37:21.22N 23:28.96E Idhra Bay
Wednesday 12th June, 2013.
We almost sailed the 11.6 miles over to Idhra in beautiful sunshine. Just after we had turned the corner and could see Idhra straight in front of us the wind started to die and we could see a build up of black clouds on the main land which we appeared to be leaving behind.
We decided that as we heard Idhra town quay was very packed we would go into the little bay before the town anchor and take lines to the rocks. Martin whom we had met several days before came over in his dinghy and took one line for us and Jim and Steve managed the other.
I had just put the four plates of salad, bread, shandy’s on the table with the cutlery, place mats and the boys were just starting to eat. When over the side of the cliff came this enormous gust of wind and sent everything flying. The strength of the wind blowing and the surge of the sea took our line with the chain around it on the port side off and we were moving very quickly into the English boat next to us. We dumped the starboard line and the port one and Jim started to motor out with me pulling the anchor as fast as I could. Two or three charter boats had anchored in front of us and were now panicking on what to do. With the force of the sea we were lucky to get away from the other boat with only damage from their chain on our stern paint work. The visibility had disappeared in seconds and all we could do was motor out of the bay into the deep water between Idhra and the mainland. The rain was horrendous with hail stones the size of golf balls. A small catamaran, a bit bigger than a hobi cat with a small outboard was having trouble just getting the small boat out of the bay and Jim was having trouble keeping Ariel out of its way.
Jim did a great job as usual keeping us all safe motoring until the storm moved away and moved away over the mainland. The winds were registered at over 70 miles an hour which came in seconds. The boats which stayed in the bay were swept over the local boat moorings tangling them with ropes under their rudders. It happened so quickly no one had a chance.
Once the water calmed we anchored in the middle of the bay and Jim retrieved the starboard line which was still tied to the shore. He dived for the chain and line but could not find it. He took a card and went aboard the English boat to make sure they had no damage. Luckily, the next day on our mobiles we had a message to say when they pulled up their anchor our chain and line was attached and was on its way to Poros for collection.
Lunch was resumed and the three shandys which I had put on the side by the fridge were still sitting there without a drop missing even though we had gone through half an hour of hell.
We decided the best thing to do was to show Alison and Steve Idhra harbour by motoring in and out of it and then to motor over to Ermioni and anchor in the bay. On the way we did see a Navy gunboat with huge propellers anchored off the coast blending in with the cliffs. All night long we heard engines roaring and heard a helicopter coming and going with little surges of water moving us every now and again. Next morning it was nowhere to be seen.
Alison and Steve were true sailors and took it all in their stride and helped with everything they could. Not the best experience for only your second week in your life on a boat. The storm was not predicted and like many weather reports here there was no mention of any problems to look out for.