from Greece to Maiorca on Zayda
3 - 23 november 2012
Zayda is a Nicholson 42 ketch, built in England in 1975. Barry is slightly older, born in Australia - but he has lived
in many places of the world. He bought her in Turkey, and together they are going all the way to Australia.
I shared with them a small part of this long journey, from Kalamata in Greece to Palma de Maiorca, Balearics, Spain.
The 5/11 we depart Kalamata, bound for Sicily. We expect to motor against light winds for 2/3 of the way. After a little
scare early on (water in the bilge), everything is fine except for the uncomfortable motion, motoring in the waves.
When the (good) wind comes, at night, we soon need to reduce sail. And we realise there are a few things that do not work
the way we expect, in the deck hardware arrangement. It is going to be a learning process and an improvement process.
We fight with the genoa furler line and the friction in its tortuous path; we fight with the genoa sheet when it wrestles
open a snatch block; we fight with the steering wheel when the boat gets overpowered. But the wind abates a bit, the speed
is good, the night goes by and the day after, 8/11 we arrive safely in Siracusa. This boat can sail, don't call her a motorsailer.
The wind charts downloaded from www.passageweather.com show that the south of Sicily is no-go for a few days.
We make a detour to the north through Messina strait, in the meantime buying bits of gear and fixing things on the way.
We stop in Riposto, where my friend Lorenzo comes to greet us and takes us to Catania for a dinner with his lovely family.
We career up the Messina straight, pushed by increasing wind and current, and then along the north coast with 2 reefs and
reduced genoa. We hear gale warnings on the VHF and decide to stop in Milazzo, a strange place with a very expensive marina.