Greece 2011

Company: Sail Ionian
Yacht: Zicatella, Bavaria 38
Skipper: Alistair Edwards
Co-skipper: Anne Edwards


The route

Map of our route

This log

The quality of entries in this log varies. At times I was very busy and did not have time to take notes. At others, things were quiet and I had little else to do. The times are also of variable quality. With the help of the GPS I was able at times to go back and see the exact times when some things happened. That is how I have recorded some tacks exactly. At other times, again, I was too busy. For instance, coming in to any port is quite a busy time and so the times were not recorded, and below are some guesses.

Day1: Monday 19 September: Vlikho - Little Vathi

Time Comment Sail Motor
Arrived last night and settled in. Briefing and getting used to the boat in the morning.    
1400 Motored off, cleared the buoy that was close to our bow.   0:20
1420 Past Nidri. Sails up. Starboard narrow reach around Skorpios then back towards Vathi. One reef initially, just to see how it was. 0:30  
1510 Shook out reef. Wind 180°, 11 knots. 1:00  
~1610 Motored into Vathi. It was busy, but there appeared to be spaces on the southern quay. We got there, stern-to first time. A man with a radio took our lines, but told us we could not stay. He said he was reserving 6 spaces for a flotilla which was due in. I did not want to cause any trouble, but I did also want a secure berth, given the forecast rain and so I asked him for clarification. He said that we could moor on the mole. He also was saying something about a 5% discount if we would go there (so evidently the mole was part of a marina). He also offered us the option of staying where we were, but taking the chance that we would have to move later if all his flotilla arrived. I did not want to cause trouble, and I did not want to have to move once we were settled, so I agreed to move.   1:00
1640 We motored off towards the mole. Another staff member indicated that we were not to use the space on the inside of the mole, which I had assumed. He was mooring someone else there, and indicated we could go round to the outside. We did this and moored successfully, stern-to, on the second attempt. We seemed to be quite secure, and even had shore power   0:30
Went ashore and ate in Stavros' Taverna. Good fish, unexciting meatballs. Cheap wine. Watched the lightning in the north, some quite spectacular. Eventually the wind gusted up a lot. Although it was forecast from the south, where we were it was blowing right on our nose (NNW).
We seemed solid, if rocky, but at one point we were blown to starboard, on to the next boat, so I tightened the anchor and we seemed okay.
I got the gang plank in as it was in danger of falling in. Then we blew over again. This time I decided it was untenable, the anchor must be dragging, so I made to leave.
I signalled to someone on shore to pass the electric cable, but could not wait and disconnected it at our end.
We left.
Over dinner we had seen that the berth we had moored in earlier - reserved for Sunsail - was vacant, so we headed for that. A Scots guy, Andy, came out in a dinghy and offered help. We gratefully accepted. He was buzzing around helping others and asked us to hold for 5 minutes. This we did, circling in a pretty fierce wind (registered 30 knots in the harbour at least once).
We reversed in. All seemed okay. There was help on the quay - but evidently the anchor had not held. This was not good, with rocks off the quay and we had to motor off. The rudder certainly grounded. Fenders were well placed.
Andy came over and said if we could give him more time he's come and help. So we circled again for sime time.
The other yachts on the outer wall seemed to be having a worse time. A Sunsail boat followed us and motored around, apparently looking (unsuccessfully) for a berth.
A second one made off, and seemed to sit in the main channel, not going very far and with no lights showing.
The third seemed worst of all. As far as I could see, it was scraping alongside the harbour wall.
The thunderstorm continued to be spectacular. It seemed literally as bright as day at times.
Having had one bad experience, I was in no rush and continued circling for quite some time. Eventually, though, Andy came over. He had not a lot to add, except the advice to drop the anchor at 5 boatlengths. I tried to judge that and this time it held.
It was still raining, but the wind was almost calm. We were safe on the quay about 0400.
I got anoyed as I had closed all the hatches earlier - but not properly ('It's only a bit of rain') so some areas below were pretty wet.
We got a little sleep. Not a lot.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 1:30 1:50 6.0
This voyage 1:30 1:50 6.0

Thoughts, lessons

Our idea that coming late in the season would mean we'd have the Ionian practically to ourselves was wrong. On Monday our bit of sea looked like Farnham on a non-racing day. Hence there is the same anxiety to find a safe harbour for the evening. So we were right to go to Little Vathi.

All would have been better if we had not been shooed off from the quay. I am still not sure that the guy had any power to reserve places for Sunsail boats. He did say we coujld stay, but if as many boats as were expected (6) came in, then we'd have to move. I didn't want trouble and didn't want to move again later, but perhaps we should have stayed.

Most annoyed about not sealing the hatches. That is another instance of the trait I well know (and is poorly matched to sailing) of knowing how to do it right, but for some reason chosing not to.

Live and learn.

Day 2: Tuesday 20 September: Vathi

Time Comment Sail Motor
We were sitting quite close to the rocks, so I pulled up on the anchor, but soon it was evident that I'd pulled the anchor up. So we were off again. Straight out, then back and laid the anchor well off. Definitely holding this time.
We were feeling a bit in shock and were not inclined to go anywheere today. Then we spoke to Andy who said worse was forecast. Thundery squalls were coming through. His flotilla were going to sit it out. We needed no encouragement to do the same.
We walked to the previous mooring to get our cable. An Irish couple on a cat the other side of the harbour wall seemed full of admiration. They said we'd done the best thing leaving when we did and confirmed the problems the others had experienced.
We picked up the cable from the office. There was no attempt to charge us for our short stay.
Coffee in Boom Boom and a little shopping. Back at the boat Andy and others were buzzing around, relaying anchors. We agreed ours didn't need it, but Greg took our kedge out and laid it to the south, in case the wind came in that way. We also tied a spring to the next boat (on our port).
We thought we were the end of the line as there were no more mooring rings, but two more came in to starboard of us, mooring to who-knows-what (with Andy's help) and we relaid the kedge around them. Some sleep.
1523 Forecast:
Rain squalls and gusts dying out slowly. NW2-3. Overnight rain still showing on forecast. Easing so hopefully gone by morning and Wednesday NW2-3.
1830 It arrived - wind, rain, thunder and lightning, all together this time. Wind from the north again. Germans on our starboard side got into a panic - while I had a natural shower. I guess their rudder was grounding, so they put their engine on and broke out a whole knitting loom of lines - and shouted at each other.
Eventually they were happy
This time we were below , snug and dry - as it should be.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 0:00 0:00 0.0
This voyage 1:30 1:50 6.0

Day 3: Wednesday 21 September: Vathi - Kastos

Time Comment Sail Motor
  Over night there were - as forecast - 3 storms. Some thunder and lightning, some rain and some wind - but not as bad as the night before. We were quite rocky at times, so hard to sleep.
0735 Forecast:
Off-shore wind WNW4-5 soon North later NNE4-5. Weds nw2 w3 n3. Thurs n2 nw3 n3. Fri n1-2 w2 nw2-3.
In contrast to yesterday, everyone wanted to leave. There was some messing about, retrieving kedge anchors etc. (many of which were crossed) and gradually people left.
We got our anchor in without incident.
We went ashore for coffee, and then set off at 1200.
1200 Motored off. Practised some manoeuvering then got out of the bay 0:30
1230 Sails up, but not a lot doing. Set off on a starboard tack. Wind S 1-2 0:27
1257 Wind dropped. Going nowhere, so decided to motor to a lunch stop in hope of a better sail.
Motored into cove at Kato Elia, 38° 39.341N 020° 47.956E
1340 Anchored near to a raft of 'Sailing Holidays' yachts. Snorkelled around the bay. Lunch of cold pasta.
~1500 Decided to motor off. Looking out to sea, no one was sailing very fast, but we could not spend much more time. Motored over quite a glassy sea. What wind there was (5-6 knots) was behind us, so would have been mournful. However, it did show signs of filling. As we turned around the southern end of Kastos Island it was about 10 knots, and since we had to bear up, it was worth raising sail. Port beat towards Kastos town - could not fetch it, though.
So we reached the end of that tack and put the engine on.
Into the port. It was busy. (Sunsail was in town). The quays were more than full. There were a handful of boats anchored with lines ashore and I decided there was room.
I thought I'd try what André had suggested, viz: Outboard on the dinghy; loaded all the longest lines plus a fender and a coil of line. Left Anne on board, circling outside the harbour and I motored in. I tied a line around a rock, the younger brother of Gibraltar. Then I motored out (tricky in reverse because the throttle twisted the 'wrong' way). I tied an extra line as required, ending with the fender and coil of rope.
Then I returned to Anne. We reversed in. Dropped the anchor well out. The fender rope was working as a sea anchor and was in one place. The anchor seemed to have taken. It took a couple of attempts to get the fender, but I did get it.
I asked Anne to pull in on the anchor - that's when it went wrong; the anchor had broken free.
Quickly reattached the fender and dumped the line. Sadly it was quite well downwind.
Nevertheless, we relaid the anchor and headed back. It had definitely bit this time. Fortunately for us, two Italians in a dinghy offered to pick up our line. At first they were going to retrieve it from the shore, but I signalled them to bring it.
We tied on and pulled tight. I asked Anne to let out a bit of anchor - but she could not, it was all out. She suggested that some of the links were suprised as they had 'never bnn out before'.
Eventually we settled. We were a couple of boat lengths ahead of another boat which is closer than I would have liked, but I was sure the anchor was fast, so happy.
Going ashore seemed too much effort, so omelettes (which were lovely) on board.
For all that, I suspect we were the ones who has the best sail - eventually - that afternoon.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 0:27 3:13 14.0
This voyage 1:57 5:03 20.0

Day 4: Thursday 22 September: Kastos - Fiskardo

Time Comment Sail Motor
Resolved to make an early start and set an alarm for 0700 - and stuck to it. Saw the sun rise.
Plan was to go straight away for a morning swim - meant to be good snorkelling off Kastos.
0748 Forecast
O'shore NNW5-6 and east of 19.30 NNE4-5.
Thurs 29c sunny N2-3 NW3 N3.
Fri N1-2 SW2 NW2-3.
Sat N1-2 NW2-3 NW2-3.
0800 So we headed out. As we motored we were evidently towing something. Looked like weed attached to us with fishing line. At first I was worried that we had picked up some fisherman's trap and were destroying his livelihood. Later I was less sympathetic.
We anchored in the bay south of Ormos Vathi Vali. I went down with snorkel and mask. We had a bunch of rope, plastic and fishing line well wrapped around the prop. I dived with knife many times. It was hard. I could not stay long and it was hard work.
Eventually I thought I could be clever. I rigged an extended snorkle with tube from the dinghy pump, an empty water bottle and gaffer tape (of course).
It didn't work. It was hard to breathe. I surmized that even at that shallow depth the pressure on the lungs is too great and you need a lot of air pressure. (I later learned from Pete Wright that this was wrong).
Next tactic was to use just a mask. That seemed best. The last bit of fishing line was the hardest.
So then we did have our snorkel. Some good fish around. Of course, Anne saw more and better ones than I.
1100 Motored off. 0:20
1120 Sails up on to the starboard tack we maintained all day. Wind N 2. 1:10
1130 Rounded Pothoni Point. Hardened on to a reach. Good sail. This is what it's meant to be about, ~10 knots of wind and making about 4 knots. Beam reach, but I decided to head upwind a bit, in case the wind migh veer. So I headed for Arkoudi. The idea was sound but I over-did it a bit. Once we got near to the island we were in its lea, so lost wind. 0:50
1320 Bore away towards Agloannis Point - which was also a straight line to Fiskardo. The result of my routing was we were on a broad reach which was slow at times. Sometimes I wondered if it was too slow and we should motor on - but then it would fill and we were back to 4 knots. 0:55
1415 Made the point. As we approached, the wind dropped, less to do with the point than coming out of the lea of Vasiliki, I think. I put the motor on for a couple of minutes to ensure we got around.
As we rounded the point the wind freshened and veered so we practically had to fetch to Fiskardo.
1530 Arrived.
Motored in. There is a much longer quay than I remember - and it was full.
We decided to anchor off the north shore with a lie ashore.
Did it as previous day - setting the line and then anchoring down on to it. Took three attempts to get the anchor in, though. I was stopping and trying to snub the anchor too soon.
On the third attempt it was very well dug in - but the result of dropping it early was that we were a bit far out. We picked up the land line and there was plenty of it, but with all the anchor chain out we were about 30 metres off shore. I thought we'd stay, nevertheless. (Possibly paid in the night when we rocked quite a lot).
Took the dinghy ashore and went to scout out restaurants for birthday dinner. The ones around the harbour were clearly likely to be busy - and not necessarily best food. Andrei had told us of one near Foki Beach - the next bay down, so we went to explore.
We eventually got to Foki Beach. There was a taverna there, but we disagree whether it was the one he meant. Regardless it seemed a long way for another there and back at night. We had a beer, though.
Back to the boat. Cleaned up.
Spotted Nicholas' Taverna - about 100m behind us and decided to go there.
Lovely birthday meal. Anne had sea bass and I had Traditional Kephalonia Meat Pie.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 6:10 1:10 20.0
This voyage 8:07 6:13 40.0


This place has changed so much since I first came. It was then a sleepy, little 'authentic' village. Now it's a resort. I have to blame the yotties mainly, but there are lots of villas too - mostly apparently run by English companies.

This kind of sums it up for me: there are too many yachts. The sailing is excellent, but all day there is the niggle - where are we going to berth for the night? It's like worrying about finding a parking space in town - but worse, since you can't just 'park' anywhere, and drift around.

We thought that by coming late in the season, we'd avoid this, but we did not.

The last Greek holiday was the opposite. We enjoyed it largely because it was so quiet and relaxed. I am not sure what has changed. Is there a quiet season now? Is ... just as busy as here? I am not sure I want to come again.

Day 5: Friday 23 September: Fiskardo - Xylokaravo Cove

Time Comment Sail Motor
0744 Forecast
O'shore variable 3-4.
Fri N1-2 NW2-3 N3
Sat N1-2 W2-3 N2-3
Sun N2-3 W2 NW2-3
Decided not to rush. Breakfast and Anne had a swim. Then we went shopping and had a coffee at the Captain's Cabin.
1330 Recovered landline and motored off. Plan was to find a bay on the west coast.   1:00
1430 Motored in no wind at first but then it filled in and we hoisted sail and we set off on a broad reach in 11 knots, northerly. 0:10  
1440 Executed a half-hearted heave-to for lunch. 0:05
1445 Under way again.
Cruised down the coast looking at bays. Rod names a few but says there are lots of suitable ones down here. Eventually settled on Xylokaravo Cove, 38° 23.420N 020° 36.667E
Anchored. Took line ashore.
Went for a snorkel - lots of good fish.
Checked the anchor. Could not see it, but realized there was a lot of weed around which it might be in. Hence tried to prove it and decided it was not secure. Re-laid it and picked up the shore line again. Anchor definitely fast and plenty of scope, right across the bay. We're staying.
A bay to ourselves. Just as we like it.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 0:15 1:20 9.0
This voyage 8:23 7:33 55.0

Day 6: Saturday 24 September: Xylokaravo Cove - Frikes

Time Comment Sail Motor
0759 Forecast
O'shore N4 soon WNW.
Sat NE1-2 NW2 N2-3
Sun N1 W2 N2-3.
0930 Late rising. Snorkelled around the bay. Good wildlife. A couple came in in a small motorboat and spoiled our solitude.
Varied brekfast
1330 Motored out. Turned north, but the wind was falling. 0:10
1340 Dolphins! 0:10
1350 Hoisted sails and set a port tack. Wind NNW 10 knots. 0:26
1416 Tacked 0:24
1440 Tacked 0:20
1500 Tacked. Hoped one more tack would see us clear Oxoi Point 0:20
1520 Wind now WNW, 10 knots, starting to head us. Not sure whether to act like a dinghy sailor and tack on the header. Stood on for a while. 0:06
1526 Tacked. Was clearly going to fetch the point. Sailed full-and-by around the point. Lunch under way. 0:40
1606 Past the point. 0:34
1640 Past Ak. Marmara. Bore away on to a dead run. This yacht sails well to windward - and well on the run too. Goosewinged very obediently. 0:18
1658 Gybed the main and onto a starboard broad reach. Thought we'd head for Frikes but looked at the bays down the east coast in case it was too busy. 0:08
1706 Hardened on to a beat. Strong katbatic off the hills (SW), so we were powering towards the harbour at 6 knots. 0:14
1720 Dropped the main. 0:06
1726 Hauled in the genoa too. 0:06
1732 Entered harbour. It was not busy. Plenty of room. Saturdays is change-over day, so a lot of people must be back at their bases. All the better for us.
We picked a spot on the west side and went stern-to. No problems. A bit of help from a German - who was having problems with his large yacht, Alpha. He was stern-to, but his anchor was not holding and he was swinging her alongside. (Yes, room to go alongside).
Saturday night must be party night in Frikes. We went ashore. Had a beer and then on to a taverna for dinner. Anne had sardines and I had cheese 'pie' (more like a sausage). We headed back - and then the Greek music started. It filled the whole bay. I guess Saturday has fewer yotties, as change-over day, so the locals take time off.
It was loud, seemed to be from two places an I guess they were dancing. I presume all the locals join in, because nobody in the whole village would be sleeping.
Eventually it stopped and I got to sleep properly.
I was surprised to find it was daylight when I awoke. Every other night I have awoken once or twice during the night but not this time.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 3:36 0:26 11.5
This voyage 11:59 7:39 66.5

Passage planning

We've not planned more than a day ahead on this holiday. Mostly that's good, not being tied, but the danger is we'll miss something because it does not fit in.

Anne was keen to be in Fiskardo for my birthday, and we don't want to miss the chance of dolphins at Pandelimon. The other constraints are being back at Vlikho for Sunday and a northerly prevailing wind. Also I was aware that we had almost exactly 12 hours of daylight, 0730-1930.

Thought through the options for today. Decided a short trip to Vathi. There was little wind, so it would be a short motor, but if the wind came in, we could sail. Then tomorrow we should make an early start. We can head for One House Bay for a lunch stop - probably under motor. Then with luck, we can sail on to ... - but will motor if we have to. That gives us a few days to work back to Levkas. As long as the wind stays in the north or north-west, we're fine. If it veers north-east it'll be harder. No point in being too near Vlikho too soon and just sailing back and forth.

Day 7: Sunday 25 September: Frikes - Vathi

Time Comment Sail Motor
0641 Forecast
O'shore variable 3-4 North later NE4-5.
Sun N2 NW2 N2
Mon NE2 E3 N2
Tues NE2 SE2-3 N2.
1100 Took on 145 litres of water. Café frappé on the quay.
1230 Motored off. Glassy sea, so motored on to Aglias Point. There is a beach but the bottom slopes steeply and is weedy - not a place for a long stop, but okay for lunch. 0:45
1315 Anchored.
Even better snorkelling than the last place. Then lunch.
1600 Motored out. Glassy sea. 0:30
1630 Spotted what looked like marlins jumping out of the water. 0:40
1710 Started to stern-to near Coastguard, as recommended in the brieing and marked in the pilot, but shooed away - very apologetically - by a coastguard. Went straight in stern-to near the Post Office instead.
We went for a wander in the evening. Got a bit lost and ended up taking a long circuit way around the back of the town, ending up back where we started. Eventually we found a nice restaurant.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 0:00 1:51 7.0
This voyage 11:59 9:30 73.5

Day 8: Monday 26 September: Vathi - Pandelimon

Time Comment Sail Motor
0707 Forecast
O'shore E5
Mon NE2-3 E3 NE2
Tues NE2-3 SE3 N2
Weds NE2-3 SE2-3 N2-3
0830 Pain au Chocolate on board.
1000 Motored to fuel quay. Had to phone for attendant. His '2 minutes' was more like 30. Took on 20 litres. Hardly worth it, but at least we know we're OK. Surley bugger. Did not help at all.
Got away, though. No wind so motoring as expected. With possible north-easterly forecast this makes sense, directly the direction to One House Bay, then if it does fill from the NE this afternoon, we may just be able to fetch Pandelimon.
I suppose forecasts are not really wrong, it's just that there is a big difference between 2 and 3, and they are for 2-3. Today even the direction is wrong, though. What wind there has been has been mainly from the west.
1245 Motored in to One House Bay and anchored. We were on our own - but not for long. A good snorkel, then cheese and spinach pies for lunch and a rest. 1:45
1430 No sign of wind but thought we'd better get under way. Motored for Port Marathia. Not very exciting. We took it in turns to steer and snooze. 2:00
1630 Took a look at Port Marathia. Looked okay for a stop, although as suggested in the pilot, there seemed to be camper vans parked.
Decided we might as well head over to Pandelimon and see if we might see dolphins. It would be ½-hour motoring and we could still come back to anchor in good time if we wanted.
1700 Arrived Pandelimon. Decided if we could find a place we might just stay here.
Spotted 2 dolphins!
As in the pilot book, the south bay seemed difficult to negotiate with fish farm buoys and nets. I would not want to chance it - but someone else was in there. Instead, took Rod's advice and went into the north-east bay. It was shallow and flat. We anchored in about 3 m. The dolphins were still swimming around.
I went in with snorkelling gear, in the hope they might want to play, but they did not want to come close. They continued to swim round, breaching every 3-4 minutes, 200m off.
Two guys came out in a dinghy from the other bay, apparently dolphin hunting. Not sure whether they encouraged or discouraged the dolphins. Regardless, they eventually stopped showing.
Dream-like night. Ate pasta and listened to music unster the stars. Anne went down for 'a bit of a rest' - but I hauled her back up when I could hear the dolphins. Couldn't see them and she went back to bed.
I turned in later, but several times in th enight I could hear them, which was lovely.
It was breezy at times (northerly) - better than we'd had all day.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 0:00 3:25 18.4
This voyage 11:59 12:55 91.9

Day 9: Tuesday 27 September: Pandelimon - Kalamos

Time Comment Sail Motor
O'shore E5 locally 6 soon NE4-5
Tues NE2-3 ESE2-3 N2-3
Weds NE2 SE3 N2-3
Thurs NE2 N3 N2-3
0815 Breakfast. Quite a lot of activity - fishermen, a gardener, a maid, woman in the the house with kids. No sign of dolphins.
There was a breeze on the anchorage, at least, so we thought we might as well set off
1000 Left under sail, and sure enough the dolphins saw us off.
Starboard reach. Wind north-east 3, but quite variable. Set a course to the west to keep clear fo the lee of the land.
1050 Turned to the north-west. Wind pretty variable in strength and direction. Decided to head for Kastos Island and hope to find a lunch cove. 0:21
1111 From a reach to being headed. Close-hauled. 0:14
1125 Lifted again. 0:30
1155 Bore away towards the island. 0:35
1230 Engine on to look for a shady cove.
Found one at 38° 35.14N 020° 55.654E. It was facing into the wind, so not very sheltered. Dropped anchor well out, in about 4m and dropped back to where it was less choppy. Since it was quite narrow, set out a land line.
1535 Motored off. Sails up. Tried to pinch (starboard tack) around the point. Wind NNE 10 knots. 0:17
1552 Failed. Tacked. A short tack would have been sufficient, but enjoying the sail, so carried on, but... 0:17
1609 ...tacked 0:38
1637 Mainsail down. Engine on. 0:06
1643 Genoa in. Motored in to a place on the quay. Directed in by George. As it says in the pilot, it's busy but somehow everybody gets in. I thought we'd taken the last decent stern-to berth, but others came in after us.
Went ashore for large beers at George's, then explored the village, up the hill. Photographic exhibition.
Back down and changed for dinner - at George's. Mousaka, at last! (and good). Anne had pork souvlaki.
Whistling winds all night


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 3:42 0:26 11.7
This voyage 15:41 13:21 103.6

Day 10: Wednesday 28 September: Kalamos - Port Leone

Time Comment Sail Motor
0635 Forecast
Offshore ENE4 loc 5
Wed N2-3/E3/N2-3
Thu NE2-3/N3/N3
Fri NE1-2/SW2-3/N2-3 28C
Breakfast on board. Then shopping. On return to the boat the guy on the Neilsen's yacht on our port side said he was planning to leave but feared our anchors were crossed. So we got on board and prepared to assist. In the event he was crossing 3 chains, including ours.
After much faffing in his dinghy and help from another he cleared and cleared off.
I thought we should leave next. Since we were last in, our anchor was probably on top of the others. So, even though we had no bread, we set off.
We did pick up a chain - but not one connected to any of the other yachts. It apperared to be one that had been cut loose at some time. Time for the anchor thief! (First time I have had to use it). After a few attempts, I was able to hook and release the spare chain - and we were off.
The plan was to head for either Poros or Sivota. We fancied a night in a bay and, although both of these have towns and quays, we might be able to anchor off.
1140 Sails up. Wind east 8 knots. It was a broad reach/run down the channel. I experimented with reaches and goosewinging to see what was best. 0:15
1255 Rounded point. 1:05
1400 Wind dropping. Engine on. 0:20
1420 Motored in to near cave on Meganisi. Decided we could explore one at a time, while the other stayed with the boat.
Fascinating caves.
While getting ready, noticed the large fender was missing. Realized I'd seen it off Kalamos but did not realize it was ours.
Change of plan. Given: no wind, planned destinations were not bays, equally near to Port Leone (which is a bay) and fender in Kalamos. Therefore: motor to Port Leone. It's going back where we came from, but who cares?
1550 Motored off. Wind light. 0:50
1640 Rounded point. There was about 8 knots, northerly in the channel and others were sailing but we motored on. 0:25
1705 Entered Port Leone. Not as quiet as we hoped; about half-dozen yachts in.
I thought I'd take the advice of André and Rod and go bows-to to a jetty - which no one else had done
We were heading that way when Anne spotted a swimmer ahead. Missed him.
First attempt at bows-to this holiday, and it went fine. Line ashore to the jetty.
1730 Snug. Omelettes on-board.
A breeze remained from the NE. Not uncomfortable, while we were eating - but it got worse.
All night long it was quite uncomfortable. I was sure of the anchor, but we bucked and tossed. There was quite a rhythm to it - big slaps across the transom, then quiet, then bucking.
Not much sleep. Kept hoping it would calm down, but it didn't. Could not help wondering if it was worse having taken advice and moored bows-to. That is bows to the shore - and transom to the sea. If the bows had been facing the waves, would we have ridden them better?


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 1:20 2:10 11.6
This voyage 17:01 15:31 115.2

Day 11: Thursday 29 September: Port Leone - Kastos

Time Comment Sail Motor
0642 Forecast
Offshore NNE4-5
Thu NE2-3/NE3/N2-3
Fri NE1-2/NW2/N2-3
Sat NE2/S2-3/N2
0800 Still battering us. Breakfast on board.
1000 Recovered the anchor and shore line and headed out into 18 knots NE. Motored to Kalamos. Stern-to. No sign of our fender. Coffee and milkshake at George's. Walk to the bakery. Lunch on board - of apple pie. Sleep.
GPS/Plotter is u/s. Seems unable to see any satellites. Checked connections. Rigged my portable.
1400 Motored off. ('Going somewhere?' - George). Wind NNE 8 knots. Sails up. Port reach across to north of Nisos Kastos. 0:40
1440 Wind dropped. Sailes dropped. Contemplated a swim stop off east coast of Kastos… then wind filled from SSW, 10 knots, so sails up again. Fetch down to southern tip of the island - just for fun - then port reach back to Kastos. 1:50
~1630 Into harbour. Decided to go stern-to on inside of northern mole. A bit tricky as it was quite shallow. Two goes to get the anchor to bite, but lots of help from two Austrians next door (Charlie Girl).
One small upset during the manoeuvring - I fell off the passerelle. Unhurt - but camera on my belt. Got out and dried it as soon as possible. Recharged battery - but nothing. However, luckier than I deserved, the SD card worked in Anne's camera. Immediately also backed it up on to a stick.
Snorkelled. Checked our anchor - well dug in. Charlie Girl's was not so good, lying with just the tip in the sand, but they pulled her up and she dug in eventually. Rested.
Paddled ashore for dinenr at Chef Johnny's, up the hill. Very good: Souvlaki platter and chicken kebab. Found our way back on board - despite not having taken a torch.
Quiet night.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 1:50 1:40 9.3
This voyage 18:51 17:11 124.5

Day 12: Friday 30 September: Kastos - Abeliki

Time Comment Sail Motor
0715 Forecast
O'shore ENE3-4 soon NNW4-5
Fri NE1-2 NW2 N2-3
Sat NE2 SE2-3 N2
Sun NE1-2 S2 N2
0915 Tea in bed and a rest. Didn't seem any point rushing. Snorkelled and swam. Breakfast. Sorted kedge.
Austrians left, so we warped ourselves to deeper water off the end of the mole, to ease our departure.
1300 Motored off. Wind SW 8 knots - so continuing under motor. 1:00
~1400 As we rounded north end of Kalamos, and as I hoped, the wind filled in a bit to ~9 knots WSW (not the NW that was forecast - which was my reason for going north of Kalamos, not south), so as we were having lunch we raised some sail. We tacked four times and made good progress for a while (she does sail close and efficiently into wind). 2:00
~1600 Wind dropped. Barely squeezing one knot, so engine on. 0:30
1630 Can see some wind coming. Those who have kept the faith with the sails benefit, but for us it seems too late. 0:30
~1700 Into Abeliki. As Rod says, pretty popular but still with some space. We motored around looking for shelter and quiet. Found some in the second bay to the south-east 38° 40.041'N 020° 47.625'E.
Completely forgot the advice to moor off Pirates Quay, but we were happy with the privacy of our cove. Went ashore to Pirates Quay for beer and a carry-out - expensive - and we've not many Euros left.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 2:00 2:00 12.2
This voyage 20:51 19:11 136.7

Day 13: Saturday 1 October: Abeliki - Vlikho

Time Comment Sail Motor
0744 Forecast
O'shore ENE4-5 locally 6
Sat NE2 S3 N2
Sun NE1-2 SW1-2 N2
Returners pls back on quay by 6pm with EMPTY holding tanks. VHF9 'Rodney' for mooring instructions.
~0900 Tea in bed. Snorkelled around the bay.
~1230 Time to move. Motored out slowly, while still clearing up 1:05
~1335 Wind southerly 8 knots. Sails up. Headed off on goosewing run (one tack) just for the fun of it. 0:50
~1345 Hardened round on to a beam reach towards Nidri. It's a bit like a boating lake around here. 0:30
1415 Wind dropped. Hove-to. Lots of yachts going nowhere out here, but at least we're going nowhere in style. Trying to text Sailionian, but not enough signal. 0:40
1455 Wind SE 6 knots - might as well sail. 1:00
~1555 Passing Nidri. Motor on, sails down 1:00
~1655 On the quay. As instructed, squeezed in beside a huge, yellow yacht. Drinks on shore.


Total Time Distance
Sail Motor
Today 3:00 2:05 10.3
This voyage 23:51 21:16 147.0

The herd instinct

There is a herd instinct amongst yotties. Sometimes it makes sense; if someone's heard a poor forecast and decided to stay put, it makes sense for others too. Also, if one boat has successfully moored in a certain spot, then others have a good chance that it's safe.

But sometimes it may make sense to be the maverick - the first to stop somewhere - if you are confident. If you do, you can bet that others will follow.

Yotties like to watch each other. Sadly, we often prefer to criticize each other's techniques, but I like to think we also give credit where it's due, when someone does a manoeuvre well.

Flotillas exacerbate the effect.

Theory of snorkelling

Apparently my problem with the extended snorkel was breathing in carbon dioxide. It seems there is an optimum length for a snorkel. Beyond that on exhalation the CO2 that one breathes out is not expelled from the tube so that on the next inhalation, you breathe it back in. Makes sense.

Things I like about this Bavaria