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Sailing!

Jul 30, 2011


Location: Porto Rotondo
Author: John Walsh
We woke up this morning in Corsica to tasty French Toast and Nutella (no fire alarms this time, Alex has gotten used to the galley). By eight thirty we made the boat ready to sail to Porto Rotundo. The shipmates lead the sail raises and had the main sail, main stay sail, forward stay sail, and jib up quickly with only a slight pause on the main stay sail after Cali realized that she had forgotten to take off the sail ties (ties that hold the sail onto the boom after it has been flaked, detrimental to the raising process). Sailing 8 knots, then 9 knots, then 10 knots (!) Sam made the call to cut the engine. A favorable wind propelled the boat at a comfortable, and comparatively fast 10.7 knots, (we usually make around 7 knots) with Mike at the helm. We lunched underway and the students had a science class in which Casey and Laurie lectured about fisheries (the commercial harvesting of aquatic life). After arriving and anchoring in Porto Rotundo the majority of students went to shore to find the staples of ice cream (Corsica is French, so no Gelato) and espresso. They described the port as an “abandoned resort” in which there was, as Shaun put it, “a really nice street paved with a mosaic that had awesome flowers.” A shift in the wind drove us to pick up the anchor and move to a safer anchorage shortly before dinner was finished. The problem was that if the anchor dragged in the spot where we were we would have been pushed onto the shore (very bad). With the wind blowing out to sea in the second anchorage, we would have been pushed out into open water if the anchor dragged (still not great, but better than running aground). Another plus of the second anchorage was that only a few hundred feet away from us the Maltese Falcon was anchored. The Maltese Falcon is a modern square rigged sail boat that was the biggest sailing boat in the world when it was built six years ago. It is still in the top three, and quite well known. Alex shot up on deck as we were passing the boat with her camera, chattering excitedly that her brother would be “shocked and jealous” when she told him about it. The day quieted down after the second anchoring and we dined on a fine meal of sausages, mashed potatoes, and salad. Everyone was in bed by ten thirty, tired and content with the day’s events and looking forward to tomorrow’s passage to Sardinia and, because it is part of Italy, the Gelato that will surely follow.