…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. Well 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. So 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).
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. Sails 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.
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 and 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………
….. a small paradise!
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