Passage from Ios to Vlikhadas, Santorini ( 28.5 nm)

Bootlegger of Mann
Frank Newton
Sat 11 Oct 2014 21:05

Saturday 11 October

36:20.195N 25;26.23E

Passage from Irini, Ios to Vlikhadas, Thia, Santorini

Weather: Fine and sunny with clear skies Vis.: VG  Wind: NNW F.5  Sea State: mod. to rough

Fuel: Full Tank (600 litres)  Water: 950 Litres Batteries 100%

09:45 36:43.358N 25:16.436E Irini Harbour : After putting in 164 litres of diesel fuel at 1.46 Euro a litre, we have a full tank once more. We prepare the genny for putting back on the forestay when we are out in the bay at anchor and facing to windward to do it. 

We manage to squeeze out of our berth where we have been tightly wedged in overnight by the same chartered yacht with twelve Russians aboard that did it to us back in Folegrandres. The resultant squeezed fenders squeaked loudly all night in their squashed state in both ports, causing us to have two very sleepless nights.

In my absence Kevin says they came in to the harbour and laid off while one of their number came ashore and removed our starboard spring line running across this narrow gap into which they then pushed themselve, stern to. 

On our return to the boat we found Kevin and Do down below who told us what had happened. I was not best pleased. I went up and confronted the Russians about their actions, pointing out they had no right to remove our spring line which was needed in the strong winds, or to push themselves in as they had where there was insufficient room. That this was the second time they had done this to us. They just stared at me in silence until finally the apparent skipper said, on turning away, they can do what they like and that we didnt own the harbour!

Later, we are told by an English boat at the other end of the quay that they'd tried to wedge in there and were forced out by the boat owners on either side who refused to let them in.  So, in my absence and the owner of the boat alongside us, they came down to where we were and attacked the small gap between us instead !

As a result of the two incidents with these Russians I can now appreciate why nobody likes them. 

In the harbour approach we dropped the hook and put up the repaired genny.

Soon we are on our way to Santorini on a course of 163 degrees under headsail and mizzen sail doing a S.O.G of some 7.7kts. 

It's a great sail down to Santorini  with fresh following winds and in glorious sunshine

A happy skipper                                          

13.15 36:25.33N 25:26.23E  We enter this huge former volcanic crater, now filled with 
water surrounded by dramatic black volcanic terrain of each of the islands overlooking
it, topped by many white buildings. Interestingly we spot on Thia island, atop the town, 
a very large mosque, the first we have seen in our travels around the Greek islands. 

There are two cruise ships lying off Thia, their tenders running backwards and forwards 
between the ships and shore.

Thia with its Mosque dominating the town   The Amsterdam anchored off Thia

We sailed through the crater following a French yacht en route to our destination,  Vlikhadas on the south of Thia, some ten miles distant. We slowly reeled in the Frenchman but after he realised there was a race on he used his lightness and full sail to ultimately hold off our partially canvassed, 24 tonnes after we at one stage overhauled him. Racing? Who was racing?!

The black volcanic rock contrasting with 
the white volcanic dust, hardened to stone
behind at Akrotiri Point, SW Thira.

16:04 Arrived off Vlikhadas. Rod Hekell"s Greek Pilot calls for extreme care to be taken in approaching this small harbour the entrance which lies behind two reefs or moles  that requires to lay the small gap between the moles to come in steering a course toward the centre of the breakwater of 45 degrees. We then have to get in through an entrance silted up, of just 1.6 m. depth. We draw 2.2 m. !  We make it, slowly edging up the harbour at a snails pace with the depth sounder showing 0 below us! We are directed to a mooring that we arrive safely at without running aground. Phew !!! Finally here and safely docked. After a tidy up we all go for dinner in a taverna above the port which, at 25 Euro each, proves to be our most expensive meal this trip.

Vlikhadas marina, Thia, Santorini.