The decisions about where to moor this year have been even more affected by strong winds than normal on a boat. With yet more northerlies coming we wanted shelter for a few days so headed to Aigina harbour early. Even so it was busy and we got one of the few spots available, moored back to the small southern quay.
Whilst this means you are protected from the waves it still leaves the wind gusting across the harbour as a problem but there was no space on the preferable northern side. We tied up Splice carefully and helped in other monohulls that came after us. The Italian boat to our port was a solo sailor, he backed in OK but didn't tighten up his anchor despite two suggestions from Chris (who could see what was coming).
Of course 'Italian Job' goes off on the town for the evening, the wind gets up and his boat is now leaning on Splice whose anchor has the weight of both boats and our starboard stern is being pushed back onto the quay. Her skipper comes back at midnight 'walking rather tentitively' shall we say. Chris asked him to tighten his anchor which he did but it just kept reeling in, the anchor hadn't bitten! Chris stopped him when there was only 25m of chain out as the weight of that was better than nothing. Sending an inebriated skipper out to re-anchor then was likely to cause more trouble, so we had to settle for his boat resting on us all night. He should have tested the anchor on mooring as it would have been easy to reset then if it failed.
He got a friend to help him the next day and they got the anchor slightly hooked so he was only half resting on us for the next 24 hours! Points for seamanship 'Nil'. We think however that he was chartering himself out as two women appeared the next day with holiday luggage and the relationship seemed more skipper/client than friends. There are a lot of boats chartering illegally in Greece, the authorities are trying to stop this but we see regular evidence the it's still happening.
Italian Job and his clients left on the Thursday morning, Carolyn had gone shopping but Chris had stayed aboard to watch his exit. As soon as he had gone Chris set about moving Splice to starboard slightly and resetting the lines to leave more space as boats had moved since we arrived. He was just sorting out the lines when another large skippered charter cat dropped his anchor and came back until he was resting on Splices port side. This puts extra pressure on our boat and makes adjusting the lines even more difficult. Chris explained he was resetting the lines (which the guy must have been able to see) and asked him to go out again until this was complete, he of course refused and rested there complaining about our lines blocking him whilst Chris tried to secure Splice. It is normal considerate behavior not to moor on/rest on a boat that is still tying up, you wait and then come alongside when she is secure.
After 'Italian Job' and this behavior Chris was a 'little irritated' and explained to the charter skipper about his lack of consideration and concluded that he was an idiot (loudly). Amusingly the charter-skipper really lost it in front of his clients and, amongst other charming ideas, threatend to call the port police and fight Chris on the quayside! Very unprofessional and demonstrated the mentality. One of the clients did quietly apologise to Chris and later, when helping another boat in, another charter skipper asked for the story (which must have been doing the rounds) and commented that the other professionals all thought the guy was an 'A...hole'
Aigina harbour from the north. Splice is in the press of 'cats' centre and the half emptied water tanker is to the right of that quay. He went up about as much again when empty.
Aside from the mooring fun we enjoyed our time in Aigina. Another British yacht, 'Rockhopper' was moored at our starboard side and we chatted to Eileen and Mick over the guardrails and over drinks, sharing tips on locations and services amongst other stuff. The Naval Club behind the quay provided a good meal and a few beers as well as regular people watching opportunity. The port fees were very reasonable at around 11 Euros a night including power and the port staff were helpful and polite and the town itself was interesting and had all the amenities we needed.
Each night a large, low in the water vessel came in and moored behind us, pipes were connected and and over the course of the next 12 hours the ship rose out of the water as her cargo was delivered. She brings the supply of water for the whole island, presumably internal sources cannot cope and this process keeps them going. It was surprising, having seen how low in the water she was on entry, to see the towering sides the next morning! Water must be heavy!
A Summer Break
From Aigina we motored the three hours to Zea Marina on the outskirts of Athens where we had booked a berth for our summer trip home. We arrived a couple of days early hoping to get the rip in our mainsail repaired, we have a broken strut in our bimini and need the damaged passerelle part and bracket straightened.
We've managed to find people who have taken our damaged bits away, lets hope they can do a good job of fixing them!
Good job we caught the mainsail tear early
We fly back to the UK until the end of August so the blog will take a break until September. A major reason for our return is to celebrate Chris's Mum's 90th birthday so we are hoping for good weather in the UK for that, mind you, its 40+ degrees here in the marina today so maybe not quite that hot!
Main photo: Aigina harbour looking north from our berth as a large yacht is mooring (he made a very precise and professional job of it)