Woke up at 5:00am and we were on our way by 5:30am for an 11 hour day at sea. We hoped to do it in 9 hours, but unexpected heavy seas and winds came up the last several hours and we had to slow down our speed. We hit about 30 miles per hour winds and were pounded for the last three hours.
The first part was lovely with at first no wind, then great winds for sailing, and then finaly – near gale winds. We saw a large group of tuna in a feeding frenzy – something that I have not seen since the Sea of Cortex, about 20 years ago.
By the time we got close to Crotone, we were beginning to feel exhausted. We could see several fires had started to burn along the coast. It was a burning hot, sea spray and wind and our faces were beginning to go red and feel like sandpaper. As we get into the harbor, the winds are still blowing at 30 knots, but John does a skilled hookup to the berth in these high winds with the help of the harbor crew who were standing on hand to help. Minutes after we were tied up, the wind died to 3 – 5 knots. If only we had known that would happen, we would have waited to berth and avoid that stress as well!
If all goes well, we will start again early in the morning and have another long day ahead of us. Basically, today we did the arch of the boot of Italy, going towards the toe, and tomorrow we move closer to the toe. Let’s hope the weather holds.