We left in the morning with again no winds to work
with. Motored south and then took a slight detour to one of the caves on
the southern tip of Meganisi. Supposedly a place where a Greek sub sought
shelter during WWII. It is large enough that the tour boats enter and
turnaround inside. Not sure the sub stayed there for any length of time
since it is open to the western sea making it a rough place with the afternoon
From there we continued back on course to Ithaca.
Heading across the Tilevois Thalassa (the water between the two islands) the
winds finally picked up. With 15 knots off the beam we set a full main
and a partially reefed genoa. We had a nice 45 minutes of 8 – 9.5
knots of boat speed, aver faster if measured as COG. As we approached A.
Ay. Ilaias, the point at the entrance of Kolpos Aetou the wind went from 15
knots to 0.0. Not slowly, just instantly. In fact so quickly we
actually back winded the genoa from just the remaining boat speed. The
water was silk smooth and not a breath of wind. 100 meters astern there
was still wind. So it is with sailing around islands.
So back on with the motor for the short trip to Limin Vathi,
the harbor for the town of Vathi (Ithaca). Our plan was to anchor on the
northern side of the harbor away from the ferry dock and town quay. We
did drop anchor but did not like the position to shore and this large steel
mooring buoy. So we pulled anchor and went to the southeast head of the
bay. It is much shallower here and has very good mud for holding the
anchor steady. But we did not like the proximity to the ferry dock and
the dead thing floating in the water. So again being picky we went out of
the harbor to a small anchorage I saw on the way in. Ormos Dexia was finally
our place. No other boat in the small anchorage, good sandy bottom, clear
water and a few small Holiday houses on shore. Worked out very
well. No other boats came into the cove while we were there except for
some small fishermen. The fish farm mentioned in the Pilot guide was not
present in the anchorage but some of the buoys were positioned near shore.
The anchorage is protected from the strongest afternoon
winds but some does get around the corner. At night the winds turned a
little south and put the boat beam to the waves entering. Nothing bad,
just something that a kedge anchor would solve. I did not feel like
setting one and by midnight things were calm anyway.
We did go into town to shop for provisions via dinghy.
Only a few minute trip into town. Everything we needed within a few
steps, produce store, butcher, dry good and bakery for bread. Even
stamped our transit log at the Coast Guard station.
Ithaca is a low key tourist place. No airport so the
only way on the island is by boat or ferry. Only small ferries come to
the island since the towns are also small. Many of the resident have left
to find work at other places including the States. The town was also hit
hard by recent earthquakes so rebuilding was required. Hard to believe
this was Ulysses kingdom by what is here today. No ruins and almost
nothing as far as museums. But I guess this is one of those places a
sailor should travel to at least once to better understand Homer’s Odyssey.
There are some really great large homes on the hillsides,
one with a couple of hole golf course! I have no idea where they get the
water for the grass. So I bet some very wealthy people have their hidden
Tour boat entering cave and will turn around inside.
Southeast view from the boat of Dexia anchorage
Northwest view of same anchorage.
Another view with the mountains of Ithaca in the
background. These hills funnel the prevailing wind around. In the
water between this picture and the mountain a northeast wind will raise up a
very large swell.
South side of Ithaca harbor.
Main quay in Ithaca.