Some good sailing!

39:20.7N 24:04.6E
 
Monday 27th July 2009
 
Slipped moorings late morning - no problem with the anchor coming up this time, except that the last 10 metres of chain and the anchor itself were covered in thick grey sticky mud, which we had to wash off before letting the chain go below into the locker. 
 
With a reef in the main and two thirds of the Genoa out, we were doing 8 knots with 24 knots of wind on the port quarter almost all the way to Ormos Panormos.
 
The anchor was down and the line ashore by 1330 - time for a swim before lunch!
 
A chilled out day, reading, swimming, snorkelling, eating chicken kebabs cooked on the barbecue for dinner and enjoying drinks in the cockpit as the moon went down over the hills.
 
 
Tuesday 28th July 2009
 
Anchor up mid-morning, and with one and a half reefs in the main and the yankee we had a cracking sail to Steni Vala on Alonisos.  We arrived mid afternoon to find Sue, Nip and co had beaten us by an hour or so.  Sue took the lines and we were soon tied up. 
 
                      
The quayside in Steni Vala                                                                        The view south from Steni Vala bay
 
We walked round to the next cove, and swam and snorkelled, then back to the boat for a siesta.
 
Later, over pre-dinner drinks, we worked out the rules of the game of Okey we had bought in Turkey, and played a couple of rounds before eating ashore in the fish taverna.
 
By coincidence it just happened to be Sam and Joe's birthday, and we were invited for after-dinner drinks and cake, which nicely rounded off a very good day.
 
Happy 16th Birthday Sam and Joe!
 
 
Wednesday 29th July 2009
 
After some discussion with the Greek skipper of Sue & Nip's charter boat about the conditions around the entrance to an anchorage we wanted to visit on Panayia, we slipped moorings mid-morning and headed up the channel between Alonisos and Peristeri.
 
With a strong wind on the nose we decided to motor up the channel rather than tack, and headed straight into our lunchtime stop on the South West corner of Panayia - Ag Petros Bay.  Here it was not as sheltered as the Pilot would have one believe, but we found a spot in reasonable shelter and let go the anchor, only to find that it was jammed up in the locker and wouldn't run freely enough to get it down.  So we headed back out to deep water where we let out 30 metres of chain and carefully laid it back in the locker so that it would run freely on the next attempt.  In the meantime a trip boat had vacated a good spot and we went back and anchored there.  The anchor chain was still a bit sluggish but we got it down ok for a lunch stop.
 
We left this bay at 1600 and enjoyed (!) some lively sailing into the wind for a couple of hours before deciding to motor sail so that we could head up into the wind more.  On switching on the engine, however, we heard the most awful knocking noise which suggested that something was very wrong! We switched it off again and put the yankee back up and Steve went below to investigate.  He discovered that the nuts and bolts holding the aquadrive flexible coupling of the drive shaft had worked their way loose and one had come off altogether.  We made a note to complain to the company that had 'serviced' the aquadrive during the winter!  Fortunately Steve was able to locate the missing locking nut in the bilge and to replace it and tighten up the others, and then we were able to motor once again.  This was a sobering experience as the island we were sailing off and to is uninhabited and the anchorage requires a good engine to get in and out of its narrow entrance.  Without the engine we would have had to sail back to Steni Vala and request help. This was at 1800, with only a couple of hours light left, so we were particularly glad that Steve was able to identify and remedy the problem!
 
We eventually arrived at Planitis and it was fascinating to see the flat water the other side of the entrance.  This anchorage is almost entirely enclosed and depths at the entrance are little more than 6 metres, so virtually no swell enters the bay at all.  We dropped the anchor and enjoyed a peaceful,calm evening and night with only the stars and a few goats for company.