Extraordinary first day, and a bit too exciting frankly so I'm looking forward to the quiet dull days. Our send off from Palma was amazing, there must have been forty people on the dock cheering as we threw the lines: Fantastico! Grazie a tutti! Leaving port we were able to enjoy a special lunch of fresh pappardelle pasta with shaved tartufo bianco- buonissima!! We eat well on Feelin' Good! Out at sea we picked up strong winds and we've been on a steady upwind beat ever since with eighteen knots building to nearly thirty and ten knots boat speed. She's on a hard angle, and the first couple hours were an adjustment for everyone- slowly slowly! Oh yeah, the body remembers this. That's right, everything takes three times longer. Just walking through the saloon I'm reminded: slowly step, find a hold, slowly step, yes I made it to the galley!
We were under full sail in moderate seas earlier in the day when Andrea hooked something big on his fishing line- an amazing huge fish! It was a White Marlin ("aguglia imperiale") and 1.7 meters long. It was a real battle bringing him in, Andrea fought him for a half an hour, a big smile on his face, Giamma was ready on the swim platform with a rope and we now have a freezer stuffed full. The seas were too rough to try to cook fish that night so we had the Bolognese I had thawed out earlier. Tomorrow the winds should be dying off and we can roast some lovely fish steaks in the oven with tomato and olives.
It's 2am and the grind of winches wakes me, we are forging hard against four meter seas with winds at 27kts, we are upwind in gale conditions. It's the kind of weather that hardens the crew quickly. Already the wet storm gear is hanging up to dry, but there is no avoiding having to pull on cold damp gear for each watch cycle. I am in my aft port side bunk and I hear waves coming over the bow; big ones that wash the length of the boat. They're washing over the deck with a thunderous sound, hitting each hatch and filling the guest cockpit. The pounding is relentless, there will be lots of stories tomorrow of how the crew held the boat against waves that are trying to knock you off the helm. We are sailing fast and tight, piercing the black night and and its only the first day!
Day two and gale conditions continue, it's too rough to cook anything, I managed to make some sandwiches for the crew with great effort, the smallest things take a lot of time in this sea state. 27 knots in rough seas up wind sailing, the rig is howling, waves crash over the bow and spray the faces of the crew on watch, but they are smiling, this is what they signed up for, and the boat is sailing beautifully, she is loving this. Then finally it's gone, and just like someone turning the switch the Mediterranean is quiet and calm again. Classic Med sailing, all of the wind and then none of it! We are now going under motor, so there will be a nice fish dinner for everyone tonight, we are feeling good!!
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