To Brindisi

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Yesterday was a largely uneventful day, which is good when you are single handing your yacht 120 nm (about 200km) across an empty sea.

As some of you know I am prone to get seasick, and the drugs one uses to prevent seasickness are possibly worse than being seasick.   But on Friday night I put a patch on to get the first few hours of side affects out of the way before I started crossing.

All of the other times that I have used these drugs, I was already either sick, close to sick or perhaps too busy to care what they do to me.   Ugh.   Dry mouth, couldn’t sleep, feeling groggy . . . and that is how I started my day on Saturday. 

At 7:30 Niko from a neighbouring boat came aboard to help me to the fuel dock.   That makes things easier to be sure.  With clear decks, everything ship-shape, it was an easy run to the fuel dock and then the work started.

Boat loads (excuse the pun) of paperwork for fuel, for signing out of the country and on and on.   It is worth noting that having Porto Montenegro’s Yacht Assist group on hand to help makes a big difference.   They speak English, they know the procedures and the best course of action is to shut up and let them do everything for you (well, you provide ALL of the details and paperwork, but they tell you where to go, who to speak with and it matters.)

I had calculated that I needed 4700L of fuel.  I took in 4693 to get to full.   That’s pretty close I would say.   That took about an hour after the paperwork was complete.  (They can pump the fuel at about 100L/minute).   I did all of the filling and am happy to say that I didn’t spill a drop, which is good because they get REALLY up tight about spilling fuel, and even made me sign a pre-filling spreadsheet regarding what I should prepare in case of a spill.

By 10am I was untying and on my way.

Travelling across a vast sea is often quite boring, and yesterday’s journey was no different.  The sea was mostly flat despite 15-20 knot winds for about 3/4 of the time and 10-15 for the rest of the time.   The winds were coming from my Starboard side (North and North East), so the boat was going slower than I planned.  Given my single handed transit, I ramped up the engine a little bit a few times to stay (mostly) above 6 knots speed.

Just like riding a bicycle, being on the boat means hours of boredom speckled with moments of beauty.    Just before sunset, a few dolphins joined the boat and swam in my bow wake.   They didn’t stay long, but I ran out to watch them, because it is always a treat to watch them play.

As evening progressed, the winds and waves were a bit larger, but the biggest waves were reserved for 2am-3am . . . Just before I reached Brindisi.   A few items got tossed about, but virtually everything was tightened down pretty nicely.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, the moon was out, almost a full moon and the water was beautiful.  I have never really linked the lyric “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” (and I don’t know who sang it), but last night the shimmering water looked silver as the moon crossed the sky.   

People have asked from time to time about boat traffic, and on these long passages, it would be fair to say the world appears devoid of human activity (except for the plastic which is pretty much everywhere).   I did see a few ships in the distance once I was close to Brindisi, but until then, no boat was close enough to see an outline of the ship.  Just lights in the distance and blips on a screen.

I anchored inside Brindisi port at 4:30 am, secured the ship and then slept for a few hours.   Now I am tied up in front of the port police, where they tell me I will have to wait until 8am to clear into the country.  Not sure why, but I’m just going with the flow.  There is a nice market (all crafts and local items from what I can see) right in front of me and people walking about the waterfront.  I will people watch perhaps.

Italy is in its own world of course.  I have no internet connection because stores are not open here on Sunday.  It looks like 10am Monday to get a chip for my phone and I don’t want to be here that long if I can avoid it, so I may not have internet for a few days.

That’s the update so far on the return crossing!

4 thoughts on “To Brindisi

  1. You are brave to make these trips alone! And you seem to have endless energy. Best wishes for more safe travelling.

    1. Good morning Karen. I will take that as a compliment.

      A clinical analysis would suggest a mental defect … that’s my humorous response.

      My serious response is that I have stopped waiting for the stars to align for me to do interesting things. Instead I plan for as many contingencies as I can and get on with it.

      My insurer has limited some of my aspirations. 😬.

      Buying the safest boat I can find was a big first step. Now I just have to point the boat and let it do its job. When I get close to shore I slow down a lot and just push a few buttons. It’s almost smart enough to to the rest on its own.

      So I am just a tourist here.


      Good luck with haul out. Too bad for such a short season.

  2. Hi Don,
    I have you near Monasterace Marina, towards the toe of Italy as I type this. I’m not with you physically, but spiritually! I can’t believe how accurate you were on the fuel you needed, I was never that good. I assume you are having a bit of Dejavu, having already done the trip with your Dad. Keep safe and the blog coming.

    1. Hi Dave, yes, well I polished the little fuel I had left the day before, emptying port to starboard, so I could get a good measure on the total fuel on board. That meant I had the supply tank full, a good number on the starboard and a zero on port. Then the math was pretty easy.

      Thanks for all of your kind words. The last time I did this stretch we were in a F8 winds and well off shore so this is far, far, far more relaxed. 🙂

      It is always an experience just the same.

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