36:40.95N 23:02.34E Monemvasia
36:40.95N 23:02.34E Monemvasia
Friday, 31st August, 2012.
The weather forecasts were not in our favour so we knew we should be up early and tried and pass the third finger of the Peloponnese called Cape Maleas in order to be able to continue our holiday. We motor sailed most of the way to the island of Elafonisos and arrived there about 12 o’clock but Jim could see in the distance lots of white water like a tide line coming our way. In with the genny, reef the main and within five minutes our world was a completely different place. The wind was gusting down off the Taiyetos and Parnon mountains and straight across the water causing a very confused sea. We motored on for a while but the gusts were beating us back. Jim took the decision to turn and take shelter if there was any in the big bay of Sarakiniko which we discovered was a wonderful holiday destination for the Greeks. We entered Sarakiniko but the small bay around the large rock is Frangos and separates the two by a sand bank. The anchor went down in wonderful white sand and the colour of the water is magnificent. We had covered 26.28 miles. The wave points are 36:28.04N 22:58.53E.
All the forecasts had said it would drop at 6 p.m. and the NE would become more southerly. Like by magic around 5.45 p.m. the wind stopped and for about an hour blew very softly from the west. We decided to have stuffed vine leaves as a quick tea and a swim and we were on our way. We motored away from the island across the Vatika bay and on towards the headland.
Maleas has a bit of a fearsome reputation and it is not until you are actually at the headland do you have any idea where the wind is going to come from. As we got closer the wind started to come from the south west and very quickly we were charging along. The sun was setting behind us and the full moon was rising in front of us. We lost the light just before the headland but we waved to the monks who live in a hermitage near the point and who watch large and small ships rounding the point. We could see their lights in their hermitage which was comforting and a cruise liner and a couple of large ships were in our sights. A fisherman called to us so Jim stopped motoring and it turned out he wanted cigarettes. Unfortunately, he was unlucky with both of us.
The sea was very confused what with the NE wind all day and now the south west wind. Once we rounded the point the south west wind was gone but we had a little bit of tide with us for a while and we found the remains of the north/north east wind which at times there was only 5 knots or less so we motored in very strong seas and arrived just before midnight in the small harbour of Monemvasia. Unfortunately, there were no spaces on the harbour wall and so we had to anchor in the bay. It was very rolly and so we didn’t go to bed for another hour or so. We had covered just over 30 miles during the evening.
We got up just before 7 o’clock as the wind is due to start again at 9 a.m. Two spaces became free on the wall so we quickly sorted our fenders, dinghy and reversed onto the quay. The life boat chappie was quickly over to say we needed to move slightly away from him after he had watched us tie up. We explained as the wind was now starting to blow strongly it was unsafe at present to move which he agreed was the case. We changed our lines and added a spring and managed to move away from him a considerable distance and he appears happy now. Two more boats left and one was seriously tangled with underwater wires so we have decided we are not moving out and repositioning as the life boat has about 20 feet between him and us. Another boat came in with intentions of being stern to and completely lost it and ended up along the wall as the wind is blowing good and strong.
We have spotted the resident Sammy the turtle and he is very cheeky. He comes in and out of the boats and swims around the bay. He is about three feet across.
One of the Silver Sea cruise liner’s has joined us this morning and the passengers have been going back and forth on their little boats to walk around the sights which we are going to do later.