January 2022

 

Looking back onto our objectives for the second half of 2021 it is so clear that all of our plans, no matter how solid, seem to be continually changing. This is the result of changes in weather, our ideas, expectations and needs. What is great is that we are able to adapt as needed without any requirement for a “must do at all costs” policy – that can only end in disaster. 

 

Last year, we had no idea where we would spend the winter and as a part of our journey, we kept looking for the location which would best meet our needs. After visiting many marinas, we finally chose Marina di Ragusa and we are happy with our choice as it meets our winter requirements at a good price. The price includes water and electricity so we and our Ocean Deva enjoy central heating throughout the winter.  Being here has also given us the opportunity to do many things, meet some great people and formulate exciting new plans for the near future. 

 

In the sailing season that has passed, we were a little disappointed with the winds and weather forecasting in the Mediterranean Sea, so we hoped to get some help from our fellow sailors who have much more experience on this topic than we do. 

The overwhelming response was that most peoples’ experience is the same as ours ! Either too much wind, not enough wind, poor weather forecasts and uncomfortable anchorages (with too many charter boats), where sleep was scarcer than expected. The sailing season is also shorter than expected with the better weather starting in April/May and ending in October – plus the 3 manic summer months of July, August and September where it is necessary to fight for space in marinas and at anchorages. 

 

The solutions to some of these problems include:

  • The purchase of an easy to handle big, light sail for light winds, important for short-handed sailing. Similar to a spinnaker but called a Code Zero and much easier to use. We hope to use our engine less in the season ahead.

  • A new technology anchor – one that digs in quickly and re-sets itself when there is a change in wind direction.

  • Leave the Mediterranean. 

 

The last “suggestion” is something that we had not initially considered as we only just arrived in the Mediterranean. Our objective was to use our time here to improve our sailing skills and up our experiences. However, as our sailing experience is strongly affected by the capricious winds, we have come up with our current 2022 aspirations:

 

  • We will start by taking some sailing courses during March, in Gibraltar. Taking some time to learn from the experts in sailing, improving our skills and filling in our knowledge gaps. I will prepare for my Yachtmaster Offshore practical exam and Ingrid will join a course where she can further boost her skills & confidence.

  • Once we have a good weather window in April/May, we will depart from Marina di Ragusa and head for maybe Malta, Lampedusa and the Aeolia Islands.

  • From there, we will slowly work our way up the west coast of Italy, visiting Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Naples, Gaeta, Capri, Ischia, Rome, Elba, Portofino and anything else that pricks our interest or curiosity.

  • From Italy, we will sail along the coast of the south of France, stopping at Nice, St. Tropez, Cannes, Monaco and a few other cities to see our rich friends on our way to Gibraltar, where we plan to arrive in July.

  • Once in Gibraltar we will have some additional work done on the boat – the highlight will be the installation of Lithium batteries.

  • August is perfect to sail onwards to the Algarve to visit friends and finalise our residency, if not already done so.

  • Then the Canaries, and Cape Verde by September.

  • If confident, our 1st Atlantic crossing in December 2022 or Jan 2023.

  • If not confident, to stay around the Canaries, until we are ready. 

 

All plans are subject to change, but we are excited about the possibility and flexibility of our ideas. 

 

Follow us through the year to see how we are doing, and where we are. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood do come and visit us. We’d love to welcome you on board !