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.

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before

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after

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).

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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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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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