The power of Ponza!

So as most of you know, our dream is to sail off and go cruising around the world.

We are planning and preparing for our adventure and hope to be ready to leave in a year or two. There are a few projects we would like to do on the boat which we’ll tell you all about soon and the humans are sorting out what they’re calling a cruising kitty. (Not sure what this is, but they assure me it has nothing to do with another feline!)

My dad is a true sailor and grew up on a boat with his family in Australia. My mum, however, grew up by the sea in Cornwall but knew very little about boats until she met my dad. She fell in love with Nocturne the moment she saw her, and for months she incessantly asked stupid questions about how she’s built and how she runs. Dad didn’t seem to mind, but I thought she was quite annoying.

I obviously was born to be a boat cat and have both the sea and sailing in my blood. I have a natural instinct which relieves me of having to ask such silly questions.

We did our first proper trip as a family for dad’s birthday last year in May. Mum and I knew that it was dad’s dream to go cruising, but had never properly considered what this would mean in reality. We follow lots of cruising blogs and have many cruising friends but nothing can compare to actually experiencing something for yourself. Needless to say I was immediately sold on the idea but since mum wasn’t really a sailor she remained quite quiet on the idea. It wasn’t until the second blissful week anchored off Ponza that mum suddenly realised that yes, actually this would be a fantastic way of life and that we could really do this!

You’ve probably seen my beautiful pictures of Ponza this week and think well obviously… It would be one long holiday. Who wouldn’t want to commit to the romantic idea of sailing off into the sunset? Well actually it was quite the opposite on our last morning in Ponza we were anchored in the harbour when an almighty storm hit.

Dad had been up regularly during the night checking on the anchor as the anchor alarm had been going off every couple of hours because of Nocturne’s long keel she was sailing around her anchor. When mum got up it was about 5am and Nocturne was rolling a lot and she started to feel seasick. Dad made the decision to move over to the other side of the harbour where we would be protected by the break water although we knew we would probably get moved later as it was close to the path of the ferry. Dad went back to bed for a bit and tried to get some sleep knowing that we would need to move soon. Mum feeling ill stayed in the cockpit and watched out to make sure we weren’t dragging (when the anchor isn’t holding properly.)

Dad made the decision to leave at about 10am and we set off in rough seas heading for calmer waters. We motored through an area where the the underwater rocks were elevated in the water and it was a very changeable sea and we had a small problem with the engine because the fuel wasn’t getting there easily, with the rocking and rolling air was getting into the diesel. So dad changed fuel tanks. Mum had never been out in bad weather like that before so she was a little scared, but she trusts dad completely and he reassured her that everything was ok.

He went on deck to sort out the main, and get the sails up. he had to do it in stages. because we had left abruptly he had to take off the shade cover, take of the sail cover, and then he did the lazy jacks and ties and finally hoisted up the main sail. While Nocturne was rolling all over the place! He was superman!

We decided to head for Nettunno marina and we ended our sail in calmer waters with conditions that were now good for sailing. We arrived at 6.30 with a huge sense of achievement and happily ate like kings and got an early night in a very friendly marina. It was the huge exhilaration and sense of accomplishment that made mum realise that if we put our mind to it, we can do anything. She’s still got lots to learn but it’s great fun and being at the mercy of Mother Nature will never get boring that’s for sure!

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Mum and dad in Ponza the night before we left.

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Nocturne waiting and ready for the storm.

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Safe and sound tucked in, in the welcoming Nettunno!

Bisous Bailey

Comments

  1. Beautiful photos, Bailey! I hope your mum and dad framed that one of the two of them!

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  2. I can’t wait till you guys head off and I can follow your adventures!!! Hopefully by that time we will be going as well 🙂

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  3. What an adventure. I think I would have been more sea sick than your mother, Bailey. I am a very poor sailor.

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  4. Wow Bailey….that’s quite a tale of the angry sea on that adventure you had. When you and your parents do begin your “BIG” adventure with cruising the world, you will be prepared for anything! Love the photos……I hope you all can do what you dream of doing…..it’s VERY exciting!!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

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  5. Your dad is great with Nocturne! And I bet you all can’t wait to travel with the boat around the world. 😉

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  6. Mousiez dat iz a pawsum story about Ponza!! You n yer Mum are bery bery brave to be sailin wif da Dad!!! He lookz strong & able to handle anyfing witch iz guud in bad weather!!!
    Me waz a bit seesick readin diz!!! But oh so interestin!!!
    Lub Nylablue n Sherri-Ellen

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