We left Patras on Tuesday 7th of March around noon without new food provisions. The rain was continuously so strong that we decided to stay under the protection of PELAGO’s tent and sail to Kefalonia. Very soon we had good tail wind opposite of all weather predictions. It persisted all day and night slowing down as we came closer to Kefalonia and dying completely just 5 miles before the cape.
Kay, brave as always suggested to be open the main sail which left us more exposed to cold wind because we had to take down the front of the tent. Thanks to this we sailed much faster. We covered the last few miles to the first anchorage Kateleio by motor. We wait there for the promised head wind to sail to Argostoli while the sun recharges our batteries.
We did not stay long at Kateleio, the head wind came early at about 10 h and then we spent the whole day tacking along the south coast in view of the imposing Ainos mountain. Only the motor could push us in the bay going north. We asked by phone the local expert Leonardo where we could find an electric outlet to charge our batteries that suffered like we from. too much cloud cover. He directed us to the port of Lixouri where he was sure he had seen one electricity water pillar. We arrived at night, there were two, none connected.
There was good luck in our misfortune because the next morning our tent attracted the attention of a local who turned out to be one of the most experienced Greek sailors. Antonis has crossed the Atlantic from the north route, against the storms, single handed and has sailed Kyreneia II, the replica of the 3rd century BC cargo sailboat, from Perama to Pafos. He gave us the idea to try build another replica and use it to transport cargo and passengers interested in the ancient sailing practice. He also introduced us to another single handed sailor Vassili who expressed interest in joining us in the Aegean with his 10 m sailboat.
We spent two days till Saturday evening waiting for the proper weather window to open for crossing the Ionian sea. We sailed to Agia Pelagia on the south coast of Kefalonia to spend the night and possibly charge our battery using the pillars in the marina. We emptied our battery a little and none of the six pillars was connected. Fortunately the sun was generous the next three days and took care of our energy needs.
Leaving around noon to Italy we struggled without proper wind using the motor for two hours and then the north wind started moving us very efficiently. Before the sunset, two little birds, stranded over the sea, embarked on PELAGO and spent the night in a corner of the carré. One was very sociable and fraternised with Kay.
It was around 19 h that the wind strengthened gradually to force 6 and we spent the whole night sailing fast in the right direction to the south tip of Calabria, shaken to the limit and getting wet from the 3 m waves. Fortunately the tent cut more than 95% of wind and water sprays. Monday morning the wind slowed to force 5 and at 17 h we had reached the mid point of our route.
We went in the first part of the night through the gradual change of the wind from NE to S. I spent the first night of the year sleeping in the cock pit next to the auto pilot. Well covered, I was protected from cold and humidity. At 10h Tuesday morning we were at 65 NM from the south entrance of the Messina straight, sailing in the right direction and the battery close to saturation…
To be continued
If you want to support us optimize our #solarelectric Pelago, here is the way: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pelago-unplugged