A nice and friendly Swedish couple, which was also looking for fuel, could not understand, that there is no fuel available and nobody seems to have an idea, where to get fuel.
We left Milazzo, because I saw a weather window from Palermo to Mallorca 2 days later.
What we didn’t expect is that we got really good support in the marina Villa Igiea close to Palermo.
We were able to replace the torn wire.
Tonino, the Harbour master, is also a very good mechanic. I explained him , that we have no tools to take off the pedestian of one wheel.
The access to two of the four bolts is so limited, that Tonino had to weld a tool for us.
He also arranged the new wire.
After a long day the job was done, I put the emergency tiller to the side.
We were really lucky and caught the weather window up to Mallorca.
“Jilly” reached El Arenal after 3 days.
Everything worked well, also the autopilot.
We had a small crew change and went to Cartagena, which is a really lovely town.
The next day we shifted to Garrucha, which gave us a better start position to head towards Gibraltar.
Garrucha is during westerly winds not comfortable at all, but its possible to stay there.
The weather forecast promised a change from west to calm and then strong easterly winds with gusts up to 25 to 30 knots.
My assessment of the weather situation was not clear, but I said to myself, if the wind comes stronger, its only direct from the aft.
The forecast was right for the first day and the updated forecast shows no big changes.
We came to that area and time when the wind should increase to 25 knots.
The wind passed the 30 knots and became gusty and changed the direction not much but rapidly.
We furled the rest of the jib in, which was quite a heavy job.
I was really astonished, that the reefing line survived.
The wind went over 40 knots constantly and “Jilly” sailed without sails already more then 5 knots.
All the night we had 45 to 50 knots, in the morning we got constantly 50 knots direct from the aft.
6,5 knots without sails…
Sailor don’t look back…
From time to time it was raining, once you get out in the cockpit you have been wet immediately.
About 20 miles east of Gibraltar the wind went down and also the visibility.
We didn’t see Gibraltar this time, later in the evening I saw some parts of Tarifa.
My plan was now to get as much west as possible, because the wind was going to comeback to west.
Of course it was not enough west we made, but from the next morning we could have an upwind course heading toward Albufeira.
The conditions now were perfect, west-southwest 12 to 15 knots wind, “Jilly” started to run like hell. Always more than 8 knots speed, I put her closer to the wind.
We reached Portimao during the night, and felt immediately asleep.