This is a catch-up post.  It’s out of order chronologically. 

 

August 1,

Avner left early in the morning, leaving us down a crew memeber.  That evening Maya came in from Israel, keeping up our 24 hour crew replacement schedule.  (Felix, Ben and Avner all swapped each for the next within 24 hours)  We spent the day gathering the last items we had ordered for the boat.

 

Maya is a friend of Yariv’s from the Maritime school in Michmoret.  She has been studying marine biology there and wants to work in the Caribbean.  She’s comin out with us on a sort of test drive to see how she gets along.  She was born in America, but left when she was only one year old.  Her accent and demeanor show that she is completely Israeli.  She certainly put on a brave face coming to sleep on a boat with two perfect, male strangers far from home.

 

August 2,

We take off for Lampedusa.  Maya needs some refreshing on her sailing topics and we’re teaching her the words for things in English.  Having only just come on board, she is not confident enough to do a shift alone (and we’re not that confident in her yet).  So, Andrew and her team up while i do the other shift.  The sea is as smooth as silk that night.  I stare at the moon for an hour as it sets into its own argentine reflection, turning red.  There is phosphorescence in our wake which I can see by covering the back navigation light with my hand.  I enjoy these quiet and contemplative night shifts alone.

 

August 3,

We arrive in Lampedusa to find the harbor full.  There is simply no space for us.  this is the first time that this has happened on the trip.  Odd that it would be in Lampedusa instead of the Greek islands as we had been warned.  We hav to head out to find a place to anchor.  We think we’ve found a perfect spot which comes recommended in the pilot book. The moment after we’ve set the anchor, which is an entirely manual operation, remember, a duo in a kayak comes up to tell us that we can’t anchor there and must leave immediately.  They have official-looking t-shirts wrapped around their heads like turbans.  We question their authority and they get nasty with us.  We are trying to be polite and, in fact, comply with their instructions, but they get pretty nasty. Andrew gets nasty back.  I haul up the anchor and we set off.  

 

We find a little anchorage in a little cove that is mostly occupied by another boat already at anchor.  It’s a very tight squeeze as we go in to investigate.  A line from a small runabout gets caught on our keel and then slips off.  Right afterward another line from a charter boat gets underneath us.  This is not good because we can’t have the propeller spinning with a line so close to it.  I have to quickly dive into the water and try to extricate the line from the control surfaces on the bottom of Tocayo.  Maya is soon in the water too.  We finally manage it and Andrew gets Tocayo out of there.  We swim over to climb back on.  

 

The boat that was taking up the prime spot tells us that they are leaving in a few minutes.  We wait for them and then take their spot with no further incident.   The cove is narrow so we decide to set a secondary anchor to prevent us from swinging too far either way.  To set this anchor, I put a lifejacket on and balance the kedge on  two more lifejackets and swim with it out as far as I can.  This method is in Chapman, I didn’t invent it.

 

The next morning we headed off to Tunisia, stopping only to conquer Lampione.  

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