09/15/2009, Livadi, Greece
I am writing this with intermittent Wi-Fi but I am pretty sure I'll be able to send this blog.
We left Athens and sailed to Kythnos and stayed for two nights. When we had arrived there there was a big breeze blowing (20-30 knots!), but when we anchored all the wind was blocked by a hill. So we anchored in a nice, protected area.
The next morning the wind was still blowing hard. But by the afternoon it had switched around to the East and was coming right over a thin sand spit. The wind picked back up in the evening but it was still coming over the sand spit.
We drug anchor once. So we decided to set two anchors. We knew we were in trouble when two anchors drug. Dragging all over the place, we winched up the Fortress anchor (that was really difficult). So now we only and our primary anchor out!! We got that up, but in the midst of all that confusion I heard Mom chopping vegetables. Boy that was a good dinner!!!!!
That night we anchored in a more protected anchorage with no further problems and in the morning sailed over to a anchorage on the West side of Serifos.
This morning we had a pleasant sail over here and this is a great place.
09/05/2009, Piraeus, Greece
We've finally made it to mama!! (Or rather she's made it to us!) We got to her hotel (she wanted to stat for one night) early and got some "Wi-Fiing" done before she arrived.
We are, at the moment, going back to her hotel to pick her up. The plan is to go to Zeas Marina and do some food shopping. I think mama will have a great time in the store. Have you ever been in a two level 'supermarket'?
Tomorrow we will go into town and see the Acropolis and all the museums. Apparently the Archaeological Museum is awesome. Then we will move on to the Greek Isles.
09/04/2009, Piraeus, Greece
In the morning, we went ashore to shop and find a ship chandlery. As we were going back to the boat, our Turkish neighbor hailed us and told us that he had been told by the Coast Guard to leave. So that interrupted our plans for the day. We decided to go to the nearby island of Salamis to anchor and maybe find Wi-Fi. (As it turns out, we didn't find Wi-Fi. I'm sure you noticed because the date on this blog is older that it was posted. ) We spent a night there.
In the morning we left our anchorage to go back to the mainland to get closer to the airport. On the way we tried three marinas to see if they had fuel and water. All three of them did. But, there was a catch. Two of the marinas wanted us to spend a night there if we fueled up and one said that their fuel tank was hard to get to. So... (You can probably guess the verdict!)
We are now sailing for our original anchorage that we found when we first got here. My mom says that she will meet us in the Glifadha Marinas which are four very small and crowded marinas. We will probably anchor off one of them and go in to meet her in the dinghy. It may be difficult to get her two bags (presumably very heavy and full of boat parts) and her carry-on on to the boat.
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!
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.