Saturday 10th October 2009
The pre-leaving engine check gave us cause for worry - lots of anti-freeze-coloured water in the engine bilge! It took a while to find the leak, but eventually we found it by the fresh water pump. It didn't seem a good idea to leave at this point, with very light winds forecast and the possibility of motoring for 7-8 hours to get to our next stop, the island of Simi.
So Steve went in search of a mechanic, first stopping at Eagle's Nest car hire to ask Mike if he could point him in the right direction. It turned out that Mike had been a car mechanic in the US, and he kindly came back to the boat with Steve to take a look. He confirmed that it was the fresh water pump, but didn't think it would be a problem to run the engine as they are apparently designed to start leaking when they are beginning to fail to give a warning that they are about to do so. He advised that we should top up the fresh water and then monitor the engine temperature and top up if necessary, saying that the leak only happens when the engine is idling, not when it is working.
We had to make a judgement, then, whether to leave or wait for a day with more wind so that we could sail most of the way and only use the engine at start and finish. Knowing we needed to be back in Marmaris for Andy's visit and that the winds were forecast to be light for the next few days, we decided in the end to go for it.
So we motored all of the 40nmiles to Simi, constantly monitoring the temperature gauge and checking the engine bilge for water. Fortunately, the temperature gauge went up only slightly and there was only a small puddle in the bilge that didn't get any bigger as time went on.
We arrived in Simi harbour around 4 p.m. and there was a space on the quay which we were called into. Having tied up, however, it appeared that the anchor was not holding, and we went back out to re-set it. At this point the guys on the quay decided to ignore us completely and called another boat in. We hung around for a while, but they were clearly not going to call us back in (we wondered if it was because we had earlier refused to move our anchor line to the other side of the stern), and in the end we decided to go to a bay that had been recommended to us just around the coast.
It was a "wow" moment as we rounded the headland into the bay, as the cliffs are sheer down to the sea on three sides. It was reputedly used for the filming of scenes in the film "The Guns of Navarone", and is locally known by cruisers as Navarone Bay. We thanked the miserable harbour guys in Simi town for ignoring us - this was much better!
Scott-Free at anchor in "Navarone Bay" in Simi Looking back as we left
The water here was deep and very clear, and we rewarded ourselves with a swim. We had the bay all to ourselves, apart from some people camping in a couple of little tents on the beach, near the only building in the bay which was a little church.
Steve giving the fishes a fright by forgetting to put his swimming trunks on Yes, that IS our anchor lying upside down on the bottom,doing absolutely nothing!
We had a calm and peaceful evening and night, and next morning found that we had moved around our anchor a bit and there it was just off the side of the boat - upside down and doing absollutely nothing! So much for making sure it's well dug in! We hadn't worried too much about checking it because the forecast was for light winds anyway, but just as well they hadn't blown up in the night!!