Sunday, 30 September 2018

Poros and Medicane Zorbas

I guessed we expected to be doing an anchor watch all night, last night..... and so it was. We'd been keeping beady eye on Medicane Zorbas predicted track as it moved NE from S Ionian, skirting S Peloponnese then further into the Aegean, using weather updates leading us to expect strong N winds veering E averaging F6-7 gusting 8 'till 21:00'ish, followed by relatively gentle E winds for maybe 3 hours, finishing with NW winds F6-7 gusting 8 overnight. This meant forecasts indicated Zorbas passing close by S of us.
In order of events, however, at about 22:00 our E winds died completely and within few minutes Ticketeeboo was pointing oposite way as the wind began to stir from the W, soon reaching F9 touching 10) for what seemed like couple of hours. Hence, Zorbas actually tracking close by N of us.

Our sub-100m chain was ideal until the exceptionally strong W wind surprised us. With boats dragging all around and very big seas coming in we had ourselves on lee-shore, backing into unlit yachts on buoys. I was able to use donk to keep us clear and it became obvious we needed to get 30-40m chain in locker and be prepared to get underway if we started to drag. Pitching hull, total darkness, almost 50kn wind, driving rain and sea-spray as well nearby others in severe difficulty getting too close....... served-up an unwanted feast. 
This morning we've relocated to get some R&R. No damage and Sue (having demonstrated wholehearted resilience during the worst of it all) has now acquired another sailing story to tell Grandchildren, which might get missed by my selective hearing deficiency?

The Daily Mail has reported on Medicane Zorbas.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Navy Bay, Poros, 37:30.3N 23:27.0E

After visiting the Sunken City and Epidavros (two nights) with much discussion about pending and deteriorating weather conditions, our Scottish guests, Jessie & David, were in favour of us taking a brisk and energetic 25NM passage from Epidavros towards Poros. First half close-hauling until we passed the Mathana peninsula headland then running with the wind the remainder, finishing with just few minutes on donk whilst we dropped hook. No one had much sleep that night as the wind howled and we swung like a pendulum gusting well into the 40kns at times. During Thursday the wind settled in the 20kns J&D we were able to visit Poros (and tick-off their visit) and we even ate ashore that evening (in front of a big log fire!). Whilst ashore when they visited the ferry office they were told all ferries were cancelled until further notice. A little problem because they were booked on ferry to Athens next day! Friday morning D & me nipped ashore and D was told "No ferries today". Plan 'B' was for me to take them to Galatas (in the RIB) where they successfully took seats on the bus to Athens. Guess what? At 1:20pm (on time) the ferry arrived! We sent J&D a Whatsapp pic and they replied saying they had enjoyed the overland bus ride.
The weather was fairly kind for us yesterday. The rain became much heavier, thunderstorms and lightning during the evening and squally at times. We now have a little matter of Medicane Zorbas (a rare severe weather event) to contend with. This is a nasty Low Pressure System. It's recently formed in S Ionion and is due to pass close-by, hopefully to our S, mid-late afternoon today. We had comparatively settled winds last night, helpful because we expect to need alert (alcohol-free) anchor watch now (1200) and next 24 hours. We're very lucky to be getting a prolonged boat-wash. There's no salt for now on Ticketeeboo. Can't say how much rain we've had last 24 hours. However, I can say I have checked the drain bung in our 'stowed' RIB to make sure it's not filling with rainwater.
We have friends in Porto Cheli (30NM to our west) and they were advised to get of the wall and anchor for safety. Here in Poros the authorities have ordered all moored yachts off the N-facing harbour wall, although most of them were charter yachts 'going on the run' yesterday, presumably needing to return to Athens for change-over day?
So, as I type this up we have a good quality F8 gusting somewhat higher at times. My oilies top and life-jacket are handy, just in case I have need to assist our hook-holding with a bit of donk. Those who have swung on hook in >40kns wind know what it's like to be here just now.
We're looking forward to some better, kinder, weather soon ....... the type we're usually blessed with in these waters.
xxx

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Poros 37:30.27N 23:27.05E

Good 5 hours sailing today. Ormos Dardiza  was good choice for some fairly robust N'ly winds. Sitting in 5-8m depths with 70m chain out is good for our soul! 
We moved on towards Poros today because it's too easy to get over-comfortable. We were promised N winds. Almost. We saw NW to E at different times, although never much more than 25kn.  Being close-hauled and close to winds, which veer and back with little notice makes for wanting to give the autopilot a rest. It was good fun. Whilst well reefed our average 5kn boat speed was just fine..... even though we did achieve almost 9kn on some occasions. 
Now on hook, Navy Bay, Poros. Not best place in the world, plenty others and 16m depths. Nevertheless Davy Jones has good grip on our hook and we're handy for Poros, tavernas and shops.
............almost ready for Jessie and David to join us here. xxx

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

On hook Kilada 37:25.0N 23:08.0E

After a relatively uneventful 12 hour journey we arrived at Kkilada one and half hours after midnight on Tuesday morning. Tired? Yep. Nevertheless we were both up just after 7 am and onboard Ticketeeboo for 8. Plenty jobs to do and no nasty surprises. That's not to say "zero surprises" because inevitably; as all yachties know.... there'salways something!
Up early again rhis morning. Greeted by Mr Basimakopouloi. He says (at 8 o'clock) "Ready now?". Me says "No, later please.". He says "OK 1 hour". Busy, busy. Launched and on water and then plenty more jobs to be ready for the morning, when we're due another early start to getboth for'd sails on before windies appears.
Only yachties understand how much effort goes into getting the sailing yacht ready after couple months on hard. It's certainlyno holiday..... just another life!
The suns gone down ans its very dark now. Salmon  and chips enjpyed and bottle of Greeko white almost gone too. Shut-eye should come early tonight....... provided the fresh sudden increase in wins from W is gonna be kind to us tonight?

Friday, 1 June 2018

Ormos Milou, Nisos Milos 36:43.34N 24:27.09E

This morning we enjoyed fresh croissants for breakfast. Sue made a point of wanting something different from Greek yoghurt after 6 weeks of it every morning. I promised her northerly F4 winds or thereabouts. We pointed Ticketeeboo north of Sikinos and were pleased to see we could make for Milos, heasing west, keeping both islands of Sikinos and Folegandros to our south and leeward. An excellent sail, 3 reefs mainsl and good reef in jib, close hauling achieving up to 6kn in heavy seas. Sometimes the wind settled F4, so we presented more sailing cloth and speeded up nicely. Twice, when I went for a pee, the wind upted the game to F6 needing less sail exposed for resumed happiness on board.
As we approached north-east Milos we were well reefed, expecting strong winds gusting between the islands of Poliagos, Kimolos and Milos. No disappointment. Close hauling in 30kn wind can be exciting and energetic. No complaints heard and we enjoyed a wonderful speedy sail between the islands and into clear water north side of Milos. An hour or so later we lost the wind and donked our way for the last bit and into the wonderful Ormos Miloi - flooded remains after an enormous volcanic eruption.
Looks good. More settled conditions than we've seen for some time. Both ready to enjoy cheese pie, chips and beans for tea (dinner/evening meal as posh people like to call it).

Sue's planning our fun, here in Milos.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Port Ios, Nisos Ios 36:43.35N 25:16.42E

Ticketeeboo is hanging-out at Port Ios (Nisos Ios) keeping Lover happy. It's blowing a hoolie N6-7 and likely to be unchanged next few days? We're tucked-up snug on the east quay with our hook in the leftovers of Davy Jones locker + 70m chain plus 2 x lazee lines (for extra comfort and to help prevent intimate contact with neighbouring yachts) in beamy windies as well orrible nasty swellies caused by visiting big/fast ferries. In meantime we have plenty sunshine as well very handy tavernas coffee-bars and supermarket to enjoy lots.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Ormos Plati Yialos, Nisos Sifnos 36:55.72N 24:43.77E

We pulled hook out this morning with intention heading east towards Nisos Antiparos, where we'd picked out bit of a bay we fancy about 20NM away with light southerly wind to get us there. It soon became obvious we were only going to do it on the donk. So, instead, we opted to pop in here, Ormos Plati Yialos, doing a whole 5NM passage. So we're just little way further round coast Nisos Sifnos. We're only yacht on hook and we have just enough protection from the forecast SW'ly overnight wind. Sue watched today's Royal Wedding on her Kindle and I watched FA Cup final on my phone. Our PAYG SIM has today taken bit of a nock so will need topping-up sooner than expected.
Happy Birthday Freya xxx