30. ‘Solo’ Sailing

I am now in Benalmádena on Costa del Sol. On the south coast of Spain. An elephant grave yard for northern Europeans that spend the latter part of their lives in a climate that is more agreeable. Within striking distance of Gibraltar, which marks the western most end of the Mediterranean. I have sailed around 1.100 Nm west from Gaeta and Ponza where I decided to go back to the original plan and cross the Atlantic this winter. Even if it is hard to predict how I will be greeted on arrival in small Caribbean island countries during a pandemic.

Daniel and I plan to pass through the Strait of Gibraltar tomorrow and head for Lanzarote. A 700 Nm passage which effectively ends Saoirse’s seven year stint in the Mediterranean. My four months of cruising since I set off back in the beginning of June have been great and I have fond memories of the places that I have visited but it is time to move on now that autumn is approaching at these latitudes.

This summer has probably been my most socially active ever. You might consider this a little strange when I primarily sail on my own. But the cruising community frequently shares interests, frustrations, technical problems and a general curiosity that we are all eager to share with each other. And we easily spot other live-aboard sailors as our boats tend to have a bunch of equipment that holiday sailors do not tend to need. That said, we all have different backgrounds, life stories, technical skills, financial budgets and sailing plans. But we have all, for one reason or another, taken a giant leap to actually change our lives and realise what for most of us has been a life long dream. A leap that is more scary than the actual crossing of any ocean.

So here is a collection of new friends that I still keep in regular contact with:

Sandy and Helga from South Africa. Spent the winter in Gaeta. Here pictured in Procida. Now in Greece.
German Maik. Solo sailor that just got married. Spent the winter in Gaeta
Claudia and her son Carlo sailed on Saoirse in the Egadi Islands
My son Morgan and his friends Vincent, Tuva and Hugo on Saoirse in Sicilia
Lisa from Sweden. Came swimming over from a neighbouring charter boat and sailed with Saoirse for a few days
Calin and Ioana from Romania. Buddy boaters that plan to sail across the Atlantic at the same time as me
English Mike. Camera shy solo sailor I met in Gaeta
Peter and Helen from England. They keep their boat Wysiwyg in Dénia. Super helpful when we blew out the genoa in Ibiza. Here with Daniel after a late night manicure!
The Simonson family from Chicago. In Balmádena. Looking to cross the Atlantic in November on their catamaran Helios
Giovanni from North Sails in Fiumicino. Here in Mallorca for a final check before my new sails went into production. Super service!
Maurizio from Med Sail in Dénia. He managed to find me a used replacement sail and made it fit Saoirse. After I blew out my genoa in Ibiza. Again super service!
Davide. From Maresca Marine Electronics & Automation in Dénia. He managed to fix all my electronics issues. I have looked for a guy like this all winter. Will also send spare parts for the autopilot to the Canaries. Super service again!

4 thoughts on “30. ‘Solo’ Sailing

  1. Hey Thomas good luck with the rest of your journey south and then west hopefully it will be trouble free. Hopefully our paths will cross in the future. Had many great times with you and the rest of the Gaeta family.
    All the best and good luck for the future.
    Sandy and Helga


  2. Thank you both. I will never forget all the time we have spent together laughing late at night on Carla. You guys are hilarious! I truly hope that our paths will cross again. All the best to you and the rest of the Gaeta family. Tomas


  3. Hej Tomas!
    Kul att höra att du kommer iväg denna vinter, jag tro det kommer att gå utmärkt att segla i Karibien denna vinter.
    Jag har flera vänner som är ute och seglar under denna coran tid.
    En av dom kommer du kanske träffa på när du kommer till Gran Canaria. Dom är just nu i Portugal och ska också gå över atlanten nu i år, den andra har just kommit till Nya Zeeland.
    Jag önskar dig stort lycka till och det ska bli kul att följa dig på din resa här på bloggen.


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