An uneventful 5 hrs motoring in virtually no wind brought us to Aegina, just south of Athens, to sit out the storm that was expected to lash the whole of the Aegean shortly. It’s a good looking place and we arrived on the town quay at the height of the town’s pre-lenten carnival activities. Just a hundred metres away was a stage with loads of kids dancing and the town turned out, mostly in outlandish costumes, to listen, watch or just mill about – noisy, festive & fun.
Amongst Aegina’s claims to fame are its pistachios and proximity to Athens. This was the first time this year that we’ve arrived to moor next to other boats – a few other madmen chartering yachts early in the season, plus a number of big gin palaces over for the carnival. Many of you will know my predilection for pistachios, so this place is heaven – they are on sale everywhere! They are different from those we’ve been buying from elsewhere (mostly Californian nuts from Lidl!) – red hued rather than green, and really, really tasty.
A few days later and we are still here, having been really sheltered from the worst of the storm. Temperatures have plummeted to low single figures even at midday and there is snow covering the mainland hillsides even at quite low altitudes. We’ve had to have the boat’s diesel heating on even during the day – something we’ve not had to do before since living aboard. We had a brief walk to the western headland to see the sea state to the exposed north of the island. It did look impressively wild, but it was too cold in the biting north wind to stay and enjoy the sight.
Our next adventure is to transit the Corinth canal. The winds should be light enough tomorrow (Thursday 10th) so we plan to get away early & go through after lunch.