Nisos Andros (Gavrion) to Nisos Kea (Vourkari) then to Ormos Anavissou on the Greek mainland.

Minka of Southampton - Cruising Log
Edmund Wigan
Thu 13 Jun 2013 10:00

Position 37:43.092N 23:55.643E Ormos Anissou


The plan to visit the islands (except for Nisos Kea) was abandoned because of wind direction. The sailing has been great with some good speeds although it has kept me busy with reefs in and out and playing with the Monitor wind vane. This photo shows it steering Minka set at an angle to the wind direction.




Ignore the big white thing on the back…it is a permanently attached fender so I can ram the town quays with reasonable impunity when backing in. The wind vane on top is tilted either way by the wind. In this case we were sailing with the wind nearly directly behind us. The front edge of the vane points towards the wind….if it is not pointing directly in the wind direction it tilts the vane which twists the paddle in the water. The water flowing over the paddle forces it to swing which steers the boat by two ropes led by pulleys to the steering wheel.




The steering is activated by pushing the knob thing (also known as a queer thing for the technically minded) into one of the holes on the inner wheel. All those funny knots and clippy things are only there to tension the ropes and enable them to be put away. I hope you are all following this…..


Using that system you can let Minka steer herself at a constant angle to the wind which is great as it uses no electricity. However if you don’t have enough wind to power the vane or no wind and are motoring it doesn’t help. So to steer a magnetic course it is possible to link a very low powered electric tiller pilot to the Monitor and use its internal  fluxgate compass to steer the course.




So we replace the wind vane with a bit of plywood and link the tiller pilot to that. The writing on the bit of plywood is to remind me to put the plywood on the right way round. The buttons on the tiller pilot are on/off and two buttons each for turning to port or starboard in increments of one or ten degrees…….anyone asleep yet?




Approaching Vourkari on Nisos Kea. The sailing boat is coming out of the entrance. There are lots of ferries flying about here…….




….here’s one that has landed. This is the harbour inside the bay. We went up to a village which is a mile or so to the left of here just round the corner from this headland.




We backed up to the quay and a nice restaurant chappy came and took my lines so I had to go and have a beer. Looking at the forecast using the bar wifi I decided not to stay on the quay because strong winds were forecast blowing us on and I wasn’t confident my anchor had dug in securely. So we went and anchored by a posh yacht.




That is Vourkari behind the yacht. The bay we were in is where the electricity comes ashore so there is an area marked on the chart where anchoring is forbidden to avoid someone putting the lights out by snagging the underwater cables.




This is all the electric gubbins on the shore. Later on the posh yacht moved and anchored about 70 mts away from me in this bay right on top of the cables.




That is the entrance/exit to the bay behind. During the night I was woken by an almighty flash and bang…..but it was only thunder.


The next morning I set off early to benefit from the good winds to sail towards Athens. We had a great sail although we had to cross some shipping routes and this guy wasn’t going to give way …. so I had to.




He was doing about 12kts so it was worth altering course to miss him. The ferry from Kea was just behind me and he nearly got him as well. I did try calling him on the radio but no response. The ferry then overtook us giving a reasonable clearance of about a cable.




As I said she is 1/10th of a mile off so by comparing pictures you can see how close the other chap was.




On the way up the mainland coast we passed an ancient monument on top of that hill. You will have to take my word for it there were lots of columns with lintels joining them up. We are now anchored in a bay called Ormos Anavissou which is a great anchorage but not worth a photo.