Poros Island - 21st to 30th September

Bootlegger of Mann
Frank Newton
Tue 30 Sep 2014 13:42

37:30.40N 23:28E

30th September

Poros Island - 21st to 30th September

Sunday 21st September

After breakfast we took the dinghy and motored around to the next bay - Love Beach, where we beached and secured it for the day. We had a coffee at the beach bar where we chatted with the young, friendly Albanian staff. They promised they would keep an eye on our dinghy and, after getting a taxi number from  them, we were taken into town where we were dropped off at the taxi rank on the town quay by the ferry berths.  

We explored Poros town including the mandatory steep climb up many many steps to its highest point - the Clock Tower, along with hundreds of oriental day trippers who had just poured off a ship from Athens, to take the essential photos of the vista from this magnificent vantage point.

We noted that the town quay was very full, boats in some cases being rafted up. We were told by one of the Albanian Love Beach staff on our return there later by taxi, that he also worked at the Oasis restaurant on the quay and he was sure that Michael the proprietor would ensure a space for us on the quay across from the Oasis.

We return to Bootlegger by dinghy from Love Beach in the moonlight after having eaten ashore.

Monday 22 September

Russian Bay.  After breakfast and a swim, J removed the shoreline from the tree, freeing us after our anchor lift, to motor around to the narrow channel between Poros and the mainland town of Galatas where Poros town quay is located. There was no room at the Inn. Michael of the Oasis came out to shout to us that 'his' space was already taken, that there was a Ragatta taking place and there was no space left and to try further along at the northwest end of the harbour quayside. We did, mooring stern to outside the 'Yachting Cafe' - 'the meeting place for Skippers.'  

Tuesday 23 September

An uneventful day spent pottering ashore in chandleries and aboard.  In the evening I take J for dinner to 'Snails' just up some steps from and behind the main quayside and away from its many bars and restaurants. It had been recommended by son Karl. Food was excellent and most reasonably priced. The maître de is most friendly and pleasant, making the whole evening a most pleasurable one. 

Wednesday 24 September

An eventful day. This is the day Kevin and Do join us, arriving on the 20:00 hrs ferry from Athens, requiring the usual day's preparation for guests, cleaning, washing, tidying, shopping etc. 

The day started badly. A French Amel berthed alongside us said they were leaving at 09:00 hrs prompt and would need us to go out before them to ensure our respective anchor chains were not crossed or fouled ...

There was a stiff onshore breeze blowing.  After the manoeuvre was completed we headed back down the town quay to see if there was now space for us. Suddenly the dinghy being towed was inverted by the stiff breeze blowing, the outboard being immersed in the sea and the oars and fuel tank being tossed into the water. We had much fun recovering them.

Earlier, J noted damage to the passerelle wheels bracket at the quayside end of the passerelle ( gangplank ) it was badly bent / buckled and partly torn off at one of the weld points. Must have been the result of the heavy swell in harbour caused by one of the ferries coming in too fast. It was in need of urgent repair.

So, now we had two items in need of repair by an engineer, the damaged passerelle and the waterlogged outboard. I went off to the local chandlery to get the number of an engineer. I was given the name of Jan, a Danish guy who I called. He said he'd be half an hour or so. I went and had a coffee at a nearby cafe where I checked my e-mails on my smartphone in the morning sunshine before returning to the boat to meet Jan. 

When he saw and inspected the damaged passerelle he advised he was unable to weld aluminium. But he knew a man who could. He was a local mechanic who had a workshop across the water in Galatas.  We went over there in his dinghy towing mine with outboard attached and containing the damaged passerelle. When we reached the other side I discover to my consternation after getting out of the dinghy, that I no longer have my smartphone in my pocket. Had I left it on the table at the cafe? Or had it possibly slid out of my pocket into the water, possibly when I was climbing in or out of the dinghy?

After dropping the passerelle and engine into the mechanic's workshop we quickly returned to Poros Island where I head straight to the cafe. No, they do not have it.  I was mortified. The smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S5 was a recent replacement to my Blackberry, water damaged in Fiscardo. Replacement cost for an S5 here €700 ! Plus, of course, there is the loss of all data including many photographs.

I returned to Bootlegger where my news is met with disbelief by J.  So far today it has been the passerelle, then the outboard engine and now my smartphone loss - and it is still morning !

The waterlogged outboard.                      The twisted passerelle wheel bracket

I contacted my service provider in the IoM to have the number disconnected and notified various people of the loss and to call / text my Greek phone only, or e-mail me to my iPad.

What a day I'm having.

After lunch we resumed the preparation of the boat for our guests, after which we had our usual Sundowner G&T's  and game of Backgammon - yes, J won. We then showered and prepared to go and welcome Kevin and Do from the Athens ferry at 20:00.

We walked the short distance to the ferry embarkation/ disembarking point, arriving just as the ferry started to disembark its passengers. We immediately spotted Kevin and Do and welcomed them ashore. It was really good to see them again.

We had a drink in a bar directly opposite the ferry before going back to the boat to drop the bags, going on for a meal and catch up together at the Yachting Cafe .

Kevin and Do following their arrival in Poros

K and D have been up since 04:00 am travelling and we are shattered with the work and stress of the day's events. We were all ready for our bunks. There was one more thing awaiting us on our return to the boat. The passerelle wheels and bracket repaired and returned to the boat earlier in the day, along with the repaired engine have disappeared !  There must have been a further ferry surge in our absence that again ripped the support bracket off, this time completely!  We assume they must have dropped into the sea behind Bootlegger's stern.

Thursday, 25th September

I have sourced a diver through Pavlou Spyros the chandlery manager. He will be here at 14:00 hrs to look for the passerelle wheels and smartphone and to check the bow thruster which had sounded odd last time it was used. While he was down the mechanic who had just done my repairs walked by. He asked what the diver was doing? I told him. Finding the wheels section of the passerelle he had repaired the previous day and my smartphone which was also possibly down there. The diver then came up with the wheels section but no smartphone. The mechanic took the wheel section away with him to straighten out to await the passerelle I would drop over to him which I later did and he welded the straightened bracket back on there and then for me.

Friday 26th September 

An eventful day. After taking an early coffee ashore I return to the boat where I found, on the cockpit table a note. It read 'Frank ! Your phone has been found ! It is with the mechanic over at Galatas ' ( mainland ) . Jan. ( Danish engineer ) 

I can't believe it! It is impossible. Maybe it is someone else's phone, some little Nokia or whatever. Maybe it it has been found but ruined after being in the sea or whatever ... ......My excitement waned when I thought more of it.  The fact the mechanic had it over in Galatas pretty much ruled out it having been taken from the cafe table on Wednesday morning. I cycled over to the chandlers to get the number of the mechanic from Spyros. He had already heard about the find and was delighted for me. He phoned the mechanic who said he hadn't personally got the phone, it was with a hairdressers up the road in Galatas town.

Shortly after, I arrived at the mechanic's workshop in Galatas by dinghy. He told me to hop on the back of his scooter and off we roared through the town to the hairdressers. There I was presented with my Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone as I had last seen it !  The hairdresser's husband George had found it whilst fishing out at sea. He spotted it floating by just below the surface. It was found to be working perfectly - presumably after a day or so at sea ! Amazing.
I was over the moon as you can imagine.

During his early morning coffee with his cronies in a local cafe where they all get together every morning, George had reported his incredible find to his friends. One of them said, 'I think I know who it belongs to!  Incredibly lucky for me, one of George's cronies was none other than my mechanic ! The mechanic went on to tell George and the others how a yachtsman over on Poros had lost such a phone on Wednesday morning !  My mechanic then phoned Jan, the Danish engineer asking home to pass on the good news to me. 

George, a carpenter, had no need for such a sophisticated phone and had given it to his wife, the hairdresser. 

Lovely people, they initially refused point blank to accept a consideration from me for the phone's recovery. In the end they agreed to take it to buy a new basket ball kit for their 14 year old son.

The recovered Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone and the finder George, pictured
with me following my obligatory haircut in his wife's salon after she was parted 
from her new acquisition.

What an amazing piece of luck ! The odds of my retrieving my phone in perfect condition under 
such circumstances must be millions to one; it surviving the time at sea, it being spotted by George and successfully recovered from the sea, for George to tell of his find to his friend the mechanic - who he see's every day and for the mechanic to have met me and known of my phone loss ... Just incredible luck. As more than one person has said since. ' Frank, you should go out and buy a lottery ticket !' 

Saturday 27th to 30th September

Saturday saw a strong onshore wind coming in and the heavy chop it created created makes our continued stern to berth on the quay untenable. We, and others around us, move off the quay and across to the relative shelter of Navy Bay anchorage, where we stay for the next couple of days. We go ashore by water taxi rather than risk it in the dinghy, given the sea conditions. We are now definitely ready for the off. 

Loading up provisions in Navy Bay.          A last look across the bay at Poros from
                                                                    Navy Bay anchorage

Tuesday 30th September

After taking on provisions we are ready to go. Our destination is the island of Hydra some two hours sail to the south of our present position.