We motored most of the trip back to Ermioni and spent one night there as rain and thunder passed over us before continuing on to Poros to the north.
We had visited this town two years ago. It's one of the major yachting centres of the region and is swamped with charters and mega yachts during the season. Even in September it is very busy and we didn't care to join the afternoon fight for a place on the quay.
From about 16.00 hrs you see charter boats at full throttle through the approaches heading for the coveted place tied back to shore near the taverna and bars. We headed for the anchorage in 'Navy Bay' which we avoided before due to the greater depths you need to drop in. We anchored in 15m which means you need to put out 60m of chain even in calm weather and you need a greater space to swing in, all additional complications and you need to watch that other boats understand!
As we dropped anchor we spotted 'Lulu', the US flagged boat we know and then realised that 'Feisty' was present as well. This of course led to a chat over coffee aboard 'Feisty' and a pleasant dinner for the crews of the three boats ashore the next night. It was also helpful as we knew they were moving on the next day and we could quickly slip into their much shallower anchor spot as they left!!
Poros and the Naval Academy from our anchorage
We decided to sit out the three days of forecast strong gusts here so being in the small area near the Naval College where the depths are 3-5m was a big bonus. As it turns out the predicted 38 knot gusts never got above 27 knots so we were relatively comfortable - only stressed with shouting at idiots that insisted on anchoring on top of us!!!
From about 18.00 hrs each evening the losers in the battle for the quay turn their beady eyes on the anchorage and set about forcing they way into any space they see....even if there isn't a space there!
Each night we had to speak to boats who wanted to drop anchor far too close to us even in calm conditions let alone with strong gusts coming. Our technique is something like:
Level 1 - Stand with hands on hips watching manoeuvres.........20% success as they go away (grumpy image)
Level 2 - Hi Skipper, I think that's a bit close really....................30% success approx (friendly advice)
Level 3 - Skipper, I'm really not happy with that, you're too close, I need you to move....40% further success approx (Annoyed)
Level 4 - You are too close, you are dangerous (take photos) I have your boat name and registration, my insurance company will be contacting you for any damage that is caused etc.......further 5% success ( very annoyed/assertive)
Yes, I know there is still 5% left.......unfortunately there are always a few who will not listen and we just have to monitor them and hope!! This of course makes for a less relaxed night.
Chris managed to replace the fore-deck windlass switches during a lull in the winds. He's not known for his electrical skill so the first mate was nervous, but the operation worked first time and we now have two working controls on the fore-deck. Better than shouted commands back to the helm station. Carolyn was happy to award him 'electrician of the cruise' as long as he doesn't touch anything else with wires!!
Main Photo: sunset over Navy Bay, Poros