No rain here!Kath
Sun 1st Jul 2012, Vathy, Ithaka
We know all about the weather in Britain and the poor drenched Olympic torch bearers. Our neighbours have another use for umbrellas- keeping the sun out of the cockpit. Its 35 degrees and too hot!
Back where it all beganKath
Mon 25th Jun 2012, Ormos Ay Andreou, Ithaka
We are back in the Ionian, where we first learnt to sail in 2001 with Neilson on a beginners' flotilla holiday. We are so relaxed we forgot to take any photos last week when we met up with Barrie's sister Elaine and her husband Paul in Meganisi, and we all enjoyed a day's gentle sailing with a swim and lunch (the last of the tuna) off Skorpios, otherwise known as Onassis Island.
Mon 18th Jun 2012, Messolongi
After weeks of sailing past high mountains dropping down into the sea, Messolongi is quite a change. It sits two miles up a dredged channel cut through marshes and lagoons. It is the town where Byron died in 1826 whilst he was supporting the Greek War of Independence and is a pleasant laid back place.
Rest DayKath- Sun, 25C, F5 N
Sat 16th Jun 2012, Gilaxidhi, Gulf of Corinth
The Meltemi has really got going, so we are glad to be tucked up on the town quay, between two large motorboats. A flotilla left this morning- brave decision!
A change of PlanKath
Fri 15th Jun 2012, Corinth Canal
Today started well. We reached the canal entrance at noon, tied up to pay and do the paperwork ashore, and only had 20 minutes to wait for a transit- you can wait up to 3 hours. We went through in a convoy of just three boats. Our last trip through was on a 32 foot yacht, with a Neilson delivery trip at the end of the season, about seven years ago. That transit cost us nothing; today it was €230- a lot of dosh for four miles!
A Stranded SwedeKath
Tue 12th Jun 2012, Aigina
A mile off Aigina harbour in a dead calm, we spotted the skipper of a small yacht waving frantically. We motored over to find Eva, a solo Swede, drifting with a broken-down engine and not enough wind to sail. She had been sculling for an hour!
Like Ducks to WaterKath
Sun 10th Jun 2012, Naousa, Paros
It took just two hours to go round the corner to Naousa. The wind was on the nose but we had plenty of time so we sailed most of the way. We're becoming a well honed team at tacking at last! We are at anchor in a bay two miles from the town, but as it is quite calm took the rib across this morning for some shopping and a look round.
Windy WindyKath - Sun, 25C, F6 N
Sat 9th Jun 2012, Piso Livadhi
Yesterday and today we have had much stronger northerly winds than forecast, and both mornings have had epic sails to windward, fully reefed. Last night we spent at anchor in a sheltered bay on the south of Naxos.
A trip round the IslandKath
Thu 7th Jun 2012, Amorgos, Cyclades
We hired a bike today and toured the island. The main road runs along the spine, with numerous hairy hairpin bends. The views were stunning. First stop was the lovely hill-top Hora, and then onto this famous monastery, Moni Hozoviotissis, a dazzling white building built into a sheer cliff face high above the sea. It was built in 1080 when a miraculous icon was found in the sea below. After a short tour, a monk gave us a cube of the local sweet, similar to Turkish Delight, and a small glass of liqueur, tasting of cinnamon and honey. Magic.
Wed 6th Jun 2012, Katapola, Amorgos, Cyclades
We really like it here! The town straggles round the bay, and there are just enough visitors to give the place life, no tourist tat in the shops, and a pleasant variety of laid back cafes and tavernas. The yachts are mixed in with the fishing boats, and the ferry is berthed for the night right next to us.
Tue 5th Jun 2012, Amorgos, Cyclades
We had a gentle downwind sail today, flying the Genneker. Barrie baked some scones underway to go with the morning coffee, which I photographed with today's blog in mind- but then he caught a tuna! He reeled it in whilst I tried to slow the boat. Is there no end to this man's talents?
Hot SpringsBarrie - Calm Moonlit Night 26C
Sun 3rd Jun 2012, Kammeni - Off Santorini
We had a wonderful late afternoon sail from Ios to Santorini, with calm seas and a gentle 10 knots of wind on the beam. Santorini doesn't have many places to moor a yacht as the pumice cliffs are sheer. Bill had told us about one of his favourite spots- a sheltered cove off a small island in the middle of the volcanic crater. The barren island is the cinder plug left by an ancient eruption, and by day the cove is a star attraction with a steady stream of tripper boats bringing people for a quick dip in the hot spring water. Even though we arrived at 18:45 we had to circle round for thirty minutes for the last of the boats to disappear, and then a fisherman indicated we should tie up to the buoy he was about to leave to set his nets. Now we have the place to ourselves and a few goats, and are looking forward to an early morning swim.
Sat 2nd Jun 2012, Ios Port
We left the quiet bay and motored for an hour round the corner to tie up on the town quay. We nearly gave Ios a miss due to its reputation as a noisy party island, but early in the season it is quiet, apart from when the HUGE ferries and fast catamarans arrive.
A long day's sailKath
Thu 31st May 2012, Ormos Manganari, Ios
We set off from Spinalonga yesterday at 04.00, knowing we had a long day's passage ahead of us. We had to motor for the first 4 hours, then the wind steadily increased and we had a good sail.
Fri 25th May 2012, Crete
We are at anchor in the large shallow lagoon between Spinalonga Island and the mainland. We were up early this morning for a fast ride in the rib to explore the island, famous as a former leper colony. The final leper left in 1952 and it has been uninhabited ever since. Prior to that it was a Venetian fort, and was a facinating if rather spooky place to explore for an hour or so.
Wed 23rd May 2012, Iraklion
We had an early start to beat the cruise ship crowds and caught the bus to Knossos, the Royal Palace of King Minos. Sir Arthur Evans lead the excavation in the 1900's, and thought it acceptable to reconstruct some rooms to match his imagination, in the words of one guidebook- "treating the Minoans as if they were a Victorian Royal Family". Unfortunately he used a lot of concrete, which has not weathered as well as the 3,000 year old blocks of limestone.
Venetian WindbreakKath- Sun, 25C, F6 W
Tue 22nd May 2012, Iraklion
A least the wind blew the right way today- what a difference! We've had a fast downwind sail under headsail alone, and by 11.00 am were tied up to the quay in relative calm opposite a beautiful Venetian fort, built on the breakwater sheltering us from an ever-increasing wind.
Bali HiKath - Cloudy, 25C, F5 East
Mon 21st May 2012, Ormos Bali - Crete
Not a good day so far. We left Rythymno for Iraklion knowing it was likely we would be motoring into an Easterly- very unusual for Crete. But the wind and swell both built, until we were bashing into the waves and only managing 3 knots at full revs. Sailing was no better- although we sailed well reefed at 5 knots our beating zig-zag course was taking for ever.
In my dreams!Barrie
Wed 16th May 2012, Chania
How do explain this to Kath? Arabian pirates, hareem to go, or a call centre doing staff training?
Up against it!Barrie
Tue 15th May 2012, Chania - Crete
We had a great sail yesterday despite having to motor for a couple of hours at the start of the day. Once we had wind it kept building giving us a blast of a sail and an average boat speed of about 7.5knots. Unfortuately by the time we arrived in Chania harbour we had a steady F6 with some F7. Our boat is difficult to park in normal conditions but with F7 on the beam it was a bit of a nightmare. We eventually managed to get alongside a wall.
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