An Overnight Passage From Crotone and our time in Brindisi, Italy - (with some time in a boatyard!) June 22 - July 7, 2019

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July 7th 2019
Published: July 15th 2019
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An Overnight Passage to CrotoneAn Overnight Passage to CrotoneAn Overnight Passage to Crotone

what we "see" at night
I forgot to mention in the last blog entry that soon after getting to the anchorage in Crotone we both got our suits on and jumped in the water – it was such a hot day I thought the water would be cold at first, but there wasn’t any shock at all – it was lovely and did its job of cooling us down. How lovely to be able to do that here!

We decided we could leave a little later the next morning so we were up and out by 6:30AM as we figured it would be a 27-28 hour passage so we have flexibility for our arrival in daylight. For the first couple of hours we didn’t have any wind but with the seas flat we had another visit from some dolphin. This is definitely a great area to see them. The wind filled in later enough that we could turn the engine off and sail – what a lovely sound – no engine! Well, the rest of the day kept switching from no wind, to some wind for sailing which meant on and off with the engine. Oh well, some time without the engine is better than none. As this was an overnight passage we took our 4 hour shifts so each of us could get some sleep in the night. Unfortunately I was on duty about 4:20 AM and the autopilot quit! The winds were 11-12 knots hitting us at 150 degrees. Hand steering it now was, so we cut down our duty time from 4 hours to every hour or so. Fortunately when Bob was on duty later he tried the autopilot again and it decided to work. Nice, but…. Definitely still a problem that needs to be dealt with. We arrived in Brindisi harbor which is a very deep one at 8:30 am the next day – not bad as that made it a 26 hour passage. We had thought of going to the marina but it is quite a distance from town and definitely got mixed reviews. We decided to tie up to the town quay which worked out well as it was a side tie and right on the promenade. Figured this would give us some time to get organized as it was a Sunday and most things were closed. We need to check in with the Coast Guardia again with our paperwork, we tried their door but no answer. It is a Sunday so will check in with them tomorrow.

Monday morning first on the agenda is to get our paperwork done with the officials in the port. When we got the paperwork in Siracusa we had started with the Coast Guardia but finally got it from the Port Harbormaster so started with the Port Office this time. Wrong, they told us to go to a different office down closer to the terminal. They also told us that the Coast Guardia office is only open on Sunday!! Who would have guessed, but we found out the reason is that the cruise ships arrive in this port on a Sunday. Well, after a few attempts at figuring out what office to go to, we finally got to an office that seemed to understand our needs and they even found an officer that spoke English well. They told us we had to leave the paperwork and pick it up when we leave. We got their office hours and they are only open for a few hours Monday-Friday. I asked what we should do if we leave on a weekend and the officer
View from the Town Quay to the MonumentView from the Town Quay to the MonumentView from the Town Quay to the Monument

built in 1933 for those killed in WWI & those at sea
assured us that we could go to the original office we checked at and someone would be on duty. We will have to trust that is true and hopefully it will all work out. With that out of the way, we just spent time on Monday wandering around the town to see what is here, stopped at the tourist information office for some help and found a grocery store for a few items we needed. It looks like a nice place to spend a few days.

We need to have work done on the boat as we definitely need someone to look at our autopilot, we have a stainless weld of a stantion that holds our lifeline and side gate (pretty important) that just broke and we are thinking of having the boat pulled out of the water as Bob had taken a look at the bottom of the boat when we were swimming while at anchor in Crotone and it didn’t look the greatest. Fortunately I had read our friends blog (Sally & Al on SV Artemis) recently and remembered that they had their boat out of the water here in Brindisi. We have followed their travels (both
One of the Columns Marking the End of the Appian WayOne of the Columns Marking the End of the Appian WayOne of the Columns Marking the End of the Appian Way

celebrating importance of a Roman port
online and in actual fact) a few times before and it always worked out great so we called the place and they said we could come over the next day to have them take a look at our projects. We figured we would just stay on the town quay that night and move the next day, but in the morning some officers came by and told us we had to move as some military boats were going to need the space where we were. We asked where we could move and fortunately there were openings farther down around a bend but still considered on the quay. Only problem was the wind was blowing like crazy and pushing us on to the wall. Luckily there was a German boat in front of us in the same situation so we told them we would help them with their lines and moving if they did the same for us – that worked out great as it really was a strong wind and having extra hands never hurt in these situations. We found out later that there was a celebration and the military moved one of their boats to the town quay as a
Archeological Find of an Arch of a Church As WellArcheological Find of an Arch of a Church As WellArcheological Find of an Arch of a Church As Well

as mosaics from a home with new theatre next door
backdrop for the event. We went down to see it but found it was only the practice run of the awards program (a dress rehearsal for the camera people as well as the officers of where they should stand, etc) We stuck around for a while but then wandered around town more before heading out to dinner and then the boat. It has been really hot here lately so we haven’t been real excited about heating up the boat with cooking. We have been mainly living on a variety of salads but enjoy going out for dinner some as well.

The next morning we moved off the town quay and headed over to the boatyard, Cantiere Navale Balsamo. It worked out better than we could have expected – first off we got a side tie on the dock and were told that we could stay there as long as we needed to. Maximo came over to the boat to check on what we wanted done – we were impressed right from the beginning – he seemed to be very well organized and listened well to what we wanted. He told us he would give us an estimate for the
A Religious Procession in BrindisiA Religious Procession in BrindisiA Religious Procession in Brindisi

while we were still on the town quay
work and get back to us later that day.

We got the quote for pulling the boat and doing the bottom paint as that was something he could easily figure, while the amount for the welding and the fixing of the autopilot would not be as easy as not sure how complicated it will turn out to be until they start working on it which was understandable. With the welding project we definitely needed that as it is a safety issue, and the others we decided were a priority so told him to go ahead with it all. We would get things ready for the welding job and Bob would take out the pump for the autopilot saving them work and us money! Due to the location of where the welding needed to be done we had to tear the boat apart in order to clear out underneath the supports to be worked on. We only had to have one support fixed that broke, but decided as a precaution we would have the gate supports all welded. The supports of the gates on either side of the boat get lots of abuse over the years as in some situations
Interesting to "Face This Ship" ComingInteresting to "Face This Ship" ComingInteresting to "Face This Ship" Coming

and Leaving while we are so close
those are what people hold on to when climbing aboard and want to be sure they are strong. Maximo told us they would pull the boat the next day so we had to get started right away with our work. To get at the underside of the supports we had to take things out of the cupboards in the galley (kitchen), the head (bathroom) and the aft berth (spare room or in our case the garage!). I worked on that while Bob got his tools out and had to take things out of the lazarette (storage locker) so he could crawl in to remove the autopilot pump. He had installed it so hopefully it wouldn't be too hard a job but as he says it does mean boat yoga for him as he has to fold himself up like a pretzel to get at it! Quite the exercise program the boat gives us.

In the morning the boat was pulled very quickly and efficiently. When we saw the bottom we were sure glad we decided to have it pulled. We had bottom paint put on only a year ago, but the bottom was in the worse condition we have ever seen it! In this case it wasn't the bottom paint that was at fault as it was caused by the boat sitting still in a very hot climate (Tunisia) from mid August to mid May! That is the longest the boat has sat in a marina and with the heat thrown in for good measure it caused amazing growth on the bottom. Our refrigerator is a water cooled system and the zinc for that was completely covered with a heavy growth- it was amazing it was working at all. We had mentioned to Maximo our concern of being out of the water too long due to having a full freezer (we had bought lots of chicken in Tunisia as it was very inexpensive and of great quality due to not being pumped full of fat!). He had a great solution for us as the employee break room had a refrigerator with a freezer on top which they don't use so we filled it with our food. The boat was pulled out of the water on Wednesday and Maximo told us we should go back in the water by Friday night if all went well. We figured that would be nice, but as we have learned in many places that doesn't always happen. They got started with preparing the boat for putting 2 coats of bottom paint on soon after it was out of the water. The welding needed to be done on the boat so instead of setting up a scaffolding, they raised the workmen on a lift which made it a more efficient process. We had to smile at their using an umbrella to shade themselves while they worked - a smart idea as the days have been very hot here! While on the hard we lived on the boat which is always interesting to use a ladder to get on and off your boat! The facilities were basic at the boatyard but they had toilets and shower so that worked out well. By the afternoon of Friday they finished the welding, putting two coats of bottom paint on and Bob finished what he wanted to with polishing and changing zincs and greasing so we were being launched by 3pm on Friday. We were impressed that we made it even a few hours earlier then they promised.

In checking the autopilot and contacting the company it was decided that we needed to order a new hydraulic pump. The company is in Canada, but luckily for us they also have a division in Spain so it can be shipped from there. When we ordered it on Tuesday they said it would take 3-4 days which we figured would be great as we could then move on from Brindisi shortly after the part came in and was installed. The order was placed and when we got the tracking notice from UPS it stated we would not receive it until the following Thursday! Oh well, now we had time to kill, but it was definitely hot. Thankfully we had power so we could run our fans but were getting to feel somewhat trapped down below during the day as only went out in the early morning and late evening. We figured with having the ability here in Brindisi to catch a train, bus or plane to anywhere we should go someplace for a few days while we wait. We still had the portable air conditioner that we had bought previously that would help cool things down, but until then we thought we were only going to be there a few days and it wasn’t worth setting it up. It surprised me that Bob didn’t set it up but when I asked him he said he didn’t want to get spoiled by it!!

I started to research lots of places as there is still a long list of places we want to go, but in the end we decided on a location here in Italy. The game plan has been all along to visit Venice and wanted to arrive there by boat. With time marching on with a few delays we have had this season and looking at how many more miles we would have to travel to get there, we decided that arriving by train was a good alternative. An added bonus would be that it would reduce the pressure of time to get to Venice by water. I'll tell you about our few days in Venice in another blog entry.

Surprise, surprise- we got notice while in Venice that the part was delivered to the boatyard a whole day early -that is unheard of! We were especially pleased after our ordeal we had getting a package from the UK when we were in Tunisia. Bob had wanted the yard to make a new bracket to hold the autopilot pump to strengthen it. He figured they could then and then install it while we were away saving time when we returned from Venice. By the time we got back from Venice the autopilot was working again! . We had a little surprise when we walked down the dock and Tsamaya was not where we left her. We had been told they might have to move her to make room for another boat and found out that was what happened. We couldn’t see her at first as she was behind another boat – thankfully we have steps on our mast which many boats do not have so we searched for them and that is how we spotted her! Just had to go further down the dock and found her safely tied up to a dock.

In looking at the weather we plan on leaving Brindisi on Sunday so the next couple of days were filled with doing all the fun things such as laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning -and of course paying our bill at the marina! This was definitely an expensive stop, but got a lot of
Obituaries Are Posted For All To SeeObituaries Are Posted For All To SeeObituaries Are Posted For All To See

you don't need a newspaper or wifi to find out
good things done.

We were in Brindisi much longer than we thought we would be but it worked out to be an excellent one. There were interesting places to see (including the inside of many beautiful churches), plenty of shops, good restaurants, public transportation and best of all a great boatyard that was easy to work with and did an excellent job for us. All in all not a bad place to spend our time, especially if you need work done on your boat.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


All Areas Had To Be Torn Up To Prepare All Areas Had To Be Torn Up To Prepare
All Areas Had To Be Torn Up To Prepare

for the welding job to be done
Using a Lift for the Welders Made Things QuickerUsing a Lift for the Welders Made Things Quicker
Using a Lift for the Welders Made Things Quicker

than setting up a scaffold - notice the umbrella!
Just Some of the Growth on the Bottom!Just Some of the Growth on the Bottom!
Just Some of the Growth on the Bottom!

also first coat of bottom paint
The "Guard Dogs" at the BoatyardThe "Guard Dogs" at the Boatyard
The "Guard Dogs" at the Boatyard

seemed to have made friends with us

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