Banshees? W.T.F.?

It was probably around 8pm, I was back on the boat after having a bad-ass bifteki and wine with my buddy Ulber, when the phone rang. It was Mom asking if I was back and safe because in Athens all hell was breaking loose. I assured her all was well as I noticed a small drizzle of rain. It hardly rains here and there wasn’t  anything for it the forecast. By 9pm it was raining a bit more which canceled a few pops with Ulber  aboard Pyrrha before picking up “the crew” around 10:30.


Suddenly around 9:30…. BAM! Zoot Allures was almost on her side, the wind howled like nothing I’d heard before as I was holding on to anything I could find, looking out the window while I tried to get dressed. It wasn’t letting up, my wind alarm was screaming off the charts  and I verified my anxiety of dragging through a mooring field of boats (no Rocna anchor will hold if you don’t leave any scope which I hadn’t due to temporarily anchoring on a quiet evening). I fired up the engine and flew to the bow to raise the anchor as I passed a few boats heeled over tangling from their mooring balls. As the Rocna came up I noticed something in the dark dangling from it but there was no time to get fancy cleaning it up so I rushed back to the cockpit to take control of Zoot Allures flying tilted sideways through the harbor. I made a big circle and anchored further off leaving about 50meters of chain in a depth of 5. Secured to the seabed I returned back to the salon to dry up while monitoring my surroundings thru the port light while the gale subsided.

The next morning was sunny and ol’ Zoot was squeaky clean! Quite content,  having my morning coffee in the cockpit, I noticed something over the side of my stern. It was big and black and spooky and wavy …. tumblr_nv81v4tges1rc85kko1_500Pretty much looking like a medieval banshee! … not that I’ve seen one before. After taking a better look I realized that it was an old fishing net dangling from a good hold on my prop! So that’s what was dangling from my anchor and after a minute I realized that it must have fallen off and fouled my prop right before I re-anchored. I finished my coffee and shuddering at the thought of how bad things would have been if my re-anchoring had not been successful and Zoot Allures would have been out of control in that squall!!!

I dove in with a knife and hacked on it for 20minutes and was getting nowhere with that gross banshee all over me and freaking me out! I had the bright idea of spinning the prop backwards (duh) and in 5 minutes the banshee was free to fuck up someone else’s life. What the Faaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!


20161007_103548dsc01637And all this happened on my return from a mini cruise to Petalious Islands. That morning I sailed off anchor after having the most beautiful time of bliss. The sail back was perfect. So perfect that I was saying to myself “this is perfect!” with a huge grin. It’s mind boggling the way things can be on a sailboat! Swinging Extremes!


funky neighbors at Petalious



blissful moorings

dsc_0158adsc_0207aIt’s been a really nice month since the last time I’ve written a post. I had friends over and took them for rides but haven’t written a post about that due to their wanting to scan the photos before publishing (f-em!).


blissful sunrises with a few drops of rain

It’s quiet as well with very little traffic and powerboat noise etc. A most lovely time to enjoy boating…. And I am!

20160928_191015Back home I’ve been pouring over the designs for the  CLC nesting pram. I realized that I couldn’t sprawl them out because 2 of them are 5meters long! I’m planning on building it at home, cutting the wood on the balcony (after moving a bunch of pots of plants) and assembling it in my bedroom (after moving my bed to the living room, eliminating my dinning room). Cutting the wood is going to take more time than assembly I’m afraid. I’m starting to believe everyone that I must be insane!


Stay tuned…. At least for that!

Capt Pete

Ps…… This week (following the most awesome weekend) has gotten cold and the wind was blowing force 8! Poor ol’ Zoot! Time to haul out. But when? It’s either blowing like hell or I’m working like hell. As normal!

pss… Kostas boat is almost done!


moonlight (plus some more) boatbuilding


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3 Day Bliss!

Bada Boom! After getting off a summer vacation and getting slammed at work, waking up at 5:30am for a neurological conference, including Sunday(!), having a 3 day weekend is just what the doctor ordered. The winds where “nice”🙂 and Friday morn we head out to the Petalious Islands for the obvious.





But before I get into that…. the weather has changed. (It’s September, dummie). It RAINED!!! At long last Zoot Allures is squeaky clean!


Screenshot_2015-10-07-12-51-26So the approx. 50 mile route was the same as last year (click to flash back) , but in a clockwise direction. Heading out was great. Full sail cruising at 4knots. But halfway through, we dropped to a knot so the iron genny was fired. But we were on a beat, the sails still worked and so did the windvane. I luuuuuv my WindPilot!!!!

dsc_0007adsc_0015aAfter anchoring off the beach at the top island and taking some good swims and relaxing, Kostas and his brother Giannis (not Nikos, dummie) rolled in from his 24 hour motorsail from Ikaria. They rafted up, we ate, had a few pops and vegged. Kostas turned in for a nap and woke up the next day! The rest of us just hanged and took it all in, enjoying the perfect evening.

dsc_0009adsc_0014aIt never ceases to amaze me how a conversation can go on until 2am! I have no idea what we were talking about… it didn’t matter. It was just sooo nice and soooo quiet! If you snooze, you loose!


dsc_0037adsc_0061aOnce again, which also never ceases to amaze me, at 5am the wind and waves started up from the open bay and we were galloping at our anchors. I almost always get up anyway at 5 for a piss overboard, but this is ridiculous. But all was fine, just annoying. When the sun came up, we moved over to the other side of the island to enjoy breakfast, swimming vegging etc.

dsc_0068aAt noon Kostas headed back home (after 2 months!)  and we headed to the south of the Big Island to the Vassiliko bay via the sunken bridge passage. It’s either the time of year, day or whatever, always breathtaking-ly beautiful.

dsc_0080aAfter anchoring, the first course of business, a swim to the cave beach.

dsc_0090aAnd then proceeded to the regular routine. But there is a twist this time. The first day we had pligouri. Did you know that you don’t need hot water? Neither did I. You just let it soak for a couple of hours (eg, while sailing) and then just add tomatoes, onion, parsley etc and… “Bob’s your uncle”.  But then we had a wonderful potato recipe slowing cooking all day in a solar oven. How funky is that!?!.

dsc_0091adsc_0100adsc_0122aJust don’t watch it cook. It’s like watching water boil or paint dry. It takes a long time. And potatoes were probably asking for too much on a partly cloudy day. So we steamed them for half an hour at the end…. hunger was kicking in. But we did get a shot of the spuds we fed to the fish… and they loved it! (the wd40 was for some TLC… the oven has seen better days).


flee little fishys, fleeee!

The evening was just as wonderful as it should be. Some fishing boats came by but it was mostly quiet and calm with the exception of a few tsunami waves coming from afar passing ships. And we woke up late to no wind at last. After a lazy morning we wrapped it up to head back home at a leisurely pace. The weather was getting “iffy” so at 2:30 we raised anchor.

dsc_0175adsc_0172adsc_0184aNice breeze, full sail, we were doing great at 4knots again. And that’s the way I like it. Set course, trim sails to the course, tie of the tiller, set the windvane, check the horizon, crack open a beer….. cruuuuise!

dsc_0197aZoot Allures prop spins while sailing. It’s a bit annoying but the noise tells you if your trimming your sails the correct way gaining speed. It also lets you know if you are loosing speed. Sure enough, the prop sound was going slower and slower. Looking to are destination showed a squall which apparently sucked our wind away. The prop silenced, the sails flopped…D’Oh! Time for the iron genny again. A bit of a drag,  but hey…. at least it starts up…. no complaints at all! We missed the rain and the sky gave us a spectacular show.

dsc_0227aYou know what? I could do this kind of stuff over and over and over again!

And then some more!

Stay tuned,

Capt Pete.

ps… have I ever mentioned how much I luuuuuv my WindPilot windvane. ‘Gotta find a way to make a video and show y’all what I’m talking about.

pss…… having crew with a camera is a must!!!!


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Whether the Weather…

The climate is made up of “weather”; whether it is nice out depends on whether it is raining or not.“… googles words, not mine (for shame!)

Whatever! (which is a polite way to say “I don’t give a shit!”)

screenshot_2016-08-27-10-49-26What I’m trying to get at is….. that this summer didn’t go particularly the way I expected. It blew alot, and I mean alot! It wouldn’t drop under 20kts for days. Just the sound of the wind is enough to drive you nuts on a 24hr basis. And heading out sailing just seems more like a hassle than anything else. I’ve got a new weather app, windyty, which is alot of fun to play with when you’re crying, rocking and rolling on my mooring…. for a full week! Last Monday it was time to go back to work. And guess what? The wind stopped!! How do you like them apples?!!?  So, just like a boring cocktail party, lets talk about the weather, whether you like it or not. But just a bit cause that gets boring too.

For starters, ol’ Zoot Allures is (exteriorly) a mess! There’s a hill which somewhat protects my mooring area and the dust and dirt blowing off of it has rendered the mast and all the standing and running rigging to a brownish…. I’ll just say I have to wash my hands after touching them.  Check this out!

dsc01602And that’s only 2 days worth. Since I don’t like docking, I carry my water in 20lit jerrycans and try to keep up with the PV panels and certain fixtures (and myself), but I’m loosing the battle! The decks, I wash down with salt water. Ol’ Zoot hasn’t been washed down with fresh water since the beginning of …June! Because it hasn’t rained… since June! I’ve seen a few squalls pass by but they always miss. Have you ever heard of a sailor praying for a squall?!?! Jeeeez!

dsc01605dsc01606And since it doesn’t rain, that means there aren’t any clouds either. And the August sun here is absolutely brutal. Try setting up an awning for shade when it won’t stop blowing 20+. So as you can see, I have to make new winch covers, which isn’t a bad thing cause I wasn’t to proud of them anyway.

dsc0160020160826_154758I am proud of my dinghy cover! It’s not done yet, I just cut holes for the seat and oar locks and fasteners to be finished at a later date. At least the Cosa dink will have a better chance than my other “sinking deflatable”. I’ve got it back home and have spent 3 afternoons and a bottle of dish detergent trying to find a hole. I’m about to declare it dead. 2 days after inflating, it looks like a “Limp Bizkit“.

Did you know they re-opened the 2000 year old ancient weather station in Athens? Check it out.

Hmmm…. something fishy is going on!

So whether you like the weather or not, as they say in Boston….”wait, it’ll change”!

Guess what……… it’s raining!!

Stay tuned,

Capt Pete

ps… speaking of fishy… when I got back from Nafplio I found about 20 smelly sardines on deck. Hows that for windy?!


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