Rethymno on Crete
35:22.105N 24:28.918E Fri 18th August 2017
We spent the extra day on Sikinos in the really strong winds which had put us off leaving. One of the forecasts included the words “sea state very rough” which translates as waves up to 6m. Although this was much worse than any other forecast, we took it as a warning. We spent the day trapped on board again by winds gusting over 30kts, although looking out to sea it didn’t look too bad and quite a few other yachts came in to anchor during the day, making us doubt our decision.
However the dice was cast and, with the winds abating a bit later in the day, we were up for an early start on the 18th. It turned out to be a really good day’s sail, only a little irritating that we had to swap between goose-winging and “normal” sails several times as the wind shifted about. But most of the day it was good sailing; just an hour or two with the engine on during the lulls. We made an average of 6.5kts for 13½ hrs (86 miles) and arrived at Rethymno “marina” in the early evening. There was no help from any staff, so we were left to find a spot, helped by a British couple who said “lucky you didn’t arrive yesterday – the waves were breaking over the harbour wall”! This made us feel vindicated in our decision to chicken out the day before.
It is interesting for us to be back in Rethymno and at the height of the tourist season. We were last here in “Red Panda” in February, 2011 and the town had a very different aspect then. We can’t quite believe how many bars and tavernas pop up in the summer! The old Turkish part of town is still a delight and it’s possible to avoid the crowds wandering down the pretty back streets. There is a long beach just next to the marina for a cool off, although the water temperature here is quite a bit higher than further north and almost too warm (27.5°C under the boat). That is something I never thought first mate would say.
We are taking the opportunity to do some boat chores whilst we have water and power here and spent some hours yesterday just cleaning the thick salt which had encrusted everything after our recent boisterous passages. David has found yet another skill in sewing up a bit of our spray hood where the zip was coming detached and has also been busy soaking ropes that have become stiff with salt. Lindsay did a large load of washing by hand as the nearest laundry here is quite a walk away. It helps that it all dries so quickly in the dry heat. We hope to get out and about more in the next couple of days and maybe manage a gorge walk which wasn’t possible during our winter on the island. Our main reason for returning to Crete however, is to meet up with family members who run yoga holidays near our next port of call in Chania.