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Tuscany archip., Corse

When Crossing to Corsica with Mistral?

 The 10th of June I was ready to set up the sails taking advantage of the last wind tail of Mistral in order to suffer less the long wave running across that part of the Med since 11 days. But my crew preferred to wait the next we had no wind but the same dancing 2,5 meters waves! 

The sailing has not been so comfortable crew has been a bit seek but in just 11 hours we reached the red cliffs bay of Girolata the nicest anchorage in Corse. 

Girolata is a small harbour where is not allowed to drop the anchor but only at a buoy for a fee. But just after the Lockdown the season they have not yet placed all the buoys so we have been obliged to get the 2 buoys left (on on the bow and one at stern)...with only 40cm. depth left (with low tide).
The Douane is checking every boat because whom is not arriving from France are not allowed to reach the coast.


The village is one of a kind for its distance from every inhabited civilisation of Corsica, for the sense of self-sufficiency that its inhabitants show.

Too nice to stay one day only and so every day we say, tomorrow we leave. 
Pius is waiting...

Finally we plan to set up our sails on June the 13th. Tomorrow.

But at 6h00 o'clock we hear a strong noise under the hull between the rudder and the keel. Immediately I go outside and I see that the swell is quite strong  as well the undertow and probably our 40cm of depth left are not anymore enough.
So we decide in 10 minutes to leave that mooring before the low tide arrives...but while accelerating to move Pius the propeller get stuck in a buoy chain on our starboard.
The gear box is not anymore working, Pius is unable to move!

Real panic because we do need someone towing us outside that harbor  but all the boats are facing the swell trying to understand what to do while pushed back and forth over 5 meters.
I set up the main sails and genoa but the wind is not more than 5 kts, too low to move our 27 tons.
Finally I succeeded  to ask draw attention of a french Hanse 58 with a numerous regata crew. And with no little effort the on the third attempt the were able to tow us out of that creek until the wide bay of Girolata where we are free to sail keeping our way to Calvi the nearest real harbour.

Unfortunately the swell is increasing but not the wind so for our safety and the tranquility of my crew I decide to call PAN PAN PAN in order to ask someone to tow us until Calvi. Was 7h15 and the Corse CrossMed answer immediately asking all the details of the accident and informing us that they would start launching the message of help to all the boats around us but nobody was on that rough sea that day. So the Cross Med asked me if I would have accepted to be towed by the SNSM (Societé National Sauveteurs en Mer) of Calvi. Obviously I said yes and immediately I got in contact with them directly in order to accept their public assistance fee of 650 euro per hour. 
In 3 hours they arrived with a towing pilot boat, the sea conditions were so difficult that they couldn't approach us. So a diver assistant jumped into the water and we recovered him aboard of Pius to start the towing procedure until Calvi, a 4 hour towing with an increasing F7 sea.

Emma shows as always courage and cheerfulness

At 13H00 we get into the Calvi bay where the travel lift is already waiting for us.

The damages are quite smaller than we thought 
except for the gear box clutch that overheated.

Pius is a real Hallberg Rassy, always a strong and safe sailing boat!


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