We wanted to get north in this new gulf as there was another strong wind system building and it would be weaker in the northern part of the waters. We motored in minimal wind for 4.5 hours to cover the distance and stopped overnight in Tyros. We visited the normal 'pizza taverna' though this time we only ordered one pizza between us - we still had a couple of slices to take back to the boat.
The next day it was a shorter trip of about 12 miles up to Astros where we knew the shelter would be good if we could get our favourite spot. Luckily it was free and we tied up intending to stay 4 nights as the winds blew through.
Most of the moorings in Astros are stern-to on anchor with your bow facing NW. As the strongest gusts were to be from the west this puts strain on your anchor and lines as the wind tries to push you round. We were amazed that no-one took the other berth behind us, tied up side-to to a high quay thus protecting us from the main wind gusts and blowing us off the concrete so no 'fender rub'.
With our six lines (nearside bow and stern, two spring lines to stop us going forward or backwards and two lines to the outside bow and stern) we knew we were fine and could relax.
Not so on the other quay, first one boat's anchor started to drag, they tried to leave and caught another boats chain. The first boat escaped in the end but now the second was almost on a thirds chain and lots of shouting and panic was occurring as the winds sent 20-25 knots through the harbour. The second boat escaped without major damage but seemed to be considering returning stern-to to that quay. It was obvious that would be a recipe for more chaos so Chris signaled the crew of young Germans to come over to our quay. It still took 30 minutes of heaving and multiple lines to get them secured but no further problems were caused. They were kind enough to buy us a nice bottle of red wine to say thank you.
We spent the days doing bits of maintenance and trying again to get the water-maker fixed under email guidance from the owner of the business. That failed again and it's clear that some expensive bits will be required!
Monday was Chris's 64th birthday so we decided to repeat the quest of last year when this was also celebrated in Astros, we set off on our bikes to find the the Nature Reserve. Last year we failed but this year with help from Googlemaps we found the place via the beach road, lots of rough stony tracks and a last mile along a busy stretch of road. Unfortunately it wasn't really worth the effort as there were virtually no wetland birds to see and the stony tracks were worse than the earlier examples. We followed the tracks until we came back to the sea and decided to return along the beach. This was probably not a good call as it was a long way to push the bikes through soft sand and pebbles! We struggled on and eventually got back to a track we could cycle on. At least it was a couple of hours of good exercise!!
The long bike push!
The rest of the day was more relaxing. We both regularly play 'spider solitaire' on our Ipads and unusually we both had games going that we could not defeat. This led to a challenge to swap and beat the game the other had failed at....the level of competitive focus increased somewhat. As I write the next day neither of us has actually beaten the game though Carolyn is so determined the Captain will be giving her a 'screen time ban' soon!!
Dinner that night was at our favourite 'Batis' taverna, comprising huge fried prawns followed by Lamb Kleftico. All very delicious, as was his homemade wine.
Birthday drinks before dinner ashore
Today the winds are back and blasting though the harbour at 20 knots, we will wait until tomorrow to cross the 15 miles to Porto Heli where we hope to get someone to look at the recalcitrant water-maker!
Main Photo: Carolyn repairing the bimini, its only four years old but the sun has destroyed the stitching. Another replacement cost coming up this winter.