Sheep Sleep, Snakes Abide…

Temporarily…

So I last left you in a sweet little place south of the island of Aegina. I’ve been to Aegina a zillion times but never on my own sailboat. It was barren and quiet. Rather bizarre. Only 2 other boats anchored over night. The next morning we had a few other (dumb-ass) chartering visitors, and by noon…. they were all gone. It was magical. We had the whole place to are selves. Where? In frickin’ Aegina! Phenomenal! So we just… stayed there!!

Under the watch of a peculiar rock cat.

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We had plenty of provisions and we just took it all in.

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We cooked, checked out the beach, plenty of swimming, stayed cool, watched a bit of traffic but were never disturbed. I couldn’t have asked for anything else more!

 

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After 2 days the fish got bored of us so we decided to see “something” else.

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tracking… over land?

DSC_0130aSo we hauled anchor and took a quick little ride to the small island of Moni. I’ve been fishing there in the past and remember it to be real quiet. Plus the Water Pilot recommends it.

 

 

DSC_0148aWe passed the harbor of Perdika and got a boats-eye view of the Camera Obscura  my friend Gustav built over 10 years ago. Due to lack of funding it’s closed and falling apart… a shame… some things just can’t last forever.

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DSC_0141aAs I said, it was a quick little ride so a beer was preferred from sailing. Plus the wind was minimal and the sun brutal. As we got close to Moni the traffic increased  and my fears became a reality. The little harbor was absolutely jam packed with yachts, sailboats and water taxis zipping in and out. Not my cup of tea…. at all! Naturally we carried on and checked out the northwest part of the island.

 

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DSC_0205aEt Viola! An other jackpot. The sea bed was a thin layer of sand over a rock plate, but the winds were behaving so we stayed put. Plenty of swimming, eating napping… hey, I even broke out the dinghy cover I made last year. It was a beautiful night, warm and quiet! The night sky was amazing and we stayed up until 3 am!

 

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But…… all good things come to an end and I was rudely awaken at 5am by the braying of sheep and the hiss of serpents. And it was coming from the northwest putting ol’ Zoot’s butt a tad to close to the rocks. Not in the mood to experiment we head back to our first little paradisaical haven. Early in the afternoon I laid my head down for a nap. Within 10 minutes we were surrounded by over 10 charter boats anchoring like idiots way to close, making a fuss…. so we head to the main port of Aegina were my crew jumped ship to go home (with her camera…no, it wasn’t something I did or said. It was in the plan). Boy, is it weird to walk on terra firma after 5 days, let alone walking among a horde of humans!

That night I was alone again contemplating the past days. I’d anchored outside the port marina and it was a bit noisy… at least the beach club was playing tolerable old disco… like Michael Jackson. 5am…. you guessed it….braying and hissing again. W.T.F.! But I was well anchored and went back to bed. The next morning I went shopping for fresh fruit and veggies, 20lit drinking water, 40lit general(?) water, 25lit diesel, another 40lit general water…. hey, that’s over 125 kilos of hauling with the dinghy!  Feeling a bit bored and tired I called a buddy Giannis, whos mooring is next to mine back home, who said was in Perdika with his boat and 2 sons. So off I went to meet up, raft up with him on the finger peer…. and completely vegged out for the next 3 days! Coffee shops and taverns, civilization and no internet!

DSC_0357DSC_0353That Saturday we read the meltemi was kicking up again. I decided to return Zoot Allures to the home mooring. Giannis was returning as well. We had a beautiful motorsail back to Sounio. And it was also great to have company! Except for the traffic!

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We rafted up under the temple of Poseidon and polished off a bottle of scotch. At 5am sharp, yup, you guessed it… them damn sheepshes and snakes!. That’s it! I’m getting a rifle!!! I lay awake in the cockpit (until I passes out) and watched a show of falling stars. It was the Perseid meteor shower, what were the chances of that!

Next morn we headed up the last stretch and took a beating. It was a “ride ’em bronco” situation. It was sweet to be back on my mooring. The next morning was ridiculously windy! Probably a F8. The wind would pick up the sea in a cloud!  My raymarine alarm was going off so often I turned it off! I managed to row to my dinghy mooring but didn’t dare get close to stepping off. I tied it up and…. I swam it!

So I’m wrapping up a week at the farm house in Nafplio with family and friends and BBQs. Got another week to do a little cruise or……

Stay tuned

Capt Pete

ps… maybe I’ll find a used bazooka at the flee market!?!

pss… I’m come to the conclusion that I can’t combine the farm house and Zoot Allures. The preferred anchorage is 10km away and I just can’t leave the boat like that. I’ve seen so much stupidity by other chartering sailboats that it just isn’t prudent. And the way the winds blew this season… forgetaboutit! And I think I’ve gotten soft or spoiled enjoying having company. Pondering thoughts.

DSC_0012apsss… See that lead windvane counterweight? Well I’ve got a knot on my forehead for over a week!

 

 

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Sheeps and Snakes!


…and lions and tigers and bears….oh, m….. oh, what a pain in the butt!

And elaborate (whine) I shall. You’ve all heard me complain about the dreaded Meltemi. meltemi3Well this summer has be a cluster f%$# Meltemi summer. It’s like I can count the “nice” boating days in one hand (and a couple of more fingers). It’s either gale force winds… or no winds…jeeeez! Back to the title….. when the sea is full of white caps, we call them sheep. And when they’re real big and long….. snakes…. ye gad!

So couple of weeks ago I was aiming on a 2 day weather window to cross the Ikarian Sea were the Meltemi funnels down between Greece and Turkey. It’s a 120 mile trip and I was going to take a break in between. The window closed down to a 1 1/2 days which would have put me in the worst area to be…. as in dangerous. Screenshot_2016-08-03-22-18-45So I fagged out and headed south where the effects aren’t so extreme with a sweet crew member (wink wink nudge nudge). It was a downwind sail for the most part, ol’ Zoot hates “downwind-ing”, and we had fun jibing down the straight between anchored freight ships. And after 4 short hours the Temple of Poseidon appeared (where king Aegean jumped off cause he thought the Minotaur ate his son Theseus who was too busy partying and forgot to change the sails from black to white blah blah blah).

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I’m not a very religious person. Having said that…. Poseidon can got f@#k himself!!! We spent the night anchored in 25knots with gusts over 30. My Rocna 20 anchor is my new god!

The next morning we head out again. This is the day I was going to be crossing the Ikarian. Well, the Saronic Gulf is the sea south of Athens and is probably the busiest stretch of water in Greece. Not that day! The only boat out there was Zoot Allures and some other tanker waaaay far away.  The beginning was a bit hairy but after we got further from land the gusts subsided and the breeze was steady over 20knots. Screenshot_2016-08-04-18-37-33DSC_0028aSails reefed and the windvane working perfectly, we were on a broad reach with an ambiguous destination. Who am I to pick a fight with a stampeding herd of sheep and nest of serpents! It was either Ydra, Poros, Methana  or Aegina. After a few tweaks it came to my preferred Aegina.

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5.4 sog in 19.9 knots…. now that what I call reefed!

 

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windvanes are the business… hands free cruisin’!

 

Then something weird happened. 4 hours in, after passing the shipping lane (of zero ships), I set up a small tarp to get a rest out of the sun. The moment I laid my head… the wind…. stopped! leaving us in a slop of sheep shit whereas the snakes retreated! W.T.F!! We were so out of control I had to furl the sails Screenshot_2016-08-04-18-37-12and start the ol’ Perkins (which has been behaving perfectly… a new and strange concept) and hauled ass to Aegina right when hypothermia was kicking in.

With the recommendations of my Water Pilot and Navionics app, I aimed for the most southern little inlet. As it came into sight, I saw a huge yacht anchored and about 10 masts sticking out over the hill. I hit the hand break, banged a right and found………

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….. a small paradise!

Stay tuned

Capt. Pete

ps…. if you get crew, make sure they’ve got a camera! Praise the crew!

pss…. I’m at the farm, so part 2 will be up soon.

psss… and don’t forget the razors… too late now

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Back home temp continued

Well, I’m not really back home….. I’m at the farm house in Nafplio taking care of “stuff”. It’s still blowing stink but there’s  a weather window next week and I’m taking it. But. …..
I got some more photos from the previous trip…. many thanks from the cuz-es

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Conclusion. … that dingy is looking sad. Time to haul out the “good one”!
Plus bogging on my little tab is frightfully annoying!
Stay tuned
Capt. Pete
Ps…. aiming for Ikaria….. who knows! ?!

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