Monday, 29 September 2008

Kalamos to Kastos

3rd September

Not a bad night but we're finding that we always wake up really early, then can't get back to sleep. The area where we were moored seemed to belong to the fishermen, one of whom delighted in starting his engine at around 06.30 and revving it, waking most of us along that side of the quay. We had a coffee on board which turned out to be a bit of an error because on the boat next door but one to us were the loudest people we've ever heard - along with the revving engine next door, it was hardly a relaxing start to the day! We decided to leave the noise behind and take a walk up to the bakery in the village up the hill for a few supplies. Thank heavens for some painted signs guiding the way otherwise we'd never have found it! The bakery itself was a scrum - mainly old ladies jostling us 'foreigners' out of the way - it's weird really. They treat you as if you simply aren't there whilst at the same time staring at you as if you've just stepped off of a spaceship! The views on the way back down to the boat were beautiful across the sea to Kastos.

We had our breakfast in the cockpit - a quiet one..just us and a hundred wasps. We then walked around the quay to see Sean and Ruth and planned our next meet-up to be in Sami tomorrow night, both couples wanting to do their own thing for this evening. We swapped numbers, walked back round to Winspit, raised the anchor and cast off. I decided that in the end, I wasn't as keen on Kalamos as I thought I was. Grumpy old women and noisy fishermen etc....Therefore, when we return to do another Ionian charter, which we will invariably do, we'll need to return and try to see it in a better light (and with cheerier locals!).

We motored out of Kalamos and immediately hit 5-7knots of wind. Ooh quick, raise the sails before it all dies down was great. A gentle sail, tacking back and forth between Kalamos and Kastos - really easy and within an hour we were down at Port Leone. Of course, we weren't lucky enough to have the bay to ourselves and a couple of boats were already anchored up so we decided to anchor off and just sit in the bay. So far so good..we swam and snorkelled and it was just fabulous to do this in the shadow of this beautiful deserted village. Because of the massive earthquake that devasted many of the islands in 1953, Port Leone was reduced to a ghost town when the water supply was destroyed. There's an calm aura here though and it's definitely worth dropping anchor for an hour or two. Much to Marco's annoyance, I insisted on investigating the village so we got into the tender and (he) rowed ashore. The church was locked but in good condition considering the rest of the place. We had read that it is looked after still by the locals and it was a shame that we couldn't take a peek inside. Still, the views down to the bays made up for that and we took some pictures, heading back to the tender after a while. Here, a weird thing took place. As we rowed back to Winspit, she was spinning on her anchor. This gave us the impression that she was on the move. The more Marco rowed, the less ground he was making up and the further away the boat seemed to be. Being so naive, we really thought she'd dragged her anchor and was moving away from us. It was quite scary and we had visions of having to ring Chris or Neil and tell them that we'd managed to put one of their Bavaria's on rocks within two days of being let loose on it. Of course, we eventually managed to reach her, scramble on board panicking like mad, only to realise that she hadn't actually moved at all. So here was another lesson - we are crap rowers - in future we should use the outboard and we'd be back with our floating home in relative comfort!

Relieved, we had lunch in the bay and decided that after the hassle we'd had mooring at Kalamos we'd get to Kastos nice and early(ish). The sailing was quite tricky for us, although not as bad as yesterday's fun and we headed up to the top of Kastos, intending to go around the top. Marco of course, thought that sailing between Kastos and the small islet to the north of it looked quicker. I quickly studied the chart and it was ok as long as we didn't go too near to the islet where the waters were very shallow with rocks under the surface. Of course Marco developed a small case of forgetting his left from his right and started heading straight for the islet.....with the wind blowing us on.....HELP!! Luckily we had by now taken the sails in and were able to steer away under power but it made us sweat a bit! Once around the other side of Kastos we got some wind and up went the sails and we were off. Approaching the harbour there again looked to be a lot of masts already there, despite it only being 4.30pm. And this time it was 'Sailing Holidays' who had rather selfishly bagged the entire jetty. They had even moored one of the yachts alongside, thus preventing anyone else from mooring there, AND they were waving us away...lovely and helpful (not). We motored around a few times looking for any available space and decided to drop anchor and reverse between two Sailing Holidays yachts near the beach. From there we could take a line ashore - yikes, our first one! We postioned ourselves perfectly and Marco was doing a sterling job, until a chap from one of the SH yachts popped his head up and shouted "You can't park there, you're crossing our line". We took a good look and it seemed that all of the SH yachts had their anchor chains going out starboard of the bow. This was frustrating. The SH reps could see we were struggling yet completely ignored us-they were really unhelpful... so we made a mental note never to go on a 'sailing holiday' with them (that'll teach 'em!!!). Every time we attempted to drop anchor someone else would start having a go at us. I was getting really cheesed off and we were really beginning to flail, not knowing what to do and with the wind getting really strong, we were being blown away from any desired spot.

Suddenly, a tender appeared alongside us with a guy in it wanting to help. Joy! I could have hugged him. He advised us to take the line ashore first to steady the boat in the wind, then we could calmly drop anchor and winch in to steady her. He held our boat steady while Marco rowed across to the beach with the line and tied it around a rock. Marco was then able to row (yes we STILL hadn't attached the outboard at this stage) back to Winspit and tighten the line while I anchored. Job done. We were secure. The guy in the tender, it turned out, owns a yacht called Bayan Blue from which he and his wife host luxury crewed sailing trips. They were on their own holiday at the time and we will be forever grateful for his assistance. It really helped us out of a spot and made our first go at taking a line ashore a happier memory than it might have been.

It was fun getting into the dinghy and going ashore along the line. We strolled to a place called 'The Windmill' - a bar/restaurant. We had a huge beer each which was thoroughly well-deserved, then I had a smaller one while Marco treated himself to another large one (well, all that rowing is tiring). After going back to the boat and getting showered and changed, we returned to The Windmill for dinner. It was packed! We got the only table left overlooking the sea and soon found out why it was free...the smell of sewage was appalling. Despite the stench we stayed and had an ok dinner of spag bol (they'd run out of moussaka) and downed a bottle of Greek white wine whilst chatting to a couple on the next table who were from North Wales and owned a part-share in a yacht. Also, we were approached by one of the women who'd shooed us away from an anchoring spot earlier. She'd come to apologise for her abruptness. That was nice of her (still don't want to go on a flotilla holiday with SH though!).

Back on the tender, I thought it was hilarious to take pictures in the dark of our struggle to find our way along the line. Marco wasn't laughing though and we had a row about my lack of assistance. Oh well - the picture was funny though!

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