Itea - Rain and a gale

Rob & Sarah Bell
Fri 1 May 2009 19:37
38:25.8N 22:25.2E

Friday 1st May (Labour Day)
Not too sad to leave Trizonia as it is not quite as idyllic as one would
have hoped. The air of dereliction and abandonment as well as some miserable
'live aboard' residents spoils the tone of what should be a charming and
pretty location.

As we cast off the nearest German boat owner appeared and gave us the local
weather forecast of force 5 to 6 winds from the West and he seemed to doubt
the wisdom of our departure. Certainly some of these boats probably only
leave when the forecast is for a flat calm!

As we left, the wind swiftly picked up from a gentle 15 knots to a more
lively 25 knots, but again this was behind us and so with just a single
headsail set we were soon making good progress towards Itea. Then the rain
started and before long it was hard to know we were not back in the North
Sea with driving rain and cold wind and gradually increasing wave sizes.

All went well until the point where we turned northwards and the wind came
more onto our port beam. Sarah (who sensibly was below avoiding the rain and
driving duties - its actually called planning the next bit!) decided to make
some welcome coffee but placed the full cafetiere on the galley worktop at
the very moment that the wind upped its game and rose suddenly to 35 knots
plus. This has resulted in some ad hoc carpet cleaning!

As we approached Itea, the wind quietened down and the sun came out and in
celebration 5 dolphins suddenly appeared and cavorted close to us. We made
our way then into the large concrete marina that was mostly empty and tied
up alongside the outer mole with just 5 other yachts already here. Two very
helpful Germans took our lines and proved to be sources of useful
information about everything here. (Mainly because they have been stuck here
for 5 days because of the weather.)

This then was the cue for the weather to start up again and 30 plus knots of
wind and bursts of rain then sunshine was the order of the rest of the day,
however things were enlivened by a youth sailing organisation who were
determined to launch and sail their Optimist dinghies in the marina despite
the weather. The 35 knot plus gusts of wind and the rain did delay things
until after lunchtime, but in the next lull they launched 15 boats and the
boys and girls roared up and down the marina past the moored yachts. All the
yacht owners were all on deck, fearful in case the youngsters could not cope
with the wind strength and came heading for our boats, but these kids were
all highly competent and not only gave a dazzling display of their skills,
but then the whole fleet plus two support boats sailed out of the marina
entrance and into the Gulf of Corinth. The wind rose to 38 knots but still
they carried on and then spent the next 2 and half hours sailing miles out
into the gulf before returning exhausted and very wet.

Plan to catch the bus tomorrow morning up to Delphi for a bit proper