June 18, 2009
Today is what I consider to be the first truly sailing day of the trip. Aside from a brief period on Saturday, the intervening days have been light winds to calm, with a glassy Adriatic Sea, leaving us no alternative but to motor to our next destination. Apparently, a big Bermuda-type high was over the area, resulting in the tepid sailing conditions; yesterday was actually somewhat hot and humid.
But while were berthed at Komiza, on the west side of Vis, a front pushed thru, bring gusty winds, rains and washed up dinner plans. Pizza aboard ship became the order of the day.
But this morning dawned clear and bright, with gusty winds blowing out of the northeast; we motored out of the marina into more open waters and promptly encountered 15 to 20 knot winds and rolling seas, with swells probably 4 to 6 feet. After about an hour of this, we decided to test the waters, so to speak, by sailing with the jib only. It worked, not only propelling us forward, but also stabilizing the boat somewhat against the rolling seas. Later, we raised the main, and we’re now clipping along at about 7 knots.
This will be one of the longer sails of the trip, taking about 4 to 5 hours and covering around 30 miles, on our way to an anchorage on the south side of Korcula. The Adriatic is a beautiful deep blue, reminding me of the Pacific around Hawaii and Saipan. With the invigorated wind, whitecaps crest the sea. Combined, the quiet created by the absence of the diesels, the sounds of wind in the sails, the sea around the hull, and the rocking motions of the boat almost create sensory overload.