Archer Adventures

Onboard "Jet-Lagged"

The Battle of Salamis

In 480BC a smaller Greek force of ships defeated a much larger Persian naval force near the island of Salamis. Many historians consider the battle to be a turning point in history as it essentially signalled the beginning of the end of Persian efforts to conquer Greece, which ultimately allowed the flourishing of Greek culture and its contribution to western civilisation.

Jet-Lagged sailed over the site of the battle on our way to Athens and we saw the narrow straights which the Greeks used to rob the larger Persian fleet of any room to manoeuvre. By modern estimates, some 200-300 Persian ships were lost in that small area.

Clearly all that history of battle created some warlike feelings onboard, because once we tied up that afternoon, Shannon started the Battle of Zea Marina! The enemy was a grumpy old pommy git who suggested that Shannon was “stealing” a wooden plank that she found on the jetty and was using to help our guests disembark. Big tip, do not call Shannon a thief. And when she goes to war, be on her side! The spirit of Sparta is strong in this one.

We had the great pleasure of the company of Francesca and Nick onboard for the few days prior to coming into Athens and it was lovely to see Schlumberger mates again. Nick now holds the distinction of being the first to complete the Jet-Lagged jigsaw puzzle! They arrived with oodles of wine and stinky cheese, future guests take note…

But what happened to Athens??? They built some beautiful buildings at the acropolis in the 4th century BC and then it seems all the greek architects took a long vacation and never returned! They say Athens is the ugliest European capital and I reckon it has a fair few other parts of the world beat too. If you are a Greek architect, I think a little time on the naughty chair is in order.

After Francesca and Nick left us, we tried to leave Athens too. But the Port Police had other ideas. After having sailed through Greece using a copy of my boat registration certificate without any problems, in Athens the port police asked the question “where is the original?”. Oh bugger. They then said you cannot leave until we see the original. Well that necessitated some urgent calls to Australia, a rapid air courier service, and an enforced stay in Athens. In many respects it worked out well. We had wanted to stay in the marina to await our next guests but the marina office had said they were full and we had to go. Well, it turns out that if the police say you cannot leave, suddenly there is space! And we had time to order the new anchor I have wanted since getting onboard. The standard anchor on the lagoon is a 25kg “Delta” and it served us well all last year, but I have lusted after a larger 33kg “Rocna” for some time. So our enforced confinement gave us time to order one and now I have a new shiny Rocna Vulcan on the bow!

The courier arrived with our certificate, the police said we could go and right on time Fred and his son Oskar joined us in Athens so we headed for the Aegean islands. I worked with Fred in London and one of his many positive qualities is that he has more motorcycles than me. I cannot say how many more, as he has made me promise not to reveal to his wife just how many he has (oh, that comment will cause some trouble!) but it is a LOT more.

We visited some beautiful islands and planned to offload them in Mykonos but the dreaded “meltimi” wind sprung up and we wisely decided to avoid the bumpy and wet ride that would have resulted. We farewelled Fred and Oskar on the island of Syros and have now island hopped our way to Koufonisia where we are now, you guessed it, hiding in a bay from the meltimi. It started off reasonably gently this morning and we had a fantastic sail in 20-25 knot winds and Jet-Lagged loved it! We are now tucked in as gusts shoot overhead but our lovely new anchor is holding tight.

We are on our way to Turkey (or Turkiye as they prefer) and hope to be there this weekend.

I am sure more adventures await.

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