Departure day: final preparations at the port of « la Seyne sur Mer ».
Here are some days we are waiting for a weather opening that does not come ...
Departure 6h00pm, rough sea, 1.00 to 2.00 meters of swell, southwest / south wind, 18/20 knots, good visibility, 11 degrees.
The marine weather announces a notice of Grand Frais: cape on the island of Porquerolles. Philippe, the captain, will advise from there the next course to follow, or wait at the dock.
Let us arrive at the beginning of the night at Porquerolles: towards the harbor bar, at Roland's, then dine on board.
Had our first night on board, parked at the dock, next to the gas pump.
Decision taken early in the morning to take off despite the SWB (Special Weather Bulletin) issued on channel 64 by the Cross Med.
Expected conditions: notice of Grand Frais, choppy sea, southwest wind chilling from 6 to 7 Beaufort, gusts to 8 Beaufort, swell 2 to 3 meters, 12 degrees. Storm announced in Cape Corsica.
The 12-meter catamaran, a Lipari 41, Fontaine Pageot, although fully equipped for cruising, must be prepared to face serious conditions at sea. Crockery of the dishes, release of the bridge of any element likely to go overboard, put away and secure all the overfilled.
Departure from Porquerolles at 11:00am. First at cover, we quickly find, at large, the announced conditions. Ill at the end of the afternoon, until the next day ...
Amarinage difficult: I vomit everything I have in the stomach and even more. Hot soup at the evening menu, which does not pass. I sleep fully dressed in shift garments and suffer the stomach ... martyrdom.
In short, bad night, exhausting ... but what a furious sea!
We get to the Corsican coasts in the early morning after a 20h crossing.
The sea is still rough and the wind is strong. Philippe decides to cap to Bonifacio and its "mouths" known for its strong currents. It is cold and gray and we spend part of the day along the west coast of the island, which remains beautiful. Past the Lavezzi Islands, we find the open sea.
We cook in the late afternoon good onion potatoes seared in duck fat and confit accompanying them. After my shift from 00:30am to 3:30am, I join my cabin to enjoy a moment of restful sleep. I am sea experienced...
Wake up in the morning in the middle of the blue desert. No coast in sight ...
The wind is declining, inconstant, oscillating between 15 and 25 knots. The sea remains rough with hollows of 1 to 2 meters. The first dolphins come to tease the bow of the boat and, as always with them, I find my child's smile. Dinner: chicken curry.
Quarter turn from 11:30pm to 4:30 in the morning.
Nice night: 12 knots of constant wind, the sea finally calms down and I'm not sleepy ...
I love this stretch of sea: the dolphins come to play several times between the hulls of the Lipari, then leave, we never know why ... Phytoplankton are revealed in the dark night illuminating a fluorescent green light the wake bubbling rudders.
Maintaining our course on the Aeolian Islands. True lighthouse of the Mediterranean, the Stromboli sporting its large white smoke is in sight in the morning.
His presence marks the end of the first blue desert.
The sea is calm, temperature 12/14 degrees, we are all sails out and the sun makes us grace its presence: the opportunity to take a shower and change.
The captain plans to reach the Strait of Messina that separates Italy from Sicily between 2:00pm and 3:00pm.
Full of fuel done, in front of Messina, in Reggio di Calabria and short passage to land to enjoy a huge pizza and have good Italian wine. We got back at sea around 4:00pm.
On the evening menu, toast of hot goat cheese with fresh bread bought at ground and then it's my turn of shift from 9:00pm to 00:40am. Calm sea, dolphins, no wind, clear sky.
Big night of sleep: alarm clock 8:15am. Shower, shampoo, the weather is cloudy in the morning, the sea is calm and the northwest wind falls.
We advance with the engines, which does not prevent groups of dolphins to visit us several times during the day: guaranteed smile every time.
We are now crossing a second blue desert, off the Italian boot. I observe a lot of plastic debris here and there, all around the boat, and measure with disgust, the reality of this world and all its pollution. I spot, floating on the surface, a small turtle, shackled in the head by a flap of fishing net as large as her ... I notify Philippe and the captain immediately decides to turn back to try to free the animal from this sadly human trap.
The Lipari turns dry and goes back ... we scan the water with Jerome, the second teammate ... so much to look for a needle in a haystack ... in vain ... we tried ... fucking humans.
Quarter turn from 3:00am to 6:00am.
Very rough boat, northwest wind, 20/22 knots falling in the morning.
To starboard and then to port also, storms illuminate the black night with great flashes of lightning. We are surrounded by rain, we cross large buildings. Throughout the night, an alarm squeals inside the boat: the starboard bilge pump signals a water leak in the water heater ... nothing alarming so far.
Around 11:00, the wind picks up again and it's a good thing to move forward against the small and jerky swell that we are facing. Potatoes / sausages for lunch, the sea is calm in the afternoon and the rain arrives in the early evening. Drinks, carbonara pasta / zucchini at dinner.
Quarter turn from 0:50am to 4:30am.
A thick layer of clouds covers the whole starry vault and the night is at its darkest.
Sea a little agitated, warm weather, 18/20 knots of Southwest wind fading in the morning. Last quarter turn before the scheduled arrival in Split the next day.
Alone awake, to watch, I am thinking about my workshop, at the work engaged for over a year, at the peninsula of Giens, that land both heavenly and accursed land of idleness and madness ... At Jean-Luc Godard and his film « Pierrot le Fou »… shot for a large part on the whole area of the peninsula.
And Jean-Paul Belmondo to remind
« No ! My name is Ferdinand… »
« Ferdinand », I will call myself, other than Pierre, Pierrot the Fool, "worker of the useless", who composes with driftwood, wreckage woods ...
and then it will be "Ferdinan" without the last D, because I threw my last Dice ...
Corner smilling, I join my cabin and wake up Philippe who has the next watch.
This dark night of March 10, 2016, between Italy, past the tip of its boot, and the Albanian coastline that emerge in the dim light of a few distant lighthouses, Ferdinan was born.
Let's take the Croatian coast in the middle of the morning and weave through the small islands off the coast. The weather is gray and cool, the wind and the sea are calm. Split is in sight and we are coming to the port early in the afternoon. The conveyance of Lipari 41 ends here.
Two more nights on board, at the pier, in Croatia waiting for this Sunday evening March 13th and catch the ferry back to Ancona in Italy. Night spent sleeping on the bench under the sky in the dining room of the huge boat. Then fifteen hours of train with change in Milan train station to finally reach the station of Toulon and join my workshop.
It's the end of a beautiful journey and the continuation of my adventure.