Naples, Italy to Livorno, Italy
June 26-28, 2018
Day 1 – Tuesday, June 26, 2018
I had a very nice weekend in Naples. I had considered setting sail last night, but I decided against that plan because the wind was light and it was blowing in from the west, the direction I needed to go. So, I chose to spend another night here.
At 6:35 AM, the sun was up and there was a good wind from the east-northeast. I pulled my lines on board, set the sails and headed southwest out of the marina. I have a little over 250 nm to go for Livorno, Italy. My plan is to spend next week in Florence before continuing my voyage around the Mediterranean.
At around 8:00 AM, I was sailing through the Phlegraean Islands to the west of Naples. Once I got past Procida Island, I turned a bit more to starboard and then headed up the coast. The wind was blowing 10-15 knots and I was sailing on the starboard beam reach. My boat speed was approaching 8 knots. The sailing conditions were almost perfect.
Later in the day, the wind died down and changed direction. It was now blowing out of the north-northwest and I was too close to shore to sail on the port tack, so I had to turn to the west. I set the autopilot to follow the wind, but I am guessing that I will be up at some time during the night to make an adjustment to the helm.
Day 2 – Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Shortly after midnight, I had to adjust my tack farther to the west. The wind came to life in a big way and was now blowing about 15 knots, gusting to 20 knots. I ended up putting a reef in the mainsail just to be safe. The sea was also much rougher than I had seen it in many days. It looks like the rest of the night is going to be rough.
When I went to bed at about midnight, I had the autopilot set to follow the wind on the starboard tack. At about 2:30 AM, the autopilot alarm sounded because the wind had shifted to the northeast and the boat was headed too far to starboard on the current setting. I reset the autopilot to follow the course. The wind was up over 18 knots and my boat speed was over 7 knots. The sea was still rough, but I was not beating against waves as much now. Once the autopilot was set with the new instructions, I went back below.
06/27/2018 0440 UTC – 41º 55.77′ N 11º 35.34′ E
I was back up at 6:40 AM. I didn’t sleep well because the sea was so rough and I have been used to calmer seas of late. My position check put me about 135 nm northwest of Naples, which was a decent day’s travel. I have a little over 100 nm to go. I noted that I passed abeam Rome sometime during the night. This morning, the wind was blowing 20 knots, gusting to 23 knots. The wind direction was unchanged from what I noted early this morning. If the wind keeps at this level, I could reach Livorno this evening. The sky is mostly clear, so it is a nice day, with the exception of the strong winds.
Later in the afternoon, the wind direction changed and the wind speed calmed a bit. I had to resort to tacking again because the wind had once again shifted to the northwest.
At about 6:30 PM, I was south of Elba, sailing west. I was planning to turn north once my wind angle would support the turn.
At about 8:00 PM, I decided to just continue west and to sail around the west side of Elba. The wind angle was not forecast to change much and it looked like I would have a better sail on the other side of Elba.
At about 10:00 PM, I was far enough west of Elba that I could turn northeast-bound. The wind is much lighter tonight than it was last night.
Day 3 – Thursday, June 28, 2018
I was awakened a couple of times last night with wind direction changes. I ended up having to sail west for a bit on the starboard tack because the wind was coming almost directly from Livorno. At a little before 6:00 AM, the wind direction shifted around to the northeast. Although the wind speed was barely 4 knots, at least I was back sailing directly toward Livorno.
06/28/2018 0500 UTC – 43º 9.78′ N 10º 8.8′ E
At 7:00 AM, I was located about 24 nm from Livorno. With the light winds, it will still take me about 6-7 hours to arrive. In any event, it’s a nice day for a leisurely sail into my next port-of-call.
At about 12:30 PM, I arrived at the docks at Livorno Yacht Club. My plan is to stay in Livorno through the 4th of July holiday week. It’s not a holiday in Italy, but I figured Florence was a good place to spend a week. I will head out for Genoa next weekend.
06/28/2018 1030 UTC – 43º 32.93′ N 10º 17.86′ E