Saturday, 26 October 2013

Voyage Sicilia Part 4 - That dreaded night passage; picking the weather window and biting the bullet

Wednesday 23rd October 2013 - Crossing the Gulf of Taranto - Santa Maria di Leuca to Crotone 
So, I didn't sleep much - fitful, sweaty, dream-filled sleep - but felt amazingly awake, hugely awake by 0245 when we got out onto the silky smooth black waters.  The moon was bright, waning but still full of light and glittered across the calm sea.  Light winds behind us, no cloud cover.  It was so damned perfect.

I stood on the deck in front of the mast, breeze in my face, stars abound and the seascape monochrome silver simply taking it all in and feeling pretty emotional.  This wasn't just okay - it was amazingly beautiful.

The light came quickly.  From the first signs of dawn in the eastern skies to being able to see each other clearly took less than ten minutes.  And then came sunrise.  The most incredible sunrise we've ever seen.  The water was like a mirror and our wake (and that of Zikk Zakk, our Norwegian companions) sent the light shooting off in all directions, a huge dark orange sun peeping above the horizon and the glassy surface of the sea in all directions turned to gold.  No words can do it justice.

And to top it off, in true Disney style, the light then revealed the wildlife of the Gulf of Taranto as a school of dolphins came over to see us, plus a few turtles and some rays!  Totally incredible.

Taken from Zikk Zakk - Monty B on a mirror-like sea at sunrise.

Relieved and exhilarated - the human crew of Monty B at sunrise in the middle of the Gulf of Taranto

This isn't touched up.  It really did look like this.
We reached Crotone at 1430 with 72 miles run.  A great run.

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