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Nisos Crete

18 August 2023
Jane Paulson
Nisos Crete - Ormos Pórou and Ayios Nikolaos

We said a reluctant goodbye to the lovely Bo-Ho anchorage on Kasos at fifteen minutes past midnight having eaten and had a very relaxing few hours before our departure. I am quite used to night sailing, I've done plenty but there is always a slight feeling of trepidation until I get into the groove.
Our course to Ayios Nikolaos, Crete, (some 60 nm away), was a straight line with no hazards to be aware of. We estimated 12 to 14 hours. It took 15 as we had one knot of current against us. We motored all the way. There are times, when we just ‘have to get on with it and not fanny around'. This was one of them. Light winds and a relatively good sea state, absolutely nothing showing up on the radar but it was still a passage to be endured rather than enjoyed. However, the last couple of hours we got the white flappy stuff up and enjoyed a sail.

We had actually arrived on Crete one day early. We arrived on 6th August. Our berth at Ayios Nikolaos Marina was booked from 7th so we dropped anchor in Ormos Pórou at about 3.30pm and chilled, ate and rested. Next morning, we took a leisurely motor down to the marina – just 4 nm miles. They insist that you email them in advance to book a berth and they also insist that you forward via email your ships papers, passport details, insurance etc. Frankly, its a pain in the arse but we had done all that well in advance of our scheduled arrival. Despite it all, when I called them on the radio, to announce our arrival, they kept us going round and round in circles outside the marina for 30 minutes until they accepted that we were who we said we were and then told us where to go. Pier C, berth 33 where a marinero was waiting to take our lines. Blooming heck. Talk about squeezing us in. It was a tight fit to say the least. To our amazement, we were opposite yacht Swallow, owned by friends Paul and Carol, who left Portsmouth in 2017 just a week or so after us.

We did 5 days in the marina. We hired a car for 3 and explored and without sounding totally repetitive, did the usual - maxed out on the water and electric , washed the boat down, vacuumed, laundry and a big Lidl shop. We like a nice Lidl!!!!

When we left the marina we motored up to Elounda and dropped the anchor with the intention of chilling out for a day or two as being tourists is very tiring don't you know!!!!

Actually, it wasn't relaxing at all. The wind was unrelenting and the sea was choppy despite being in a very sheltered lagoon. We didn't even want to dinghy ashore so we just sat it out and after looking at the weather forecast decided to get moving a day before originally planned and head for Gouves Marina, 30 miles further along the north coast.
And at the time of writing, that's where we are and its fab !!!

Sadly, I learnt while here, that a very special sailing buddy has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She is still sailing, and maxing out this season and is part of a research programme which she hopes will give her extra time . She knows what is coming. It breaks my heart. I too know what is coming as my bestest friend was diagnosed at aged 42. Its crap. I can't stop thinking about both of them.

Inspirational thought for this post: one day you will wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you've always wanted. Do it now.

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Vessel Name: Stiletto
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 33 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Gosport, UK
Crew: Andreas Giles & Jane Paulson
About:
We have been sailing together for 18 years and have owned Stiletto for 16 of them. We have exhausted the Solent and the UK South Coast and all the other usual passages: West Country, France, Channel Islands etc. that are available from our home port of Gosport. [...]