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)
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.
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|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|
|Wednesday 12/9/07||Koiladhia - Aliki (Poros)|
|Thursday 13/9/07||Aliki - Perdika|
|Friday 14/9/07||Perdika - Kalamaki Marina|
|1000||1029 mbar. Sunny|
|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||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.|
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)||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!
|0845||1032 mbar||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||Lunch and a swim.|
|1630||ESE 2||180||A bit of wind, so sails up.|
|1710||Wind died away, so engine on.|
|1820||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.|
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.
|0940||1030 mbar||Talk about a millpond. Awoke surrounded by jellyfish.|
|1000||Weighed anchor. Motored to find somewhere better for breakfast and a swim.|
|1020||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.|
|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.|
|1030||1030 mbar||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.|
|Dropped sails. Engine on and prepared for stern-to. Completed a stern-to into wind without incident - or help.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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||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.
|1010||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!)|
|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.|
|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.
|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
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!
V light WSW
|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||Went into bay for a swim. Very good snorkel.|
|Wreck off the harbour entrance.|
|1500||SW 4||Motored off. Sails up and mainly a reach to Porto Heli.|
|Porto Heli||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!|
|1038 mbar||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||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.
|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||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?
|0900||1037mbar||Could not receive forecast. Walked up to the castle.|
|1250||SE 2||Motor on. Making ready.|
|1300||Could not receive forecast.|
|1325||E 3||040||Sails up. Course to destination 085, making 040 on Stbd
…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)|
|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||Decided to anchor on north side - in view of forecast wind. Easy anchoring and feels very secure.|
|0805||W 2-3||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
Still no wind, so still motoring. Unsure where to go but eventually decided Aliki.
…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||Weighed and moved.
|0940||1039mbar. NNW 3|
|1015||NNE 3-4||060||Sails up. Port tack.|
|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.|
|1300||Forecast: NNE 4, locally 5. Good.|
|1315||Wind dropped to practically nothing; engine on. Motor sailed.|
|1335||Nothing: genoa on.|
|1445||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||On the quay.|
|0725||1040mbar Wind light||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.|
|0900||Forecast: NNE 4, locally 5.|
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.