Monday, 17 October 2016

Nafplion 37:34.07N 22:47.92E

Almost 2 weeks since last posted on the blog so thought I'd better put another on?
After Skiros we visited Ormos Kasti (Nisos Evia), Ormos Vourakan (Nisos Kea), Ormos Sounion (next to the Posiedon momument), Mandraki (Nisos Hydra) Porto Kheli & mow we're tied to land here at Nafplion for few nights.
Interesting bits:
Whilst at Sounion, when the wind changed 180ยบ from S to N in early hours of the morning, we were swinging perilously close to a German yacht, which had earlier dropped their hook between us and another yacht. They were before the wind changed. After the wind changed it was a case of either us or them needing to move. Sue did her part and they (rightfully) picked-up their hook and went - not without suggesting our hook must be dragging! Something we can categorically say they were totally incorrect. We had dug our hook in well, had 60m chain out in 10m depths and the wind was <10kn.
At Mandraki, we had 80m chain out and long-lines holding our stern to the S. All the forecasts were indicating light winds, mostly from S quadrant and nothing whatsoever having  northerly element at all. We had plonked our hook in 20m depth and came back to just 3.5m depth when finished mooring. This would protect us from any possibility of there being an unexpected N wind as well making it less likely to have our hook picked-up my another yacht (because most simply can't drop their hook in 20m depths without having the necessary chain onboard). One morning we awoke to find another yacht (French flag called Wanda) free-swinging in front of us. Whilst not a problem in S winds we could make out the yacht was far enough away for it not to be a problem....... or so we thought. We also thought they were only visiting Mandraki for the day. That evening, an hour or so after dark, Sue started closing our hatches because we could hear signs of rain. Few minutes later we could hear the wind getting up so I put our instruments on to check-out what was happening. Immediately the wind became a howler and the wind instrument went from 10kn to +30kn to +44kn and alarmingly it was from due N...... on our nose putting all wind-loading on our hook and chain. At same time a magnificent freshwater boat was hit us 'big' style. I'd only just said to Sue "I'm glad our anchor is well and truly set so that we can take these conditions safely" when my thoughts turned to the French yacht free-swinging in front of us? When I popped my head out for (and captured a free hair wash) I was far from happy because s/y Wanda was seriously close. I had to dispense with my specks to be able to see anything and went to the bow - alarm horn in hand and gave him an inhospitable series of blasts. To the skipper's credit, he was in their cockpit (getting absolutely drenched) although nevertheless he was allowing his yacht to swing perilously close. He didn't respond favourable when I shouted "We need you to move because you are putting us at risk" and said that he has his engine running and is expecting the wind to change very soon. In the meantime, we had to accept he would remain on alert and was prepared to drive his yacht into safer waters if he had to. Over the next 20 minutes or so the wind did reduce significantly and changed from N to S........... back to <10kn. During the next few hours it rained as heavy as we have ever experienced and there was tons of lightning, mostly over mainland Greece to our N.  The next morning and over next few days, we received info about Poros & Lafplion, where there was extensive damage, even some yachts sunk.
Nafplion for us has been good. We've done the open-bus tour/ride, visited the castle and enjoyed some good eating as well food (and drink) shopping. This morning it's time to depart before the fresh N'ly winds get bit more energetic. xxx

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Nisos Skiros

Whilst we were very happy being on the hook, once in the cockpit Saturday morning, we spotted plenty space in the harbour because several visiting yachts had slung their hook earlier that morning. Having decided we'd stay on hook and visit again in RIB we did the usual and changed our minds. (Sue first).
We didn't get a reply on the VHF but as we closed on the harbour were greeted by RIB and friendly staff. They have an excellent manner and can't do enough to help. Lazy-lines too. Even booked us a stretched-limo Fiat Panda for 9 a.m. next morning.
So we did the rounds. 55km roads mostly unimpaired by other traffic. What we call (almost no other cars on roads). Visited Skiros Town, museum, Rupert Brooks monument (1st World War poet famous for 'The Soldier').
Siros (AKA Syros as well other spellins) is a wonderful place. Locals most friendly. Harbour marina staff top class. Could easily have spent longer there and will revisit when next in these waters. Also met lady by name of Alda, who used to be Clerk in House of Commons, been visiting the island for many years and instantly recognised by locals. Her views on Members of Parliament, including Prime Ministers, Speakers and other MOPs since late 1960's were easy to listen to.
So today we've slipped lines heading towards Nisos Andos, 60 odd NM to our south. ETA late afternoon. No wind and no squiddy.

Earlier in the year we ended-up doing some repairs on our fridge and are pleased to see it's been working ticketeeboo. Last night I put the next 5L os Sue's wine in the evaporator part to chill it down, ready for transfer to bodies. This morning I decided to relocate it onto amshelf. The fridge is ticketeeboo! The 5L bladder of wine is frozen.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Ormos Linaria - Nisos Skiros 38:50.89N 24:31.93E

When we set-off this morning we donked for first hour and a bit because we had little wind and rolly seas. We don't like flogging our sails when it's like this. Fortunately, after gettin' rid of a little excess and taking a shower it was evident the winds had strengthened just enough to contemplate getting the sails out. So we did and enjoyed some really pleasant sailing, broadreaching most the way here, as far as a shallow gap between Nisos Skiros and Nisos Valaxa, which pilot book describes as "It is scary". In the conditions we enjoyed today it was delightful, just bit shallow to pass through. Crystal clear water above easily observed detailed seabed.
We've decided to go on hook for tonight, harbour half NM away. Intention being to use RIB and visit Linaria town to have ganda and restock on fruit and veg, as well out-else taking our fancy? If we like the harbour and there's space, we might contemplate going into the harbour and tieing to dirt tomorrow. We'll see?

Nisos Skantzoura - Ormos Prasso 39:04.67N 24:06.77E

We enjoyed good sail from Nisos Kira Panayia. We visited Ormos Skantzoura on S coast of the island. A smaller bay with limited room to swing, which ment tieing-back. Sue didn't fancy the local geography and said "Lets continue towards Skiros" (a further 28NM) and was delighted to discover we had the option of another (much bigger) bay just over a NM further round the coast, where we enjoyed a lovely settled afternoon and overnight. Unfortunately, I forgot to recover squiddy so squiddy now resides in Davy Jones locker and we're a hundred metres or so shorter on fishing line, plus a lead weight. It also meant I had to skinny-dive under the yacht to check for fishing line round the prop. An enjoyable experience in crystal clear warmish water. Squiddy well disappeared along with all but few metres of line.
Very pleasant sunset too

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Ormos Planitis, Nisos Kira Panayia 39:20.71N 24:04.73E

Came here couple days ago and this place is one of those magical anchorages to dream about.
The entrance is relatively narrow, say 50-60m with depths of 6m. It's open to the N and with a Meltimi blowing expect it could be bit scary getting in/out. We're lucky to have relatively light NE winds these past few days so no such daring needed. Once inside the entrance there's choice of two lagoons. We chose the E lagoon and the half dozen others who's arrived since us, for most once they get eyeball on us (plonked in the middle) seem to prefer the S lagoon. There's some small visiting fishing boats coming and going from time to time, even overnight, although tonight it looks like we might have the place entirely by ourselves. We've had two of the most peaceful nights possible so far and expecting same tonight (touch wood).
We haven't bothered visiting the island because there's only the odd goat for company. We're beginning to run out of fresh veg and fruit so intend making exit in morning, heading towards Nisos Skantzoura, to SE of us.
Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham callsign = m0hng
At 27-Sep-16 07:19 UT our position was 39°20.71'N 024°04.71'E

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Ormos Peristera, Nisos Peristera 39:10.25N 23:58.12E

Came in here yesterday. A whole 5NM passage from Alonisos. Didn't take very long on the donk. We were the only yacht visiting here and enjoyed the whole night 'yacht-alone'. Very peaceful, very dark and we enjoyed the experience. Deciding to have 2 nights here it didn't take much to settle into the swing of things. Towards mid afternoon tody, a Sailing Holidays yacht arrived. Sue guessed right. Now we have 11 Sailing Holidays yachts rafted on the beach. There quiet an plenty distance away so not a problem. Same flotilla we#ve met couple time during last week. We also have a couple CATs nearby. On in front and one behind. The one in front is too close but having just checked weather prospects there's unlikely to be a problem. T'other CAT was also preparing to drop in front until I told him where our hook is and he ended up dropping astern of us. From past experience, CATs can be bit of a PITA when they decide to drop their hook too close.

The pic was taken yesterday, when we decided to put RIB in water and go for a wee poodle round the bay. xxx

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Patitiri, Nisos Alonnisos 39:08.66N 23:51.95E

We are quite pleased to move-on from Skopolos town to here, Patitira -SE Alonnisos. Last night the predicted 10-15kn windies from NW turned out to be a gusty 25-35kn NW from 2 a.m. till almost 9 o'clock. The lines squeaked relentlessly and the wind howled like a cat might if caught in a meat grinder. Sue, first time ever, spent most of the night in the saloon, then hit the sack at 7 and slept like a kitten 'till 10. We were thinking about staying put another day yet opted to move towards Alonnisos, where we thought we'd drop hook in a nearby attractive anchorage. Nope! Our destination was found to be partitioned-off with buoys. A hotel swimming area and yachtie isolation zone. Hence the reason we're tied to concrete here tonight. Bit short of space and loads of ferries coming and going. Been here 6 years ago and the place ain't changed any. Typically Greece. Few locals and tourists watching us as we watch them too. We had to squeaze in between another yacht and a local small fishing boat. There's lots of local fishing boats on moorings and we didn't fancy dropping our hook into one of them so opted to put our anchor chain over our neighbours. They can find out in the morning (if thay wanna leave before us?). I know, "It's tough" when someone drops their hook and runs their chain over yours. It's the penalty, which has to be sorted, when failing to put their hook down in right place when aligning and preparing to moor sterns-to. In meantime, no point in anticipating their surprise in the morning?