Chris and Alison
Thu 9 Sep 2021 18:47
8th September 2021
We left Leros in no wind, so decided to do some reversing practice because the next place on our itinerary would involve stern to mooring. As we had only done this once so far at Lavrion, we were a little nervous at the prospect. So we went over to Lakki town quay to have a go. To say that we provided the mornings entertainment would be an under statement. Muskrat would not go backwards in a straight line no matter what we tried to do and this was in no wind at all. We thought she had some prop walk that turned the stern to port but when she decided to go to starboard and there was no way we could correct the turn, we started to wonder. After about 20 minutes we decided that the other moored boats had probably had enough and it was time to leave.
Quite despondent we motored all the way to Patmos with only a very light breeze right on the nose. The good news was that we managed to make 100L of fresh sweet water on the way, topping up the tanks with lovely, and very much needed fresh water. Leros, and probably most of the other islands we were about to visit, do not have drinking (potable) water so our water maker is essential but it can only be made when we are motoring.
We arrived in Patmos in the early afternoon after making good progress despite the lack of wind. Now for the dreaded stern to mooring. On the way across we emailed Muskrat’s previous owners to ask them about the reversing problem and if they had any tips for us. They were very good and replied very quickly, unfortunately we didn’t see the reply until after we were berthed.
So, on arrival there was plenty of space and we were able to pick our spot, the good news. We lined ourselves up, taking into consideration a very slight but noticeable cross wind. The anchor was ready to go, all we had to do was to reverse into the gap. Well, I don’t know how long we were trying but it certainly provided another group of yachts with plenty of entertainment. Chris did managed to get Muskrat into the slot only to be told by the guy on the quay that the anchor needed to be laid further upwind and we had to go out again!!! By this time our nerves were really ragged. We did get in eventually and had to pay the guy on the quay €4 for the privilege of taking our lines. Then we read the email from the previous owners. It turns out that they had the same problem for as long as they had Muskrat and although they mastered it most of the time, they admitted that it was always a problem and had to resort to bow to mooring a lot of the time. So it wasn’t our inept ability after all.
There was a large space left next to us after we had moored so we knew that inevitably another boat would eventually come in and so it did, a wacking big motor cruiser. She had bow thrusters and twin engines but even so decided to lean on Muskrat's port side (and pulpit!) and use her as a fender; that was until “Rambo” (see previous posts for details) made an appearance on the foredeck with a severe look on his face!! They then heaved their boat sideways six feet and Muskrat could breath again.