Reflecting on sailing in the Med by Sam Mabey
I'm just out of Cartegena and I wanted to share my trip so far. I've been putting Rooster's Passage range through its paces out in the Med on a delivery from Malta to Las Palmas then to Gibraltar and back again to Las Palmas. We left Malta and Tuesday the 29th and motored out of the Lee of the island. It's a delivery, not a race this time so what better opportunity to get fishing off the back? We caught 3 small tuna in the space of ten mins, buzzing, I was taught how to gut them on board and cooked them for the crew for dinner. The conditions were just beautiful as well, there's something pretty awesome about catching your own food out of range of land, food shops, useful kitchen equipment or 4G.
We motor sailed for two days to get us on the right track towards Sardinia with 15kts of wind. At night I just layered my Passage Jacket with my Softshell Jacket, PolyPro Top underneath and Passage Hi-Fit Trousers and I was very toasty for a late-Autumn night. For those who know, it goes without saying but for those who don't, the night sky offshore is just the most beautiful sky you can possibly see... and the photoluminescent water is unreal, it's glowing like the stars are underwater, you have to see it to believe it. We came into Sardinia on the Thursday to refuel and get pizza. I learned pepperoni is pepper in Italian (now so do you) and was very sad when my pizza arrived with extra pepper... When it was calmer during the day my favourite floppy hat kept the sun off perfectly in classic floppy hat style. The Tech shorts as ever were great as another layer to keep my bum dry with wet teak again if you know, you know. We headed south towards the coast of North Africa after 24hrs the wind picked up to around 35kts and increased to a steady 40 for 2 days with gusts of up to 50 and Max 6-7m waves, maybe less, it was sooooo wet and uncomfortable. After 6 hrs the main ripped and every jib we attempted to put up came out the foil. The spray was so big that it just hurts so much when it smacks you in the face. The little adjustable wire on the Passage hood was my ACTUAL saving grace for shaping the hood to block off one side of the spray. After 2 days in the storm, the wind started to drop and we headed to Cartagena to repair and rest. We have now left Cartegena and are hugging the Spanish coast round to Gibraltar. We will stay in Gibraltar for a day then a five day trip to Las Palmas. The sunsets and sunrises here are something else. The kit made a huge difference to my entire passage. It keeps all the huge waves breaking over the deck completely out. After days with constant spray, I was actually dry, even when I was on the bow, which may as well have been underwater for that leg of the journey. When waves did go down the jacket at a bad angle all my rooster PolyPro Base layers made it so it was still warm and didn't feel uncomfortable, they also dried super quickly before I came off watch. The Polypro socks were my top workers, so warm for the thickness and yet so dry. We've got a bit more to go but there's been a lot of important lessons learned here, check the menu twice before you order pizza. Follow Sam's Adventures: @sammabey1