38:21.8N 20:44.4E Sarakiniko Bay, Ithaca
38:21.8N 20:44.4E Sarakiniko Bay, Ithaca.
Sunday, 12th August, 2012.
We woke to a lovely still sunny morning with chanting from the big church on the quay. We quickly had breakfast and we were on our way out of the harbour heading north to Sami on Cephalonia. We motored and part sailed across from Zakynthos to Cephalonia on a very calm sea.
After we had lunch as we passed by Poros we picked up the breeze coming straight at us from the NW down the channel and over the mountains. Gradually as we neared the point to the bay to head into Sami we were pushing against over 30 knots of wind. Jim thought we could continue into the bay where we hoped to get some cover from the wind. Unfortunately, it was blowing straight into the little harbour and quay. We had to give up on the idea and sail away. We knew as it was around 4 p.m. the harbour would be full and we were not going to have the space to make any quick decisions or moves so we turned and crossed the Steno Ithakis sailing along with the main and genny reefed down. As soon as other boats realised the strength of the wind they were turning and going in different directions. Gradually as we got into the lea of Ithaca the wind gradually eased until we rounded the point of Isiannis and it was back to its full force again. The racing team who were in Zakynthos were also battling up to the finish point at Isiannis where the committee boat was patiently waiting.
As the mountains are so high the wind funnels down the coast of the islands and over the mountains usually into a small harbour tucked at the foot of the mountain. Sometimes it is windy for a couple of hours and other days it goes on for hours. There does not seem to be any correct weather forecast which can accurately detail what is going to happen on a daily basis in this area. Most days we look at each other and say no one mentioned 20 or 30 knots in their forecasts or the correct direction it is coming from.
We pulled into Pigadhi Bay but everyone was spread out on anchors patiently waiting for the wind to drop and Jim was not happy with the space left so we sailed out of there and up to Sarakinko Bay. Buoys marking the swimming area are along the beach and super yachts were lined up around the bay but we found a spot for Ariel. We anchored by an Italian super yacht, five times longer than Ariel and Jim took the lines ashore. After putting the chains around the rocks Jim put out the ketch anchor as our Delta seemed to be dragging across the bottom of the sea bed.
The super yacht went and left us open to the roll from the sea but we were tied up and we could stand this if the wind did not strengthen over night. In the morning we discovered the Delta had actually found something to put it s nose into and the ketch was dragging. Never mind we had a quiet night in a beautiful bay with some lovely super yachts and we were safe. We covered 45.9 miles during Sunday.