Next morning we found ourselves with the wind just off the nose and blowing 25 knots with a two metre swell. Fantastic. Time to find a refuge for the crew and rest for the skipper who’d been up all night. Engine on and sails barely working as we pointed as far into wind as possible.
Also I had identified a problem overnight. The roller reefing for the jib had broken whilst deploying the sail. So I had no way of bringing in the sail easily by hand and with big winds, that was a worrying development.
We got to the small island of Pantelleria and I decided to divert to Scauri, a small fishing port with rubbish reviews on all the sailing sites. But we needed shelter. The last two hours before arrival were very painful. High winds and swell breaking with the sea mend becoming shallower. There was lots of green water across the deck and a very unhappy crew. Thank goodness for our pilot house!
We got there though. We nosed up to the cliff outside the port for shelter and I walked the bowsprit to roll away the jib by hand in the relative calm created by the land.
We then found the port full. All of two other yachts and nowhere to go. After discussion we found one boat was going, so we waited. To cut a very long story short, four hours later we were in the port and sheltered. But the port police have just visited this morning (the next day) and told us to leave because we are in “their” space, so we negotiated leaving tomorrow morning by telling them about the broken jib furler and then bringing out our joker cards: the children. Always works that one.
So to tomorrow. The passage to Tunisia, I hope.