Greece 2016 (1)

Summary

Crew

Charterer

Greek Sails

Yacht

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44i

Facebook album

Notes

All times are approximate. Some of them very approximate.

All of the pictures below can be clicked on if you want to see them enlarged.

Day 1: 5 August
York – Poros

0215

Got up. Ugh.

Drive to Manchester was uneventful. The last but of the M60 was closed, though, so finding our way to the airport was tricky. Lilly the TomTom was trying to guide us, but of course she started by trying to get us back on to the M60. Nevertheless, we made it in good time.

Checked in the bag and went in search of breakfast.

Luke texted that the rest of them were breakfasting in PrĂȘt a Manger but we all met on the way to the gate.

0640

Uneventful flight, which seemed to go quite quickly.

1350

Landed. Found bags. Took a bit more effort to find Kelsey. It turned out she was in Arrivals A and we were in Arrivals B.

We got the bus to Piraeus. All the way to Piraeus. Since that was marked as the last stop, we stayed on the bus right to the end, and were dropped in a deserted, industrial area of the port. We wandered around a bit, looking lost, before the bus driver took pity on us and took us back to the stop from which we should have alighted. We were most grateful. So grateful that I tipped him €10, not knowing that Anne had given him €5. No wonder he smiled.

We had a little time to wait for the hydrofoil.

1600

Hydrofoil to Poros.

Greek Sails were not there to meet us, as expected, so we settled in at the Porto Café to a beer or two.

In the Porto Cafe.

Then we went seeking our two hotels. Luke found ours (Poros Town) on Google Maps, and we set out for it. Eventually we found that it was almost exactly not where Google said it was. We had walked past it three times, but it was not at all obvious, with no big sign. It was, in fact, quite near the ferry terminal.

Moved in and cleaned up.

Yachts and sunset
2000

Met up at the Poseidon Taverna. There were some delays due to a key being locked in a hotel room, but we had an excellent meal.

Eating at the Poseidon

Day 2: Saturday 6 August
Poros

Breakfast. Then we wandered down to Greek Sails and announced our presence, and arranged for a truck to pick up our luggage.

Breakfast in Poros

Played tourists a bit, by visiting the clock tower.

Tourists at the clock tower
1200

Moved down to the yacht.

Moved in. Had a briefing from Marcus. Had some beer at the Punda.

Day 3: Sunday 7 August
Poros – Yerolimena Bay

0800

Woke and got up. Different people seemed to have had different qualities of sleep. I was disturbed a few times, but generally slept well and dreamt vividly. People drifted up at different times and had breakfast and showers, and some went looking for bait and fishing gear (mentioning no names).

Took on fuel and the cooker was replaced with one with a working oven and grill.

Motored off and headed west.

For a while we pottered about under motor and everyone who wanted got a go at driving. We practised turning the boat in her own length.

Then it seemed right to get some sails up. The wind was quite fresh, and with a new crew, I didn't want to be over-pressed, so I put in a reef. That seemed to work quite well.

We had to beat to get westward, but that was fine and everyone seemed comfortable.

Eventually we decided to head for Yerolimena Bay. There were a few other yachts in, but there was plenty of space, so we anchored.

We had some lunch and then got the toys out.

Inflating the toys.

We had an afternoon of playing, swimming and fishing. (No fish).

Playing, swimming and fishing.

Cooked and ate on board.

Slept on the anchor; a very still night.

Cooking on board (with the toys).

Day 4: Monday 8 August
Yerolimena Bay – Ermioni

0800

We got up gently and had swims and breakfast.

Engine checks.

Luke fished - and caught a very small one.

Plan is to sail to Ermioni.

Luke's first (and only?) catch of the holiday.
1140

Motored off. Into the channel. Got some sails up. Genoa first. Getting the (fully battened) main past the lazy jacks was tricky. Lesson probably is to get the main up first.

N 3-4

Re-approaching Poros.
1230

Jo on the helm. Took in the genoa and motor-sailed for a bit. Thought it safer not to have the sail up in the channel through Poros.

Cap'n Jo's on the helm, back towards Poros.
1300

Came out of Poros. Bit of a breeze, so we put the sails up. Dead run towards Spathi Islands.

I love the way that the main street and the channel are almost part of the same thing.

Rounded the point and decided we could stop for lunch. Anchored in the bay. Lunch and then most people fished, swam, snorkelled or floated …and Alistair slept.

Lunch and playing in the bay.
1630

Headed out. There was a bit of wind (E3) so we got the sails up. (One reef still in). Broad reached.

Wind dropped, so we got the engine on.

However, after a few minutes it filled in from the west.

So we sailed on towards Ermioni. There were a couple of other boats heading the same way; we were concerned that there would be competition for space. Hence I went the wrong way, into the bay, while we were rigging to moor. No problem, though, we sailed out and round to the right side.

It was fairly busy. Sailing Holidays were in town, with a flotilla of 12 yachts. We found a space, though, on the western-most end of the quay.

We were helped in by the taverna owner, but got in stern-to, first time, without incident.

Stern-to on the quay - with the gin bottle out.

We had accumulated rather a lot of rubbish, so we disposed of that.

A few drinks on board, then we headed to a taverna. The nearest one (Taverna Michalis) looked okay, and the owner had helped us in, so we just went there. A variety of meals, some better than others. Those who went Greek tended to fare better

Eating out in the taverna.
~2300

Back to the boat for a game of 8 Out of 10 Cats. I think Luke and Chloe won.

Day 5: Tuesday 9 August
Ermioni - Spetses

0800

Up. Thought I'd have breakfast ashore, but most places were not yet open. Didn't like the menu at the one which was.

A calm morning in Ermioni.
0900

Taverna was open, so I went and ordered an omelette, while Anne had a coffee. Used the facilities, including the wifi. It wasn't really a good enough connection to do more than load 4 or 5 pictures to Facebook.

No weather forecast, but I listened in on the briefing for the Sailing Holidays flotilla, who said the weather would be the same as yesterday.

The others had breakfast on board and then wandered off in various directions. We agreed we'd aim to depart about 1130.

The main town was over the other side. We wandered over there for a look around and some shopping
1000

Anne and I had a wander around, taking in a supermarket and green grocers.

Back to the yacht. Water was available so we had some: We'd used about half of one tank (250l), so we were probably fine for a week, but there's no harm taking on water whenever you can, especially at €3.

1200

Set off for Spetses.

It was a beat westwards, but not unpleasant in a Force 3. At one point we were healing a bit more and I contemplated a reef, but didn't - and it settled again.

We came through the gap between Dokos and the mainland and continued to beat.

People wanted to stop for lunch, but there were no beaches en route, so we hove to. Lunch of spinach and cheese pies.

Luke fished.

With relatively calm conditions, the girls were keen to sort their hair out.

Then under way again. One more tack out; then came about and headed for Spetses with Jo on the helm.

Jo helmed to Spetses.

Came quite close in to get the gear down, then went searching for a berth.

It was pretty busy, but we spotted a place. It was between two others that were not quite in line with each other. It would need a line ashore.

We reversed in okay. The Greek on our starboard side was concerned – but very helpful. With his help we slotted in. We had every 90m of chain out, so could go in no further, but we all settled. Anne swam in - fully clothed - to take the line ashore.

The Greek (we never got his name, but his dog was called Nico) explained that there was a possibility that there was going to be a squall soon. He was concerned that our rudder was near his anchor chain. We could move no further back, so he moved forward a bit. He suggested that we took a line from our middle cleat to the yacht on our port. (I think mainly to keep us away from him). That yacht was deserted, but I did it anyway.

Later the skipper appeared and I asked if it was okay. He didn't mind about that, but was concerned that our masts were in line and might clash if we rocked. (At least I think that was what his mime meant; he was Italian). Luke managed to find another half-metre of chain, so we put that out, which did make a difference.

Clouds building to the west: a prelude to a storm?

We battened down. With 90m of chain that was as secure as it could be, so it was a matter of checking everything else.

Luke and Chloe went fishing. I took them ashore in the dinghy. Chloe was ready for the evening, with makeup and a smart shirt. (Error).

It started getting quite dark, so we closed the hatches. Surely enough, it started with thunder and lightning and a fresh wind. Then rain.

When it came, the wind was pretty much over the bows, which was ideal – as long as the anchor and chain was going to hold.

Thunder, lightning, wind and rain.

We disappeared below. We were pretty sung, but some of us were concerned about Luke – and especially Chloe.

They suddenly appeared, having swum back to the boat. Chloe had caught one fish.

We all took cover. It seems Chloe was finding it a bit much.

Eventually the wind calmed down, but it continued to rain.

We sorted ourselves out, then taxied ashore in the dinghy.

We headed for the Orloff restaurant, where we had gone last year, at the end of the village. However, the took one look at us and suddenly were 'all booked up'. Their loss.

We stepped ahore as the weather cleared up.

We went instead to Liotrivi, which was excellent. We sat right by the harbour (but in a bit, out of the rain).

There was a pianist – with a sense of humour: she opened with Raindrops keep falling on my head.

Various meals were eaten, and enjoyed.

The westher continued to clear, and we enjoyed our meal on the harbourside.

Back to the boat. Too tired for games.

Day 6: Wednesday 10 August Spetses – Kilada

0900

Breakfast on board.

Discussed plans. Decided to head for Kilada. We should be able to stop en route, then anchor there tonight. We would probably have to anchor off, but we wanted to eat ashore, so we'd have to dinghy in. That would leave a longish sail tomorrow to Derrick Bay, leaving us quite near Poros for the last day.

We agreed with our Greek friend that we would leave at 1200. He wanted us to go first, in case our anchors were crossed.

Most people went ashore to sightsee and shop, but I stayed on board to mess about. I helped the Italians to leave. They shouted a lot, but then they were Italian.

The shore party returns - by whatever means they can.
1130

Left with no problems.

Motored out slowly and sorted things – dinghy on board etc.

Sails up. Wind NW 2-3, so a beat, but quite gentle.

We saw this motorboat which was apparently broken down and had called a taxi for a tow.

The wind dropped, so we motor-sailed for a while under the main.

Dropped the sail and motored into shelter. It was quite busy but we found a good spot.

No wind, but we took a line ashore so we wouldn't take up too much space if it got up and we swung – which we did.

There was a BIG yacht moored opposite. He decided to leave and weighed (both) his anchors – bringing him quite close to us. I suppose I could have guessed his anchors would be a long way out. Anyway, we were not crossed.

Luke and Chloe took off in the dinghy to fish. The rest of us swam, snorkelled and lilo'd. Then we had lunch.

We headed off. As forecast, the wind filled in from the south, around a Force 3, so it was a broad reach under genoa. That did work well.

There was an even bigger yacht moored to the north of us.

Pulled into the bay at Kilada. Rod says to anchor in 2-5 metres. Anchoring in 2 metres was out of the question, since we would be aground. Hence, we wandered around a bit, looking for somewhere deep enough, but not too far from the quay for getting ashore. We found such a spot.

We drank, relaxed, fished, and watched the sun set.

Got ashore in two dinghy runs. Wandered along the front to the last restaurant, which turned out to be pretty good, and pretty good value.

Day 7: Thursday 11 August
Kilada – Derrick Bay

Forecast

I had not been able to get data roaming at the start of the holiday, so I had been relying on Luke's phone for forecasts. Suddenly last night I could get data, so I signed up, and now I could record the forecasts.

   

0900

There had been talk of an early get-away, but all sleeping in put paid to that. People drifted up at different times, had breakfast and generally got ready. Anne and Luke went ashore taking rubbish and picking up supplies.

Engine checks.

Forecast is for light winds; we'll probably be motoring a lot.

Jo took a swim, but didn't mean to.

1030

Motored off, Jo on the helm. Motored around the coast.

Others who were bolder - or who had better knowledge of the ferry timetable - had moored off the ferry quay. The church architecture is interesting too. Clearly a Christian church, but surely an Islamic influence?
1220

Felt some wind (SE 2) so put the sails up. Port tack towards Spetsis, beating for the channel. Making 3-4 knots.

Under way with the crew in the cockpit

In the end we sailed when we could, but motored as well.

1800

Motored in and picked our spot - pretty near to where we were last year (might as well stick with what you know works; and there is no chain here). There were a few other yachts in, but it was not exactly crowded and we easily found a space. It took a couple of attempts to get a secure anchor down. We knew from the overheard briefing in Ermioni that the Sailing Holidays flotilla would be in here this evening but they were a long way off.

The toys came out. And the fishing rods

Nearly everyone joined in the fishing this time - and still caught nothing.

Anne disappeared below and started working her magic. Since the fishermen had caught nothing, we decided to eat the bait - octopus (bought this morning). There was omelette for those who preferred to avoid the seafood. Somehow she managed to roast potatoes too.

Then we played a game. Just remember 'Wi-fi Scouts'.

Movie

Snorkelling around Derrick Bay.

Exploring the wildlife.

I was somewhat fascinated by this school of little fishes and their flocking behaviour.

Day 8: Friday 12 August
Derrick Bay - Poros

Forecast

   

0615

Another staggered reveille. Anne was up at 0615. She swam, and saluted the sun (Yoga style).

0800

Alistair had a quiet swim too.

Others got up a bit later.

There was more swimming - and filming

Breakfast.

1230

Under way. There was a bit of a breeze, so we got the sails up, reaching.

The wind dropped, though, so we got the genoa in and motor sailed.

But then it got up again and we re-set the foresail. We were now beating towards the point, port tack.

We were not going to fetch the point, so tacked back towards Hydra, on starboard.

About two-thirds across, tacked back again.

We were now going to fetch the point easily. Going around the island would take somewhat longer - given that we were beating. There was some traffic around, but none entering the gap at the same time as us, so it seemed good to go through.

I got the engine on, in case, and as we got into the gap the wind dropped, so we motor-sailed through and then, when clear, got the genoa in.

It was motoring from here on in.

We ate lunch under way.

Nowhere convenient to stop and a bit short of time, so we ate under way. Some leftover pasta from last night, although Jo does not look too sure about it.
1610

We were not the only Greek Sails yacht to arrive around this time. The wind in Poros was quite fresh - and side-on so they landed someone to drive us in - at some speed.

1700

Snug on the quay. Everything checked over. Took on fuel. Only 36l (€42), which the guy couldn't quite believe; he decided I must be a 'good sailor'.

As usual, the mooring was more like a pirate boarding.

Drinks in the Punda.

We had showers and checked the yacht back in.

Even the toys had to be packed away.

Then we wandered to the Taverna Nautis for a meal. The crew with more stamina went on clubbing afterwards, but the oldies headed back to the yacht.

Day 9: Saturday 13 August
Poros

1100

Today saw the parting of the ways. The majority of the crew wanted to see a bit of Athens, but Alistair and Anne stayed for another night in Poros. The hydrofoil was due to leave at 0800, but was quite late. Apparently it was having to run at reduced speed due to the high wind and consequent high seas. Never mind, we were able to pass the time having breakfast in a taverna.

Eventually the hydrofoil arrived, though, and it was time to say 'bye - for now'.

Alistair and Anne moved back into the Poros Town Hotel – and made best use of its luxury facilities.

After a rest we felt the need for crêpe – and gin …under dramatic skies.

View from the taverna

We took a bit of a wander to the next taverna (Taverna Platanos), to try to build up an appetite. It was a bit out of the way, but the food was excellent. Most of the clientele appeared to be Greek, though there was Greek music, which you might have expected to attract the tourists.

Good food and music.

Day 10: Sunday 14 August
Poros – York

0800

Early start. 'There will be changes on the timetable', but they were unable to say what. In practice, the wind had dropped and the hydrofoil seemed to be keeing to the timetable

14/8 and 15/5 There will be changes on the timetable.

Met the others at the airport (except Kelsey, who had already caught her flight to Edinburgh.

Uneventful flight home

Uneventful drive back to York.