Thursday, 8 June 2017

Palaia Epidhavros 37:38.4N 23:09.6E

Came here from Aigina last Tuesday, or thereabouts. We decided to drop hook outside the town, in a lovely bay to the N, using our RIB to visit, participate in local produce and do bit of shopping. It's a delightful place. Yesterday we found one of the best places possible to buy oilves, olive oil, honey and oregano. The wife, suitably being harassed by her young kids, looks after the shop. Whilst sampling her produce before and after buying, we were told where their farm is as well their taverna.  We also did some 'basics' shopping and scoffed some local prawns and octopus for lunch.
Sue came up with the idea if taking cycles ashore this morning and cycling to the taverna, couple miles away. What a find. Ormos Ka─║ymnios really is. This bay is to the S of the peninsula and S of Epidhavros. 50m from the taverna is a sunken city, dating back to 2300BC when a local volcano let rip. We may well return and drop hook there. Just little exposed so only in settled conditions. We also visited an ancient theatre, undergoing excavations and renovations after more than 2000 years being almost maintenance-free. 
Much enjoying visiting these parts so likely keep hook in same bit dirt while longer.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Ormos Pighios, Nisos Aigina 37:40.59N 23:28.65E

We enjoyed a short 7NM sail from Methana to here, Ormos Pighios, couple days ago. We picked this place because we wanted to escape some promised strong N'lies and here looked ideal to spend next few nights. We'd already had our share of some rather brisk and changeable winds at Methana when it thunderstormed on us. Quite a lot of rain too. As we approached we could see a line of stinkpots tied sterns-to and one sailing yacht on hook. As it turned out, the sailing yacht was a traditional oversized ketch with some tourists onboard, which left before dark, to be replaced by a giant stinkpot flying a red ensign. Fortunately the skipper did tie-back out of our way. Another oversized stinkpot arrived early next morning, as did couple more visiting yachts. By nightfall of Sunday, day 2, the touristy sailing yacht had returned and dropped their hook remarkably close, leading us to think they were only day visiting. In the event, just before dark, Sue decided to engage conversation along the lines of:
Sue: Hello (pause) Hello. Where is the captain please?
Skipper appears.
Sue: Hello. Are you staying the night?
Skipper: Yes we stay here.
Sue: You are rather close. Will you be doing an anchor watch because you are rather close?
Skipper. No problem. No problem. 
Sue: I think you are far too close (muttering I'll give him no problem no problem).
Few minutes later they had their donk on and kindly repositioned themselves in a more sensible free space of their choosing. Given, we were the only 2 yachts in the bay they had tons to choose from and both yachts benefited from having a very pleasant, trouble-free, overnight. Sue's definitely better than me at this sort of thing. 
Compared to yesterday, which was a complete washout, raining and cool all day, today is just fine. Windies slightly stronger and broken sunshine. We've even refurbished (of sorts) our CA burgee, which now has new pieces sewn-in to resemble the original. 
Likely we'll move-on somewhere not too far away and just as lovely tomorrow. Also likely we'll be bay-alone here tonight.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Nisos Poros on hook - overnight testing conditions

When the wind began to make itself noticeable in the early hours this morning we soon realised the odd yacht getting closer than we normally like. Our first priority is to check our immediate security - more like 'defences'. With the N'ly blowing 30 odd kn and gusting here and there we soon determined our own hook was going the good job we've come to expect and we were'nt going anywhere. We didn't come to same conclusion when a nearby Bavaria charter yacht drifted abeam and finally settled just about far enough away, sometimes abeam sometimes astern of us. With Sue doing a watch as the worlycoaster ride continued I settled down for a saloon snooze........ only to wake shortly after 3 a.m. to Sue exclaiming "What the hell's this guy doing?"  Rotviler brain engaged, then change of gear into Mrs Nice mode, Sue's out making one or two helpful suggestions, her words partially filtered by the winds and rain and attenuated by thunder. On realising the skipper didn't really want to move further away Sue carefully suggested "Well, if you're going to stay there you'll be doing an anchor watch from your cockpit won't you?"  To which came a friendly favourable reply. With nothing else to keep me up and the saloon being less inviting than our bed, I returned and settled into a sleep. Sue joined me as the new morning light started filtering through. I decided to get up and put my 09:00 call out for the Med Net. Whilst initially unsettled to see our nearest neighbour swinging closely off our bow, I was pleased to see the skipper actively engaged on watch, in his cockpit, wearing oilies.
Couple hours later, whilst ready to scoff our 11 a.m. brunch, our neighbour opened a friendly dialogue. He explained being on the move shortly and apologising to have anchored so close, then followed up by telling us "When we first arrived we only saw you at the last moment because I could not see your anchor light (being on and working properly and in it's rightful place at the top of our mast in accordance with the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea) because our bimini gets in the way. ...... so you need a flashing light on your bow, like ours."
For the record, whilst we will remain critical of yachts who use non-regulation anchor lights of different types we do acknowledge the advantage being able to see additional lights placed closer to waterlevel when displayed as additional lights to the regulation requirement for a single all-round anchor light at top of the mast - although definately not 'in place of'.  
Wanting to remain friendly we continued our brunch chat by thanking him for doing his anchor watch and we refrained from suggesting he should either stow his bimini canvas or use a hand-lamp to determine position of other vessels when preparing to join an anchorage when it's dark, gusty, raining threatening thunder and lightning as well. We also thought it wasn't worth asking the obvious and said nothing about him not wanting to reposition his yacht more safely and further away. He did mention having already nearly come to grief when his hook dragged at his earlier location. 
All credit to Sue for keeping good watch in menacing conditions and keeping pleasantly cool and friendly when making suggestions to new friends when they like to get bit close for comfort.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Nisos Poros 37:30.3N 23:26.9E

Very pleasant place to be on hook in +16m depths. We enjoyed a very good 27NM sail between Porto Kheli and here. The donk being used only when pulling our hook out Ermioni's seabed at the start, then when commencing final approach and narrow channel between Nisos Poros and mainland. We set up with 2 reefs in mainsl and a good reef in gibsl expecting nasty gusts as the N'ly winds found path of least resistance towards us as we headed due E. Once we cleared the headland and became exposed to the choppy open seas we were able to show all our gibsl for first time and close-haul better. When we tacked (just the once) we were able to set good course towards Poros channel. An enjoyably good sail worthy of giving autopilota break from time to time. So enjoyable we delayed eating until after putting hook in late afternoon.
We made point of visiting local taverna yesterday for lunch. White Cat taverna gets a thumbs-up for Saronic beer, octypus and shrimp saganaki. 
This morning we couldn't help spot a similar-looking yacht, on hook 100m or so off our bow. S/Y Knotty Girl, owned by Tanya and Roberto, Discovery 55 built just over a year ago. Always good to meet another look-a-like. Even tok some pics.
Today planning to find out which local taverna/bar has football on TV so RIB goes back in water to get us there and back. 


Kindle chilling at Nisos Poros

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Ermione

Very pleasant 13NM part sailing/part donk this morning fromPorto Kheli to Ermioni. Good to ger chance to use mainsl, gib as well genoa. Needing to get donk on when best we could achieve was just 2kn. We've dropped hook in good spot,  swinging between N breakwater and couple of moored boats. We think we'll be leaving our hook alone now fornext few days. We like the place. Shops, supermarket and mixture of tavernas. ......... also there's some strong N'lies due and we're thinking this may be good place to swing in the wind. 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Porto Kheli

Almost a week since being launched. Plenty jobs being done. Some we planned for and some unexpected. One particularly irritable surprise was our seized windlass, without which we face obstacles getting anchor up and down. Hence a delay and best part of two days work. We want to thank Mr Lewmar for kindly using an aluminium spacer so that our windlass shaft could have the opportunity to seize solid. Good design for parmanent redundancy? Nevertheless we got though our list of pre-launch jobs and were launched last Wednesday, spent first few nights on hook at Kilada and enjoyed a 13NM two hour donk yeasterday and now at Porto Kheli and are now officially checked-in as well. We've done two big shops, Kirandi Lidl and here. We've now enough beer and wine to get a small navy pissed. Also plenty assorted grub to mop-up with. Took bikes ashore today for ride around the bay. Loved the ride as well the sceenery despite nearly getting blown over. Exciting getting back to yacht in 20-25kn wind and waves on the nose. Bikes soaked and us soaked too! Now showered and resting.
I ain't goinna moan about my leg. I'm just wanting to say how well Sue is helping me cope with a lorra aches, pain and cramping. Hence the incentive to take bikes ashore today. Can't stand or walk much but can ride bike good as ET. Jobs on yacht continue to get ticked-off so working our way through the list. Ah yes. Worth mentioning......... it's gonna take about 5 bottles of Dylon suade dye to make all of our steering wheel navy blue. We only brought 2 and presently have equivalennt of a half-moon steering wheel. 
Love to the Grandkids as well their Mums and Dads xxx