Passage to Tunisia – The Last Leg

Most of the rest of the day was very uneventful. I was drained from the lack of sleep and form the events of that morning. I didn’t feel like reading or writing in my log, so I just laid in bed and tried to sleep most of the afternoon. I was pondering how on earth people stay at sea for 2-3 weeks at a time in boats this size if I was like this after less than 48 hours.

Our last watch was 20-0000hrs. We were doing 4 hour watches now to try and let everyone get as much sleep as possible. It was a very dark night when the sun went down, and there was really no horizon in any direction. We both took Dramamine to try and head off any sea-sickness that might develop in such visual conditions. There were low clouds and a constant 30 degree wind at maybe force 4 with associated waves. We trimmed the sails and settled in for what was going to be (for us) a long watch.

By 2200, the winds were down to less than 10kts and essentially on the nose, so we started the engine. I was getting tired enough that my eyes were starting to play tricks on me with the horizon. I kept think there was a large wave rolling towards us until I focused on something in the cockpit and gave my head a shake. I also kept thinking that we were going to encounter an unlit refugee boat* bobbing out in the middle of the sea here, which was actually a possibility, but I kept that thought from Christa until morning. There were also a number of flashes on the horizon that eventually became searchlights moving around for 2-3 seconds at a time. They would pan around a bit, and sometimes point up towards the low clouds and bounding off towards us. It was a creepy effect, especially in my sleep deprived state.

I was now counting the minutes until our watch end, making it go by even slower. Finally a plane flew past low enough that I could hear it quite clearly. I made sure the radio was one as I now feared we had enter some ad hoc exercise are, or a search and rescue operation. There was no radio chatter, the lights eventually stopped, but I’m sure it was something more than fishermen working on their nets. Our watch was over at 0000hrs.

We woke just as we were about to enter the Comino Channel, and headed for the famous Blue Lagoon on Gozo. At anchor there, I had the best breakfast of the whole trip, fried eggs and beans. A bunch of us then swam around a bit, (and I was on jelly-fish watch) while a never ending stream of boats started to enter the lagoon at around 09-1000.


As it was getting so busy, we headed around the corner to St. Paul’s Bay, where he was supposed to have shipwreck during his voyage to Europe. We spent most of the day anchored next to some neat caves, swimming and enjoying the weather, and I started to remember the good things associated with sailing.

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At 1600 we dropped off two crewman at the RMYC, and then went around the next corner to Kalkara Marina, where the boat is from. The wind died down just in time for me to perform a perfect Mediterranean docking with everyone watching.

That night we ate and had too much beer at a restaurant called D Kalkara Regatta, right on the Marina. The next morning, Stephen drove us to the airport for our flight back to Naples.

*About those refugee boats, good thing we didn’t head back via Lampedusa, as we may have gotten a little more excitement than we needed:

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Passage to Tunisia – A Long Morning
Passage to Tunisia – The Last Leg

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