The last ‘long’ crossing on our way to Portugal, was the one from Sardinia to Menorca: 180 miles of open sea.
We set off around midday from Porto Ferro (15 NM north of Alghero): a beautiful large bay marked by the presence of two little towers on top of the hills: Torre Bianca and Torre Negra.
A place to die for, which we had all to ourselves. There were no other boats around and only few people riding horses could be spotted on the endless sandy beach; the water was so transparent that Gladan seemed to be floating on air.
For the past 48 hours, we had been cross-checking all the weather forecasts via our Apps: Windfinder, Windy, 4D Weather (for possible thunderstorms), looking for the right weather window to do the crossing. There was a big storm forming in the Gulf of Lion and moving towards the Balearics, which, clearly, we wanted to avoid!
After much discussion, we had finally come to the conclusion that it was better to postpone the crossing, and wait in Alghero.
Just before getting into Alghero, Gc and I looked at each other, then at the speed: with the main sail and the jib both up, we were sailing smoothly at 7 knots. In a matter of seconds, we made up our minds, changed course and decided to go to Menorca instead.
The sky looked clear and the sea full of promises. In the end, we thought, you never know what’s expecting you until you go. And sometimes you just need to go for it!
Only a few miles off the coast, Neptune made us a nice present, a small, but not that small, palamito, which Gc diligently cleaned and put in the fridge: his eyes already shining with a special light at the thought of the tartare he’d be making with it.
A few more miles down the road, Neptune decided he felt particularly generous that day so there we go…a massive Ala Longa – at least 10 Kgs – ended up gutted, filleted and stored into all three of our freezers. No more ice for our G&T, I’m afraid. Life is always full of compromises…..
After the second catch, Gc was over the moon with excitement, covered in blood and earning for more. It took me only few seconds to bring him down to earth and kill the momentum.
With tears in my eyes, I ordered him not to throw the lines in anymore: witnessing that strong, beautiful fish fighting for life with all its strength, made me really sad.
And so the fishing was over….
The sailing went very well and we managed to cover the first 90 miles in 10 hours. We got quite excited by Gladan’s performance!
Overnight sailing can be a very pleasant experience with the right weather. This time we got quite lucky as the sky was clear, and we were accompanied by 3/4 of a very luminous moon, which guided us through the night. Nothing around us other than the sour sweet smell of the silent night, the reflection of the Milky Way on the water and the smooth noise of the hulls surfing the waves.
Gc and I alternated in the watch, with a 2 hours shift each. We bumped into very few boats during the night, which we were able to spot thanks to a combination of radar and AIS.
We sailed all the way to Menorca where we got around 4pm, few hours before the forecasted arrival. Following our arrival, a hot shower, a cold beer and a restoring nap!