2 clueless day skippers with Patience

Whacky races, Horrendous storms and a load of old bull

07 May 2019
Donna Smith
Our anchorage at Eretria was rolly so the following morning on Greek Easter Sunday, April 28th,we decided to continue on towards the South harbour of Khalkis, where we needed to stop to organise our transit through the moving bridge. Our journey was just a short hop, so we settled in the cockpit with Coffee and Greek Easter cake and before we knew it we had sailed under the suspension bridge, past an eerie looking cement factory, into the harbour.

We knew we would have to wait until 1.10am on Wednesday morning for the bridge to open, but that wasn't a problem as the harbour had a groovy holiday vibe to it and our anchor was well and truly dug safely in the mud.

By the time midnight arrived on Tuesday there were quite a few boats waiting. One, a huge silver tri merran, which looked like it belonged to James Bond, was to lead the pack through, then, us less glamorous vessels were to follow in the order given by the coast guard. Well that was the plan, but not a chance! The skippers on the other boats had very different ideas. At 1.15 am the bridge shifted and as soon as 007 was safely through it was a free for all just like Whacky races !! Boats to the left of us, boats to the right, all desperate to be the next through to secure their spot on the Quay! Having done a recce and seeing how much of the Quay was actually shallow, we left them to it and carried on sailing to a nearby anchorage. This was a bad mistake, as the seas got rougher, wind got stronger, we got tired and started second guessing as our night vision was crap. Maybe we should have joined the Whacky Racers after all? Finally at 4.35am, pretty exhausted, we dropped an anchor in Politika Bay and tried to get some sleep. I couldn't, so sat on anchor watch with my book until the sun came up and finally crawled into bed at 6.30 am - yikes , what a night !

By 9.30 am we were both amazingly wide awake and as there was not much at the anchorage we decided to move on. We followed the wind and ended up on the mainland side of the gulf at a pretty place called Ionnis Theologos. The bay was surrounded with green trees and holiday houses dotted around the the cliff edge . Some of the roads were so steep that they looked more like black ski runs without the snow. We stayed a couple of days catching up on sleep and relaxing before heading on up to Orei, so that I could have another fix of Greece 'Yester Year' - an 'Old Bull' that resides in the town square.
Another ancient treasure, this time in a tatty wooden and glass shelter, a magnificent marble statue of 'The Bull of Orei' This huge, life sized statue, was found and hauled up from the harbour by fishermen in 1965. In the 4th Century it was part of a funeral monument and now it stands in little more than a wooden bus shelter - sad times. If I win the lottery, I shall return and commission the building of an opulent structure befitting of such a noble beast.

Now I am off my soap box, I shall continue ... We left Orei for Volos, a larger city where we could hopefully buy a new dingy as ours is now 16 years old and has more plasters than a 10 year old boys knees. The trip was horrendous, we sailed against the wind, through thunder, lightning and a down pour of biblical proportions! At least we got a rainbow at the end. There was no anchoring, so we had to moor stern to, inside the breakwater quay, where the flukey wind kept changing direction . We spent one evening with the engine on to keep us off the concrete . Needless to say, once our new dingy arrived, we were outta there !
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Make/Model: Moody376
Hailing Port: Haslar , Gosport , England
Crew: Ricky and Donna
About: 2023 Still clueless , but having fun !
Patience's Photos - Main
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