Ormos Karathona (first part) 37:32.3N 22:49.2E

Sue & Alan
Thu 2 Jun 2016 11:28
It's been a few days since our last entry so here goes:
We pulled-up the hook at 8 o'clock on Wednesday 25th a whole week ago! Before leaving Kithnos we did a circle close to and around the dastardly demon s/y Ophira and even then couldn't raise anybody. Hence it's going to be an email to the Marta Registry.  Late afternoon and about 60 NM later we reclaimed mooring rights, long-lines to the defunct swimming quay at Mandraki, Idhra (Nisos Hydra). No sooner had we shown our intention several other yachties were fertilised with same idea and couple needed our assistance (self preservation). Next morning we did the walk into Hydra town and enjoyed good shop and iced coffee (pic on FB). When we returned to Mandraki Sue claimed settlement rights to the ownly free table in the local taverna whilst I returned to the yacht to get get the foodstuffs in fridge before they went off. Needless to say, our previously very attractive giant chocolate coated doughnut had migrated part of it's coating introducing us to some chocolate flavoured fresh bread (for a later feast). Once next to Sue and having taken on board claims of "You've been a flippin long time" I had to explain how difficult it can be once a local engages in conversation, mostly about Germans ad preferred mooring rights and hazzards in the bay. Sue & I set about demolishing a rather scrummy octopus and calamari lunch. Very good too. Couldn't help but notice a Sailing Holidays lead crew yacht arrive, dutifully followed by and extended group of flotilla sailing yachts. In meantime we watched several other charter yachts pretending to anchor. Some succeeded (of sorts) and some didn't. On in particular had tried anchoring too close to the shore and picked-up the inevitable fishermans ground tackle. After struggling for over an hour I excused myself, leaving Sue well engaged in conversation with couple nice Brits, and freed the German charterer of their mechanical creature from the deep and helped them moor by telling them exactly where to drop their hook and tied them back safely. Very nice people too and very appreciative. I couldn't take-up their offers to have beer on-board with them because one round of "You've been a long time" is more than enough for one day.
When we returned to Ticketeeboo it was just time for the Sailing Holidays lead crew to claim mooring rights for three additional yachts right next to us. Admittedly, their first attempt was just bit too close for comfort and they responded favourably when I asked them to change their long line to give us more room. The lead crew skipper was surprised when I told him we could expect a strong NW'ly early evening and well into the overnight. He had allowed for a SW'ly and NW'ly would put everyone on a lee-shore so it's best to prepare well, for safety. In meantime 2 x charter yachts had moored-up together on our other side and proceeded to have fun and celebrate their arrival. Over the next couple of hours they were more interested in their joviality and when they eventually realised one of their anchors wasn't holding too well they enjoyed attempting to correct the problem by deploying their kedge as well. Just before sunset, as they were getting ready to leave their yachts and go ashore to continue their friendships, once again for reasons of self preservation in the coming dark, we decided I should have a quiet word. After some discussion amongst themselves they agreed they should re-moor NOW before dark, when it could be dangerous to them as well others. After aborted attempts I ended up taking to our RIB (again) and after their skipper initiated a couple of near-misses to other nearby yachts he took-up my suggestion allowing me onboard to moor the yacht safely. Point being, the wind was beginning to get-up big-style and this was no place for an inexperienced skipper to learn......... and it was getting dark too so my timely intervention was gratefully accepted.

At around 11 o'clock, with the wind blowing a hoolie from the exposed NW and all the moored yachts pitching like bucking bronko's, the Sailing Holidays lead crew came rushing back and to their credit not one sailing holidays yacht escaped their moorings to well done to them guys. The charter yacht who had been previously stuck in the fishermans ground-tackle whi I'de helped moor-up was also fine. Likewise the charter yacht I'd moored-up couple hours earlier. Unfortunately, at around midnight, their adjoining friends, who had assured me had plenty chain out expressing confidence in their security, never made it through the night and ended-up dropping their long-line and doing a hasty exit out of the bay towards the Greek mainland where they would seek refuge.

As for us, the nearest we came to "What the heck's going on?" was when the water-taxi (with flashing light) moored between us and the nearest Sailing Holidays yacht to dispense it's 2-legged cargoes. I though it was gonna hit us but the water-taxi driver is very accomplished at just shittin' people! We bounced and pitched a bit until early hours of the morning then went to bed. We'd dropped our hook in almost 20m and had almost 70m chain out between us and our hook and two long-lines attached to the shore. Our anchor would have had to make it's way uphill to get out of the seabed and we knew we would be fine and dandy there... and we were and we slept soundly from about 2 a.m. onwards.

Next morning we called into Porta Chelli. One of our favourite places to swing on the hook in complete safety. Next day Koiladhia (Kilada) to visit Basimakopolos Shipyard and confirm our lifting date and importantly........ collect our new single phase electric motor from Mrs Matoula, who's apartments we're goinna use when we're lifted out.