Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
Staying at Santa Maria di Leuca comes with the knowledge that you are going to be rolling around in your boat, almost no matter what; and sitting at anchor, just outside the marina was a guaranteed way to roll. My anchoring spot was really good, and as the weather forecasts predicted, the night was essentially dead calm except for some katabatibc winds as the sun went down. The boat was rolling despite no wind, but at least I didn’t have to pay for the ride.
Shortly before sun-up I was awake and so decided to lift anchor and get underway. An 11 hour day in front of me, and essentially no traffic on the sea, meant I can do all of the house keeping stuff underway.
Crap, my anchor is stuck. I have never had the anchor stick to something before. I worked the anchor over for about an hour but nope, no success. It was stuck. I went for a swim to see if I could hook the release bar to pull it out (I was in 14-15 feet of water) and while I could get down likely, if anything went wrong, I would be in real trouble. So back on the boat I called a diver.
Do you remember that money I saved by not paying to tie up? Yah, well most of it went to the diver. For a very reasonable 50 Euros, a diver was at my boat in about 15 minutes (and this is great service and well worth the value. I was thinking it was going to be 200 Euros). It took the diver about 10 minutes to free the anchor which had jammed itself sideways into a crevice. Now I was off. About three hours later than what I thought when I started.
Over the summer I have been contemplating getting mini-dive tanks which allow me to go down to 40 feet for about 10-12 minutes. I haven’t pulled the trigger on that purchase yet but I think I will be getting at least one mini-dive tank very soon so that I have a solution for going under the boat or to the bottom to retrieve an anchor.
The run from Leuca to Crotone was also uneventful. The water was flat, super, super flat (winds of <1 knot) for most of the run. So I took the time to clean the decks, do some stretching on deck, in the sun and generally, really enjoy a day on the water.
On my approach to Crotone, the winds picked up sharply and as I was entering the port they were topping out at around 18 knots. At the risk of being repetitive, I won’t try to med moor in high winds alone unless my needs on shore dramatically outweigh the risks associated with tying up. As I pulled into the marina, I looked at the docks and decided that I didn’t want to be tied up to their docks overnight. It was to be another night of heavy katabatibc winds, then dead air overnight, but the dock master did come out and motioned for me to tie up at the dock closest to the entrance, bow into the wind on a dock that was probably not made for an 85,000lb ship. Perhaps if I was on a modest sailboat, but nah, I don’t need that risk. I turned around and headed back out. Just outside was a nice sandy bottom with about 15 feet of water and only one other boat anchored. The winds did die down through the evening and I slept quite well.