The Captain says that the crew has to write, so my chance to tell what life is really like on onboard Beduin. The most important activities on passage are eating and sleeping while Beduin does all the work (with a little help from Gustav and Depp – the wind and autopilots).
It’s been hot so lots of swim stops. The Med seems rather lacking in wildlife after the Azores – we’ve seen more plastic than birds – but there were a few big turtles between Sardinia and Sicily. And a few hitchhikers – a kestrel spent a night perched on the spreaders and the south winds from Africa brought dragonflies as well as Sahara dust.
We liked Sardinia more than Mallorca, finally a nice anchorage to rest and swim and paddle board. But we didn’t expect it to be so busy. So, after celebrating 3 years travelling for Beduin and Aleko, on to the Eolian islands of Sicily, stopping briefly in Ustica for ice cream.
Approaching the volcanic islands early in the morning with a dramatic sunrise over Stromboli, they looked wild and remote. But by mid morning every anchorage is full and there’s a constant drone of powerboat engines. Sicily, even more than Sardinia, seems a playground for the rich, many more super yachts than boats of Beduin’s size, even one with a helicopter. We’ve observed that grey is the fashionable hull colour of the moment, cream is a few years out of date and white is hopelessly old-fashioned. We made two visits to Milazzo for shopping- arriving first on 15 August when all the shops were closed. Beduin seems keen to get home – flying out of the Strait of Messina at 7 knots and not slowing down till halfway across the Ionian Sea. yesterday the Captain caught a yellowfin tuna just in time to celebrate the return to Greek waters with the fish dinner he’d promised me. And tonight we are anchored in a quiet bay on Kefalonia.