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 [...]

Late Summer 2013

25 November 2013
Click here for link for relevant PhotoAlbum Northern Cyclades Oct 2013.

I flew back into Athens on Thursday 26 Sept and met up with Woody in the baggage reclaim at the airport. He had just arrived from Istanbul. How's that for organisation!

We caught the ferry from Piraeus to Ermioni next morning and then on to Kilada by taxi. Angelo from the yard gave us a lift on his fishing boat to TB in the anchorage. The boat was covered in dust but apart from that was in good condition.

At 15:45hrs, we weighed anchor and motored around to Porto Heli. The fuel pump played up as we approached Porto Heli and the engine would only rev to half speed. The first thing I did after mooring up was to install the new fuel pump I had brought with me. The old unit was dumped in a skip.

The next morning, we topped up for fuel and sailed around the peninsular to Ermioni for the night. I had arranged to meet Roger in Lavrio, north of Cap Sounion, on Monday evening. We stopped overnight in Kouraissa on Kea and arrived in Lavrio on Monday afternoon.


Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum Northern Cyclades Oct 2013.

The next morning, Thursday 03 October there was a light rain shower but by 10:40hrs when we left, the sky had cleared and it was a fine day.

As all the charter boats were out, there was plenty of room. We used the lazy lines provided and was charged the princely sum of 5 Euros which also included electricity.

Roger arrived at 20:30hrs by bus from Athens airport and was greeted by a spectacular thunderstorm and heavy rain in the early hours of Tuesday. By 10:00hrs, the clouds had cleared away and we had another beautiful day. We enjoyed a fine sail to the harbour of Gavrio on Andros. We stopped and anchored at Kourissia on Kea for lunch. The wind dropped late afternoon and we motored the last two hours to Gavrio.

We moored stern to between the ferry slips. In retrospect, we would have been better off mooring stern to at the north end of the quay with the anchor laid out in a northerly direction. At 02:00 next morning a north wind sprung up hitting us on the beam; so we decided to move out into the bay to anchor. We anchored in 6.0m of water but within a couple of hours the wind was gusting down off the hills in excess of 25kts. The anchor dragged so we reset it again and this time it held with no problem. The next morning, on weighing anchor, we found it was well and truly dug in.

We left fairly at 08:45hrs and sailed in coolish conditions towards Siros. Initially we had one reef in the main but the wind gradually died on us and we ended up motoring.

The harbour at Finakas was crowded with charter boats; so we edged alongside the small fishing quay on the north side of the harbour. The water was pretty shallow and we gently bumped the bottom from time to time. Later on a couple of charter boats behind us departed with delivery crews to Athens and we moved further out into their slots.

Alongside small fishing quay.
Alongside small fishing quay..

Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum Northern Cyclades Oct 2013.

The next morning, Thursday 03 October there was a light rain shower but by 10:40hrs when we left, the sky had cleared and it was a fine day.

The sail across to Loutra on Kythnos was fairly lively with the wind reaching 25kts on a beam reach - a distance of 24 miles in 3.25 hours. We tucked in inside the mole at Loutra, behind a cruising catamaran and watched the entertainment as the fleet of 40 to 60ft charter boats moored up in the harbour. The range of seamanship displayed was quite large. The Meltemi blew 15 to 25ts all night but we were well sheltered inside the harbour.

The wind had eased to 10 -15kts next day and we headed off to Sifnos at 14:00hrs. But withinin 30 minutes, the engine conked out and I found the filters blocked with the dreaded diesel bug. Fortunately we were going in the right direction, downwind. We ran 5 miles south down the coast before beating up into a sheltered bay, Ay Ioannis, where we anchored in 3m of water off a deserted beach. It didn't take long to replace the fuel filters and get the engine going again. We decided to stay there the night and in the evening we were treated to the magical sight of the farmer riding his donkey up a track to the small chapel on the hill overlooking the point before disappearing over the sky-line. Ten minutes later his dog appeared, tracking him and followed him over the hill.

There were fun and games during the night at the usual bewitching hour of 02:00. The main anchor, a 15kg Bruce attached to 8mm chain, dragged as the wind picked up. We re-set it but it still would not hold. I took the stern anchor, a 4.5kg Fortress FX-16, with 6m of 9.5mm chain and deployed it on a 19mm multi-plait anchor warp. It dug in immediately. It is obvious that the Fortress style of anchor is much better at digging in with the hard sands found in the Aegean.

On Sat, we had a long sail from Kythnos back to Ermioni. But a quick one - over 70 miles in 10hrs in a good Force 5 to 6 and doing over 8 kts for extended periods. The wind dropped as we approached the bottom end of Hydra and we ended up motoring into the bay at Ermioni.

The stronger winds over the last 3 days had taken their toll and I had to replace 7 broken mainsail slides before leaving the next morning.

Over the next few days we pottered up the Argolic Gulf visiting Kosta, Porto Heli, Vivari and Tolo before dispatching Roger off from Nauplion on the bus to Athens on Wed 09 Oct. Woody and I then sailed back to the anchorage in Tolo to help Stavros celebrate his birthday.

Happy birthday Stavros.
Woody, Stavros and Simon..

Click here for link to larger image in PhotoAlbum Northern Cyclades Oct 2013.

10 October 2013 was a memorable day as Tristan Ben Ward was born in Paris. I suitably wet the head of our first Grandchild.

Tobin Bronze was lifted out first thing in the morning on the 10 October. After a quick scrub down, we installed the covers and laid up for the winter.

During the summer, we had sailed 668 nautical miles and the log reading was 17,722 nM.

On the 12th, Woody flew out to Auckland and I returned to Wiltshire.

Judy and I returned to Kilada on 24 October and stayed ashore in a small apartment for a couple of weeks. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with a couple of spectacular overnight thunderstorms to clear the atmosphere. It was very pleasant working in the boatyard duringthe day and relaxing in the evenings. The hardest part of the day was deciding what taverna to go to that evening.

The main maintenance jobs were
1) Remove the fuel tank and thoroughly clean it out
2) Replaced the external pear-shaped sacrificial anode
3) Replace the engine throttle cable
4) Fitted the new Raymarine auto-pilot
5) Re-build the engine using the reconditioned pistons and blocks we took to Greece in April.

We stayed the last couple of nights in Tolo relaxing and catching up with old aquaintances.
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