Happy Vernal (Spring) Equinox! Today we’re actually hunkered down in the cabin of Gyatso riding out a gale in the safety of the marina. After more than a week of mostly wonderful, sunny weather, a low pressure system developed over Sardinia yesterday and moved easterly toward mainland Italy. Just after midnight last night, the front began moving through with hail, lightening, heavy rain and high winds. Winds of 25-30 knots, with higher gusts, continue today, making it difficult to get off the boat and onto the dock. Luckily, we had left-overs from our St. Patrick’s Day dinner the other night which became sandwiches for dinner last night and soup for lunch today. At least we are getting a much-needed break from varnishing exterior brightwork — still hoping to apply one or two more coats before removing the blue masking tape.
We just finished re-wiring the Nav station with the help of Libero, an extremely well-qualified marine electrician who also teaches at the high school here in Gaeta. After adding a new chart plotter, AIS (for tracking commercial shipping movements) and Navtex receiver (for getting weather reports and security alerts here in Europe) in the past year, the tangle of wires was so bad that we were having trouble sliding the drawers underneath the Nav table. Libero called it, “Doing battle with the war of wires.” This is what happens when you’re the fourth owners of a cruising sailboat, and it is part of our seemingly never-ending efforts to “refit” the boat to meet our standards and needs.