Saturday, 25 October 2008

Port Athene to Paleros

Thursday 11th September

Woke up on deck to the sound of the fishing boats going out. It was only 04:30 so I went downstairs where Marco had already gone earlier (the swine left me to the elements!)...Woke up properly at 7.30 (again)...and came back up on deck to another beautiful sunrise. We had a quick glass of juice, then made our way in Junior to the shore. We then walked up to the village of Katameri which was lovely, but there was nothing open, not even the bakery. We could see the potential for an evening out or even a lunch stop but breakfast? Forget it....! On the way back, a little old Greek lady in black, watering her garden, turned her hose on us. I think the intention was to cool us down as it was already hot. Can't imagine how we would have upset her otherwise!

We made it safely back to Winspit and had a lovely breakfast of honey/yoghurt with the traditional coffee and watched the Sailing Holidays yachts leave...they turned to port as they left the bay and we noted with regret that we would probably end up bumping into them again at some stage of the trip.

We left eventually ourselves into 11 knots of wind and sailed on a beam reach towards Kalamos at 5kn for a while. As we tacked and came back towards Abelieke Bay, our lunch stop, the wind died again and we motored in. The bay is much hyped and Rod Heikel is very complimentary but we didn't really think it was that exciting. The atmosphere wasn't helped by two diggers that constantly jiggered noisily the entire time we were there and when we tried to leave, the anchor chain ran away and we had to let it run right out. Marco reversed the boat back and I tightened the gypsy before successfully pulling up again.

There was wind and although it was already 3pm, we decided it was too early to go to Paleros, so we decided to sail around Skorpios. It started well enough, good tacking, up to 6kn speed, but it all went wrong as I was helming and took Winspit off course. Being a nervous ''What do I do now?" kind of sailor I was heading towards an oncoming ferry. Marco took the helm rather huffily and i then proceeded to mess up the tacking too. Names were called, tears were shed (can't say by who)...and the result was that we had started to run out of time to get to our destination, so Marco took in the genoa and we motored fast to Paleros.

Getting there, another boat ahead of us entered the little harbour and came straight out again. We did the same. There was no space. Why?? Well, Odysseus Yachting have their base here so one pontoon was entirely taken out by their fleet. The other pontoon.....? Hmmm Sailing Holidays had tacked themselves onto the end . Having experienced them so often now, we actually preferred to anchor again just outside the harbour, thus avoiding any noisy parties and disco songs from the "Brits Abroad". We chose our spot and Marco signalled to drop the anchor. It dropped alright....and didn't stop..! Brought up several metres of chain until we could tell we were well in. We had beer and nibbles on board watching the sunset and all the day's traumas were forgotten once again.
We motored in Junior over to the shore and walked around the town. We liked Paleros - our first visit to the Greek mainland. It had real old charm, lots of cafes and tavernas too. We chose 'Dionysos' and had a lovely meal, sitting by the sea where an old lady was fishing with a single reel and line. Afterwards, we walked around the town eating ice cream before heading back to Winspit for a coffee and Baileys.

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