Showdown at Platania

The most hilariously exhausting day yet. With our engine repaired we set off for a wonderful sail across to Platania on the mainland 3 hours away. We round the harbour wall to find the fishing fleet, huge working boats, tied up to all available moorings. We anchor and have lunch to consider our options.

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First step is for Steve & I to break out the dingy and scout out the quayside. No mooring eyes so we decide on plan A which is to anchor in the corner & put out to long lines, one to the lamppost & one to a rusty rail in the wall. With Lynn on anchor &  Steve on helm it is the job of Chris & I to busy about in the dingy taking & tiring ropes to the quayside under the gaze of twenty or so surly Greek fishermen.

My job was to run around quay first tieing a rope then untieing it and moving around the quay to a better spot. At one point I had to explain how the circumference of a circle works to prevent me following the rope into the water. After 45 mins we had one anchor and one line in place when a friendly agreed to leave and free up the pontoon. He then tangled his anchor up before moving off & leaving the jetty free. At that point one line is snagged on our ruder requiring Steve to dive in to release it. A catalogue of disasters managed and solved by the merry crew – well, at times not so merry!!!!

2 hours later we are moored safely in the corner surrounded by the fishing boats who will leave at some ungodly in morning. Phew. G & Ts well earned. Chris awarded the Crew Urn Award for his dingy work. What about my knots!!!!!!

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And we retire for a well earned dinner looking proudly at our handiwork. A team effort.

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A stormy night & trouble in the high seas

Capt Steve anchors up in bay around from small village. We have a confrontation with an American who thinks we a bit close. Means Chris has to move our long line & makes us late. Huh! Again we dingy across to walk to village to eat & return in the darkness just beating a colossul thunder & lightening storm and beating rain.

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The morning finds rough seas & overcast skies. We make our way out of shelter to find big, yes big, waves – bit like fairground ride. 40 mins out an engine stops. We limp to port & call out the mechanic Stephanos & his local buddy who get the ferry over & who arrive several hours later to hum & ha and then replace the fan belt while we have show down with a rather enormous car ferry.

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Our day is rescued by the lovely Liana at the cafe Aramis. Iced coffees to die for and wonderful pork & prunes made by mama.

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The male crew pose for pics – more at play than at work. Downtime is required. Sorry about shirt in middle – rather let side down.

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Anchor girl shows off her crew

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Rousoumi

The wonderful hilltop village of Rousoumi. Destroyed by an earthquake and then rebuilt. A very trendy, rather hippyish community with loads of restaurants, cafes & grockle shops with classy goods. 20140607154408_IMG_0191

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And my favourite!

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Long lines to shore

2 days without wifi so a summary of the days is very easy. Sailing, anchor up for lunch in a bay, sail a bit further and on these days Chris takes rope in mouth, swims to shore & ties us up to sway gently between knot & anchor.

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The view of the restaurant where we had yet another ‘ traditional Greek ‘ meal and of the boat from the restaurant.

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That’s us bobbing,ney swaying in the front, with subtle sunset behind. The meal was a bit iffy but reasonable red wine, rather sweet, for 6 Euros a litre. This grows between the five of us until the Croatian group next door get us over for a very bad dance to very ify music. The journey back to the boat in the dingy is even more hazardous in the dark.

It has been requested by some of you, well one, that I prove that I am here and I do do stuff. One image of me at wheel.

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Once all the mewing about stuff is done & sails are up & we are motoring I go up the flat front, stick my headphones in and start the learning process with my words for the 16 songs I have to learn in 3 weeks as the horizon passes. Lucy, hope you proud of me.

 

 

 

Messing about in boats

We sail across the bay to a deserted island, moor in Monastery Bay, tho no monastery for several centuries. The dingy is off loaded & we mess about a bit as you do. Then back to port for dinner. 80 boats arriving morrow for regatta so we off early. 20140606073725_IMG_0046 20140606074337_IMG_0050

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The sun shines again on Steni Vela

Yay! The sun comes out. A beautiful morning with blue skies and a good breeze. Still no way to get off so we set sail straight away, hoist the main sail and the jib and off we go across the bay. We make eight knots at one point. I take the wheel and we head for a small cove for lunch. Yes, I said I take the wheel.

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The cove has a single small olive farm on each side. Some of us even swm ( not me- too fresh!)

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We move across to moor up at the small harbour of Steni Vala – a collection of 3/4 restaurants/bars and a few houses behind.

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Refreshments in the bar include iced coffee & beer. A short stroll over the hill by the small church to a deserted pebbled bay before G & T and dinner. 1st time in 48 hours Chris & Denyse have been on dry land.

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British weather on Alonnisos

This all comes as a bit of a shock. Yesterday statred with clear blue skies and we set off to sail east in brisk wind. The jib goes up, the main sail goes up and we tack a couple of times heading for the island of Alonnisos making 7 knots. It is then that the weather breaks-grey skies & then rain.

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Are we happy – oh, yes, sailing is fun.

Through the rain we power on to port and tie up. Here we find two problems as well as the rain which will go on for 24 hours.

Problem 1 is the unpredictable surge which sends the boats backwards & forwards between anchor & quayside ropes. All very manageable for skipper Steve & crew.

Problem 2 is the fact that the quayside is about a metre above our rear deck which effectively means we are marooned on board & unable to get off without taking one’s life in one’s hands by sliding up an 80degree slippery wooden plank one way and then guaging when the swell will bring the boat within jumping distance to get back on board. As there is a force 6 wind outside the harbour we stay put overnight and all the following day. Some of try the plank of death to go shopping and ablute in local cafes. For others is a leap too far and they spend 36 hours watching the humans as they walk past.

After 24 hours it stops raining but sadly no sun comes out. We manage to get three off for suplies and to skank the wifi code from the cafe oposite. It is sporadic & to keep connected you have to be out in the elements and wave the tablet over your head. Hopefully all will settle down for tomorrow.

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