Greece 2007 Log

Dates: 1 - 15 September 2007

Location: Athens / Peloponnese Greece

Yacht: Aldebaran, Oceanis 321

Charterer: Sailing in Blue

Crew: Alistair Edwards (Skipper), Anne Edwards (Co-Skipper)

Log

This log is based on notes that I took contemporaneously - hence the occasional lapse in tenses etc. I have edited them a bit - and added some covering times when I was too busy to take notes.

Some of the times - and other data - are a bit approximate.

Pictures link to larger versions, which are part of the on-line album.

Longitude and latitude positions link to Google Maps, while the little globe Google Earth logo links to the same place on Google Earth - but you will have to have that software installed.

You need to have pop-ups enabled to get the full effect - but I promise there will be no adverts!

Sunday 2/9/07 Kalamaki Marina - Ormos Profitis
Monday 3/9/07 Ormos Profitis - Ormos Vidhi (Poros)
Tuesday 4/9/07 Ormos Vidhi - Vathi
Wednesday 5/9/07 Vathi - Epidavros
Thursday 6/9/07 Epidavros - New Epidavros
Friday 7/9/07 New Epidavros - Poros
Saturday 8/9/07 Poros - Vlikos
Sunday 9/9/07 Vlikos - Porto Heli
Monday 10/9/07 Porto Heli - Astrous
Tuesday11/9/07 Astrous-Koiladhia
Wednesday 12/9/07 Koiladhia - Aliki (Poros)
Thursday 13/9/07 Aliki - Perdika
Friday 14/9/07 Perdika - Kalamaki Marina

Sunday 2/9/07 Kalamaki Marina - Ormos Profitis

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
1000 1029 mbar. Sunny

37 54 53.6 N
23 42 7.3 E


(GoogleEarth)

   
1125 Light SW     Slipped mooring.
1200 S 2   265 Sails up. Port Tack
1240       Engine on for a minute - to make sure we were well clear of ferry.
1241       Back to sail.
1245       Wind dropped again, so engine back on to keep clear of ship Hiroshima.
1255     233 Wind dropped, so furled genoa and engine on.
1300  

37 51.37 N
23 34.110 E

230 Weather forecast on Channel 25. Hard to hear different sea areas, but seemed to be NW 4-5 almost everywhere. (Not here now, though!)
1420     230 Seemed to be a bit of wind, so sails up, Port tack.
1520   37 42.22 N
023 26.8 E

  Reset GPS trip.
1525       Wind dropping in lee of island.
1540       Drifting, so engine on.
1600       Entered Aigina. Quay busy - full and more boats trying to get in. Tried marina, no apparent space nor assistance, so motored out to Ormos Profitis.
  Ormos Profitis Illia (Perdika)

37 41.951 N
23 27.940 E

  A lot of trouble anchoring - partly lack of practice, but partly that the clutch is not working on the windlass: release it and nothing moves. Managed, by taking the chain off the windlass. First time it didn't hold (insufficient scope?). Second time it seemed secure. The Bay is sort of recommended by Rod, but I was still not sure. There was another cat anchored, which was a bit reassuring. Anyway, Perdika is probably full.
It's really quite windy (best all day!) but I'm hoping that it's katabatic and will stop soon. Even in this remote bay there's loud music!

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor3:243:24
Sail2:112:11
Total5:355:35

Thoughts on the Thunderstorm

Monday 3/9/07 Ormos Profitis - Ormos Vidhi (Poros)

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
0845 1032 mbar

37 41.951 N
23 27.940 E

  Forecast - from Nasos 4-5 until Saturday, except Wednesday, SW-W 6 after 1500. Recommends heading for Epidavros on Wednesday. He also suggests applying WD40 to the windlass. Went ashore for breakfast.
1230 Light S     WD40 on windlass - seemed to work. Engine on.
1400       Securité broadcast - but I couldn't understand it.
1430  

37 36.544 N
23 24.740 E

  Lunch and a swim.
1620       Motored off.
1630 ESE 2   180 A bit of wind, so sails up.
1710       Wind died away, so engine on.
1820  

Ormos Vidhi (Poros)
37 31.175 N
23 24.167 E

  Anchored. Rod suggested a number of anchorages in the area. There was supposed to be a taverna on the beach near this one - but we could not find it. We decided to stop anyway. This turned out to be the industrial end of the bay. Big ships came in during the night - and were a bit smelly. Some flies too. We ate on-board. Very calm over-night. Wouldn't know you were at sea.

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor3:206:44
Sail0:402:51
Total4:0010:35

Passage Planning

The first week was dominated by the weather forecast for the Wednesday - and Nasos's suggestion that we should head for Epidavros that day. It meant that we did not get far from Athens in the first week. After that there was a desire to get away, to visit as many places as possible - but at the same time I didn't want us to feel under any pressure, to be obliged to make long passages - particularly to get back to Kalamaki on time.

Having to think about these things means you cannot relax. Perhaps some people would prefer a more care-free holiday, but I think it's all part of it. In the event, we had one long day (11/9/07) of nearly all motoring, but it all worked out well; we went to plenty of places, did a lot of sailing, but never felt under pressure.

Tuesday 4/9/07 Ormos Vidhi - Vathi

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
0940 1030 mbar

37 31.175 N
23 24.167 E

  Talk about a millpond. Awoke surrounded by jellyfish. Jellyfish
1000       Weighed anchor. Motored to find somewhere better for breakfast and a swim.
1020  

37 31.378 N
23 25.637 E

  Anchored in bay.
1235 NE 2   320 Motor-sailed off.
1300     100 Tacked onto port
1330     355 Tacked. Noted that - according to the instruments - she sails much closer on starboard (not really, just the instruments) 25° on stbd, 60° on port.
1345     010 Wind strengthening and veering.
1405     030 Bore away onto a beam reach.
1420     315 Easier to goosewing.
1440     330 Ferry was determined to keep as close to the shore as possible - regardless of us and two other yachts. Engine on. Could not get to leeward of him, so turned to stbd and let him past. Kept engine on because we weren't going far.
1510     295 Turned corner, onto dead run, goosewinging: 3.6 knots.
1520       Boomed out genoa - even better: 4.2 knots.
1550     210 Gybed genoa, onto port broad reach.
   

Vathi

  Approaching Vathi. Unsure of our mooring skills and our windlass - prepared to anchor off wth line ashore, but when we got in the harbour, stern-to seemed a better idea. Had to prepare lines (bad). Dropped anchor OK, heading down stbd side of a red yacht, but the Harbour Master suggested the other side - nice idea but it meant we crossed anchors (see tomorrow). Otherwise not bad for a first time - this holiday. Vathi sunset

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor0:20 7:04
Sail3:156:06

Thoughts on equipment (and short-handedness)

Wednesday 5/9/07 Vathi - Epidavros

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
1030 1030 mbar

Vathi

  Forecast: WSW 4-5. Snorkelled outside the harbour. Breakfast. Wind got up during breakfast. Time to leave.
1130       Crossed anchor. Managed to clear with boathook.
1200 WSW 3-4     Clear of harbour, sails up. Wind turned almost as variable as Farnham. Looks like a beat, but could be a fetch to Epidavros.
        Wind strengthening. Starting to carry a lot of weather helm in the gusts, so took in one reef in the main - reduced the foot by about 1 metre.
        Wind continued to rise, so a bit in on the genoa. OK for a while but weather helm still a problem, so reduced the main to about the size of my Laser sail. Took a couple of tacks to get into the harbour entrance. Recorded gust up to 40 knots apparent.
1430  

Epidavros

  Dropped sails. Engine on and prepared for stern-to. Completed a stern-to into wind without incident - or help.

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor1:308:34
Sail2:308:36

Thursday 6/9/07 Epidavros - New Epidavros

Time Weather Position Course
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
   

Epidavros

  Breakfast in taverna. Taxi to amphitheatre. Shopping. Lunch on board.
1310 1033 mbar     Forecast (Channel 25): NW 5, very soon 4, later . Good.
1320       Motored off and to entrance of the bay.
  N 3-4   080 Sails up.
1455     290 Tacked.
1510     270 Bore away to head for New Epidavros.
1515       Bore away onto narrow reach.
1600       Wind dropped, so engine on. Ready to follow Rod's advice and patronize the taverna - but the sinking jetty was was gone altogether and the taverna seems closed. Took his second choice - alongside end of mole. Got on no trouble.
1620  

New Epidavros

37 40.761 N
23 9.161 E

  Moored.

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor0:40 9:14
Sail2:2010:56

Friday 7/9/07 New Epidavros - Poros

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
0900  

New Epidavros

37 40.761 N
23 9.161 E

  Forecast (Channel 25): NW 5, very soon SW soon W. Good.
0920 Light S   100 Off the quay with help from locals. Motoring
0950     085 Engine off. Port broad reach.
1300       Text from Christina: 'Goodmorning! It is going to be very windy tonight and at early morning hours. After that time it is 2-4 in Saronic unstable direction in Saronic an north north-east in Cyclades until Thursday.' No mention in the 1300 forecast, but we decide to head for Poros, anyway. It's a combination of broad reaches and goosewinged runs most of the way. Wind coming and going, but veering easterly.
A distress call is broadcast on the DSC. By the time I'd read the manual and switched back to Channel 16, I hear 'woman overboard' but nothing else - such as position. Hear no response. Not sure what to do. Tried calling. No response. Gave up.
Entered the straits. It became a beat and a good 4, but eventually engine on.
1530  

37 29.896 N
23 27.327 E

  Mooring was not our smoothest. Anchor did not bite on first attempt. Then I leapt ashore with boat in forward gear. Anne saved us. After that it was OK.
Clouded over, sure enough, and we took jackets out to shops - but it never came to anything.

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor1:3010:44
Sail4:4015:36

Saturday 8/9/07 Poros - Vlikos

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
1010  

37 29.896 N
23 27.327 E

  Motored off. Caught anchor on next boat's. My fault: Anne said 'Channel clear', but I thought she said 'Clear', referring to the anchor and started to motor. Much messing about but eventually cleared it and motored off south.
1030 NW 4     Sails up. Broad reach around island then motored to bay by N Soupia (It's true, it does look like a frog!)
   

37 25.39 N
23 29.528 E

  Good anchor.
        Norwegian Bavaria 44s came and anchored right next to us. (Why? Of all the gin joints, in all the towns…) They each anchored in opposite directions and then tied alongside each other. As we swung we seemed to get nearer to them. I took up some scope, but they took the hint and left. Snorkelled. Had lunch.
1605       Motored off.
1610 E 4     Sails up. Fetch to Hydra. Hydra was full. Could have moored off someone, but was unsure of doing that. Eventually went for Plan B (My wife is the most patient person on this earth) - Mandraki.
It was very deep and steeply shelving. I was not happy. We dropped the hook in about 19m, but I was not happy that if we let out all our chain - where might we swing?
Decided to move again. This time to Vlikos. Ron doesn't give much detail. When we got there there was a small rock harbour. I nosed in. A fisherman invited us next to him, but then suggested (by sign language) that it would be too shallow. Took his advice. Ended up a bit further along.
   

37 20.801 N
23 27.263 E

  Very open but anchored in ~ 10m. Worried about where we might swing. I took a line ashore. By the time I'd pulled it in, we were metres from the rocks. At least I knew we'd swing no nearer (as long as the anchor didn't drag). I'd have preferred scope for more scope, but I couldn't face re-laying the anchor again, so stayed put. Might be a bit rough, though.
Dinner ashore. Decided to let the shore line go. I figured that I know how near we'll swing if the wind turns on-shore. Lying in any other direction I'll have the opportunity to lay more scope - or escape - if anything seems to go wrong.
Must remember to pick up the line in the morning!

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor3:2514:09
Sail2:3018:06

Sunday 9/9/07 Vlikos - Porto Heli

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
0900 1036mbar
V light WSW

37 20.801 N
23 27.263 E

  Forecast: NW 4, locally 5. Later 3. Moderate. Motored.
0950 WNW 3   265 A bit of wind so sails out. Close-hauled.
1025       In lee of island, drifting, so engine on.
Every kind of reach across (port tack). Engine on and off as wind came and went.
Lunch on the move. Lots of people (gin palaces) heading back to Athens - some at some speed.
1350  

37 17.284 N
23 10.058 E

  Went into bay for a swim. Very good snorkel.
   

37 18.3 N
23 8.1 E

  Wreck off the harbour entrance.
1500 SW 4     Motored off. Sails up and mainly a reach to Porto Heli.
  Porto Heli

37 19.554 N
23 8.646 E

  After yesterday, pleasingly lots of space. Stern-to with no trouble - but some help from local urchins. Bought them off with €4 - but think we'll lock up when we go ashore!

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor1:5015:59
Sail3:4521:51

Monday 10/9/07 Porto Heli - Astrous

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
  1038 mbar

37 19.554 N
23 8.646 E

  Took on water. Missed forecast.
1105 SW 2     Motored off. Decided not to go to Navplion - too far, especially beating back.
1120     205 Sails up. Close hauled on port. Had to tack soon.
1150       Lack of wind. Motor on.
1159       Text from Christina: 'Goodmorning! 7B north in Cyclades on Friday! 6B on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. In Saronic 6B North on Wednesday early morning hours and Friday'
1215  

37 16.778 N
23 5.909 E

  Reached other side. Still no wind. Might as well stop and swim. If wind gets up should be a fetch to Astrous.
Good swim - lots of little fish.
1350       Engine on.
1400 SE 3   295 Broad port reach, 3.5 knots. A nice sail. Pretty much a broad reach all the way. Rose to about a 4. I sat on the stem for a while. As we got near Astrous the wind freshened and backed a little, so we surfed in.
1700 Astrous

37 24.83 N
22 46.013 E

  Approached the beach, then turned head-to-wind to get sails in and fenders out.
Stern-to in the harbour. Anchor did not take at first attempt, so back out and in again. Seemed OK this time, but as we settled for coffee there was thump. It looked as if we'd parked the rudder right over some rocks, so I warped her a few feet to stbd - which seemed to do the trick.
Quite windy - just an evening katabatic?

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor1:2017:19
Sail3:0024:51

Tuesday 11/9/07 Astrous-Koiladhia

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
0900 1037mbar

37 24.83 N
22 46.013 E

  Could not receive forecast. Walked up to the castle. Astrous Castle
        Then milkshake. Milkshake at Astrous
1250 SE 2     Motor on. Making ready.
1300       Could not receive forecast.
1300       Motored off.
1325 E 3   040 Sails up. Course to destination 085, making 040 on Stbd tack.
…but with some adjustments able to make 075°, 5-6 knots - almost a fetch.
1430       Hove-to for lunch. (Are you impressed with the seamanship? I am) Hove-to
1450     Under way again. Wind had freshened and veered. Carrying a lot of weather helm in the gusts, so 1 reef in the main. Comfortably past Nisos Ipsili and into Koiladhia.
  Koiladhia

37 25.077 N
23 7.945 E

  Decided to anchor on north side - in view of forecast wind. Easy anchoring and feels very secure.

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor0:5518:14
Sail3:1028:01

Wednesday 12/9/07 Koiladhia - Aliki (Poros)

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
0805 W 2-3

37 25.077 N
23 7.945 E

  Under way on motor.
0900       No forecast heard.
1020       Passing entrance to Porto Heli wreckage no longer visible.
1140 SE 4     Seems a bit of wind now, so sails up. (Genoa, actually - main's been up all the time). Beam reach, 5 knots.
1200       Becoming increasingly overcast.
1235       Having lunch, but wind's dropped away almost completely - so engine on.
1300       Forecast: Variable 3, locally 4. Soon NE 4. Good.
1415       Stern-to off Hydra - at the second attempt and with an audience in the taverna.
Walked ashore. Drinks, shopping etc.
1615       A German yacht had tried to squeeze (and I mean squeeze) bows-to alongside us. Not sure if they were happy or annoyed at our leaving. Anyway, they'd crossed anchors, so that was a bit of a bugger. Anyway, we got off.
Still no wind, so still motoring. Unsure where to go but eventually decided Aliki.
1820  

37 28.394 N
23 29.431 E

  Anchored
…which was the wrong place. (Did wonder. Bottom was sand and weed, poor holding, when Rod had recommended it) Had a swim, so let's call it swim stop.
1945  

37 29.163 N
23 28.459 E

  Weighed and moved.
Rocky night.
Ailiki

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor8:2026:34
Sail0:5528:56

Thursday 13/9/07 Aliki - Perdika

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
0940 1039mbar. NNW 3

37 29.163 N
23 28.459 E

 
1010       Weighed
1015 NNE 3-4   060 Sails up. Port tack.
1110     320 Tacked
1245     080 Thought we would pinch round the rocks, but the wind seemed to back and with depth sounder lying (17.6m) and reluctant to bear away - tacked.
1255     330 Tacked back.
1300       Forecast: NNE 4, locally 5. Good.
1315       Wind dropped to practically nothing; engine on. Motor sailed.
1335       Nothing: genoa on.
1445  

37 40.760 N
23 29.451 E

  Diverted for lunch stop at Ormos Ligia.
Lunch. Good swim (lots of fish). Snooze.
1645 Light S     Under way, under engine.
Motored to Aigina. It was full. Motored back to Perdika. Wondered if we'll regret 5 more miles of beating into a northerly tomorrow?!
1850 Perdika

37 41.452 N
23 27.143 E

  On the quay.

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor3:4030:14
Sail3:0031:56

Friday 14/9/07 Perdika - Kalamaki Marina

TimeWeatherPositionCourse
(° Magnetic)
Commentary
0725 1040mbar Wind light

37 41.452 N
23 27.143 E

  Motored off.
  N 3     Wind in the bay.
0805     300 Breakfast over. It's N 4. Set sails. Stbd close-hauled.
0830     050 Getting shallow off island, so tacked.
0835       Tacked back.
0900       Forecast: NNE 4, locally 5.
0910       Tacked.
It looked as if we could fetch the marina, with an ETA of 1300, but as time went on the wind veered. It was quite busy with commercial traffic. I decided not to cross the Traffic Separation Zone - even though we would be crossing it at right-angles and at good speed. Tacked to the north. Still busy, though, with ships heading towards the zone. Had to make a couple of changes of course to make it clear where we were going.
Saw a dolphin - very briefly. It broke the surface and then dived under the boat.
The wind got up and there was some weather helm in the gusts. Thought about a reef, but decided not.
Made landfall to the south and tacked up the coast.
Big ship.
1450  

37 54 53.6 N
23 42 7.3 E

  On quay.

Totals

 TodayVoyage
Motor1:1031:24
Sail6:1538:11