Greece 2012 Log

Yacht
Eva, Jeanneau Sun Odyssey, 33i
Charterer
Greek Sails
Skipper
Alistair Edwards
First Mate
Anne Edwards
Mate
Dan Ramsden
Supernumery
Tori Townsend

Contents

The log

I took a computer with me this year - and did not get it wet, so there is a good chance of this being the quickest log on the web (unlike last year's, which is not there even yet!). When I could, I have taken notes, but on busy sailing days I have relied on my memory, and typed them up most evenings. I used to think that putting the log on-line at home was a way of extending the holiday, but I am glad I have done it this way this year. Apart from anything, it will be up much sooner, also it is easier to write while it's all fresh in the mind.

Most times are approximate. Windspeeds are mostly apparent, from the cockpit gauge.

Saturday 1 September: Poros

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
Morning Saga Hotel Light breeze. Long sleep. Breakfast. Taxi to yacht dropped bags off. Had forgotten papers in the safe so taxi back to hotel and back. Milkshakes then shopping and on to boat. Spent time settling in, having briefing, doing paperwork. Late lunch. Saga
1730 Greek sails N 3

Finally ready and set off. Motored out.

Leaving
1745 Off Poros Better try the sails. Narrow Stbdb reach. Everything seems to be working - except the speed log. Hardened through the channel, pinching at first to keep well clear of the ferry. Hoped to stop in Dana Bay, but decided to sail on for a bit. There was someone else in the bay, but by the time got back they had packed up and moved on.
1830 Tacked and reached back.
1850 Sails down. Motor on. Motored into bay and dropped anchor first time.
37°31.382'N 23°25.634'E

Anchored - with Cedric , the marker buoy. Anchoring went well and it was good to be able to see where it was. I had come prepared with coloured zip ties to mark the anchor chain - but it was unnecessary as it had already been done. This was very good. The bay shelved quickly so we ended up dropping in 5m, but we could let out 20m - and know it. We also knew where the anchor was. Of course I went snorkelling, and found the anchor was as well dug in as it could be, in sand. Nice swim, though there were not a lot of fish. Tried to clear the log impellor. Swim around, then beer and writing this.

The night was mixed. It was quite calm for a while, but what wind there was kept moving around - and we swung with it. At times we went a full 180°. This meant we were lying towards the beach - and it was (as I expected) quite shallow. I decided not to do anthing, though. I was certain the anchor was holding well so there was no point in taking in any scope; we were not going to go anywhere shallower. A slightly weird thing was that as we swung, the chain made a lot of noise (even though it was on sand). From the forepeak it was particularly loud and possibly sounded not unlike a keel scraping on the bottom, so I was up a couple of times to check that it wasn't - and it was not. It did get quite gusty at times in the night and we did rock a bit more than we might have liked, so sleep was a bit fitful. Having Cedric on the anchor was interesting. It showed where we were and at times Cedric was right alongside us. Doing Pythagorean calculations in my head, I calculated that at any time Cedric was about 8m downwind of the anchor.

Sunset

Sunrise

Video of moon over the water Video

Sunday 2 September: Poros to Merikha

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
0900 37°31.382'N 23°25.634'E N 20-25

What a day. No time to make notes so this is all from memory. Forecast was for N 15 where we were, but 20-30 over in the Cyclades, moderating and backing later. So we felt we should go for it. It was going to be a long sail ~45 nmiles, so we set off promptly at 0900. Soon had the sails up, with 2 reefs in the main, but kept the engine on one hour for charging. It was one long port reach. As we approached Georgios Island the wind dropped a bit and I shook out one reef. However, after the island, it grew again and the 2nd reef went back in - and then I took in about one third of the genoa. The sea also got very lumpy. Two reefs were not enough; we kept broaching. I fought with it for a while, but decided there was nothing for it but to take in the main. We hove to and I got it down. I wished, though, that I had a big sail tie to hold it down. There was no way in those conditions that I was going to try to zip the sail bag.

The waves were high, in a pretty confused sea. At times the wind registered 30 knots - which I found later is a force 7. I have never sailed before under genoa alone, which feels like desperation, but it did the trick, in that we stopped broaching - and we were still making 5 knots. We knew from the start it would be a long day. Pretty much as soon as we had passed Georgios, that was the point of no return and we knew we had to keep going. Our ETA was 1730, so that was not bad in that we'd be in in daylight, even if it was a slog.

Meanwhile I was sick, very sick. It seemed that if I did anything else other than steering or sleeping, then I was sick. This did not encourage navigation, nor sail trimming, so I did the minimum - which put the navigation out a little bit. The plan had been to go to Loutra . Once we left Georgios we could not see Kithnos but I had set a course of 87°, but this was slightly out. (I later decided there was a severe compass deviation). I then had a deep sleep while Anne valiantly helmed. I was in quite a deep sleep (as you do when seasick) and it felt to me like we were just powering along through the sea. I slept for an hour or so and then was rudely awakened by a wave over the side. Anne had been working hard to thread through the waves, but missed that one. Now the land was clearly visible. We appeared to be heading to the middle of it, not the northern tip as planned. I was not sure if perhaps there was another island behind or something, and was not inclined to go below to check. Eventually as we got into the lee, and things calmed down a bit, I took a look at the chart. As I suspected, we were heading towards the middle and the nearest place to stop was Merika. We agreed to head there. There were bays nearby too, further north, but Rod says they can be a bit gusty. I was not sure whether we wanted a night on a town quay, though.

We motored in and had a look around. There were a couple of spaces on the quay. There was also room to anchor off, but as Rod says, there were quite a few moorings, so getting the location right might be tricky. We picked our spot, to the port of a gin palace. Reversed back in fine, but in my eagerness to have plenty of scope, dropped the anchor too early, had to go back, pull it up and re-lay it... twice. Eventually got in fine, though, with help from the shore, taking our stern lines.

Anne

1830 Merika Too tired to do much. I had a hot shower ashore, Anne on-board. Anne cooked wraps; I tried to eat and drink. We read for a while then turned in. Total so far: 58.5nm. Merikha.\

Monday 3 September: Merikha

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments

We both agreed this should be an easy day - no sailing. Stay in the port, where we have a berth, and relax a bit. Elevensies ashore and a walk around.

Walk

Eva,
1300 Merikha-Chora

Took a bus to Chora. Had a wander around - quite picturesque. Had drinks and a read, then got a taxi back. (See comments on the Wind Park and the economy). Snorkelled round to the beach - again fun, but not a lot of fish life.

Chora, Kithnos

Chora   Anne   Sheep   Another   Reflection.\   Had drinks
Afternoon

Back on board. Drank coffee, read and Anne tried to catch fish. Got a card to buy electricity (€2.50), so I was able to charge the computer, and the batteries - and put the fridge on.

As we were about to catch the bus to Chora, Pytheas moored to our port side. I helped then moor by taking a line. When we got back, I could see that that their anchor chain was hanging vertically and taking no strain. They were only stopping from rubbing on the quay thanks to their fender on the transom. They appeared to have gone ashore. This bothered me. I wondered if I should do something. I couldn't go aboard and start re-laying their anchor. I thought of tying a spring to us, but then we would both have been hanging on our anchor. So I left it. But then, later, the couple appeared from below and stepped ashore. Evidently they were unbothered by their situation. They seemed to like the way they could step ashore without using their gangplank. Should I say something? I would seem a bit know-all. Anne said she heard the yacht on the other side say something, but all they did was move a fender - and then the guy started reading Fifty Shades... on deck. So, can't say anything, but if it starts to blow...? At least they are to leeward of us.

Slack
Evening

Dinner ashore. Ducks - not cats - hanging around the restaurant on the beach. Excellent souvlaki, and good wine.

Merikha

Merikha   View   Ducks.\   Happy

Greece, economy and politics

Tried to talk about the economy with the the taxi driver from the airport. He agreed that things were 'bad' but not much more.

Wind

I wondered whether the situation was summed up when we went up to the Chora on Kinthos. There were signs for the Wind Park - which sounds sort of touristy and interesting. But when we got to it, it had been built by Germans: 5 33kW generators. Thirty-three kilowatts is not a lot - and only two of them were working. One was not going round (though it was quite windy). One had but one blade, and one had apparently fallen down.

\   \   \

Yet we have the answer:
Hey, Greece, if you want to get out of your economic problems, Rip off the foreigners! Charge more than €1.50 to stay in your ports over-night. Charge a bit more to see your priceless ruins (you can have a National Trust so the locals can still get in cheaply).

Tuesday 4 September: Merikha to Nikolaou (Kea)

Forecast: N 20

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
0900 Merikha

Breakfast on board. Everyone seemed to be leaving. Mr Tatoos a few boats down (friendly guy who'd helped us in) caught another anchor on leaving. He was able to release it easily with an anchor thief - which made him look pretty pleased with himself - who wouldn't, but it did mean the other yacht had to re-lay their anchor. It took them a while, while we had elevensies at a taverna. I had my anchor thief ready in case...

Engine checks and bilges pumped. Took seasickness pill.

1100

Motored off without incident.

1110 N 20

Sails up: 2 reefs in main. Stbd beat. Occasional gusts, but seas not as big as Sunday. Also they were more on the bows, so seemed less likely to break over us.

Under way to Kea. Video
1300

Wind moderated, but we were in the lee of Kea, so decided not to shake out any reefs.

Passing
1400

We were making 5 knots in about 20 knots of wind. As above, the sea was not as as big as Sunday, so we were okay but we were heeling quite a lot, with a double-reefed main and full genoa. I realized a certain reluctance to reef (at any time) because I find myself wondering what I'll do when I run out of sails to shorten; it's almost reassuring to know that you have one more reef in the main or genoa, but what when that's 'gone'? Anyway, this time I decided to experiment a bit. What if I took the main down all together again, and just sailed under the genoa?

Hove-to and dropped the main. This was quite a civilized way to do it. Heaving-to is a good manoeuvre. Anne was also able to go below and do stuff while we were in this calm state. When we got under way again, everything was much more calm and manageable - and we were still making 4-5 knots.

Had some discussion around the fact that it was as well that Tori - or any other novice - was not with us. Out in these conditions they might think it was a bit dangerous - then it occurred to me that that was probably not an unreasonable assessment.

First

Still not sure about riding waves. I suppose that as long as I slam down any then I feel I am not doing it right. I am sure it is mostly to do with the relation between boat length and wavelength. If the wave is (much) shorter the boat just sails through it. If it is longer, it sails over it. It is the ones which are about - or just shorter - than the boat, that cannot support it and slam it down. Of course, as helm, I have no control over the waves - but I can angle the yacht so that the effective wavelength is as I want it. That is, if the wave is short, but I make the angle we hit it more acute then that has the effect of lengthening the effective wave. And that is what I try to do - and sometimes succeed, but not always

1500

Tacked. Heading in towards Kea. Having a bit of a navigation problem. The GPSs say that I should be steering 054°, and that that is to port of the course I am steering, according to the compass. Fault with the compass? This might explain my navigation problems on Sunday too. In the end, I just sailed as close as I could to the wind, making as much windage as possible. This was effecively somewhere between the two - not heading to our destination according to the GPS, but above the course according to the compass. There was a settlement ahead, fine on the stbd bow, but I was not sure whether that was Nikolaou. On checking, it was not; it was Pisa.

1600

Hence we needed another tack.

1630 N 15-20

...and another. Tried to time it carefully and surely we were heading straight for our destination on Kea. I took a rest, but Anne was finding it hard to keep to our course as we were now carrying a lot of lee helm. It was evidently time to have some mainsail again.

1725

Wind moderating and veering, so we were not going to make the destination on this tack. It seemed time to put the motor on. Genoa in. Later main down too.

1800 Nikolaou

Motored in and considered our options. Coal Bunker Bay was pretty much occupied by a large sailing yacht. There were several masts apparent in Vourkari, only a couple in Livadhi. We headed in there and contemplated our options again. There really were only 2 yachts on the quay (and this was the place I had feared would be full of Athens visitors at the weekend). There was the alternative of anchoring-off, but there seemed little point. Moored stern-to without incident.

Approaching
Evening

I wandered around looking for a shower, and didn't find one. Anne cooked on-board. Lovely meal. Another wander and then cocktails. Literally watched the moon rise: optical illusion, no doubt, but we could see it rise in a few minutes over the horizon.

Lovely

Cocktail
Distance Time Total
distance
32.3 nm 6:54 90.5 nm

Skippers

Over the years I think I have learned to classify skippers - as I expect they classify customers. Andreas is definitely an enthusiast. That is to say, he has set the yachts up as he would like them to be for him to sail - and he'd like the clients to keep them that way. He has marks on the anchor chain, warps that are easy to access, don't tow the dinghy, don't scrape the bimini. That's fine with me. Being a bit of a purist myself, I'd rather have the excuse to do it 'right'.

Others have more of a laissez-faire attitude, 'Hey, you're on holiday, tow the dinghy if it's easier.' I suppose that might seem more customer-focussed, but does not give me the excuse to be a stickler.

There can be a puritanical streak too. Andreas had advised us to be sparing with the fresh water - because he did not want us to be hanging about waiting for our turn with the waterman on an alternate Tuesday. That's fair enough, but in practice water was widely available - without waiting, and often without paying. So, there would have been no point in water rationing and cleaning our teeth in salt water, or whatever the old sailors used to do. As it was, I did annoy myself slightly by not sticking to the rule of taking on water whenever it was available. We were getting through a lot - especially with four (unseasoned) sailors on-board. In particular, water was freely available at Methana and I did not bother - and we ran out the next night...

Wednesday 5 September: Nikolaou to Sounion

Forecast: N 10

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
Morning Nikolaou

Breakfast on board. Elevensies ashore. Warped along to be near enough to tap to take on water (and not just because someone had left credit on it!) Seemed to be about half empty. Checked the compass with the hand-bearing. At due east it did seem to be about 10°-20° off. Engine checks. Bilge pumped.

(Was able to take good contemporaneous notes today on which the following is based - though my wife decided to wash the notebook).

Eva
1115

Motored off.

1125 N 10

Sails up - full sail for once. Sailed out on 263°M. Broad stbd reach, making about 4 knots. Kept engine on for charging.

1210

Engine off. Music on.

1230

Wind moderating and backing. Bore away on to 225° so we could goosewing.

Different kind of waveriding today - surfing. Fun when I got it right, singing surfin' songs. Bought Surfin USA from iTunes - just because I could.

Goosewinging.\
1345

Wind dropped. Barely making 2 knots,so engine on. Hoping for and expecting more winds between Makronisos Island and the mainland.

1415

Yep - 12 knots. Engine off. Narrow stbd reach at 5 knots.

1500

Ruins clearly visible.

1515

Engine on. Sails down. Motored in. Dropped the anchor in the east end of the bay in about 8m.

The
1530

Went for a swim. Best fish yet. Saw a large shoal of seam bream. Came back to the yacht for the camera, to take pictures in the cave.

View
Evening

The evening was magic. A fantastic sunset. Lovely meal of omlettes followed by pancakes. Two paramotors flew over and circled around the yachts. They were showing off, but, hey, who wouldn't.

Paramotor.\
Distance Time Total
distance
15.9 nm 3:50 106.4 nm

Thursday 6 September: Sounion to Aliki

Forecast: SW 5-10

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
0650

Up early for the sunrise. Then back to bed to eat chocolate croissants.

0800

Proper breakfast. We need to be back in Poros tomorrow to pick up fresh crew, so we must head that direction. With this forecast, we might as well expect a day's motoring.

Dinghy inflated. Half an oar missing.

1000

Dinghy ashore. Took a little time to find the right path, but then up to the temple. Excellent. Opens at 0930, and as suggested by Rod, it was worth getting there (just) before the coach parties.

Sounion

The   Temple   Close-up   Sounion\   The
1130 Sounion, on mooring N 10

Motored off.

1135 SW 8

Set course of 248° for south of Poros. With this wind, there was no point in sailing; it was going to be a long day anyway. Mainsail up.

Yacht
1300

Salad lunch under way.

1610 SW 10

A bit of breeze set in, so I unfurled the genoa and swiched the engine off: a narrow port reach, making 5-6 knots.

~1730

Wind dropping again, so engine on and sails in. Decided to make for Aliki - a bay we know of old.

Taverna
1800 Aliki

Motored in and anchored in about 8m. We put the dinghy over the side to clear the fore hatch, but in so doing the thwart fell off - and sank. I dived with snorkel and mask and recovered it.

1830

Coffee on board, then went for a proper snorkel. Headed for the reef to the NW. Saw some big fish. Back to the yacht for showers and beer. Very calm. We were drifting around. Thanks to Cedric, and having looked with the snorkel I could see that the anchor was well bedded in - but in weed. The chain was coiled about, but I was confident that if a wind of any strength set in in any direction, we would be clear and secure.

Sunset
Distance Time Total
distance
28.7 nm 5:40 135.2 nm

Friday 7 September: Aliki to Poros

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
1045

Dinghy on board. Checked engine and bilges. Went out for a bit of a sail to the east of Poros - and back.

Sunrise
1300

Motored to Greek Sails quay.

First
1415

Met Dan and Tori.

Dan

Settled new crew on board. Had showers and then went back to Dmitrios's for pizza - good pizza.

Best
Distance Time Total
distance
9.21 nm 2:12 144.4 nm

Saturday 8 September: Poros to Vathi

Forecast: N 15 becoming 20.

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
0900

Got another half-an-oar and fresh torch batteries.

0920

Engine on to recharge batteries.

1100

Motored off. Gale warning on VHF, but I guess it was not for our area.

1110

My hat blew off - so we practised man-overboard. Got it back at the second attempt.

1115 N 15-20

Sails up. A beat up Limin Poros. A gin palace had lost a fender and didn't bother going back. We had sails up, so neither did I. It took several tacks to get through the channel. The wind was quite strong, so we had a couple of reefs. Didn't want to scare the new crew, but she seemed to enjoy it.

1300 Passing Yeoryios

Concerned that the crew might be getting fed up, we contemplated going in, but everyone preferred to carry on. Not much of a lunch stop, though, so we had to eat under way (genoa alone).

North
1600

Shook reefs. Beam reach - broad reach - goosewinged run towards Vathi.

1700 Vathi

Moored in Vathi.

Moored
Distance Time Total
distance
24.4 nm 5:47 168.8 nm

Sunday 9 September: Vathi to Epidhavros

Forecast: N10, 15 later

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
0900

Eggs and bacon in taverna.
Engine & bilge checks.
Fishing and snorkelling - new sport of using beaters to herd fish to the line.

Fishing and swimming off Vathi

Fishing   Fishing   Snorkelling.\   Caught   Fishing in Vathi Video
1345

Motored off. Slight problem with the windlass. Tori had a go at steering.

1410 NW 10

Sails up. A beat.

1550

Wind was dying. Finally gave up and put the engine on.

1700

Epidhavros seemed pretty full, but we saw the last space (we thought) and thought we could squeeze in. Pretty tight; fenders working hard. Got the mooring inch-perfect, so that none of the stern lines (ours or neighbours') were rubbing.

It was not the last place: people kept on coming in and tying on wherever they could.

Lovely dinner ashore.

A
Distance Time Total
distance
11.9 nm 3:12 180.7 nm

Passage planning

Trying to remember the point of a holiday - which is to have fun. We are not trying to get anywhere and we are not in a hurry. We want to see a variety of places and to have some good sails between them. Thus, this year (second week particularly) we have weaved backwards and forwards across the same bits of sea, but that has been fine. Time seems to be on our side too. Some days it seems that we ought to plan to start early the next day, but next day it does not seem to urgent - and that's fine. There really is no rush. Ideally we do need to be in for 2000, before it gets dark - though even that is not a hard deadline; we've moored in the dark before. Also, there are usually a number of alternatives, so if we cannot get a place on quay there will be somewhere to anchor off. It is different too travelling for hours in sight of your destination. You can see where you are going, but you know you are only making about 4mph so it's going to be a long time - yet not that long, usually we know that we'll be there early evening, long before sundown.

Monday 10 September: Epidhavros to Ormos Marathonas

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
1030

Taxi to the amphitheatre.

Epidhavros amphitheatre

Making   A   The   The
1300

Motored around quay to come alongside for water.

1300

Motored off

1330 NNW light

Sails up. Resolved that if by 1400 we were doing less than 1 knot I would do something.

Crew
1400 NNW 15

On cue, wind filled in. Narrow reach.

Spot
1530

Put in one reef.

1600 S of Moni Island NNW 20

Second reef. This is the first time the forecast has been much out. This much wind was not forecast.

Turned into a beat between the island and Aigina.

1700 Ormos Marathonas
37°41.96N 023°28.04E

Anchored in 10m with 50m scope. Secure, but the boat is quite rocky. Snorkelled.

1930

On reflection not sure why I came here - exposed to the north. We had some discussion: We could go to Perdika, but the chances are it will be full. Alternatively there are bays more sheltered from the north, around beyond Perdika. In the end we agreed that we would make dinner and see how it was and then, if we thought it better, we would motor to somewhere more sheltered. Whenever we did that now it would be dark.

In the event, the wind did settle and we stayed. We were tired and all went to bed early. We all seemed to sleep pretty well, though we were awoken by some rocking.

Distance Time Total
distance
8.1 nm 4:11 198.8 nm

Tuesday 11 September: Ormos Marathonas to New Epidavros

Forecast

Time Date
11/9 12/9
0300 NNW 15  
0600  
0900  
1200 NNE 5
1500 N 15 SE 10
1800 N 10 SSE 15
Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments

Checked bilges this morning: as normal, just a little, but while under way I noticed a lot of bilge water under the cooker, when heeling on the stbd side. When we stopped there was a lot in the bilges. It seemed to be fresh water, so I was afraid there was a leak - but I could not find it. Eventually, though, we found that the transom shower head was on - and leaking. We had had difficulty switching it off, but it was causing a real problem, but it was to be hoped that now it was fixed.

1100

Engine and bilge checks. Hope the bilges are okay now.
Had some discussion and agreed to make for New Epidhavros with a lunch stop today. Then possibly Methana tomorrow, getting back towards Poros.

Under
1145 NW 10-15 knots

Weighed anchor. Sails up. Fetch to north of Moni. Bore away, on to broad reach - then realized I was navigating wrongly - should be aiming for the south of Angistri, not the Methana Peninsula. So back on to a narrow reach. We still had 2 reefs in from yesterday and I left them.

Dan
1230

Two securité messages, one about a craft with 11 aboard aground, the other about an empty liferaft having been found. Neither near us, so not much we can do.

Dolphin watch. Nothing so far.

1400

Lunch stop. Anchoring not easy, due to steeply shelving beach. Had to drop the anchor in about 12m, but letting out 50m scope meant we were quite close to the shore. There was no real danger because it was so steeply shelving - but it was a bit uncomfortable.

Ate, snorkelled and fished. Dan caught one.

Dan
1500 NW 15

Weighed anchor. Shook out the reefs and beam reached.

1700 New Ephidhavros

Motored and moored stern-to without problems and with the assistance of the lady harbour master. Mooring, water and electricity (hence I could write this again) for €5.00.

Evening

New Epidhavros has been developed since we were last here - and since Rod was last here, evidently. Our copy of the pilot book has been updated manually to show the new quays. With water and electricity on them and plenty of space, it has become an even better place to visit.

Went for dinner at Hotel Avra. Good salad; excellent fish; okay pork steak; good chips. Wifi. Very friendly owner. Slideshow on-board then long sleep.

The

New Epidhavros

New   Hotel   New   Epidhavros
Distance Time Total
distance
18.0 nm 3:36 216.8 nm

Wednesday 12 September: New Epidhavros to Methana

Forecast

Time Date
12/9 13/9
0300 NNW 5  
0600  
0900  
1200 NNW 5 SSE 5
1500 SE 5 SE 10

So there is no point hurrying. We're probably going to be motoring a lot over the next couple of days.

Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
1000

Lie-in!

Light breakfast on-board. Provisioning trip to mini-market. Took on water.

Swam in the river.

1210 E 5-8

Engine and bilges. Bilge seems to be back to the normal amount of water.

Motored off. Wind was light so kept the engine on but hoisted the mainsail.

At
1330

Lunch under way.

1500 SE 8

As we rounded the point the wind filled a bit, so we hoisted sail (well, the genoa, as the main was already up). Beating.

1600

Bore away to sail full-and-by towards Methana.

1615

Sails down. Prepared for mooring - very efficiently. Motored into the harbour. There were a couple of free berths. We chose the narrower one, since the anchor of one of the neighbours on the other did not look straight. Moored stern-to very efficiently - and without any help from ashore. Beers. Dan and Tori went ashore for a walk.

(Re-)moored
1730

Another yacht (Star Flyer, Norwegian) came in and insisted that we were in their paid-for berth. Anne and I got ready to move. Spotted Dan and Tori so shouted them back.

Slipped the mooring. Not a word of thanks or apology from Star Flyer. I have decided they are the rudest people in the world. Okay, we had their space, but we were not to know. We moved immediately and they could have said 'thank you'.

Found another space, alongside Poc-a-Poc. Moored - again with no difficulty or help.

From the pilot book it looked as if this was a big harbour and so we'd have no problems finding a place. In practice, it is a big harbour - but mostly occupied by yachts on permanent moorings, so there was not much room. It's funny compared with other, small places where I anticipated there might be shortage of space. Rod says of Methana that if the harbour is full or bad weather is expected, mooring off the ferry quay is tolerated - but you might have to move. Certainly today a number of yachts were moored off the ferry quay, apparently without problems. We could have gone there if necessary.

Dinner on-board (omeletts, followed by pancakes), then cocktails ashore.

Star
Distance Time Total
distance
18.5 nm 4:08 236.1 nm

Thursday 13 September: Methana to Yerolimena

Forecast

Time Date
13/9 14/9
0300 0  
0700  
1000  
1200 SE 5 SSE 15
1500 ESE 10
1800  

...so probably not worth sailing much.

>
Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments

Anne, Tori and Alistair went for a dip in the healing waters - while Dan watched.

Taking

Methana

The   Yachts   Elevensies   Leaving
1230 SE 5-10

We decided to have a (short) motor to the bay Anne and I had stayed in the first night and to stay there for the afternoon - and over night. Then we could have a swim and a relaxed evening, and the next (last) day we could have a short or long sail to Poros, depending on the weather. As we got out of the harbour, there was a wind, so we sailed - on a beam reach

1315

Motor on and into the bay. A couple of other yachts there, but we went back into the smaller bay and anchored easily in 8 m. Dan got the dinghy out and tried to impress Tori with his doughnuts. Also read, snorkelled and fished.

Dan
Evening

Dinner on board, cooked by Tori and Dan. I had a night-time swim and star observation; saw 3 shooting stars.

Pork

In the bay at Yerolimena

Yet   Fishing   The   Beautiful Diver Dan Video

Friday 14 September: Yerolimena to Poros

Forecast

Time Date
14/9
0300 NNE 15
0700 NNE 10
1000 NNW 10
1200
1500
1800 NW 10
Time Location Wind
(knots)
Comments
1100

Thought we'd put out head out and see what it was like. The vague plan was to have a sail, find a bay for lunch and head for Poros - either back the way we came, or right round the island.

1110 NNW 15-20

Out at sea there was rather more wind than forecast, so we hoisted sail with 2 reefs and headed for the north of the penninsular.

ENE 15-20

Rounded the pennisular and somehow the wind came round so that heading for the east end of Poros Island was a beat. Not a lot of shelter (except perhaps Skarpiza ), but also a long way round to Poros, so decided to sail on and have a late lunch nearer Poros.

Much quieter in the lee of Nisos Modi but kept the reefs in anyway and was able to bear away for a beam reach around the east side of the island.

1500 Monastery Bay

Anchored in the first suitable location. Lunch and a rest.

Monastery
1600

Motored into Poros and moored up at the quay.

Distance Time Total
distance
19.7 nm 4:14 255.8 nm

Footnotes

Rod
Rod Heikell is the author of a series of pilot books about sailing in the Mediterranean. They are an invaluable source of information and we rely on them - for social as well as sailing advice. For this trip we were using his West Aegean book .
Cedric
For this trip I took an inflatable buoy (inflatable to fit in the luggage), which I attached to the anchor with 11 m of rope (on the basis that we'll never anchor in more than 10m). This serves two purposes. Firstly it gives an idea where the anchor is. Whenever I anchor, I am trying to make judgements and calculations: where are we now and where will we end up if the wind changes and strengthens? It seems to me that this is much easier if I have at least some idea of where the centre is of the circle (or near circle) about which we will swing. The second purpose is that it is possible for the anchor to get stuck. It has not happened to me, but it is easy to see how it might get lodged under a rock for instance. In such an event, there is a limit to what you can do pulling the anchor in one direction, by the chain. With a rope attached, you have the opportunity to apply a force in a different direction. We first had this facility when we sailed with Club Sail in the Canaries. As I recall, they said that they provided this because you never know when you might need it. We also had such a buoy on the Endeavour, which was called Cedric - hence the name.

Total this trip: 255.8 nautical miles