Greece at last
05 July 2016 | Olyimpic Marina, Lavrion Greece
Angie/ very windy and hot 34 degrees
Left NZ on 15th June and Arrived at Messolonghi on 17th June, a lot later this year. Poor Split Enz was in need of some tender loving care. She had half the Sahara Dessert on her. Upon arrival we were informed that we were not allowed to perform any work on the boat as the marina did not have its environmental certificate. The port police were on patrol and if caught doing anything it was a 100 Euro fine. Not what we wanted hear as we had lifted SplitEnz out of the water to do the Antifouling and had been persuaded by the Marina to stay saying they would have said certificate by the time we returned.
We decided to take the risk and proceed with the work that was needed to get Split Enz ready, I sat at the bow with Binoculars and gave Steve advance warning that the port police were on their way. He would put all the tools away and hide coming out to carry on once they had left the marina. Steve managed to get all the antifouling done and we were lifted into the water on the 24th June. We caught up with our old neighbors from last year Bruno and Jan and went to see a festival that happens every year at this time it is to do with the war of independence from Turkey. The parade of horses was magnificent and it was lovely seeing all the men and boys parading in their traditional costumes. Rob and Lynne our first Guests arrived on 26th June and after showing them a little of Messolonghi we left the marina on 29th June and started our journey towards the Corinth Canal. We stopped at Trizonia for 2 nights and then onto Itea for 2 nights. While in Itea Rob and Lynne caught the bus to Delphi the home of the Oracle, Steve and I had visited this last season so decided to have a day of chores on the boat.
3rd of July
We left early in the morning to make Corinth Canal by lunch time we had a short wait and then were called through it is still amazes me every time. Once we paid our fees we anchored in a bay just outside the entrance and cooled off with swims and went ashore for some ice cold beers.
After much discussions about wind direction it was unanimously decided to head for Poros, big grins all round especially Rob and with an excited high five we were off. It was lovely catching up with some of the friends we had made on our last visit. Especially the staff of the Gais Restaurant & George our favourite waiter, it was so lovely being greeted like long lost friends.
Wind conditions and direction were perfect for our crossing back to the north eastern part of the mainland with Lavrion being our destination we had a great sail until we were hit by strong katabatic gust coming off the land so we took shelter for the night in Sounion bay. The Temple of Poseidon is on the headland and at night it is lit up, a lovely backdrop for our dinner that night.
We motored 5 nautical miles around the headland to the Olympic Marina in Lavrion we caught up on some chores mainly washing and planned the next day. We decided to hire a car and went into Lavrion and explored the Markets then drove to the Temple of Poseidon. It was magnificent and was the inspiration for one of Lord Byrons poems, we even found the pillar with his name inscribed on it. We were later told that this was not by Byron, but by his many Greek friends who held a commemorative ceremony after his death. He is a very special person to all Greeks because of his support in the battle to regain independence from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). A quick swim in the bay and then back to the marina to meet the sailmaker. Our Bimini has finally given up the ghost and starting to fall apart at the seams literally. Another cooks night off and dinner in town at the port.
Today we said goodbye to our friends Rob & Lynne as they head back to Athens for the long flight home. We will miss them. We have really enjoyed their company this is the second time that they have joined us on Split Enz. We continue with our stay at the Marina, as the meltimi winds are very strong at the moment. The weather looks more favourable tomorrow, so hopefully we can get out and do some sailing until we come back to pick up our new Bimini.