The weather forecast is looking good so the time has come for our big crossing to Sardinia – Italy. We lift the anchor in Mahon, Menorca, Spain at 2.30 in the afternoon, we’re all ready to just get on with it, sick of all the planning, provisioning and weather watching. It’s a beautiful afternoon as we set out on a flat calm sea. Camille is maybe a little nervous when she writes in her journal..
“The blue sea ripples next to a lovely little town. One boat is heading to Sardinia on such a beautiful day. One little town can bring such joy and hope. Whereas a big town can only bring people and maybe some food and water. But all you need is hope. As they say all boats should be called she for good luck.”
Our afternoon is one of the best on the boat so far, fish jump all around us and Sam rushes to get a line out. We eventually get a good view of a swordfish jumping next to the boat. I decide to start dinner early so I can get a sleep before my watch starts at 10pm. But as I’m contemplating what to cook from our fully stocked cupboards, the line is squealing – all hands on deck! Sam struggles reeling the line in and worries he put too finer line on. We watch excitedly as big tuna appears on the end of the line. It’s too big for our net and as we debate how to land it – but it’s off, gone…. Dreams of a fresh tuna dinner vanish into the blue abyss. Back to cooking dinner.
“Whale!” the call goes out and we all rush on deck to see a whale, lob-tailing. This is when it brings its tail sharply down on the surface of the water in a shower of spray and a noise like a gunshot. He does it over and over and it feels like the display is just for us.
Dinner is now getting a little late, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I’m just about to serve up when the line squeals again – another tuna and once again it gets away. We really do need a better plan for landing it. I eventually get to bed around 8.30, but there is of course no way I’m going to sleep.
We do 2 to 3 hours shifts all night and get the girls up to have a turn.
“At 3am I went on night watch, I saw phytoplankton. I thought that it was amazing and sparkly.” Anastasia wrote in her journal.
We see a few boats pass us heading for Sardinia, but it’s an uneventful night. We’re grateful for the radar and the cloudless sky.
We are making good progress sailing south east, the wind coming from the north, the seas flat. We do have to use the motor at times, but when we are able to turn it off it is incredibly peaceful.
Day two and Sam’s line finally reels in the long awaited tuna. His plan is to stab it while still on the back step and it works. The blood is somewhat contained and he eventually emerges with a headless tuna. Madeleine is outraged by the carnage off the back of the boat. She writes
“Daddy finally caught a tuna, it was so gross, poor, poor tuna. I don’t like fishing that much because I understand mouth injuries, they really hurt. So I am not eating that fish!” After filleting we have over 3kg of tuna to get through. We start with poached tuna on baguette for lunch. It’s a white fleshed tuna and more like chicken than fish. And in spite of themselves everyone eats it.
The rest of the day is very slow but Sam and I in our sleep deprived states are just happy to stare out at the horizon and let the hours pass. The girls on the other hand spend hours on the iPad playing Minecraft, we leave them to it. A new update has brought horses – they can’t believe their luck.
We break the monotony by lowing our Spanish courtesy flag and raising our Italian one. And celebrate half way a few hours earlier than we planned.
Night two passes uneventfully, with only a couple of boats far off in the distance and a tiny sliver of moon. The forecast fog doesn’t eventuate and we let the girls sleep. Sam wakes me at 3 and I can see the lights off the land, and work hard to identify which light is the lighthouse and the channel markers we are heading for. It becomes clear that we’re too early to head into land, so at around 4.30 I set a course for further along the south coast. It will mean another 6 hours at sea. I wake Sam at 5 for his watch and to check he’s happy to go the extra distance. I head to bed around 6am. While I sleep a bird visits us, taking up a perch on the bow. Must be an Italian welcome Dove. ?!
At 10am I’m up as we head into a bay and we set anchor. Crossing over, we relax and look forward to our next adventure – Sardinia.
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.