Cruising in Greece

Sailing TB from the Villaine River in 2009 and now cruising Greece in 2011.

Vessel Name: Tobin Bronze
Vessel Make/Model: 35ft cold moulded plywood sloop
Hailing Port: Bristol
Crew: Peter and Judy Ward
Launched in 1985. After one year sailing in the Bristol Channel, TB has been sailed for 17,700 plus miles by Peter, Judy, Charlotte, Ben and Sofie - firstly based in Dartmouth and then in South Brittany. [...]
03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros
30 October 2015
01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei
25 November 2013
19 July 2013
26 June 2013 | Koilada
01 December 2012
01 November 2012 | Koilada
29 September 2011
10 September 2011
15 June 2011 | British Columbia, Canada
20 August 2010 | Ria de Vigo
28 October 2009 | Cangas
17 September 2009
Recent Blog Posts
21 June 2017

Dodecanese Islands - Spring 2017

Judy and I arrived back at Leros airport at 08:15hrs on Wed 10 May 2017. We had a three and a half hour wait at Athens for the small commuter plane to Leros. A long wait but we enjoyed the views of various islands on the one hour flight to Leros. The boatyard had arranged for a hire car to be waiting [...]

03 July 2016 | Agmar Marine Boatyard. Partheni, Island of Leros

Orei to Leros, Summer 2016

Judy and I returned to Greece on 17 April 2016. Sofie and one year old Edith met up with us at Heathrow and we flew off together. We picked up a hire car at Athens airport and drove to Orei on Evia Island, crossing on the Arkitsas to Edipsos ferry.

01 October 2014 | Kilada to Orei

Summer 2014

19 July 2013

An Island Too Far.

For the first trip of the summer, I planned a nice little cruise down the west side of the Argolic Gulf, past Cape Maleas to north west Crete and along the coast to Iraklion. We were to meet up with Kevin and Lesley there and then continue the loop back to Koilada via Thira (Santorini) and Milos in the [...]

Peleponnese 2012

01 November 2012 | Koilada
I know a sailblog is supposed to be a "live" document where you update it regularly as you go along. But I can never be that organized. I find that there is so much to do on a boat, especially a wooden one, and there is always so much to see and do as you sail along and experience new adventures. So this blog is more of a log or diary to record our various sailing trips.

Judy and I returned to Greece on 15 April 2012 with neither of us 100% fit. Judy had to be careful with her shoulder which she had fractured in a skiing accident and I was still finding it difficult to walk freely as a result of falling off my bike. I had been on crutches for three weeks but was now able to limp along without too much trouble as long as I did not go too fast. Victoria Pendleton came off her bike at 40 kph at the World Championships and got up to win a Gold Medal. There is nothing I can say!

We stayed in a hotel in Messolonghi for 10 days; then move onboard Tobin Bronze. There is quite a community of expat sailors in the marina, either permanently based there or over-wintering or, like us, have left their boat in the yard during the winter. There is a regular Sunday bring your own food BBQ and frequent gatherings in the friendly Sunset Bar in the marina to watch big football games or the Grand Prix. Evening drinks on the patio outside the bar is the time to meet the regulars - until the mosquitoes drive everyone inside!
Messolonghi Marina.
Messolonghi Marina
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

Re-launch was booked for 02 May. This allowed us enough time to do some painting and apply anti-fouling. David Wright wandered into the boatyard a couple of days before re-launch. He was driving up from Athens to Corfu where he was looking at an Ovni 43 he was considering buying. He arrived back on the 2nd to see TB lifted back into the water.

The sailing really got underway for us when Chris Stock & Jill arrived in Messolonghi by bus from Athens. During the next week we visited
a) Limin Petala (a large shallow bay with good shelter and deserted except for a couple of other anchopred yachts in the distance)
Limin Petala anchorage
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

b) Astakos - a small but rather open harbour

c) Kastos - an absolutely beautiful little harbour and village where we had a celebratory birthday breakfast in Judy's honour. The holding in the harbour was not good being hard packed sand. This caused severe problems for a bare boat charter whose anchor gear was far too light for the size of the boat. The poor embarrassed charterer was about to give up in shame and go elsewhere when one of the other cruisers and I persuaded him to forget about going stern-to and just lie alongside the wall. There was plenty of room.
Kastos Harbour.
Kastos harbour
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

d) Itacha Town - home of the legendary Ulysses - where Judy and I had first sailed into in 1977.

e) Zakinthos Town - This time TB's entrance was a lot more controlled than when Woody and I sailed into the harbour the year before in a heavy rainstorm and with no engine. The first people we met were Vienna Peter and Sophia who had weathered the storm with us.
Zakinthos Harbour.
Zakinthos harbour
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

On 09 May we exchanged Chris & Jill for Ben who arrived in Zakinthos with no Euros and his sister's bank card which he had forgotten to give back. Fortunately the airport is only a few miles out of the town as he had to walk even though the temperature was over 30 deg C.
Ben in charge.
Ben in charge
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

We left Zakinthos harbour after lunch and motored up the coast to Ay Nikolas where Woody, Roger and I had had so much excitement and drama the previous year. We were warmly greeted by Katrina Theodosis and her warm hearted parents and, the next morning, by Dimitris who had returned from Patras where he had been renwing his seaman's tickets.

After lunch we went with Dimitris on his day tripper boat around the north end of the island to Shipwreck Bay. On the way back we visited and swam in the Blue Grotto Caves which was a memorable experience. The colours of the water and the light streaming into the cave are fantastic. Dimitris's boat handling skills are equally impressive. He zooms through the narrowest of passages and around the base of the cliffs, all the time with the widest of grins on his face. He took us inside the cave, spun the boat around 180 degrees with less than a metre's clearance either end and then lets the boat just sit there with the reflected waves from the rocks keeping the boat stationary and central. We then jumped overboard for a swim. I must admit I was glad to see Dimitris stay on board even though he had to do nothing.

That night we moored stern-to using one of Dimitris's permanent moorings. Around mid-night, the wind and swell did pick up a lttle from the north-east. We were safe enough but it was not particulary comfortable.

Over the next few days we visited Sami on Cephalonia and O.Vroma and O.Keri on Zakinthos. We returned to Zakinthos Town on 14 May and saw Ben off back to Paris.
O.Vroma where we spent a peaceful night.
O.Vroma where we spent a peaceful night
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

Yolande and Bruce replaced Ben as crew. With them we sailed to Katakolo and moored stern-to in the harbour across from the huge cruise liners. Some of the ships that called in while we were there iare Nordam - 1214 passengers, MSC Musica - 3013 pax and Favosolo - 3800 pax. Same as us, all these passengers were there to visit Olympia about 1 hour away by train. Actually most of the ships' passengers went by buses which would turn up in large numbers when a ship was due. Apart from Olympia and stray cats fighting on the quay at night, Katakolo does not have much to offer except from some of the most expensive tavernas in the Ionian.
Kakakolo cruise stop.
Katakolo cruise stop.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

Olympia itself was very impessive and we had a thotoughly enjoyable day wandering around the site.
Stadium at Olympia.
Entrance to stadium at Olympia.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

We continued south down the east coast of the Peleponnese over-nighting at Kipirissi to Pilos in Navarino Bay. In 1827 this was the site of the last major battle between wooden sailing ships. A combined British, French and Russian fleet picked a fight with and massacred the Otterman fleet. Reference Its peace and tranquility now gives no suggestion od the horrors which must have occurred on the afternoon of 20 October 1827.
Navarino Bay.
Navarino Bay.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.

Next day we sailed past Methoni and anchored off the beautiful beach at Finakouda. Yo and Bruce had stayed there on holidays a few years previously. Finally we moored in Kalamata Marina and secured the boat for our departure back to Wiltshire. We had sailed (or motored!) 354 nM from Messolonghi and had visited some wonderful places.
Venetian watch-tower at Methoni.
Venetian watch-tower at Methoni.
Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum 'Early Summer 2012'.
Tobin Bronze's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 3 of 3
Tobin Bronze going out in the 1967 Melbourne Cup.
Sept 2017. Dodecanese Islands
17 Photos
Created 20 October 2017
Dodecanese Islands
23 Photos
Created 24 June 2017
Cruising from Orei. Evia to Leros in the Dodcanese in May, June
18 Photos
Created 30 October 2016
Launch from Orei, sail north to Thessaloniki, around the Khalkidhiki paninsula and Mt Athos to Nea Peramos.
17 Photos
Created 14 December 2015
22 Photos
Created 15 October 2014
Re-launch in Kilada to Orei, Evia in early July
16 Photos
Created 22 July 2014
13 Photos
Created 18 May 2014
A late summer cruise to the northern Cyclades
18 Photos
Created 20 January 2014
Cruise to Crete
11 Photos
Created 19 July 2013
Visits to Koilada May & june 2013
11 Photos
Created 9 June 2013
From Kalamata to the Argolic Gulf in July 2012
57 Photos
Created 12 January 2013
From Messolonghi to Kalamata May 2012
45 Photos
Created 10 January 2013
Italy to Zakinthos and Messolonghi
15 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli - three of the Aeolian Islands
30 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sardinia and Sicily Sept 2011
19 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing from Cartagena to Sardinia
24 Photos
Created 24 November 2011
Sailing TB from Faro to Cartagena in June and July 2011
64 Photos
Created 9 August 2011
Sailing on John's boat 'Derby Lass'
20 Photos
Created 6 August 2011
Delivery trip with Woody from Vigo to Lisbon when John Q. met us. Then to Ohao where Judy replaced John for a trip up the Guardina River.
41 Photos
Created 1 October 2010
June - July in the Rias Baixas, Galicia
26 Photos
Created 8 August 2010
Six days on the "Dunmow Flitch" between Braunston and Market Harborough in April 2010.
26 Photos
Created 1 June 2010
Lay up for winter in Cangas
17 Photos
Created 27 October 2009
Newport R.I.,Cuttyhunk Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket
48 Photos
Created 17 September 2009
Highlights of the trip from Viveiro to Ria de Vigo.
34 Photos
Created 2 August 2009
Hugh pod of dolphins encountered 10:30hrs 04 June at approx 44º24'N; 006º32'W
18 Photos
Created 23 June 2009
Between 02 June and 04 June 2009 from La Roche Bernard to Ribadeo in Galicia, Spain
11 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 18 June 2009
Port de Foleux is about 15 miles up the Villaine River, 6 miles upstream from La Roche Bernard
4 Photos
Created 18 June 2009