We did a long hop from Poros to Porto Heli in 10 hours and managed to sail nearly all the way. That must be some sort of a record! We anchored in our usual spot near the wreck.
Visited the excellent A&B supermarket and also topped up the Diesel Tank with the cheapest fuel we have seen for a long time. The wind seems to be alternating each day with a Northerly in the morning and a Southerly in the afternoon with some spots of rain around 1600. We're only doing short hops so we have been able to plan voyages to match the winds and hardly use the motor at all.
First stop was behind Korakonisi Island - only about 8 miles. It was well sheltered from the Southerly that took us in but we had a bit of a chop overnight as Northerlies started up again. We could have avoided it in the channel between the island and the mainland if we had but known. The bay had a large and beautiful house obviously housing someone pretty wealthy. You can tell that because their boats are all registered with flags of convenience to avoid taxes.
On Saturday, we headed around to Kioladhia - a large, shallow, well-sheltered bay another 8 miles on. The fishing town is small and very Greek - hardly a word of English spoken. There was room on the quay but we prefer to anchor. We hoped to pick up some fresh water but found it has been permanently turned off. The baker is good, and the little supermarket is also not too bad. Nice tavernas overlooking the harbour and even a chandler/hardware store.
Opposite the town, on the NW tip of the peninsula, there is a huge cave which was inhabited for 10,000 years. We took the dinghy over to the tiny beach below it and tied up on the small wooden quay. It's well worth a visit although it is locked unless you call someone specially (sounds expensive). You can see quite a lot through the bars and there is a large set of excellent notices telling the story of its habitation and the excavation (which is still continuing).
Well that's a long gap when I haven't got around to writing anything. So a summary for completeness...
Next day, we passed Tolly by as it looked far too touristy for us and anchored at the north end of Karathona bay. Holding and shelter were good and the beach bar played nice music so we lazed in the sun, swam and turned in at 10.00. We nearly jumped out of bed when very loud rap music started at 23.00. Never mind, we thought it'll stop soon when they get tired - and it did - at 0600 next morning. Next day we walked up to the fascinating cave-church above and on the way down, noticed a poster advertising the music but only each Wednesday. So we decided to stay another night and were rewarded by blessed peace.
Next day was Navplion. We had high hopes of a lovely town but were sadly disappointed. The holding was poor and when we did eventually get the anchor to hold, the wind blew a vicious chop onto the quay. We hung on till the water man came ( and charged us €12.00 for 300 litres!) then decided to go back to Karathona.
Big mistake! at 22.00, in pitch black, it started again. We couldn't face another night so upped anchor and went to the south end of the bay and dropped the hook with no trouble. We had a much quieter night but were horrified next morning to see that we were in a field of bathing-beach and mooring buoys (any one of which could have snagged our prop) but which had been completely invisible in the moonless night.
We looked at the pilot and decided to go to Astros on the other side of the gulf. It turned out a nice little place although light on facilities and the holding was only moderate.
Started the engine next morning to find no cooling water - the fan belt had broken. No prob - I had a spare. That's when I found I had been sold a size too big and I couldn't tighten it. It got us out of the harbour where we put the sails up and set off very slowly in very light winds for Port Heli where we hoped to get another belt. After an hour, the wind dropped completely so I gingerly put the engine on. It ran for 1/2 hour and then the belt stopped working. It took 13 hours to sail and anchor in Porto Heli. Sadly, next day, we found no sign of anyone who could help. I looked on the web for a Yanmar agent and found one in Kioladhia so we decided to sail around. The wind managed to be on the nose all the way around through 270 degrees so it was beating all the way - initially in light airs but in force 6 by the time we got there. We anchored under sail again and next morning went in search of the engineer. It turned out that he had trained and set up a business but couldn't get enough custom so was now managing a metal-bashing workshop nearby.
He was hugely helpful and endued up driving me around half the Peleponnese to find a shop that could get one - I ordered three.
Finally back in operation 3 days later, we toddled up to Poros via "frog island" and Spathi and anchored in Ormos Vidhi. We toyed with going to Methana but in the end lazed around, socialised with Sue and Ian and with Poly Argo. One day we walked up to Trizina and Devils Bridge - a very worthwhile trip.
And so to our buoy rented for only €120 from Nakis (one of the water taxi drivers) in the Poros channel. And then the long trip back to UK for the wedding.
We took the fast cat to Pireus (carrying the slow one in a basket miaowing all the way). We intended to take the Metro but ended up using a taxi who did us a very good deal - first to Markopolou to drop Lucifer and then to Piri's hotel for the night.
Had a great time in England with Charlotte and also spent some time in New Milton for L's 60th birthday. Then off to France for the wedding - a wonderful occasion in a Chateau near Bordeaux.