The first trip

On April 20th, 2021 we arrived in Pescara by car. The plan: service the winches, clean the ship under water then sail to Tremiti Islands and Croatia. As we know, even the most carefully laid out plans rarely survive their confrontation with reality – and this plan was not very carefully laid out anyway. And why should it have been? We had time and were flexible.

Winches

Servicing the winches took 3 days – some of them looked pretty good, some were rather crusted with old grease and grime and one had a set of pawls mounted the wrong way causing it to malfunction. The picture below of pawls inside a gear shows how things should be. But if you take the pawls out, flip them upside down, then put them in the gear again, they will fit, but there will no longer be a snug contact of the pawls inside the gear and the winch can turn both ways. The Harken service manual points that out clearly. What the manual does not point out is, to be careful with the rolling bearings… one of them fell apart. It is made of two plastic pieces with 16 steel rolls of about 1.5mm in diameter. If this happens, you need very steady hands – or probably some cool tool – which I did not have. What I did was, to set the bottom plastic ring on the table, then very carefully place those 16 rolls on it – standing. Then even more carefully I placed the second plastic piece on top and pressed the whole thing shut. Finally polishing the chrome was the easiest part.

Marina Sveva

On Saturday the 24th of April the sun came out and we sailed South to Marina Sveva. That marina is pretty new, very clean and safe with locked gates at the moorings and several restaurants – which were still closed because of the Covid-19 lockdown. We had the pleasure of meeting Nico from Afrodite Barca a Vela who takes tourists to Tremiti with his yacht. On Sunday there was almost no wind so we used that day to sail out, anchor in front of the coast, put on the wetsuit and clean the boat underwater. Bringing up the anchor needed the boat hook because it came up the wrong way around like when I used it before. Time to try the WASI GTS Power Ball…

Termoli

Monday. Wind! But from the North-East, precisely the direction we would have needed to sail to get to Tremiti. So we modified the plan and sailed to Termoli instead. The marina there is not very charming – it rather feels like a big boat yard. However, the sanitary facilities were clean, the old city center is in walking distance and the lockdown was lifted on that day! Right next to the marina is the Sottovento – a restaurant offering fantastic seafood! The Sottovento is a reason to return to Termoli!

Lying alongside allowed us to mount the WASI GTS Power Ball – anchor chain/anchor connector on the quay. So far it seems that now the anchor is much easier to bring up the right way round.

Tremiti – San Domino and San Nicola

On Tuesday we set sail for Tremiti right after mounting the WASI Power Ball and fair North-Westerly winds allowed us to get there on a beam reach. However – we had planned to stay in Cala dei Turci which had a strong swell with the North-Westerly wind and turned out to be much smaller than we had expected; room for one or two yachts with calm sea. So we went to the buoy field in front of San Domino port instead where we stayed for the following three nights – and our boat was the only one there in those days. The Islands were still in Covid-19 hibernation mode. Everything closed except for one crocery store on San Domino – where we tried to get bread around lunchtime but no luck – out of stock. Well, they did have beer and crackers, though.

Return

The trip back to Pescara took two days with a pleasant stay in Marina Sveva again. The trip to M. Sveva was very calm – so we needed the engine for half of the trip. And the last leg on Saturday was proof, that sometimes all weather models provide incorrect forecasts. Sailing home appeared impossible with no useable wind in any of the models. While in the and we had 15 kts of wind letting us sail with more than 7 kts.

And here’s a litte compilation of video clips from that trip…

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