28 September 2008

28-Sep-2008 Noon Position

Noon Position
Mediterranean Sea

  • 94 nm last 24hrs
  • 94 nm from Malta
  • 830nm to Malaga, Spain
  • Winds NW 5 knots
  • seas calm
Team Sandpiper is back at sea and making way! We left Malta yesterday at 11am after a late morning spent getting the boat secured for sea and Amy packaging up some pre-cooked meals. Our next port will hopefully be Malaga, Spain 920 miles away. If the weather cooperates then we are hoping that this should take us 11 days or better. Malaga is Spain's western most port in the Mediterranean. If we make it, then it will be our only stop before we head south to the Canary Islands in mid October.

As we left Malta there was a boat/air show going on over the weekend. As we got to the west end of Malta a fighter jet from the air show flew down our starboard side, upside down, at low level. Then it spun around and did a low level pass right over the 'Piper while he was spinning 360's. A very nice farewell from Malta!

The winds in the Med come mostly from the NW, the exact direction that we need to go. But yesterday's forecast was for winds out of the N/NE. This allowed us sail till about sunset when the winds veered back to the NW, right where we did not want them. We have motored since sunset last night with light 5-10 knot headwind. We are hoping that these headwinds stay light, as predicted, so we can gain miles while motoring.

There is also a constant flowing easterly current in the Med. The seawater evaporates in the Med faster then any rivers can fill it up. So water from the Atlantic Ocean pours in to make up the difference. So till we hit the Atlantic, we will be fighting this current, giving us lower 24-hour runs.

Although it sucks to have to motor in light winds, it beats motoring into 20-30 knots of wind. We looked at many different forecasts before leaving, and from what we are seeing we should have a few days of light wings. Then the farther west we go the winds should veer around from the east where we are hoping to actually maybe sail.

We are just south of the W-E bound shipping lanes with lots of traffic overnight, but most of it staying away from us. We did top off on fuel before leaving Malta taking on 260 liters at 1.30 Euros a liter. That is over USD$5 dollars a gallon... Ouch. This is the first fuel we have taken in the Med since our last fill up in Egypt. We have done pretty good as Sandpiper's tanks were half full. $5 dollars a gallon is expensive, but it is better then in Turkey where everyone was paying $9 dollars a gallon.

One downer is our iPod shorted out at the bottom where it plugs in. Now we have no way to charge it, so no iPod! We tried to have this repaired in Malta, but no luck. Hopefully we can get it fixed in Spain, or else our Atlantic crossing will be awfully quite.

We are 40 miles south of Sicily's coast and we can listen to all there techno dance hits... fun. Check out the podcast 'Dawn and Drew Show' #802 where you can hear us phone in at the end of their show on their comment line. We are 'Show Biz Sailors'.

More in 24!!
Tom and Amy

Note From Ron: Here are a bunch of videos of this weekend's Malta International Air Show.

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