we caught sight of a motoring sailboat
It headed straight against us.
It had probably left Sicily over a day ago.
We waved happily to each other when we got close.
They, because they probably were looking forward to a bath and undisturbed sleep. We, because we were excited about the trip that lay ahead of us.
Pia had set up a watch schedule
Two men on watch in 3 hours in daytime and 2 hours a night. We started the plan right away. The freewatch rested and made breakfast, lunch and dinner at scheduled times. The watch was responsible for sailing Heron. Steering was managed by the autopilot and the watch's most important task in the light wind was to keep a good lookout.
The route of the big ships goes south of Sicily and Sardinia. There is limited commercial traffic in our route. This was why the risk of being sailed down by one of the big ships was small.
But a good lookout was still important. A collision with another pleasure boat, a fishing boat, a container or perhaps a sleeping whale could be fatal.
We saw only a few other pleasure boats. One had for a while sailed at the same speed and course as us a nautical mile out on our starboard side.
“Sailboat on our starboard, Sailboat on our starboard. This is sailing yacht Heron "called Carl with decreasing enthusiasm a few times on the VHF.
To everyone's astonishment, the VHF suddenly sounded “Sailing Yacht Heron, Sailing Yacht Heron. This is sailing yacht Morgana”
Morgana, like Heron, had been in Marina Villasimius.
Our failure not to notice them was explained by the skipper by the fact that they had been at the Racing Tour 19 center. The crew consisted of the skipper, his wife and their cat. We agreed to call each other every two hours after dark. Nice with companionship, not least when the mobile coverage ceased shortly after,
In the middle of the afternoon we saw dolphins at the aft. The huge flock caught up with us quickly. Some continued to jump high into the air, others swam under Heron and out to the bow. So close they could come without touching. It seemed like they were playing and having fun.
The flock disappeared as suddenly as it had come. A little later came another playful flock and entertained the grateful audience on Heron.
"Something's in the water," Pia warned, adding "at two o'clock" as she pointed to what looked like a brown cardboard box.
When we got close, we saw that the cardboard box was a sea turtle that swam lazily in the surface without noticing our presence. Later, several appeared. Eventually, so often, neither the watch nor the free watch bothered to mention it.
In the aft we could see the mountains in Sardinia. With a height of about 900 meters they could theoretically be seen from a distance of 60 miles, but a few hours before sunset, they disappeared in the haze. Now we could only see water around us. And yes yes jMorgana on our starboard side.
The wind moved more to the southeast and weakned. Now the wind was almost straight against us. We pulled in the mainsail and now used only for engine.
In the aft the sun began to sink and turner red as it sunk down on the horizon. The first star appeared in the twilight sky. More was lit and when the sky was completely black, it was filled with shining stars and planets.
"We see your lights clearly" it sounded in the VHF from Morgana at night's first check call. We replied that Morgana's light was also clear to us,
«What is the white light we can see in the sky to the starboard? Is it Tunis? "We asked at the night's next check call.
"I havn't thought about it, but it may well be so" sounded the receipt.
The moon was not yet up. We felt small, insignificant, but in a strange way safe as we sailed under the sky, where shooting stars occasionally crossed the shining stars and planets.
The moon emerged just over midnight. It lit up well. Now we could again sense the horizon. What we had long thought of was a lantern from a ship or aircraft turned out to be a planet in the sky above us.
"There is morild" said Lars on one of his watches. Morild is a light phenomenon that occurs in saltwater with special algae types. Algae, for whatever reason, reacts to emitting a flash of light when disturbed by a break in the sea surface. The morild lasted most of the night and everyone saw the fairytale flashes of light when Heron broke the water surface or there were ripples on the sea surface.
It was about to be late at night. It was damp and cold. For the first time on the trip there were several vessels on the AIS. Just around five o’clock , it began to glow in the east. Daylight slowly, but surely replaced the darkness.
Suddenly, the outlines of the outermost islands in the Egadi archipelago appeared. When the sun had come up, the whole archipelago appeared and behind it we could see Sicily.
A few hours later we slipped into the little Marina on the island of Favignana.
We were directed to a berth. When Heron was well moored, Pia opened a bottle of Proseco and we cheered on a well-finished crossing
… And write a greeting (it is more welcome than you think)