15 August 2012 | Enroute to Vathi
Dan 30 degrees C, 1011MB, mostly sunny
In stark contrast to the Force 5-6 conditions we had two nights ago, this afternoon we have Force 2 out on the Saronic Gulf, just barely enough to keep us moving along at 2.5 knots towards Vathi, our next stop. It's about as peaceful as can be out here and Tyler is in his usual perch up forward on the bow while Christine and I are in the shaded cockpit. Vathi is only 6 miles away from our present location, but at this pace it'll take us between 2-3 hours to get there. That's fine -- everyone is quite content at the moment and we know it'll likely be hotter and less comfortable when we're inside the protected anchorage.
We arrived yesterday at Palaia (Ancient) Epidhavros after a similarly relaxing 9 mile trip South from Korfos. I spent much of the day on Korfos disassembling, cleaning and greasing the anchor windlass. We had some corrosion between the drum and the gypsy which is why I was unable to manually drop the anchor back on Ithaca. The owner's manual says to disassemble, clean and grease the deck unit every six months and I'm guessing it's been at least two years (or longer!) since that's been done. I surprised myself by putting it all back together without having any extra parts left over and it works better now. The only mini-casualty was a small fragile part called a circlip which helps hold the drive key into the shaft. It bent when I removed the shaft and essentially became useless. I used a small piece of duct tape to temporarily do the job, then sent an email off to Lewmar asking for advice on the permanent fix. Their reply: "a small piece of tape should work just fine". I'm no MacGyver, but I admit to feeling just a tad bit smug when reading that. Especially since I knew Chris & Ty were rolling their eyes at the duct tape solution earlier.
We were lucky enough to find space to tie Interlude alongside the main dock at Epidhavros, providing much desired security since we intended to leave for a few hours to tour the Ancient Theatre. After cleaning up and taking care of entry formalities with the Port Police, we hired a cab and off we went!
The theatre is located in the hills approximately 20 minutes by car inland from town. It was built in the 4th century BC and seats approximately 15,000 people. The theatre was constructed of limestone and remains almost entirely intact today. It is known for it's near perfect acoustical properties and is still used today for performances during the summer. It's really quite remarkable --- Tyler climbed to the top row and I stood in the center of the stage speaking at normal volume and he heard me loud and clear. If only we had acoustics like that at home when we call him for dinner...
Since I began writing this, we decided to sail past Vathi and are now anchored near a secluded beach nestled along a hillside adorned with olive and cypress trees. There is a small chapel on top of the hill, painted in white with a light blue dome and roof. The popular island town of Paros lies just a few miles over the hill from where we're anchored, but our route around the Khersonisos Methanon peninsula tomorrow will take us approximately 14 miles to get there. But after a week or so of stops in populated places, it'll be nice to have some solitude tonight.