Porto Helli via Spetsia and then Poros

Rob and Jacky Black
Thu 25 Apr 2013 20:18

 37 19.5 N 23 08.8 E

We left Monamvesia at 0430 hoisted the main and headed north hoping to make some fast progress before the force 5/ 6 filled in! This was achieved and we had a cracking sail in reasonably flat seas close hauled tacking up the coast and then heading for Spetsai. By mid day there was no real wind and we motored for the last couple of hours. On arrival we were surprised to find the inner harbour full of trip boats and fishing vessels and there was certainly no way we were going to get Arwen alongside the fuel pump  so we then decided that an alternative was required - hence our change of destination! There were more yachts on the water than we have seen this year as we motored from Spetsia to Porto Helli a light easterly was blowing and we were soon inside the harbour but yet again 'no room' on the town quay where we have berthed several times before. We were disappointed as we knew we could get fuel at the local petrol station and wheel the cans in a supermarket trolley back to the boat! However we then spotted a space at the innermost end and decided to try there - it was marked as being for the sole use of the fish-farm support boat. We had over 2 metres of depth and as by chance a fuel tanker was parked up at the other end of the small car park area. We dule organised to get the tanks filled and while this was happening Jacky went off to speak to the local boat yard Franks Yacht Station to request a buoy for the night. As we had paid a deposit to have Arwen here for 2 months in 2012 we were told that this could be carried over to 2013 and we were duly given a buoy for free! Had a lovely quiet night and left around 0800 for the short (or so we thought) trip to Hydra. On route we decided to stop at a bay called Derrick Cove on the north side of Dhokos island. We dropped the anchor over sand in crystal clear water but had issues with it not running out properly. Eventually we tried to bring it back up and then the problems began as we dragged the anchor over a huge chain lying on the bottom. We had a great deal of difficulty extracating ourselves from this but did finally manage to do so after the chain had 'jumped' off the gypsy and the low battery alarms had been sounding. We thought we had better not risk anchoring untill we discovered what was wrong. So with Jacky navigating the boat and heading for Poros Rob set to to try and discover the problem. It transpired that the shelf on which the windlass was sitting was cracking and had buckled allowing the whole thing to tip forward which was preventing the chain from running in and out smoothly. A phone call to  Poros Yacht services to request assistance on arrival gave us peace of mind in that they offered us a place infront of their chandlery with a lazy line. As it happened this was not actually available when we arrived but there was plenty of room on the town quay where we are now berthed. A technician came around 1900 and measured up, removed the windlass and returned  today with a new re-enforced shelf system which was duly fitted and the anchor tested. We are planning to leave here in the morning for an anchorage nearby to test all is working well.