On-board Diary: Waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea

Author: Soledad Esnaola
Date: June 24, 2006



On 24th June we sailed incident free to Cagliari, on Sardinia. On our way we are visited by some striped dolphins and we sight a few loggerhead turtles that dive underwater when they note us coming up close. The sea is calm and one realises that we are in for a hot summer. The heat is quite intense.

We reach our destination by midday. At port we will take on provisions and some crewmembers will be relieved by others. We manage to find mooring at the Marina Sant Elmo, and we nearly burst out in tears of joy when we are told that there are showers there! The last proper shower I had – and not one on the deck of the Ranger – was at the Port of Ostia, some 20 days ago. After sundown, and in order to celebrate Midsummer’s Eve we abandon ship en masse and have dinner in the town.

Next day, both Carlos and Guayo leave us. They are returning to Madrid. The 8 of us that are left occupy our time with writing logs, press releases, organising photos, cleaning the boat; each one to his or her own. Given that there are no good scuba diving areas here, we find ourselves having to contain our desire to go for a swim and change the photos of fish and seaweed for those of birds, which abound in this area thanks to the salt flats that lie very near the port: seagulls, terns, flamingos, egrets…Indi, our ornithologist and cook is delighted.

It is now Wednesday 26th. The relief crewmembers are coming today, in the persons of, Nuño Ramos, captain of the Ranger on the Transoceanic Expedition in 2005 and Olimpia García, who is in charge of communications at Oceana in Spain. As soon as they get here we will set off for the Islands of San Antioco and San Pietro in search of new driftnet vessels and to see what the waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea have in store for us this time round. Let’s hope that next time they throw a leg of ham at us instead of fish so that we can have a bit of a slap-up meal on board.