Time for a short (I promise) update! After getting the boat hauled back out of the water in Kilada, Rick did a quick job of re-setting the max prop. As he suspected, it had been set to the wrong pitch, but in less than two hours he had it put to rights. I got the best of the deal, using the time ashore to take another run along the water, stopping at the chapel on the point to cool down a bit and listen to the cicadas. With a little more patience than usual, I was finally able to spot a cicada in a pine tree. (During the past four summers, I've stood under many trees trying in vain to see one, but have never had any success up to now. Of course, I rarely have my camera with me at exciting moments like this.) By the time I'd run back to the yard and had a luxuriously cool shower, Rick was just finishing up the work on the prop. Since the boys in the yard were by then just leaving for lunch, we followed their lead and had some calamari and salad in a little taverna down the road. At the table beside us, a large group of local men were having a huge gentlemen's lunch, and keeping the pretty waitress hopping as she ran back and forth to the table replenishing their beer and wine. As we finished our meal, we saw Aisling being rolled into position over the water, so we scampered back to the dock just on time to hop aboard. By 2.30 p.m., we were waving goodbye to Kilada yet again as we made our way toward Porto Heli. We really can't say enough good things about the Basimacoupoulis yard- they treated us very well and we would happily return there if the opportunity arises.
We'd had a great time in Porto Heli when we stopped there in late June, with Jim and Liz to socialize with and new things to explore ashore. This time though, we were on our own, and the scene ashore was not at all charming or relaxing. After Kilada's spectacularly beautiful anchorage, the view of the concrete jungle on shore was a big come-down, and the overflowing garbage bins along the waterfront added nothing to the ambiance. The peak-season traffic also made it difficult to even cross the street, let alone risk one's life by going for a run (narrow roads, no sidewalks or even shoulders, no visibility on the turns...no way!). Unfortunately, in spite of Porto Heli's lack of charm, Aisling's maintenance issues sometimes dictate our choice of destination, and we were still having problems with the refrigerator. It was a relief when the refrigeration technician recommended by Frank's Yacht Station was available to come to the boat the same day we called him. It took him less than on hour to get the freezer going, although, due to the language barrier, we are still not fully clear what the problem was.
Having had our fill of Porto Heli after only one more day, we decided to weigh anchor for Poros. Much of the journey would be an up-wind slog, but the forecast was calling for nothing stronger than Force 5 and we only had 30 miles to cover. We motor-sailed out into a rolly sea, and within two hours were hanging on tight in winds that were gusting up over 35 knots apparent at times. Fortunately, we got a better point of sail when we turned the corner toward Poros, and were able to turn the motor off until we approached the tricky entrance. With the high-speed ferries appearing and disappearing at a terrifying pace, we needed full manoeuvrability. Our arrival was blessedly uneventful, but we quickly decided not to tie up at the town dock. No need to get ourselves into this situation!
Finding a place to anchor proved easier said than done. The anchorages were full to bursting, and the depths of 40-60 feet made things even more challenging. We'd hoped to anchor in Russian Bay, but found it full. We finally squeezed in near the line of the restricted zone off the naval academy. The new view from our cockpit is much better! This is more like it.