Alone again, naturally
27 June 2017
Francis and Chris
After we farewelled our great Crew 2 on Tuesday 20 June, we headed back to Clio to commence cleaning and sorting laundry. Once the washing had been deposited at the laundry it was time to have a rest. Francis is still full of flu so lots of rest for him and it is Chris's turn to make chicken soup for a change.
Later in the day a yacht came in to moor on the other side and picked up our chain with their anchor. This is always a problem in these small harbours with boats mooring opposite each other. As our anchor was still holding us in place and the chain tight we did not need to do anything as we were still secure for the night and left this one to resolve tomorrow, when the other boats were leaving. We tucked in early for a good night's sleep.
Wednesday 21 June: Francis has improved this morning, so we collected our laundry and started to get things ready for moving on today. We were visited by Earl Dagan who we had met on Paros last season, he told us he had come in late yesterday afternoon and moored on the other side. After a chat he wanted to relocate onto the wall near to us. As he pulled up his anchor we soon realised it was him who had caught our chain last night. After some maneuvering on their part they were able to release our chain and soon were tied up nearby.
We went off to restock our supplies and when we returned, another yacht was leaving, and again our chain was caught up by their anchor. Well, this was enough for skipper to get us out of there, so we headed around the corner to Antisamos to anchor for the night. Over the years our ratio of days on anchor to days in port have gone up considerably. We often go weeks without tying onto a quay and mainly go there to get water and fuel these days.
More chicken soup remedy tonight for dinner.
Thursday 22 June, and we are now on our way to Zakynthos, the most Southern island of the Ionian (well, apart from Kythira way down South, around the corner, close to Cape Malea). We visited the Zakynthos caves last year and one of them turned out to harbour one of the most stunning underwater scenery we’ve seen in the Meds. We’ll go back tomorrow when there is less wind.
We arrived in Ag Nikolaos in the afternoon and tried to anchor outside with no luck, it was relatively deep and the anchor wouldn’t hold. So moved reluctantly to moor on the quay. We had a strong cross-wind and first mooring attempt resulted in not enough anchor chain out, so back out again for a second try. Success second time, although two Italians next door were not happy claiming we had crossed their chain. By this time the wind was even stronger and we were not going to try again. We also believed that our anchor was straight out, so if we had crossed their line it would have been because their anchor was under an angle. We had had enough and just too bad we are not moving again and will sort it out tomorrow when the first of us leaves. There is some coincidence of /Italian boats and drama. And currently there are many Italian boats around.
Friday 23 June
Well after all the fuss yesterday the Italians left before us and no problems with crossed chains. So we headed out after them and made our way around the corner to the blue caves that we visited last year. After we got a good anchorage Francis headed off to explore with two cameras, a torch and sample jars to enjoy the wonders of that cave. There is one of the caves in particular he wanted to go back to to have another couple of mouthfuls of its beauty. It was as pretty as ever. Small tourist boats just fit into the little cave and sometimes they come in for 2 minutes to ‘show people around’. It is a pity that they cannot enjoy the real treasure of the life under the surface.
In the meantime, Chris stayed on board to keep an eye out for the many day tripper boats coming by. Once Francis returned it was Chris's turn for a quick look around ducking between the said tripper boats.
After this delight it was then time to make our way south to Zakynthos town, close to the Southern tip of the island, to tie up for the night. This whole town was destroyed in the 1953 earthquake and then reconstructed, but not so prettily. It is very touristy with large party boats going to and from the blue caves and shipwreck beach. Young people were ferried in on buses in their hundreds and packed onto the boats with music blaring all during the day and into the night.
We decided to have two nights here and it was time to bring out part of Clio's tent to create some shade over our saloon to cool things down. Today is the beginning of a seven day heat wave hitting Greece and the islands and we can feel it. After rigging the partial deck tent, we were disappointed to see that the tent maker had not heeded our instructions to make this section to fit from the mast back to the sprayhood and it was not big enough to provide the shade we wanted. So we braved the heat and headed in to town to find a hardware store and a tarpaulin. Quite some wandering the back streets and a few directions later we found a store and were able to purchase a tarp for €11.
We thought we had earned a coffee and went to one of the very many cafes along the front only to get undrinkable coffee after waiting 20 minutes. Ah well it can't always be good.
Back on board, and once the tarp was in place the temperature in the main cabin dropped a few degrees and we were able to nap the afternoon away comfortably (more or less, WHERE IS MY AIRCONDITIONING). We had some Aussie neighbours come in this morning who are from Perth over here sailing around for a month.
Sunday 25 June
Time to get away from this busy and noisy place and head back to the mainland as we make our way further south. We managed a nice easy sail today for an hour or so taking us to Katakolou where we anchored in the bay outside the harbour. The temperature here is only slightly better than Zakynthos, but still in the mid-thirties.
Monday 26 June and while we were sleeping a very large cruise ship snuck into the harbour to unload their thousands of passengers to get on buses to visit Olympia. We also are surrounded under the water by masses of jelly fish big and small, no swimming today. We went ashore in Cloe and although we went slowly it was impossible to dodge all of the jelly as they all floated near the surface and a few get caught in our propeller. Once ashore we had a bit of a wander and considered booking a hotel room for a few nights to hide out in air conditioning. We then sat with a coffee and watched the thousands of cruise ship dwellers (there are two ships now) flock past on their way to the buses and buy mementos in the purpose-built shopping street. Back on Clio the temperature on the water swinging on anchor is considerably cooler, so we forego the hotel idea, for now.
Tuesday 27 June, as the water is still packed with jellys (fascinating to watch them swim and behave when getting in the shadow of the boat) we decided to move on to Kiparissia in the hope of finding water we can swim in. After a very nice sail for a couple of hours we pulled into the deserted harbour bordered by a wasteland that gave us a post-apocalyptic feeling. We tied stern to on the wall next to the Italians from Ag Nikolaus, not sure if they recognise us, but they are friendly and helped us tie up, dragging us away from their boat (just to be sure), all good. We have already spotted a turtle so time for a swim to find some more. After Chris jumped in and had a turtle encounter (she almost head-butted one), we waited until later in the day before venturing into town to find somewhere to eat. It was quite a hike uphill before we found the town square and partook of a pizza while watching the children and families play and converse the Greek way as the sun sets. The differences between the social behaviours here and in Australia are very visible. There is no social, age or gender layering, everybody mixes with everybody and people are talking to each other instead of their ‘mobile device’. It is very much a family event where three or four generations sit at tables enjoying themselves drinking coffee and soft drinks. Only occasionally do we see alcohol, and then mostly older men in a small group, sitting and playing a game of cards or just conversing.
Back on Clio we expected a quiet night in this deserted place, only to discover that this is some kind of kissing-point for couples to hang out after dark. Cars, motor bikes and pedestrians made their way up and down the quay for most of the night. Ah well, biology dictates that life has to procreate!