Things that go bang in the night
09 April 2019 | Skala Loutra, Lesbos - 7,722 NM
Lorraine Chapman | Rain and More Rain
What started as 'joggling' around on the quay in Chios Town turned into chaos as the day progressed! Necessity dictated a supermarket trip in the rain and, of course, coffee - a very long one as the boats were getting more uncomfortable. Getting on and off the boats was becoming increasingly challenging as the swell increased and by the time we went out in the evening it was almost impossible as the gang planks flew around in all directions! We had a very nice evening but getting back onboard was terrifying and we now understood why Stellios, the marinero, had insisted on lazy lines as well as our anchors out. As the totally sleepless night progressed the rocking, rolling and jerking got worse and worse until we were worried about the boats holding together - but at least it drowned the loud music from the bars opposite. Finally, at 4.00 in the morning there was a loud crunch as if Freya's stern had hit the harbour wall! Paul flew out of bed, bearing in mind moving around the boat was difficult and I took a little longer! The anchor chain had bounced off the gypsy and the lazy line wasn't holding us far enough off the wall. In those conditions it seemed to take ages to get the anchor chain back onto its gypsy and for us to winch the lazy line, which was too fat for our cleats, secured further back on the boat to keep us in place. All this while Freya was bouncing and jerking all over the place and the noise was deafening. Luckily it was only the swim ladder bouncing about that had hit the harbour wall and Freya was otherwise undamaged. Back to bed to wait restlessly for morning - the sea finally calmed down about 5.30 - but then the bar was in full swing! I think we finally drifted off to sleep about 6.00 waking exhausted at about 9.00.
We'd all had enough of Chios Town quay even though it was calmer later in the morning. We wandered around the harbour as we needed to get off the boats and stretch our legs and decided to move up the coast to Langada which should be totally sheltered from any swell. We had a lovely, relaxed, albeit slow downwind sail in the sunshine before motoring into the very pretty fishing harbour and mooring alongside the quay. It got a little choppy for a while and we all began to panic - oh no, not again! But it calmed down to a very peaceful night after a lovely dinner on Kestrel.
We knew we didn't have a very long weather window to get north (in the dry) and so set off early in the morning for Lesvos, 41 miles away. As we left we were joined by a large pod of dolphins who had clearly got bored of patrolling the fish farms and decided to entertain us instead - always a fantastic start to any passage! We even managed to get a picture of the dolphins with Dee and Kevin on Kejstral. We didn't quite have enough wind from the right direction to sail without the engine but we averaged 7 knots with the Genoa out ensuring we arrived before the rain. Lesvos has 2 huge lagoons or inland seas and we moored near the entrance to the Gulf of Gera after negotiating the beautiful, green, hilly, island strewn channel to Skala Loutra, and our second dolphin sighting of the day. On arrival it didn't look exactly as we'd imagined, as it had been recommended. It's in a very pretty spot but there is very little here - a couple of closed tavernas, a fisherman's quay and a rundown boatyard giving the feel of a scrapyard! We moored stern-to on the outside of the quay, it's very sheltered and we have free electricity even if we do have to share a single working socket! The rain duly arrived with thunder and lightning not long after we enjoyed our arrival beer and carried on into the next day and again we hid onboard.