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Ancient Greece
09/04/2009, Piraeus, Greece

We just made it to Piraeus two days ago. I feel like we've finally made it and we will be able to go where we want to go. Up until now it's been 'pedal to the metal' and we haven't really had time to check anything out. When my mom gets here we'll go real slow to get her on good terms with the boat. It was difficult for me to get adjusted so mom may need a few months (that's about how long I took to get acclimated) to adjust herself.

We haven't really had a chance to go inland to Athens or see anything else, so that's what we plan to do today. We will hopefully scout out places to take my mom when she arrives.

08/26/2009, Neopolis, Greece

We left last night's anchorage at about 9 a.m. There were 15 to 20 knot winds in our little bay. As we sailed along under our spinnaker, a fishing boat popped up and the wind built. We decided to drop the spinnaker. We did that successfully and rolled out the jib. By then the wind had built to 20 to 25 knots (thank goodness we dropped the spinnaker!).

We sailed for another hour before the wind built to 25 to 30 knots. By then we had put a single reef in our main and jib. It was at that time that my dad made the decision to turn around, which is exactly what we did. As we were going back the wind built to 30 to 35 and we put in a third reef in the main and a second reef in the jib. When we entered the bay again we check out our old anchorage so we sailed over to the other side of the bay. We found a protected anchorage behind a point and that is where we are now.

So, as you just read, we haven't gone anywhere today. That is okay because we have a few extra days to use anyhow. Tomorrow (weather permitting) we will go on one of three sails up to Athens. Each of those three will be about 35 n.m. long. Then we will arrive in Athens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Every day when we get ready to leave an anchorage, it always seems that the wind has switched around over night and is coming from the direction that we want to go!! I can't figure it out. Like, today we wanted to go N but the wind was coming from the NE! (For those of you who have noticed, we had to set the spinnaker to get all the way around the point. We haven't fully gone around the last point on the Peloponnese.)

P.S. During that tale, we saw a yoga mat floating in the water!

The long awaited arrival
08/24/2009, South-west Peloponnese, Greece

We left Sicily in the afternoon to catch the 9 p.m. current in the Straits of Messina. Then we traversed the 40 n.m. we had to go to catch the current. It was a challenging strait. As we were going down it, several freighters were coming up it. In the midst of avoiding the freighters, we caught something on our propeller that made the engine throb. So we turned off the engine and resorted to sailing for awhile. But eventually the engine was turned back on to avoid more freighters (at a low R.P.M.). We then motor-sailed until day at which point we were through the straits and a nice breeze was building. That held all the way through 'till sometime at night. We motored 'till the morning when the breeze picked up again and continued to build.

The wind leveled out to a 15 to 20 knot breeze (we had the spinnaker up by then). I got nervous and woke my dad up. I found out at that point that we were headed about 20˨ low of our destination. When my dad went up to our supposed-to-be course we ended up reaching at 9 knots with a spinnaker up!! Eventually the wind died down and when I woke up in the morning we were motoring (again).

Sticking to the pattern, the wind piped up in the afternoon along with huge waves. We had 15 knots of breeze and waves meant for 25 to 30 knots. Then we proceeded to play a game of Scrabble®. Seventeen n.m. out of our anchorage we ended our game and sailed most of the remaining way to our anchorage.

It was a big relief getting here. We just completed our last major passage for a long time. We plan to stay here another day to check out the ruins of a Castle and go food shopping.

Roll (Oh! And don’t forget the ‘Rock’!)
08/04/2009, Palmanova, Mallorca

After Ibiza we went and sailed around to Mallorca. It was a 60-70 n.m. trip so we had a long day ahead. My Dad left at 6:30 a.m. without me (of course I was still on board. I didn't want to confuse you.) in 15 knots of breeze. We sailed until I got up and the wind died (I wonder if I'm bad luck!). We proceeded to try to sail 'til the jib made out if iron, steel, and other various assorted metals (namely a motor) was put up. But we hadn't filled up with diesel in Ibiza (it was .96 ' per liter, 1 ¢ more than here) so we were wondering when the engine would quit. We had the jerry jugs full of diesel from Charleston so we emptied those into the tank. Fortunately the engine didn't quit. We got to Mallorca at sunset.

Right now we are in an anchorage near Palmanova (which in turn is near to Palma). It is a fairly protected anchorage but luckily (as the title mentions) we are not rolling. There is a beach nearby along with some development. Along with the beach came the usual inhabitants of the anchorage - jet skis, small dinghies, large dinghies, HUGE inflatable boats, weird round boats, and the anchorers themselves. So, judging by all the boats around here you might guess at there being a wake. Well, guess what! You're right! There's wake generated by them and the racers.

Speaking of racers, the King was in town racing in the MedCup race today. There were probably 100-200 boats out there. The King was on one of them. They churned up the water so much that it created a confused sea even out here! It was fun to watch the spinnakers all going down the course with all of the cool different color combinations. What reminded me of this was a big, grey catamaran with the words, "Audi MedCup Circuit" on it in big words.

What inspired the title is the fact that in every anchorage that is not fully protected our boat turn sideways to the waves. Those waves made the boat roll up and down, up and down, up and down, and so on. It got very tiring after a while.

Well now I'm off to eat dinner and to try to find a place where I can submit this blog!

08/01/2009, San Antonio, Ibiza

There is a lot to talk about today. First off, we made it to Ibiza. It was a 24 hour trip over here to San Antonio. But, after we got here we discovered that the electric piano had just taken a salt-water bath. When I lifted it up to move it, water came pouring out of one end! From now on the piano is living in a different berth.

My Dad took it apart (with a little help on my part) and we started cleaning it up. We put it back together with about 20/88 of it working. So we took it back apart and left it for the night. But, during the night, it dried out and this morning it was working - completely! So we now have a working piano.

While the piano episode was going on, though, I somehow caught a cold (it may have had something to do with staying up way too late for 3 consecutive nights!). So during repairing the piano I had a bad headache that continued through the night. That and the lack of sleep may have had something to do with the fact that I slept 'till 10 a.m. this morning. I feel better now.

We plan to go to Mallorca and order Goiot (a French company) hatch parts. The reason for this is the same reason the piano got wet - the hatches leak. So we're going to get new seals. From Mallorca we'll go to Menorca and then on to Sardinia and Sicily. The Croatian coast has apparently gotten expensive so my Dad is reconsidering his plans to go there.

The weather has been hot here. At 8 p.m. the cabin's at 90 degrees Fahrenheit! The water's also warm at 81 degrees Fahrenheit. It never really cools down here. At night it gets pleasantly warm while in the day time you would want air conditioning (which we don't have). Heaters aren't much help around here!

The title is because we have had difficulty finding Wi-Fi lately and I haven't had a chance to blog.

On to...
07/27/2009, Alicante, Spain

We met a new cruising family 2 days ago. They consist of 2 girls (about 15 years old), a boy (my age), and their Dad. We met them in Cartagena and have sailed with them since.

We are now on to San Antonio on Ibiza (pronounced Ibitha. I don't know why). It will be (hopefully) exciting. Apparently san Antonio is a BIG party location. FYI, I won't be going to any of them!!

After that it's on to Mallorca, Menorca, Italy, Croatioa, etc.

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