Heading north

20 Aug

We’re in the Saronic Gulf again now. It’s busy, busy, busy. Charter boats and Athenian gin palaces abound. I suppose it’ll help us ease back into the hustle-bustle of the Ionian.

The hoardes mostly arrive in port at sundown, all clamouring for a spot on the quay. It can be entertaining watching the game of ‘musical berths’, glass of wine in hand – as long as it’s only as a bystander and one isn’t forced into becoming involved in the mêlée.

A dragonfly hitches a lift - it appeared when we were 30 miles from land, where had it been before that??

A dragonfly hitches a lift…30 miles from land.


After a long passage from Adamas on Milos, we had 4 days of relaxation at anchor in Porto Heli, only going ashore once or twice for provisions. Games of cribbage (I’m in the lead) & Rummikub (PT ahead), swimming and napping filled our days. It was windy outside, but Porto Heli provides great all-round shelter so we were happy to stay and do nothing much of anything.

Poros, 30 miles north, was a different story. Although there is plenty of room for anchoring, quay space is much in demand. The layout on the north side of the town is a curved quay with a long pontoon extending at a right angle.

Poros North Quay

Poros North Quay


A perfect recipe for crossed anchors and frayed tempers. We managed not to get caught up on anyone else’s anchor and nobody hooked up on ours. We were lucky. During the 2 days that we were there there were numerous games of ‘anchor macramé’, not helped by the strong north-westerly blowing onto the quay.

We’d already had our turn at tangled anchors in Milos, where some of the local trip yachts berth on a quay which runs at nearly 90° to the pontoon that we were on. It took an hour of manoeuvring and rope-work at 6am to free ourselves of the 2 anchors that had been laid over ours. At least the skipper of one of the boats was decent enough to come across and lend some brute force to the operation.

We like Poros. We first came here 10 years ago on our last boat. The place hasn’t changed much and it’s still pleasant to explore the steep lanes and to climb to the top to enjoy the view.

Poros

Poros


Not too so much time for relaxing this time though, there were also loads of jobs waiting to be done. Laundry, more provisioning, mailing and, most important, a valve to be replaced.

PT laid out all the required tools and spares before swimming below the hull to shove a bung into the through-hull outlet. He was confident that it would all go like clockwork, “Of course the boat won’t sink”, he reassures me. Of course I trust my handyman, but my heart was in my mouth throughout. it wasn’t helped when a string of expletives exploded from the heads compartment. How was I to know if this was a mountain or a molehill that had befallen the repair job? I was mightily relieved when the bung was removed, the valve was opened and the boat remained afloat & dry. We live to sail another day 🙂

Another hop north today sees us in Korfos, our last stop before heading through the Corinth Canal tomorrow. It was a tedious trip with little wind, mostly on the nose. The only diversion was the appearance of shoals of fish jumping on the surface of the sea – big ones chasing middle-sized ones chasing little ones. There were loads more of these fishy flash mobs as we swam on Korfos bay this afternoon. The fishing tally for the season remains embarrassingly low though. 😳

A fishy flash mob

A fishy flash mob

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