It took 2.15 hrs to motor across the gulf to Porto Heli. The anchorage in the bay wasn't very busy and the 'new' marina that's been there for a few years without opening properly had a few boats in but was at something like 20% capacity, a step forward but hardly viable like that. The quayside was reasonably full for this time of year but there was a definite end of season feel to the place. We anchored in a space opposite the entrance and between a number of buoys which are proliferating in many bays round here.
A few other boats came in that day including a charter cat with 4/5 German guys aboard. They went to the quay, they came out to the anchorage at speed, they went to the marina and back out to the anchorage etc, all at speed. This carried on for 30 minutes or so as they slalomed around the bay, by now we were watching closely to see what they would do. There was an orange buoy about 50m ahead and to port of us. They proceeded to pick this up from the stern of their boat and for some reason started to pull it using the engines. Within 40 seconds or so they had dragged it towards us and if they continued, were at risk of tangling our anchor. Chris got on the bow and shouted at them to stop and they did drop the line quickly and motor away. They eventually anchored miles away from everyone else at the end of the bay (phew!) but we now had a metal object in our swinging circle so had to raise the anchor and move ourselves further away. Idiots!
The next day we bumped into Linda and Neil on 'Taneesha' on the quay and invited them and the crew of a nearby CA boat 'Bonnie Blue' Adrian and Christine for drinks that evening. We spent a couple of enjoyable hours and return invitations to both boats occurred over the next evenings. We have been more cautious this year in socialising but have found everyone feels OK about meeting up in the cockpit of boats, it's open air, mostly a metre or so across between couples (clearly not a problem on Splice where there can be 2/3m).
Gerhard and Cherie on 'Pepino' also put in an appearance on our last night in the bay, so they came aboard and politics, sailing routes, families and (as they have a Dessalator as well) watermakers kept us talking for a few hours.
We spent a day removing the leaky window from the starboard front of the boat, scraping off the old stuff and redoing the mastic. All the clamping screws that we had removed then had to be replaced and tightened twice with a gap of 24 hours between. Of course the bottom set of screws are not accessible with a normal screwdriver so using an 90 degree angled screwdriver (which makes it impossible to acheive any pressure) adds time and swearwords to the task.
Scraping the window frame clear of old mastic
Cleaning up the surround to accept the window back
We completed the job and our 'hose test' says we have resealed the frame but it's an opening window and we found a further leak where the foam seal there has degraded. The window will still have to be taped up this winter!!
We stayed for five nights but the guy who had said he would look at the watermaker didn't answer his phone or emails to come aboard, so we decided to go with the recommendations from Martin at Dessalator and order some new parts. These weren't cheap and when we decided to renew our 14 year old membranes as we had to dismantle the machine anyway, the credit card looked somewhat pale as it churned out the cost!
Without a watermaker we needed to fill up, so headed off to Tyros across the gulf as we know the water there is good and we like the place (and its pizzas). We like the end space side-to on the quay here but there were two French boats blocking that so we went stern to the harbour further inside. Having had the base block for our passerelle fixed over last winter this was actually the first time we have used it this season as our plank has always served elsewhere. It worked well, but the lines to the passerelle now need renewing as they are somewhat worn - another item on the list.
When we visited Tyros the last time another sailor told us about a walk to the top of the local hill where you can see the Greek flag flying from the harbour. We set off to try this about 09.30 one morning and enjoyed the walk that became a scramble up through olive groves and very old looking terracing to reach the top after about an hours effort. The flag was well wrapped around its flagstaff so Chris performed a service to the Greek nation by climbing up and unwrapping it (it wasn't high!). We took our photos with the flag now flying properly and then descended much more quickly in time for coffee back on board. (The steps start to the left of the first bar as you leave the harbour and you need to watch for a small track up the bank to your right just after you pass the three windmills)
Tyros harbour from the top of the hill. Splice is the boat to the left of the outer harbour wall
We spent three nights doing small jobs, getting the lists ready for close down work, things needing action over the winter, UK purchases etc. We managed a pizza at our preferred taverna and chatted to a few other sailors on the quay. The harbour was chock-full the first night and virtually empty the other nights, we wondered what we'd said!
Litchen and old wood. Taken on our walk
With stronger winds forecast for Thursday we decided to move back across the gulf a day earlier than intended and dropped the lines shortly after midday for the trip to Kilada where Splice would lift for the winter.
Main photo: The Admiral inspects the flag atop the hill