Sunday, February 24th, 2019. – Vienna, Austria
When i bought mala moja 3 years ago, i planned to be sailing with her quickly from Amsterdam to the Adriatic and enjoy the rest of the summer there.
Now it’s in the middle of the winter after three summers of sailing and we still did not reach the Adriatic. It is now 5 months that i left mala moja in Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna and when i did so, i was not that keen to return to the sea again. I was too exhausted of the hardships that come with living on a boat. But, as always in life, people tend to forget the bad and uncomfortable things and remember the good ones. And so do i. Already a few weeks ago i noticed that my mind started wandering towards mala moja and the sea again. But just now there was this tipping point…
Watching Nike’s last episode (from White Spot Pirates) filled my heart with passion. She was an inspiration for me when i started this sailing project of mine. And the determination and passion with which she keeps pursuing her dream of sailing on Karl is beautiful. And still inspiring.
I do regret that i did start my journey with a “wrong” assumption. I was expecting to be sailing for a few months and would sell the boat after the summer. Because of this i did not want to do any bigger modifications to the boat which would have made life probably a bit more comfortable. But then again: i did not know better.
Continuing into my second year of sailing, i made the same “mistake” again. I was quite confident that i would make it into the Adriatic and then finish my journey. Well, then came the third year. With the Adriatic within “striking distance”. But in the meantime my understanding of this journey had changed as well. I was on a journey and this itself was a goal. It would be a waste of time if i saw all the sailing from Amsterdam to the Adriatic as a necessary means to finally be doing some “holiday-sailing” there. And so i moved very slowly last year, “making” less miles than in the years before. But therefore i anchored more than any year before – even if that was not that easy, as good anchorages were rare.
So here i am now, preparing a fourth year of sailing. And regretting a bit the decisions not made – and not willing to change this, as this year i really want to get where i wanted to be 4 years ago 😉 … and sell mala moja after this summer (with a heavy heart).
You might wonder why i do think that it will be different this year. Why i should reach the Adriatic and why i don’t undertake some modifications. Well, the second answer is probably a short one: laziness, paired with limited time. What would make life more comfortable would be to have more tools on board and more storage for them. Epoxi, fiberglass, tools for wood-work, etc. But that only makes sense if i carry out several boat projects – and for this i lack time.
The first answer is that i prioritize in order to reach the Adriatic quickly. Having only some 3-4 months aboard I decided to skip the whole “sole” of Italy and sail directly to Corfu from Sicily instead. And i will also skip Albania when sailing from Greece to Montenegro. This way i should be in the Adriatic in the second month of boat-time.
It does make my heart bleed to skip Calabria and Apulia. And it also makes me sad to just visit one single of the hundreds of Greek islands. But it is impossible to do and see everything. I thoroughly enjoyed Sicily last year – and already skipped the north side of it, the Aeolian islands and Strait of Messina. I want(ed) to sail in the Croatian islands, for this i have to accept sacrificing other things.
And this is hard. While i’m writing these lines i started checking alternative possibilities, like sailing from Sicily to Kefalonia and then sail north to Lefkas and via Paxi islands to Corfu… and then i’d still be knowing that there is so many beautiful islands in the Aegean… you get the idea. It’s not easy 😉
Anyhow and to sum it up: i really am looking forward to be sailing again. Although i have quite some respect for the 3-day non-stop sail to Corfu. But that’s a different story.