Aegina, Greece "A Day on the Quay"
25 May 2012 | Aegina,Greece
A Day on the Quay
The town harbor of Aegina was a bustling port town which was visited by several ferries and boaters. We arrived early enough in the day to dock in a good spot along the quay. We were soon joined by a friendly couple who pulled into the space on our starboard and a small sailboat, whose captain pulled in the space along our port side. Docking at the town quay is usually a guarantee there will be some type of adventure.
The captain of the small sailboat, which was to our port side, certainly could not have missed noticing the boat on his port side was eventually going to pose a threat to his vessel. The captain left his boat without regard to the impending threat of an unattended, forty seven foot sailboat whose anchor was not secure. This situation was a problem because all of the boats along the quay are secured to the wall at their sterns, and the anchors are deployed from the bows to keep the bows pointed straight out towards the harbor, and off of neighboring boats. An anchor which is not holding properly enables a boat to get blown into a neighboring boat. Add some strong wind, and choppy water and you have an event which causes a lot of excitement in the harbor.
The forty seven foot sailboat incurred damage to his starboard stern, as it was being washed into the wall, while the rest of the boat was getting closer to the small sailboat. Someone came by on a scooter who did not seem to be the owner. We speculated he may have been associated with a service who was suppose to take care of the boat while the owner was away. The guy excitedly made a call on his cell phone and rallied some assistance to tend to the boat. Within a short time, someone with a key arrived and the two guys prepared to relocate the boat to another area of the harbor. The event did not go soothly to say the least.
The procedure for exiting the quay involves bringing up the anchor, which should move the boat forward, while the stern lines are being released. During this process, the exiting boat was blown onto the small boat with its appendages catching onto its helpless neighbor and pushing the small boat against our boat. After the wayward vessel cleared the port side of the small boat, its stern was then blown across the helpless boat's bow, catching its anchor. The larger boat headed towards our bow with risk of picking up our anchor. Don lowered our anchor chain to create enough slack to keep our anchor from being dragged. It was quite an exciting time as we were hustling to minimize damage to our boat and our neighbor's boat.
The relief of finally having the wayward boat out of our piece of paradise was short lived. An open space on the quay was made when the menacing vessel left, which was an invitation for more adventure. The adventure came in the form of a large yacht, much too big to fit into the space which was vacated. The captain was determined to dock, in spite of the obvious limitation. So we watched 'captain squeeze' bully his way into the small space. The unattended sailboat to our port side was once again the victim of an incompetent operator, as it was squeezed between the yacht and our boat. I thought our fenders (inflatable bumpers) were going to get blown out. The yacht's anchor was not as tight it should have been, which caused its bow to drift towards our bow, as the helpless vessel was swallowed in between. Once the yacht's captain tightened his anchor chain, the bow was secure and no longer posed a threat. The adjustment provided some relief to the small boat which was being squeezed and our fenders were relieved as well. There was no way the trapped boat could have left the quay without either us or the yacht leaving first. However, the captain of the small boat did not return that evening. The little boat endured the abuse of the larger vessels without the owner's knowledge.
There was one more bit of excitement the next morning before we left the harbor. An American solo sailor leaving the harbor to attend mass on another island, had to untangle his anchor line from the anchor chains of two other boats. We hoped our friend made it to mass on time and the other anchors involved in the entanglement would continue to hold their boats securely after being disrupted. That harbor had already had enough excitement.
We left all it all behind and headed to Athens to pick up our friends, Rick and Sandy, to join us on our next adventure.